Sumatran Tigress Captured in Rare Footage

23 April 2015 | World Wildlife Fund News Release

Ahead of WWF’s new Wear It Wild campaign on Friday 5 June, WWF has released new camera trap footage from Lampung, Sumatra. The footage caught a very rare moment as two critically endangered Sumatran tigers, a male and female, give signals to each other that they are ready to mate.

The camera trap footage shows a male Sumatran tiger (the larger one) ascertaining the status of, or ‘checking out,’ a female Sumatran tiger. Their shy behaviour suggests they have just met.

WWF tiger expert, Joseph Vattakaven, explains, “The ‘chuffing’ sound, or Prusten, is a non-threatening nasal sound produced by tigers in friendly interactions. The tigress is giving ‘signals’ to the male by its lying down posture. Realising his chance, the male tiger responds by doing the ‘flehmen’; taking his tongue out and bearing his teeth in a funny face – as he sniffs the scent of the tigress.”

The male tiger has been previously photographed by a WWF-Bukit Barisan National Park (BBSNP) camera trap in 2014 when the WWF BBSNP team named him Riko. Since being installed in 2013, WWF-BBSNP camera traps have captured and identified five Sumatran tigers, two males and three females including the new tigress in this recent footage.

Yob Charles, WWF Project Leader for Bukit Barisan Program-Lampung, says, “This is a good call for the government to maintain and increase comprehensive protection within the National Park boundaries and its surroundings, to ensure the tiger population remains stable. During 2014 WWF and BBSNP teams cleared 80 tiger snares, and two illegal weapons.”

The Sumatran tiger is critically endangered with around 450 left in the wild. During the last century, over 95% of the world’s wild tiger population has vanished. Last year WWF published its Living Planet Report, which announced alarming statistics on the state of our planet and its wildlife.  This report was a wakeup call. In response to this, WWF is calling on people of all ages to make a stand for nature, and ‘Wear It Wild’ www.wwf.org.uk/wild on Friday 5 June.

As well as raising awareness about threatened species, any money raised will help support WWF’s work to tackle growing pressures on our natural world and its precious wildlife.

For further information, please contact:

Emma Roberts, Media Relations Officer, WWF-UK
E: eroberts@wwf.org.uk T: 07771 818 682

Editor Notes:

Please see video: http://bit.ly/SumatranTigerVideo_WWF – Copyright: ©WWF-Indonesia

Find out more about Wear It Wild at: wwf.org.uk/wild

WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive.  Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.


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For more information about endangered tigers go to Tigers In Crisis.com
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