Hamilton Zoo's sibling Sumatran tigers, Jaka and Mencari, will be celebrating their 10th birthday this Sunday [10 January] with a special 'jungle party'.
Held between 12pm-2.30pm, the party will include 'meet the keeper' tiger talks, a performance by musician/entertainer Simon McReesh and a singalong session featuring a song written especially for Mencari and Jaka.
There will also be Face2Face encounters with Mencari and Jaka (normal fees apply), lollipop giveaways and a best dressed competition where the public are invited to dress up as a tiger for their chance to win a free Eye2Eye encounter valued at $300.
Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley said Mencari and Jaka's 10th birthday is an exciting milestone for the zoo, which has been made even more special by the fact that according to the Chinese zodiac, 2010 is also the 'Year of the Tiger'.
"Mencari and Jaka are a favourite amongst our visitors so when we came to the realisation that the brother/sister pair would be turning 10 on the 10th January 2010 – and during the Year of the Tiger no less – we knew we had to celebrate this special occasion," he said.
"We invite everyone to come along to our 'jungle party' and help celebrate with Jaka and Mencari."
Sumatran tigers live to be around 15 years old in the wild and 20 years old in captivity.
Listed as critically endangered, wild populations of Sumatran tigers number less than 400 in the wild and continue to decline, primarily due to habitat loss with prime areas now being converted to oil palm plantations. Captive zoo populations are managed in an attempt to prevent this species from becoming extinct.
Mencari and Jaka were born at Wellington Zoo and relocated to Hamilton Zoo in early 2001.