NORFOLK (AP) -- Virginia Zoo officials are hoping a new pair of Malayan tigers will help the zoo establish a long-term breeding program.
The zoo's tiger facility was designed with breeding in mind.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that zoo workers have to complete several tasks before breeding begins. The first task is socializing the pair.
Two-year-old Christopher and 3-year-old Api arrived at the zoo in Norfolk in February. They've been in quarantine since the, but the zoo plans to put them on display within a week.
Only one of the tigers will be displayed at a time. That's because they could attack each other.
According to the zoo, Malayan tigers are endangered and recent counts showed there may be as few as 600 in the wild. It is perhaps the smallest subspecies of tiger, with an average weight of nearly 300 pounds for adult males and just over 200 pounds for females. In the wild, Malayan tigers mainly prey on deer and wild boar. They are found in the tropical forests of the southern and central Malay Peninsula.
Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com