Our new South East Asia Jungle Track Lowlands habitat for tigers and otters is fast transforming!

Next summer when it opens, you and your whanau and friends will be able to immerse yourselves in this stunning environment that will be home to two young Sumatran tigers (a male and female) and our raft of Asian small-clawed otters. 

The tigers’ outside caves, built into the habitat’s rockface, are almost complete. The viewing shelter is about to get its roof on, and its glass windows will be installed over summer. It’s here you’ll come face-to-face with these water-loving big cats at their waterfall, swimming pool and beach area. Soon to begin, is planting in the lowlands and high ridge areas of this habitat. From bamboo stands to broadleaf species and other flora, the design and landscaping is all about giving our tigers plenty of choice, and enabling them to be and behave as they would in the wild – be it sleeping in the shade or sun, staying dry, resting in a cave, swimming, or leaping up a 7m high climbing tree to retrieve some kai!

As these big cats are apex predators that like to be up high looking out and down on their prey, we’re also creating two large tiger overpasses as seen in the artist impression below – one up to 16.5m (54 feet!) long.

These will create the same dynamic as in the wild, giving these tigers the ability to lounge or prowl overhead and watch you, the otters, and see other species like our orangutans and siamangs ranging across their aerial pathways. To be installed by late summer/early autumn, these overpasses will also give our keepers the flexibility to move tigers into any of the three different areas of the habitat, that all going well in the future could also include tiger cubs!

Caring, Connecting, Conserving and Sustaining

Auckland Zoo is proud to be part of an internationally coordinated breeding programme for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Sumatran tiger , for which we have successfully bred tigers in the past. It is through our visitors’ support (people like you visiting us), that we have also for many years been helping this extraordinary big cat in the wild that’s up against large-scale habitat loss and poaching, with a wild population of fewer than 400 animals.

We continue to partner with and support the Sumatran Ranger Project and Wildcats Conservation Alliance – fellow conservation organisations doing incredible work that’s making a positive difference for these and other wildlife that share these ecosystems. We’re so excited about the world-class habitat we’re building to ensure our new tigers’ absolute best care, and once they arrive, we can’t wait for you to once again be able to see and connect with them, and join us in continuing to help ensure their future.  

As our tiger habitat progresses, our builders NZ Strong are also focused on creating our new otter habitat that features two linking areas - one just below tigers and the other graduating down towards our lake and wetlands, with lots of great viewing. A stream runs through the entire habitat with two large pools and bankside areas for this otter species that not only loves the water, but also likes to spend time on land – sunbathing, resting, and grooming. Construction of the pools is now underway, and as more of this habitat comes to life, we’ll share updates.