LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Two Sumatran Tigers have been acclimating to their new home at the Lincoln Children's Zoo.
Lincoln Children's Zoo
Zoo officials officially announced their arrival to Lincoln on Thursday.
The tigers, Kumar and Axl, are a part of The Tiger Encounter coming to the zoo this summer.
Kumar and Axel are brothers born six months apart at the San Diego Safari Park. They came to Nebraska weighing about 250 pounds and will grow to be about 300 pounds. Sumatran Tigers are the smallest of the tiger species. Other tigers can be 500 to 600 pounds.
Right now, there are only 400 to 500 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild.
They are critically endangered so zoos like the Lincoln Children's Zoo are working with others around the country to save the tigers from extinction.
These two tigers will get to enjoy a special area in their habitat, which includes a cave that's heated during the winter and cooled during the summer, as well as a pool for the tigers to play in.
There is also a jeep that kids can climb in on their side -- and it's temperature-controlled on the cats' side to encourage them to jump in it.
There will also be a tiger tug of war that kids can enjoy. There will be a rope on one side that the kids can pull and the tigers will grab the other side.
The zoo said they are committed to creating these rich encounters for children.
John Chapo says the facility is exceptional because it has the outdoor habitat along with three large bedrooms for the tigers.
Chapo calls it "a tiger lalaland."
Usually tigers are solitary in the wild, normally only seeing a mother with her cubs, but the zoo said these brothers get along so well that they are able to have them together.
Tigers, giraffes, and the rest of the zoo's expansion will open to the public on May 10.