Hamilton Zoo’s Tiger Cubs Formally Named
8 MAY 2015
For Immediate Release
They are a big hit with visitors, and Hamilton Zoo’s two Sumatran tiger cubs now have their own special names.
Following a month-long public competition, zoo staff worked through 800 entries and compiled a shortlist of six names
for the six-month-old cubs, a male and a female. The final decision was then up to their adoring public who had the
chance to vote on their favourite names, and the winning two can now be revealed.
The female’s name Kirana means “beautiful ray of light”, and was first suggested by Auckland’s Jennifer Finucane.
The male has been named Kembali, which means “return”, “come back”, or “invincible”, and was suggested by Wellington’s
Entries came in from across New Zealand and nearly 1000 people then cast their votes, showing just how much people have
connected with the cubs.
Samantha Kudeweh, Hamilton Zoo’s Curator, says the two cubs are “fighting fit and full of energy”.
“They are confident little cats who are eager to explore their world,” she says.
Mrs Kudeweh says Kirana and Kembali are generally visible during the day, and are proving to be a huge hit with
visitors. Although they are still nursing from their mother Sali, each cub also eats about 2 kg of meat each day, and
they have been spotted sneakily stealing meat from their mother.
“She normally responds with a tolerant growl,” Mrs Kudeweh says.
Kirana is more adventurous and confident than her brother, and often plays up to her audience of zoo visitors. The cubs’
father Oz is in a neighbouring enclosure and the cubs and the tiger family can often be seen relaxing near each other.