TULSA - Tulsa zoo keepers are preparing for a sad day as they say goodbye to their newest tiger cub.
Five-week-old Berani will be heading to his new home in Tacoma, Wash. Wednesday.
The cub was born in Tulsa and has been hand-raised by zoo staff since.
To help Berani develop normal socializing skills, the young tiger cub will be transferred to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacomo , Wash., where a single male Sumatran tiger cub, Dumai , was born four days before Berani .
"They have a newer exhibit, a lot more space than we do and they were going to be able to handle these two cubs growing up for a couple of years together a lot better than we would be able to," said associate veteran Dr. Jen Kilburn.
An anonymous zoo supporter donated the use of a private jet to transport him to his new home.
Tulsa zoo officials hope in the future they will be able to house more tigers. In fact, plans are in the works for a new tiger exhibit, slated to open in 2015.
Currently, there fewer than 500 Malayan tigers left in the wild due to habitat loss and poaching and only 55 in Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoos in North America, making this birth a success for not only the Tulsa Zoo, but also for diminishing tiger populations around the world.
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