Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

NOTICE: Word on the Street has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Word on the Street.
Visit the new section.

Category: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

April
18th

Newborn tiger at Point Defiance zoo is a girl, will be hand-reared after mother showed little interest in her

The surprise tiger cub found in a nest box Wednesday morning at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is a girl, staff said today.

She’ll be hand-reared, they said, because mother Jaya has shown little interest in the cub.

Zookeepers are hand feeding the cub every three hours.

They know the routine; the cub’s 8-month old brother, Dumai, was hand-reared for the same reason.

They brought him a playmate of the same age from Tulsa Zoo, Berani, who was in a similar situation. The idea is that the two can learn tiger behavior from each other.

April
17th

Surprise Sumatran tiger cub born at Point Defiance Zoo

It’s not easy to get clear ultrasound images of a standing, moving tiger.

That’s partly why a newborn Sumatran tiger cub found Wednesday morning in a nest box at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was such a surprise, staff said, even though they had performed several ultrasounds on mother Jaya in the past few weeks.

Jaya’s behavior and hormones also didn’t suggest she was with cub.

But when staff went to give Jaya a physical and ultrasound Wednesday, she had given birth overnight to the 2.5-pound tiger.

Both mom and newborn seemed healthy, according to the zoo.

Staff hadn’t yet

Read more »

March
19th

Meerkat babies now on exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo

Five new meerkat babies are now on exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

The recent additions were born Feb. 26 and made their public debut Monday in the Kids’ Zone area, where zookeepers rotate three groups of meerkats.

Genders for the newest meerkats have not yet been determined but keepers have already named them – Lilo, Mushu, Grimsby, Fidget and Basil. (Recognize any Disney names in there?)

They will be on display with mother Amelia and eight other adults. Rotating are the Darwin gang, which boasts five adults and two babies born Feb. 3 named Frick and Frack; and

Read more »

March
7th

Once-ill tiger cub Berani to go back on exhibit Friday at Point Defiance Zoo

A 6-month-old Malayan tiger cub that was critically ill last week is set to go back on exhibit Friday afternoon.

Visitors to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium can see Berani and playmate Dumai, a Sumatran tiger cub of the same age, in the Asian Forest Sanctuary starting at noon.

Berani will remain on exhibit all weekend as long as he continues to feel well, zoo officials said.

The cub underwent emergency surgery Feb. 25 after zookeepers noticed he didn’t feel well. Veterinarians said his illness was likely enterotoxemia, which are toxins caused by bacteria creating an infection.

Zoo officials said

Read more »

March
1st

Tiger cub released from animal hospital, in ‘very good’ condition

A Malayan tiger cub that has been ill all week was released from the animal hospital today and is in “very good” condition, according to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium veterinarians.

Berani returned to the Asian Forest Sanctuary this morning, immediately greeting foster brother Dumai with vocal sounds. The two are temporarily being kept apart with a partition to prevent the cubs from roughhousing while Berani recovers.

Berani fell suddenly ill Monday and underwent emergency surgery. His condition has been slowly improving all week.

“This is an animal who has made an astounding recovery,” zoo veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf said.

Read more »

Feb.
28th

Endangered tiger cub showing ‘slight improvement’ at Point Defiance Zoo

A Malayan tiger cub at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is showing “slight improvement” but remains sedated and receiving oxygen therapy, general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck said.

Berani, one of the zoo’s two 6-month-old tiger cubs, underwent emergency surgery Monday night. His vital signs are stable and he is now receiving nutrition through a tube. Goodrowe Beck said she can tell Berani’s condition is improved because his vital signs are slowly returning to normal and he needs less help breathing.

A team of veterinarians continues to care for Berani around-the-clock and have not yet determined what caused the cub to

Read more »

Feb.
27th

Tiger cub remains in guarded condition at Point Defiance Zoo

An endangered Malayan tiger cub remains in guarded condition today while veterinarians at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium work to figure out what is causing Berani’s illness.

The 6-month-old cub fell ill Monday and underwent emergency surgery to check for intestinal blockage. After that was ruled out, vets are trying to determine if he has an infection.

Berani is still sedated and a team of vets are treating him for breathing difficulties, regulating his temperature and trying to keep him comfortable. He is receiving around-the-clock care.

“We continue to be very concerned,” zoo general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck said. “We

Read more »

Feb.
26th

Tiger cub at Point Defiance Zoo in ‘poor condition’ after emergency surgery

An endangered Malayan tiger cub is in poor condition today after undergoing emergency surgery Monday night.

Berani, who arrived at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in October, fell ill Monday. His keepers noticed something was amiss when the 6-month-old cub stopped eating, developed a high fever and became lethargic.

Zoo veterinarians immediately took X-rays and performed an ultrasound on the Berani, testing for a possible intestinal blockage.

“There was no blockage but his gastrointestinal tract appears to be very, very irritated,” zoo veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf said, adding that Berani could be suffering from an infection.

After surgery, the 74-pound

Read more »