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Hattiesburg Zoo welcomes new tiger Bunga


The Hattiesburg Zoo has a lot of new and exciting things to share with the community, but one in particular has the guests in awe. This is the arrival of their newest family member, Mr. Bunga (Boon-ya). The zoo is happy to welcome their very first Malayan Tiger to the family.
Earlier this year, the zoo was in mourning after the passing of their Samaritan Tiger, Mr. Kimplin. He passed away due to age-related issues. Although the zoo welcomes a new tiger to their family, they said Kimplin will always be remembered and loved.
The zoo has been waiting to find a tiger to join their community, and after communication with the Species Survival Program, they found Bunga.
Animal Curator for the Hattiesburg Zoo, Kristen Moore, shared more on how the zoo houses the animals and how they got Bunga.
“We work closely with the species survival program, and we reached out to them when Kimplin was sick,” Moore said. “They worked closely with us and other facilities that were needing tigers moved out to a facility for housing purposes and found Bunga.”
Bunga came to the Hattiesburg Zoo from the ABQ Biopark Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was a part of a breeding program for endangered species he could not breed. Since he was in a facility that specialized in repopulating endangered species and could not breed, the Hattiesburg Zoo stepped up to become his “retirement home,” as they call it. The zoo has high hopes that the guests will love Bunga and learn more about Maylan Tiger’s characteristics and their habitats by having him join the zoo community.
Bunga arrived at the zoo Thursday, where he was introduced to his new home and is becoming familiar with his new animal care team.
Moore shared the importance of housing certain species and why the zoo is vital for survival.
“Without zoos, a lot of the animals you see here would be extinct, for example, Malayan Tiger’s numbers are down to about 250 in the wild so without the preservation we would not have any left,” Moore said.
While views on caging animals in a zoo environment may be negative, their presence on the earth may rely on the preservation that zoos offer.
For more information on the Hattiesburg Zoo and how they help endangered species stay safe, follow them on their social media pages or visit their website at Stay tuned for more species and events at the local Hattiesburg Zoo.

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