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Birthday Celebration at the Zoo!

Sacramento Zoo's Sumatran Tiger Cub's 1st Birthday. Photo by April Johnson

CJ, the Sumatran tiger cub, turned a year old on March 3. He weighed three pounds at birth and now weighs 130 pounds, though he appears to be growing every day. On March 1, the Sacramento Zoo and guests celebrated his birthday.

Sacramento Zoo Guests Signing CJ's Giant Card

Sacramento Zoo Guests Signing CJ’s Giant Card

Guests were given tiger ear hats, invited to sign a giant card, and were able to participate in various activities throughout the Zoo. At noon, CJ and his mother, Baha, entered their exhibit to discover birthday-themed enrichments. CJ was anything but apprehensive when he pounced on his cardboard birthday cake that was decorated with non-toxic paint and sprinkled with keeper-approved spices for him to enjoy.

Guests watch as CJ Enjoys His Birhday Enrichment. Photo by Tonja Candelaria
Guests watch as CJ Enjoys His Birhday Enrichment. Photo by Tonja Candelaria

While every animal at the Zoo is special, CJ’s birthday provided an opportunity to highlight Sumatran tigers. These unique tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra off the Malaysian Peninsula and are critically endangered. It’s estimated that fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild with approximately 200 more living in zoos around the world.

The Sacramento Zoo participates in the Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP), coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs are cooperative breeding and conservation programs designed to maintain genetically viable populations of animals in captivity, and to organize zoo and aquarium-based efforts to preserve the species in nature. CJ’s birth is a success of this program – something worth celebrating.

CJ Relaxing after Birthday Fun. Photo by April Johnson
CJ Relaxing after Birthday Fun. Photo by April Johnson
Birthday Celebration at the Zoo! via @sacramentopress

About the author

April Mae Saenz Johnson

April Mae Saenz Johnson

On a daily basis, I see animals from all over the world in one special place: the Sacramento Zoo. I am happy to share inside info, fun facts and photographs of the zoo's animals, staff and events.

In my personal life, I enjoy the sleepy, gross and amazing moments of motherhood, time with my husband and our labradoodle, with a bit of traveling, yoga and volunteering on the Leadership Team for Social Media Club Sacramento.

I am embarking on a new adventure as co-founder of Aging UP, a nonprofit empowering youth with experience in foster care to successfully transition into adulthood.

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