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  • Writer's pictureNashville Socialite

New Male Tiger Arrives to Meet His Mate at Nashville Zoo

There's a new tiger in town and guests visiting Nashville Zoo can get their first glimpse of him tomorrow. Felix, a 3-year-old, 236-pound male Sumatran tiger was brought to Nashville to meet the Zoo's female Sumatran tiger, Francis.

"Nashville Zoo has been selected by the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) to be a breeding location for this critically endangered species," said Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo's President and CEO. "He's a beautiful animal and we are thrilled to introduce him to Nashville and give guests an opportunity to see him and learn all about his importance in tiger conservation."

Felix was born at the Jacksonville Zoo in Jacksonville, FL, and lived at the Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro, NC before coming to Nashville. Because male and female tigers live separately unless mating, Felix and Francis will rotate into the Zoo's new Tiger Crossroad exhibit and will only be together when six-year-old Francis is ready for breeding.

Nashville Zoo's Tiger Crossroads exhibit opened in April 2019 and received Top Honors in Exhibit Design from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums due to its overall aesthetics and authenticity, the improvements to the original space both for the animals and guests, the extraordinary level of exhibit detail, the high level of educational content, and Nashville Zoo’s long term commitment to tiger conservation. Tiger Crossroads was made possible through a lead gift from The Bracken Foundation and with support from the following generous donors: Drew Crawford, EBS Foundation, The Frist Foundation, HCA Healthcare, H.G. Hill Realty Company, The Hagood Family, and Mars Petcare.

The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest tiger species in the world and lives between 10-15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in human care. They are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List and their population has decreased by 60% in the last 35 years. There are 269 Sumatran tigers in institutions around the globe and 71 in AZA-accredited zoos.

Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and education initiatives around the globe as well as in our own backyard. With support from the Nashville community, donors, and sponsors including our Experience Partners: Coca-Cola Consolidated, Middle Tennessee Honda Dealers, and Temptations cat treats, the Zoo is a top Nashville attraction and is consistently voted one of the best places to visit by TripAdvisor, Yelp, and a host of local and national review sites. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit

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