Rare tigers travel 14,000 miles for love at London Zoo

Jae Jae the Sumatran tiger surveys his new surroundings as he settles in at London Zoo in Regent’s Park, one of two of the critically endangered animals flown 14,000 miles to be together.

Breeders are hoping the four-year-old, transferred from Akron Zoo in Ohio, United States, will take a fancy to Melati, who was recently brought in from Perth Zoo, Australia, after the pair were matched by the Sumatran tiger studbook, a global breeding programme co-ordinated by conservationists at London Zoo.

To help mimic the tigers’ natural behaviours where a male approaches a female’s turf, Melati arrived at the Zoo first so that she could mark her territory ahead of Jae Jae’s arrival.

The tigers, accompanied by zookeepers on their journeys, demanded very little for such high-profile fliers; their hand luggage consisted of just two gallons of water, and their in-flight meal was a tasty snack of 10lbs of meat.