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Sumatran Tiger Trust

S Tigers Hollie Gordon (4)
Sumatran tiger (panthera tigris sumatrae)
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Sumatran Tiger Trust
Protecting wild tigers!
The STT operates in the island of Sumatra. This is part of Indonesia, in Asia.
Tigers are all endangered. There are only 6 types of tigers left, as 3 types have already gone extinct. These extinctions have been recent — the last confirmed Javan tiger sighting was in 1979, with an expedition in the 1990s finding they had all likely gone.

Safari Zoo runs this project to protect the critically endangered Sumatran tiger. The other subspecies are:

  • Bengal tiger
  • Indochinese tiger
  • Malayan tiger
  • Siberian tiger
  • South China tiger
The map below shows the range of all tiger subspecies:
Image credit: WWF


Check out our resources below!

Who We Are

Set up by David S Gill, the zoo’s creator and owner, the STT is the largest and longest running continuous Sumatran tiger protection programme in Indonesia. This programme was set up in 1996, and is unique for having continuous data and experience with wild Sumatran tigers for this length of time.

The Sumatran tiger is classed as critically endangered, with only and estimated 350 individuals left in the wild. Their decline is primarily due to two reasons. The first is habitat loss, with less than 20% of the lowland forest of Sumatra remaining compared to 100 years ago. Their second main threat is poaching. Without their vital habitat, tigers are unable to hunt and are pushed into human settlements, where they may be shot on sight.  Tigers are also hunted for trophies and for use of their body parts within traditional Chinese medicine, which is full of myth as this medicine doesn’t work.

The Safari Zoo Nature Foundation manages and is the sole funder of this project, giving an average of £100,000 a year. This money pays the wages of our team of 42 staff in Sumatra, along with all the vehicles, tools, uniform and other equipment they need. Over the last 20 years, we have donated over £1.5 million to this cause, making us the largest fundraiser for Sumatran tigers in the world!


Where We Work

We work in two main national parks: Way Kambas National Park (hence our tiger exhibit’s name: “Way Kambas Tiger Reserve”) and Buki Tigapuluh National Park.

Way Kambas is our longest established base. It is 1,300km² of flat lowland forest along Sumatra’s south east coast. It is home to around 20 or more tigers, but unfortunately, due to its isolated location, the individuals there are at risk of inbreeding, and are surrounded by a population of 5 million people in numerous villages edging the reserve. Other establishments working in the area are the Elephant Conservation Centre, and the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (there are fewer than 100 of these rhinos left on the planet, perhaps as little as 50. Around 12 of them are located in this forest reserve).

Bukit Tigapuluh National Park is of a similar size, but the terrain is much more mountainous. In fact, the name translates as “thirty hills”. Ot os jhome to two native tribes: “Orange Rimba” and “Talang Mamak” — one being somewhat primitive, living nomadically in dense forest, where the other consists of communal villages. This is an important area of lowland forest due to its large biodiversity — hundreds of different plants and animals can be found here, many of which are under threat of extinction, including animals such as gibbons, macaques, orangutans, elephants, rhinos and Asian tapir, as well as many endangered bird species.

Tiger Pairs Game

Protecting the Forest

Note: the P.K.H.S is the foundation within Sumatra. The P.K.H.S and the STT are the same team.

Rainforest Protection

Without dense tree coverage, it is almost impossible for wild tigers to find shelter, and use their camouflage and stealth to hunt their prey. Unfortunately Sumatra has faced and enormous amount of destruction due to logging, particularly for the production of acacia trees (used for production of wood and paper) and palm trees (used to produce palm, oil). This project works on planting tree nurseries, to encourage the regrowth of these parts of the forest that have been destroyed. Fortunately, this regrowth has the benefit in that these new forests are not as dense as the old ones, which can provide more space for prey animals to inhabit these areas. More prey species means a greater food supply to encourage more tigers!

Anti-poaching Rangers

Our anti-poaching rangers patrol the area for illegal logging and poaching activities. Patrols will disarm, arrest and prosecute and loggers or poachers found, as well as destroy their camps, confiscate their equipment, remove any snares they find, and rescue any animals held captive. Any tigers that have been rescued or are located too close to humans settlements are safely captures and relocated to more remote, safe parts of the forest, where they are less threat to communities and therefore less of a target to poachers.

Currently we have 9 of these teams who work tirelessly in intense heat and humidity in difficult terrain, and tolerate thunderstorms and biting insects. The funding we provide pays for their full training and wages, and all their vital equipment, including uniforms, cameras, tents, food and cooking utensils, as well as 4×4 off road vehicles, motorbikes and speedboats. The staff members are incredibly dedicated — rangers can often be out in the field with just their backpacks for 14 days at a time, and can be working away from their homes and families for months at a time.


Whilst in the field, our teams also carry out environmental surveys to assess the biodiversity of flora and fauna in the area. This includes not just observation, but identifying animal tracks and scat, and making use of camera traps. Since tigers are so elusive, the footage we capture on our infra-red remote cameras is vital for identifying individual tigers, and monitoring home ranges, diets, and use of habitat.
S Tigers Hollie Gordon (4) - Copy

Mini Quiz

Health Care & Education

Our project also works with local communities. Developing long term friendships with these people means we can educate them and alter their attitudes towards protecting the environment. In exchange for providing our rangers with a base to use when they are travelling, we have built them schools, and pay for their teaching staff. We also pay for health carers to visit each village every month, since the local people cannot afford to pay for their own medical care. Improving welfare and education means that young generations are more likely to achieve better careers, and many of these people will use their knowledge and skills to return to their hometowns to help promote conservation!

Safari Zoo's Giraffes

Giraffa camelopardalis

Animals, mammals, Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates), Giraffidae (giraffes and okapis)

Our West African Giraffes are, as their name suggests, from west Africa.

Habitat: Savannah, scrubs, open acacia woodlands and grasslands.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 800kg
–Average height: males 5.3m, females 4.3m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 15 years
In captivity up to: 25 years

Diet: Leaves, flowers, seed pods and fruits.

Gestation: 430 days

Number of Young: 1

Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi

Animals, mammals, Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates), Giraffidae (giraffes and okapis)

Rothschild’s Giraffes are taller than many other Giraffe subspecies. They are the only species to be born with 5 ossicones (the bony protuberances on their heads).

Habitat: Savannah, scrubs, open acacia woodlands and grasslands.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: male 1192kg, female 1825kg
–Average height: 6m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 25 years
In captivity up to: 28 years

Diet: Leaves, twigs, seed pods, and fruit.

Gestation: 14-16 months

Number of Young: 1