Skip to the content

Little Rock Zoo Wishes Malayan Tiger Farewell and Good Luck on Her New Journey

Monday, Nov 20, 2023

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Nov. 20, 2023) - Asmara, the Little Rock Zoo’s female Malayan tiger, and first-time mother to tiger cubs, will soon enjoy a new home in Tampa, Fla., at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Asmara will move to Fla. with the hope of becoming a mother once again. This move comes as a result of the tiger species survival program (SSP) recommendation. The SSP Program, developed in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), helps to ensure the survival of select species in zoos and aquariums, which are either threatened or endangered in the wild.

Asmara has been a family member of the Little Rock Zoo for the last 10 years. Zoo staff, keepers, volunteers and guests alike have come to admire this beautiful tiger and enjoy watching her over the years. Asmara was born at the Little Rock Zoo on Nov. 12, 2013. Her mother raised her along with three brothers. Her brothers moved on to other zoos as did her mom. The Little Rock Zoo had the privilege of watching Asmara grow from a cute playful cub into an amazing adult female.

Asmara lived next door to her father for many years until Feb. 2022, when Jaya, a male tiger, arrived from the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Fla.  Asmara and Jaya quickly became companions in April 2022 and later became parents to Kae, Sundari, and Zoya in Aug. 2022. Asmara has proven to be a competent and attentive mother to her own cubs. Asmara is still quite playful at 10 years of age and has spent the past year romping on the exhibit with her daughters, splashing in the pool, chasing toys and taking naps.

Asmara will begin her journey to her new Florida home at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on November 20. She will be sorely missed at the Zoo by Zoo staff, members, and guests. The entire Little Rock Zoo family wishes her well on this next phase.  

“We are all sad to see Asmara go. She is a fiercely beautiful tiger and stunning example her species. However, we all know and agree that this is the absolute correct decision.” noted Susan Altrui, Little Rock Zoo Director. “As a member of the AZA and specifically working in the tiger SSP, we are glad to do our part to help conserve this special species for many generations to come,” Altrui added.   

Stay Informed!

Enewsletter Sign-Up

Sign up to stay up-to-date on the latest zoo news, upcoming events and deals.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Highland Dairy Foods

Vines/Brookshire logo