News & Politics

A Sex Tiger Has Arrived at the National Zoo

Sparky. Photograph courtesy Smithsonian National Zoo.

The National Zoo has acquired a new male Sumatran tiger as part of a species-survival breeding plan. Sparky, a 12-year-old specimen, is on display at the Great Cats exhibit where he will cohabitate with the zoo’s resident female tiger, Damai, who is “a proven breeder and mother,” according to a zoo press release.

So far, the tigers have only been introduced visually—they will meet physically over the next few months—but the meeting went well: Damai exhibited “affiliative behaviors” like chuffing when she saw Sparky, the zoo says. So welcome to Washington, Sparky the Sex Tiger.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.