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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
A Cheshire Zoo earns its stripes
Kepala the tiger
Kepala is one of only 400 Sumatran Tigers in the world
A new set of tiger feet padded into Chester Zoo as Sumatran tiger Kepala moved into his new home.

It is the first time in 21 years that the zoo has been home to this particular breed.

Kepala, which means headstrong in Malaysian, will be sharing his lodgings with Bengal tigers Kahli and Rhani.

The zoo hopes to introduce a female Sumatran to breed with Kepala to help increase the numbers of the critically endangered species.

Ensure survival

The Sumatran Tigers' homeland has been hit by deforestation and poaching and there are less than 400 of the breed left.

Kepala, who has come from Dudley Zoo, is part of the smallest living sub-species of tiger.

Mike Jordan, Curator of Birds and Mammals, said: "Sumatran Tigers are the most distinctive and unique of any of the tigers but also the smallest.

"Like the Sumatran Orang-utans, Sumatran Tigers face great threats in the wild and their dwindling numbers mean zoo breeding programmes are critical to ensure the survival of the species."

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