- 2 updates
A tiger couple involved in a major international breeding programme will go on display at Dudley Zoo next week.
Daseep and Joao are Sumatran tigers - one of the most critically-endangered breeds of tiger in the world.
They have now been introduced face-to-face for the first time - and, once they have settled in to their new environment, visitors to the zoo will be able to view them in their enclosure.
It is hoped that Joao and Daseep, who has been labelled the world's second most important female in the genetic pool for the species, will begin to reproduce.
Love is blossoming between two of the most critically endangered breeds of tiger in the world at Dudley Zoo.
Keepers have put three-year-old female Sumatran tiger Daseep to 21-month-old male Joao face to face for the first time in the hope of soon hearing the pitter-patter of little paws in the tiger enclosure.
And they say the first proper meeting was a great success, with the pair touching noses in greeting.
Joao arrived from Germany's Krefeld Zoo last month and the pair have been slowly introduced in neighbouring internal dens, to give them chance to get to know one another.
Sumatran tigers are among the rarest in the world, with just 140 remaining in the wild.
The breeding programme is part of a major worldwide conservation project.