Earlier today, Bindi Irwin welcomed a very special five year-old girl named Audrey Joyce to Australia Zoo to meet and announce the name of our newest Sumatran tiger cub born to Maneki and Satu in April; she named him -Reggie' after both of her parent's grandfathers.
Audrey lives with her family just outside of Canberra and has always looked up to Bindi as her Wildlife Warrior hero. When she inherited money from her grandparents recently, she immediately wanted to make a difference. When she learned of Australia Zoo's animal adoption program and Wildlife Warrior's conservation project that protects wild tigers in Sumatra, she decided she would donate her inheritance to help the cause and -adopt' Reggie.
To mark such a significant donation from someone so young and passionate about conservation, it seemed fitting that Audrey also became the official sponsor of our newest Sumatran tiger cub. The name 'Reggie" was chosen with some help from Bindi after both Audrey's maternal and paternal great grandfathers who were named Reginald.
'My mum and dad's grandpas were named Reginald which is why I picked Reggie as the name," Said Audrey.
I was born in the year of the tiger which is why they're my favourite animals. We need to protect them from extinction," She added.
As an outspoken advocate for young people taking action to save wildlife and wild places, Bindi Irwin was ecstatic to welcome Audrey to her home at Australia Zoo to meet and name our new cub.
'It's incredibly inspiring to know that people as young as Audrey who are the next generation to inherit this planet are so invested in wildlife conservation," Said Bindi.
Under the care of Geoff Neubecker and the Australia Zoo tiger team, Reggie has joined his cousins, Scout and Delilah on walks in the Zoo and can now be found playing in the cub yard too. Although he's slightly smaller than the two older cubs, he, like his young sponsor Audrey will help to create awareness and build support for the Tiger Conservation and Protection Units patrolling Kerinci Seblat National Park in Sumatra.
With just 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, funding the programs that protect them from illegal poaching and habitat destruction are our best chance at saving them. Australia Zoo and Wildlife Warriors support the most successful Sumatran tiger protection project in the world and we're proud to be able to do this with the support of everyone who visits Australia Zoo, falls in love with our animals and feels inspired to be active in conserving wildlife and wild places.
Photo: Ben Beaden / Australia Zoo