COLUMBIA — Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield has named its new tiger habitat the Mizzou Tiger Reserve. .
The official announcement will be made at a Wednesday morning breakfast in Springfield's Hilton Garden Inn. MU Chancellor Brady J. Deaton, MSA President Eric Woods and zoo officials will participate.
Dickerson Park Zoo holds more than 150 different species of animals, including Jalil and Petra, the only pair of Malayan tigers. Jalil arrived less than one year ago, thanks to the Tiger Species Survival Plan.
“They (Jalil and Petra) have been put together a number of times,” said Mike Crocker, zoo superintendent. “We hope they breed successfully.”
The new name of the tiger habitat reflects MU's sponsorship of the exhibit.
“It is a way to recognize the contribution of the university to the zoo,” said Melinda Arnold, the zoo's public relations director.
Dickerson Park Zoo and MU support the idea of preserving the endangered Malayan tiger. Mizzou Tigers for Tigers, founded in 1999, is the nation’s first tiger mascot conservation program.
Springfield’s zoo has also provided assistance for a program to defend Malayan tigers in Malaysia. Now the zoo is looking for another project to promote the survival of tigers.