Sumatran tiger, C.J., debuts at L.A. Zoo; cubs a future endeavor

C.J. the Sumatran tiger bows @LAZoo. He may get a girlfriend later this year

L.A. Zoo has a new Sumatran tiger, nicknamed C.J. The zoo also has dreams of tiger cubs in the not-too-distant future.

Castro Jr., born March 3, 2013, at Sacramento Zoo, weighs 250 pounds and has eyes that -- even for a Sumatran tiger -- are "particularly golden," says zoo spokeswoman April Spurlock.

He was transferred to Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 2014, and spent some time in quarantine and getting used to his habitat before he was unveiled Friday to the media.

"We are excited to have a potential breeding male here at the zoo," animal keeper Stephanie Zielinski said in a news release.

"But not for Lulu," Spurlock told the L.A. Times. Lulu is the zoo's other Sumatran tiger. The female is 15 1/2 years old, she said, to C.J.'s not-quite-2.

Male Sumatran tigers aren't sexually mature until about 4 or 5 years old. The zoo already is firming up plans to bring another tiger to L.A.

"We hope to bring in a female Sumatran tiger to be a potential breeding partner for C.J. later this year," Spurlock said.

Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with fewer than 400 left in the wild, Zielinski said. The animal is native to Sumatra, Indonesia, where it is poached and its forest habitat is dwindling.

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