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A female tiger at Paignton Zoo has retired and relocated to rural France. Banda, a 12-year-old Sumatran tiger, moved to Nesles Zoo in France. The zoo, East of Paris, is known for its big cats.

Banda was no longer required to be part of the international breeding programme because her bloodline is well-represented in European zoos. Born in 2002, she has four surviving cubs, three of which have bred. Her siblings have also bred.

She came to Paignton Zoo in January 2004. In tiger terms the 100 kilogram cat is middle aged and in good health.

Banda has already been replaced by a new mate for male Tenang. Shakira has come to Devon from the Berlin Tierpark in Germany, where she was born in 2002. She has bred but not yet reared a litter successfully. Both big cats completed their moves by road and ferry.

Paignton Zoo Curator of Mammals and Director of Operations Neil Bemment said: “We are sorry to see Banda go, but the prospect of a new pairing and hopefully some more cubs is very exciting.”

Shakira has been successfully introduced to Tenang and is now on show in the public enclosure.

Paignton Zoo is a member of the European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for Sumatran tigers, which means it is part of the global effort to save this endangered species from extinction. Captive and wild populations are protected and managed in an attempt to prevent Sumatran tigers following the Bali and Javan tigers into extinction.

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