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Cooperation to save the Malayan Sun Bear.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER FA32 25 March 2003

COOPERATION TO SAVE THE MALAYAN SUN BEAR

I will visit the National Zoo and Aquarium today with the Indonesian Chargé d’Affaires, Mr Imron Cotan, and the Malaysian Chargé d’Affaires, Mr Malek Aziz, to open the zoo’s Sumatran Tiger exhibit and to launch its search for a breeding partner for the zoo’s sole Malayan Sun Bear.

I welcome this opportunity for further cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia aimed at boosting the success of breeding programs for these critically endangered South East Asian species.

The National Zoo and Aquarium, along with government zoos such as the Melbourne and Taronga Zoos, actively participate in Australasian breeding programs to help conserve endangered species

There are an estimated 500 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild. The Sumatran Tiger housed at the National Zoo is a two-year-old male named Berani (meaning “Brave” in Indonesian). A female partner for Berani will join him at the National Zoo in Yarralumla when he reaches maturity.

The Malayan Sun Bear is a three-year-old male named Arataki. Malayan Sun Bears are the smallest members of the bear family and are found only in subtropical regions of South East Asia. The National Zoo’s Malayan Sun Bear is the only one in the region to be born in captivity and have survived in the past five years.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY

WHERE: National Zoo and Aquarium

Lady Denman Drive

Scrivener Dam

WHEN: 11.45am TODAY Tuesday 25 March

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 62777500 mob 0419 206 890 Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/