There, he met a Bengal tiger cub rescued during an alleged smuggling attempt at the Mexico border.
The Sumatran tiger that will be joining the cub in San Diego is nine weeks old. Zoo personnel said the cub would "chuff" in a friendly tiger greeting but his mother, Damai, would not respond.
Both the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the National Zoo are members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and in a collaborative effort, both zoos' animal care teams determined the best solution for the well-being of the National Zoo cub was to transfer it to the care of keepers at the safari park.
The Bengal tiger cub that a California man bought on the streets of Tijuana and was seized when he tried to bring it home has a new playmate at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Two tiger cubs from different families will grow up together as brothers.
Zoo keepers will closely watch them for the next day or so. "Our priority now is to ensure he continues to thrive and acclimates well to his new surroundings".
The pair hit it off immediately and were allowed to play with one another much earlier than planned.
"We initially had, where they just had visual access and they could kind of see each other and smell each other, and vocalize at each other between the bars and not necessarily where they can get together", he said. They ended up having to separate the two, and while the cub indicated that he wanted to see the mother, she did not reciprocate. "It's the best thing for both of them to be together", Blue said.
Because the Sumatran did well on the flight from Washington, the keepers opted to let the cubs meet Monday afternoon in the Safari Park's nursery.