Tigerly love: When Oz met Sali
An eight-month courtship is almost unheard of nowadays, but it's paid off for nine-year-old Oz.
The Sumatran Tiger was brought to Hamilton from Australia last year to meet six-year-old Sali, as part of an international breeding programme.
The couple spent months in separate enclosures with a fence between them, to get ''used to each other'', and were placed together a week ago.
''Sali is definitely the dominant one in the relationship,'' said zoo-keeper Aaron Gilmore. ''She's really playful.''
Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley said the zoo was well prepared for cubs and staff hoped for a spring litter.
''Tigers carry for 3½ months and these two have been meeting for around five hours a day, so hopefully she's pregnant. If not, there's always the next cycle.''