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New tiger at Dickerson Park Zoo could be one key to his species' survival

Dickerson Park Zoo
Jango, a Malayan tiger at Dickerson Park Zoo

Jango comes to the Springfield zoo from Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

There’s a new tiger at Dickerson Park Zoo.

Jango, a seven-year-old male Malayan tiger, arrived in early November, and he's not just any tiger.

Shelley Sandmaier, post-doctoral research fellow at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, said in a news release Jango currently ranks as the number one most genetically valuable male in the Malayan tiger population.

He recently received a quarantine exit exam by Dickerson Park Zoo’s veterinarian, and while he was under anesthesia, his semen was collected. That genetic material will be saved for potential use in the future.

The Malayan tiger population is estimated to be fewer than 200, according to zoo officials.

Jango is currently off exhibit while he adjusts to his new caregivers and is introduced to the zoo’s female tiger, Berisi.