A Tail of Love: Sumatran Tiger Gets a Girlfriend at Los Angeles Zoo

Zookeepers hope they can help the endangered species.

A 4-year-old tiger inside a Los Angeles zoo is smitten with a younger companion.

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The tiger, named CJ, was recently introduced to a 2-year-old female companion named Indah at the Griffith Park Zoo.

The zoo introduced the pair in hopes they would mate because their species, the Sumatran tiger, is endangered. Currently, the two have taken a liking to one another and zoo officials believe they are "in the getting to know you" stage of their relationship.

The zoo says the pair is currently too young to mate, but could be ready in a year or two should they continue the relationship.

“We really hope for them to be a successful pair in the future," Stephanie Zielinski, an animal keeper at the zoo, told CBS.

She added: “It is interesting to see how these two are developing a friendship. Hopefully down the line, when they become mature for breeding, which is probably another year or two, and we will see that relationship change again.”

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The zoo said it took several weeks of delicate introduction before the two could be around each other all day. They were first kept separated but close enough so that they could smell each other and eventually were brought together. 

The Sumatran tiger is only native to the Indonesia island of Sumatra. It is estimated that fewer than 400 are left in the wild.

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