On 5 April, the Moscow Department of Nature Management and Environmental Protection passed Stepan the rescued tiger over to the Father Frost Zoological Garden, which is a subsidiary of the Moscow Zoo in the town of Veliky Ustyug.
In winter 2015, the four-month-old cub was delivered to Moscow from Nizhnevartovsk where police officers had rescued the animal from poachers trying to sell him. The tiger was put into a boarding facility for wild animals near the town of Yakhroma in the Moscow Region. The name Stepan comes from the writer Sergei Mikhalkov’s character, Uncle Styopa. In the boarding centre, the tiger lived in a separate enclosure with a warm house. Due to good food and care he grew up to be healthy and strong.
According to the Moscow Zoo Director General Svetlana Akulova, the zoological garden will recreate conditions as natural as possible for Stepan, so he’ll feel at home. The garden is located in a picturesque pine forest on the bank of the Sukhona River. The tiger will live in a separate vast enclosure of 240 square metres with his own swimming pool, things to play with and heated areas too.