Striped ‘newcomers’: Two Amur tigers settle in to the Moscow Zoo

Striped ‘newcomers’: Two Amur tigers settle in to the Moscow Zoo
Year-old males born at the Centre for Rare Animal Species Reproduction in the Moscow Region will be part of the European programme to preserve Amur tigers  in captivity.

Two young Amur tigers have moved to the Moscow Zoo. The year-old males have moved to a spacious enclosure on Animals Island from the Centre for Rare Animal Species Reproduction in the Moscow Region. The predators now weigh about 90 kilos, which will double or even triple by the time they reach adulthood at age three (a tiger’s childhood lasts two-three years).

“The animals handled the trip well and are now making themselves comfortable in their new home – curiously exploring the area, walking around the enclosure and playing with each other. You can watch the striped predators eat breakfast early in the morning. Tigers get fresh meat at 7.30-7.50 am when the zoo is already open and waiting for its first visitors,” said Svetlana Akulova, director of the Moscow Zoo.

The two male Amur cubs will later become part of the European programme to preserve the population of these animals in captivity. Their parents came to the zoo from the wild, which makes their offspring especially important from the point of genetics. A female from the litter has already arrived at the Yekaterinburg Zoo, and  the tiger Miron born in 2014, moved to the Copenhagen Zoo.

“Over the past 10 years, our specialists have been very successful in breeding tigers. We can regularly get healthy offspring and send the animals to zoos worldwide,” Svetlana Akulova noted.

According to Akulova, the transport of such large predators poses an extremely difficult and even risky task, requiring maximum concentration and effort. The Moscow Zoo’s animal breeding specialists are very experienced and are able to transfer the predators to any corner of the world.

The young tigers now living on Animals Island were born at the Centre for Rare Animal Species Reproduction in April 2017. Over the past few years, the tigress Princess resided in the enclosure, but only a month ago she moved to a more comfortable enclosure for her age in the Tropical Felidae pavilion.

The Amur tiger (Ussuri tiger, Siberian tiger or Far Eastern tiger) is the largest tiger on our planet as well as the largest member of the cat family. Unlike lions that live in prides, tigers are solitary animals. The Amur tiger is protected under the IUCN Red List and the Russian Red Data Book. By 2015 estimates, the banks of the Amur and Ussuri rivers in the Amur Region and the Khabarovsk and Primorye territories are home to only 540 Amur tigers. The animal also inhabits Northeast China and North Korea.

The Moscow Zoo regularly expands its collection, which currently counts over a thousand species and 8,000 animals. In 2017, the zoo got its first exotic aardvark and three Gentoo penguin couples. By year end, Madagascar’s rare fossas and, for the first time in 30 years, a secretary bird will arrive at the Moscow Zoo.