Denver Zoo to welcome endangered Amur tiger from Moscow Zoo

Nikita
Nikita (pictured here) will soon be getting a new suitor from Russia. / Denver Zoo

DENVER, Colo. — Denver Zoo will soon add a fourth resident to it’s newest habitat, The Edge.

Martin a, three-year-old Amur tiger, will come to Denver from Russia’s Moscow Zoo later this summer.

Zoo officials say he will support The Association of Zoos and Aquariums‘ Species Survival Plan (SSP) since he is unrelated to any tigers in the U.S.

Upon arrival at Denver Zoo, officials say he will be recommended to breed, per his species’ SSP, with the Zoo’s lone female tiger, 6-year-old Nikita.

Martin won’t be visible to the public during an initial routine quarantine period, during which he’ll be spending his time mostly behind-the-scenes at The Edge.

“Denver Zoo is extremely excited for Martin to arrive,” says Denver Zoo Vice President for Animal Care Brian Aucone. “Amur tigers are an endangered species that are facing extinction unless we do something. We are proud to participate internationally to help save these amazing creatures by connecting them with our guests as ambassadors for their species. Martin will help ensure we have genetically viable populations of tigers for the millions of current and future guests who visit zoos to gain an appreciation and respect for the species.”

Martin was born in June 2014 and weighs about 450 pounds.

He’ll share his new home with the Zoo’s two current male residents – 7-year-old brothers Thimbu and Nikolai.

Amur tigers, the largest living members of the cat family, are classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an estimated population of less than 400 remaining in the wild. These animals were once called Siberian tigers because they were found throughout Siberia. They are now almost completely confined to the Far East portion of Asia, along the Amur River, and because of this they are now commonly called Amur tigers.

In addition to habitat loss, their species’ biggest threats come from poaching, both for their fur and other body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicine.

 

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