KNOWSLEY Safari Park has welcomed a new male tiger to its family.
The introduction of the two-metre-long Amur tiger, named Miron could create a significant step forward for this endangered species.
Originating from Moscow Zoo, six-year-old Miron is now making Knowsley Safari home as part of breeding efforts to help save Amur tigers. It’s estimated that there’s just 500 to 550 of the big cat species left in the wilds of the Russian Far East and North East China.
After a strategically developed introduction programme during lockdown, Miron has been successfully introduced to female tiger Sinda in Knowsley Safari’s 10,000 square metre, Russian-inspired Tiger Trail for the first time.Adam Kenyon, Head of Carnivores at Knowsley Safari, says: “During the past few months Miron has been settling into his own separate part of the Tiger Trail, which gives him the chance to familiarise himself with the surroundings and Sinda’s scent. This has helped make the two tigers feel comfortable with each other and find the best time for them to meet. Although still early days, I’m really pleased to say the first phase of introduction has gone well.
“What’s even more exciting about this introduction is Miron’s important genetic lineage. One of a litter of four and the offspring of parents born in the wild, it’s created quite a special and unique opportunity to introduce new genes into the breeding programme. If the mating is successful, it’s really positive news for the ongoing conservation of these endangered big cats.”
Numbers of Amur tigers in the wild – and their prey – have been depleted by poaching and their natural habitats are being lost to logging and deforestation. Knowsley Safari is supporting projects run by the WildCats Conservation Alliance, which aim to stabilise and increase Amur tiger numbers.