Endangered Amur Tigers ‘Kira’ left and ‘Vasili’ right, Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo
TORONTO, ON, Friday, October 26, 2018: The Toronto Zoo is delighted to open the endangered Amur Tiger Exhibit. Amur tigers are the largest of all tigers and it is estimated there are only 500 left in the wild. The Amur Tiger Exhibit, formerly the Giant Panda Experience, is located within the Eurasia Wilds section of the Zoo and is home to two Amur tiger siblings, female “Kira” and male “Vasili”. Kira, which means “mistress or ruler” is six years-old and was born at Calgary Zoo. Vasili, which means “royal or kingly” is brother of Kira and also six years-old. Vasili arrived to Toronto from Assiniboine Park Zoo, but was born at Calgary Zoo.
Kira can be described as having a more discernible personality, different from Vasili, and Wildlife Care has worked diligently to earn her respect. Kira’s favourite enrichment activity is anything that is placed within a tube. She enjoys throwing the tube around her exhibit to see what Keepers have hidden inside for her! Vasili is best described as a smart tiger with a relaxed personality. He readily engages with daily training sessions with Wildlife Care Staff and thoroughly enjoys playing hard and destroying all of his enrichment items on a regular basis!
With the arrival of these two siblings, the Zoo will again be an active participant in the Amur Tiger SSP. Even though neither of our tigers will be breeding in the near future, housing them here will give their home zoos more space to breed their tigers again. And, our new tigers could each potentially be candidates for breeding with non-related individuals in the future. The Amur Tiger SSP, aims to establish and maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations, and overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species. One of the Toronto Zoo’s mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve the incredible biodiversity on the planet.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Tigers at the Till: Visit any gift shop at the Toronto Zoo on your next visit and participate in our “Tigers at the Till” initiative to support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Tiger Conservation Campaign.
Adopt an Animal: Adoption fees help us take good care of the animals, protect endangered species, and pursue on-going conservation efforts. Plus, adopting an animal makes a unique gift for animal lovers. Become a tiger “parent” today!
Donate: The Toronto Zoo has a host of programs designed to conserve species diversity through conservation, education and research. As the need for conservation grows, so does the need for your support. Your donations can help make a global impact.
CLICK HERE To Learn More About Amur Tigers