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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20140411037 |
|Title:||Rare Amur Tigers United in the Hope of Breeding|
|Author:||Yorkshire Wildlife Park |
|ID & Publication:||20140411037 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
Two of award winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s endangered tigers have been introduced for the first time – in a bid to help save the species.
Female Tschuna, 3, has spent the last six months settling into a reserve in Land of the Tigers, the world’s most spectacular tiger enclosure.
Last week, she was finally united with visitor favourite Vladimir, 4, who has been at YWP for nearly three years.
Staff watched anxiously as the Amur Tigers came face to face for the first time. Despite being almost twice the size of his new mate at first Vladimir was terrified of her!
The Amur Tigers, which are critically endangered, were introduced to breed as part of a global campaign to save these magnificent animals.
With only about 450 left in the wild the pair will hopefully breed and help keep the tiger population of this endangered species fit and healthy.
YWP Director Cheryl Williams said. ‘We had been waiting for what we thought was the right time to introduce them. But it was a nerve-racking
time when we let them in together. You can't know for sure what will happen.
‘Tschuna was so tiny next to Vlad but she still made the first move and wanted to play. At first he was a complete wimp and was horrified’
‘Then he decided that she wasn't so bad after all and now they are getting on well.
‘We will now wait for them to get to know each other and hopefully they will breed within the coming year.
‘Both tigers have been handpicked for the best genetic diversity by the studbook keeper of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme
for the Amur Tiger. It would be wonderful to have some cubs at Yorkshire Wildlife Park both for the Amur Tiger population and for visitors to
the Park who donate a lot of money every year for tiger conservation in the wild through the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance.’
Tschuna, rejected by her mother at birth, was originally hand reared at Wuppertal Zoo in Germany before moving to Dudley Zoo and then in
November last year into YWP’s purpose built reserve, which is over 4000m², part of the 9000m² Land of the Tigers.
The innovative enclosure opened in 2011, leaving visitors almost feeling a heartbeat away from nature as they observe the animals exploring the
waterfall and pools from a 150m walkway. It is specifically designed as a breeding facility for Amur Tigers.
Now rangers at YWP will be waiting expectantly to see if the pair breed over the next year.
Thousands of visitors watched the newly introduced tigers over the Easter bank holiday weekend, when the Park had its busiest Good Friday
and Easter Monday in its 5 year history. Visitors also enjoyed the park’s Easter egg trail and, as ever, coming almost face to face with
some of the most endangered and beautiful animals on the planet.
The unique collection includes Amur Leopards, Painted Hunting Dogs, Lions, Giraffes, Meerkats, Wallabies, Camels, Giant Anteaters, Zebra and
many many more.
Visitors also took advantage of the weather proof 600 sqm Monkey Playhouse to cool off from the sun with a drink in the 120-seated eatery.
Inside, all year round children can enjoy three levels of play equipment, including climbing frames, dens, slides and rope bridges - in
full view of the new baboon reserve through a glass wall.
Next door is the new Zoom Super Slide Barn, which has an Astra slide and two drop slides (height restrictions apply.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park, located in Branton, just outside Doncaster, is the UK’s fastest growing and most innovative wildlife attraction –
offering the whole family a fun filled day all year round.
For more information go to www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com.
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