Posted July 29, 2022 in Conservation
International Tiger Day (29 July) is an annual celebration to help raise awareness for this roar-some species and the conservation efforts being made worldwide to protect the dwindling numbers of this incredible cat in the wild. Tigers are currently under threat from illegal poaching and the wildlife trade.
There are nine sub-species of tigers, three of which are now extinct. The remaining six sub-species are the Bengal, Indo-Chinese, South China, Amur, and Sumatran tiger.
Colchester Zoo is currently home to three Amur tigers. All our tigers are female after the passing of our breeding male, Igor, in 2021.
Meet our three female Amur tigers, Anouska, Taiga and Tatana…
Anoushka is our eldest Amur tiger and celebrated her 18th birthday on 20th July 2022. Although she may be the oldest, she is still extremely playful and enjoys taking part in smell enrichment from our Animal Care Team. The team will spread a range of scents around the enclosure for our tigers to then follow their noses and sniff out the smell trail. Through trial and error, the Animal Care Team has noticed that Anoushka prefers fruity smells, such as citrus body sprays, and will roll on the scent and dribble.
Taiga is our breeding female, having given birth to three cubs (two male and one female) in 2019 all of which were sired by Igor. She now shares her home with her daughter, Tatana, since her sons have now moved to other collections. Unlike Anouska, Taiga prefers food-based smells, such as coffee beans, chili seeds and gravy granules. Taiga is a very ‘chatty’ cat and enjoys engaging with her Care Team.
Last, but not least, we have Tatana! Tatana is the youngest out of the three and the daughter of Taiga. Due to her age, she is very playful and enjoys enrichment such as tyres and barrels, but is never far from mum!
Anouska, Taiga and Tatana are excellent ambassadors for their wild cousins, helping to educate visitors about this incredible species and raise awareness about the current threats they are facing in the wild.
Most Amur tigers can be found in two small areas of Russia, although, compared to other tigers, their range and distribution is much bigger due to the fact they need to travel considerable distances to find their prey.
They are well adapted to life in the cold Russian climate, with a thick fur coat and a layer of fat underneath the skin to insulate themselves from the winter snow.
Did you know… Similar to a human’s unique fingerprints, no two tigers have the same striped fur pattern!
It has been estimated that there are only around 540 Amur tigers are left in the wild.
Our charity, Action for the Wild, helps supports conservation projects worldwide through the donation of funds. By visiting Colchester Zoo, your ticket will go towards not only providing care for our Amur tigers, but also providing funds to help protect wildlife across the planet.