Dublin Zoo Welcomes New Tiger

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Dublin Zoo Welcomes New Tiger

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Dublin Zoo is roaring about the newest addition to the big cat family. On Monday 14th January, Ussuri, a two year old male Amur tiger joined Zeya and Shilka, two eleven year old sisters, in their habitat located in the Fringes of the Arctic at Dublin Zoo.

Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are the world's largest cats. They are found primarily in the Amur River region on the border between Russia and China. It is estimated that there are only between 300 and 400 Amur tigers living in the wild. Hunting and forest destruction pose the greatest threat to the survival of this regal species.

These striking tigers, recognised by their amber coat and narrow black transverse stripes, are built to hunt. They have strong muscles around their shoulders and chest, slimming to thinner more supple muscles around their hind legs, allowing them to leap on prey when hunting.

Ciaran McMahon, team leader of the big cats at Dublin Zoo said, “Ussuri is a remarkable cat and visitors can’t help being mesmerised by him. He weighs about 250 kilos, to put his impressive size into context, his paws are about one and half times larger than that of an adult male.

“Ussuri is settling in well and has already established his dominance among the females in the habitat. He possesses the usual characteristics you would attribute to big cats including strength, power and prowess. However he is also quite a laid back and grounded tiger.”

Ciaran continued, “There’s no need to worry about the recent drop in temperature, the cold doesn’t bother these guys. With a thick coat of coarse fur, Amur tigers are built for this weather.”

 


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