Banham Zoo Breeds More Tigers For Life in Cages

Zookeepers in south Norfolk hope to hear the patter of little tiger cub paws in the not too distant future as they welcome a new tigress.

Banham Zoo has announced the arrival of female Amur Tiger Sveta, which means ‘light’, who has travelled all the way from Lisbon Zoo in Portugal at the recommendation of the European captive breeding programme.

The beautiful three-year-old spent a few days getting accustomed to her new home before she was introduced to the zoo’s male Amur Tiger Kuzma, who was born at Banham in October 2008.

Following their initial meeting this week, early signs are showing the young pair will make an excellent match and hopefully in the future will have cubs of their own.

The zoo’s happy new addition follows the tragic loss of female Amur Tiger Malyshka in April 2010 who was found lifeless by keepers having mysteriously drowned in a pool in her paddock.

Amur Tigers, also known as Siberian Tigers, are listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Recent information indicates that there are only 450 to 500 left in the wild meaning captive breeding could play an integral role in the future survival of the big cats.