The Toronto Zoo is delighted to welcome back the endangered Amur tiger, the largest of all tigers, after a five-year absence. The Amur Tiger Exhibit, formerly the Giant Panda Experience, is located within the Eurasia Wilds section.
Name meaning “mistress or ruler”
Born March 30, 2012
Kira is a very social tiger who is quick to learn new things. She works well with behavioural training. She was born at the Calgary Zoo in a litter of three with her brothers Vasili and Samkha.
Name meaning “royal or kingly”
Born March 30, 2012
Vasili is energetic, playful and always interested in his training sessions with his keepers. He loves investigating and engaging with new enrichment items.
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is the most cold-adapted subspecies of tiger: they are the largest cats in the world (more mass equals more heat) and they have a thick coat of fur. At a glance they might look similar to our Sumatran tigers in Indo-Malaya, but Amur tigers are significantly larger (up to twice as heavy) and much paler: their orange colour is less vibrant and their black stripes are more widely-spaced.
Amur tigers were once found throughout northern China, the Korean peninsula, and eastern Russia, which earned them the familiar name “Siberian tiger”. However, poaching and habitat loss have decimated the wild population. Thanks to conservation efforts, the wild population now numbers approximately 540 individuals but their status is still endangered. The majority of wild “Siberian” tigers are currently found in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains of Russia, around the Amur River. To reflect their current distribution, they are now generally referred to as Amur tigers.
The Toronto Zoo is part of the Amur tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations, and overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species. One of the Toronto Zoo’s mandate is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve the incredible biodiversity of the planet. The Toronto Zoo supports tiger conservation efforts in the wild through the Toronto Zoo Endangered Species Reserve Fund.
With the arrival of these two siblings, the Zoo will again be an active participant in the Amur Tiger Species Survival Plan (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.
How you can 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!
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.