Calgary Zoo says goodbye to 1 male tiger, hello to another
The Calgary Zoo is getting a new tiger that is expected to be a perfect match for female Sarma, and will hopefully lead to the pitter patter of little paws.
Sarma, a 10-year-old Amur tiger, came to the zoo in 2017. A year later, another tiger, male Youri, came to the zoo from Quebec.
It was hoped the pair would mate as they were recommended for breeding by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Tiger Species Survival Plan (SPP) – described by the Calgary Zoo as a "modern-day dating app for animals."
However, Sarma and Youri have not successfully bred since they've been together.
As such, the zoo is bringing in a new match for Sarma found via the SPP: nine-year-old Samkha.
Samkha was born at the Calgary Zoo in 2012 but has lived in Winnipeg since 2014.
He'll return to Calgary in the next few weeks.
“Sarma and Samkha are genetically valuable individuals within the global Amur tiger population," said the zoo's director of animal care, health and welfare Jamie Dorgan.
"Supporting them to successfully produce offspring is critical for the international efforts to save wild Amur tigers from extinction.”
Because Youri and Sarma weren't a successful match, Youri will be leaving the Calgary Zoo and instead live in the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg.
Youri will be leaving the Calgary Zoo and instead live in the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. (Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo)"Until he has a new breeding recommendation, Youri will be reunited with his sister, Volga, who currently resides at the Assiniboine Park Zoo," a news release explained.
When Samkha arrives in early December he will spend a short time in quarantine before joining the other tigers.
Mating season for Amur tigers is typically December to January.
Tigers have a gestation period of three to four months and the average litter size is three or four cubs.
If Sarma and Samkha successfully mate, their cubs will likely stay at the Calgary Zoo until they mature, at which time they'd head off to new homes.
The last time the Calgary Zoo had tiger cubs was back in 2012.