We all feel incredibly lucky here on safari to have witnessed an incredible moment and a monumental event in the future of the Amur Tiger. Our two huge Amur tigers met face to face! Male tiger Kuzma, met female Bira!
In May 2018, the Amur Tiger Trail opened here at Knowsley! After years of planning and building our tiger sisters Bira and Sinda were able to explore their new area. The area has beautiful running streams, mature woodlands and huge ponds, meaning the girls had plenty to explore in this impressive new area. The only thing missing was a male tiger!
When the Amur Tiger Trail was designed, we had hopes of contributing to the European Breeding Programme, so this amazing new space was designed to home not only our two adult female tigers, but a male and hopefully cubs too.
Kuzma is our new handsome male tiger. He's on loan to us and will be staying for around a year, getting to know the area, meeting our females, and hopefully helping the population of Amur tigers by bringing some tiger cubs into the world.
Since he arrived at the start of summer Kuzma has since been slowly been introduced to the sights and smells of the Amur Tiger Trail, including the presence of the two Bira and Sinda in the neighbouring enclosure. The following weeks were spent watching how the tigers interacted with each other, looking out for tiger flirting and any other positive signs.
When the time was just right, Bira and Kuzma met! What followed looked, and sounded, dramatic, but was actually brilliant tiger behaviour for these first stages in their mixing and a really positive step in the future of the species! See in the video below this incredible moment!
The pair have continued to share their home, and slowly warming up to each other! So check back soon to see how Kuzma and Bira's relationship is going!