Denver Zoo receiving new tiger from Russia, to be paired with female for breeding

Posted at 10:28 AM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 12:28:58-04

DENVER – The Denver Zoo’s new tiger habitat, The Edge, will receive a new resident this summer.

The zoo will import Martin, a 3-year-old male Amur tiger currently living at the Moscow Zoo. Staff have not released a date for Martin’s arrival.

Martin is being brought to Denver as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. Because Amur tigers are considered endangered, he will be paired up with the Denver Zoo’s only female tiger, Nikita, for breeding.

There are only about 400 Amur tigers still living in the wild and zoo staff say bringing Martin to Denver is important to protecting the species.

“Amur tigers are an endangered species that are facing extinction unless we do something,” said Vice President for Animal Care Brian Aucone. “We are proud to participate internationally to help save these amazing creatures by connecting them with our guests as ambassadors for their species. Martin will help ensure we have genetically viable populations of tigers for the millions of current and future guests who visit zoos to gain an appreciation and respect for the species.”

The Denver Zoo said Moscow zookeepers are getting Martin ready for his trip to the U.S. He will be flown to New York, where he will be picked up and driven to Denver. Zoo officials have not released a timeline for when that will happen.

Following his arrival at the Denver Zoo, Martin will be kept away from the other animals for a standard quarantine period. He will be available for public viewing sometime after that.