Beardsley Zoo has a new female tiger
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 16:39
A new tiger is calling Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo her home.
Naka (pronounced “Nuh-’KAH”), a 4-year-old female Amur — or Siberian — tiger, recently arrived in Bridgeport from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, N.Y.
Naka joins the zoo’s new male tiger, Booskin, who arrived in December 2008. Their presence at the zoo is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Special Survival Plan (SSP).
“We are lucky to add Naka to our zoo family — both for the enjoyment of our visitors, and to help save this precious species,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho.
Naka is “petite” in comparison to her male counterpart, Booskin. Naka weighs about 275 pounds compared to 400 pounds for Booskin.
Plans are in place to breed Naka and Booskin in the next year. Female Amurs give birth to two to three cubs, which may stay with their mom for up to two years.
The Amur is a critically endangered subspecies of tiger. Only about 44 of these great cats survive in northern Asia, and they suffer from habitat loss and poaching.
The SSP Program was started in 1981 to help ensure the survival of selected wildlife species.
The Beardsley Zoo is open daily, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It has 300 animals, representing primarily North and South American species.