Erie Zoo’s tiger a shy guy, won’t explore exhibit

Erie Zoo’s tiger a shy guy, won’t explore exhibit

Tue Aug 12, 3:15 PM ET

Officials at the Erie Zoo say one of their new Amur tigers is too shy to explore a new $500,000 exhibit. Nikki, a 370-pound male tiger, has refused to come out of his den into the public exhibit since it opened two months ago.

“He pokes his head out occasionally, but that’s about it,” said Scott Mitchell, the zoo’s chief executive.

Anna, a 300-pound female, regularly prowls the new space. The gate to Nikki’s den is closed when Anna is there because they have yet to meet. For now, officials are hoping the scent she leaves behind during her visits will entice Nikki into exploring the new exhibit alone.

Once he becomes used to the exhibit — and to Anna — zoo officials will put both tigers on display at the same time.

Amur tigers are an endangered species, and zoo officials are hoping Nikki and Anna will mate. Ten-year-old Anna came from the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Conn., while Nikki, 5, came from the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago.

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