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New male tiger getting used to new home at Zoo's newest habitat, The Edge
Martin, a 3-year-old male Amur (ah-MOOR) tiger, is getting used to his new surroundings at Denver Zoo after safely arriving from the Moscow Zoo on Saturday, July 1. He is now the fourth resident at the Zoo’s new tiger habitat, The Edge. Zookeepers hope he will support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) with valuable genetics, as he is not related to any tigers in North America. He won’t, however, be visible to the public for at least a month, as he completes a routine quarantine period, which he will spend behind-the-scenes at his new home.
Martin was born at the Moscow Zoo in June 2014 and now weighs nearly 450 pounds. Zookeepers at Denver Zoo hope he will eventually breed with 6-year-old female tiger Nikita, per a recommendation of their species’ SSP, which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Until then, he will get to know his new caretakers and learn behaviors so he can take part in his own healthcare.
Martin will also share space at The Edge, in separate yards, with the Zoo’s two current male residents, 7-year-old brothers Thimbu (TIM-boo) and Nikolai. The habitat brings guests closer than ever to the Zoo’s tigers. Through its engaging design, guests can appreciate the tigers’ incredible physicality and unique disposition. Elevated lofts allow the tigers to stride 12 feet over visitors’ heads. A 3,000-square-foot building behind the yards allows zookeepers and veterinarians to provide outstanding animal care with plenty of room to administer procedures, easily move cats back and forth, and train them to assist in their own health care.
Amur tigers are classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an estimated population of less than 400 individuals remaining in the wild. These animals were once called Siberian tigers because they were found throughout Siberia. They are now almost completely confined to the Far East portion of Asia, along the Amur River, and because of this they are now commonly called Amur tigers. In addition to habitat loss, their species' biggest threats come from poaching, both for their fur and other body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicine.
Amur tigers are the largest living member of the cat family. Adult males can grow up to 12-feet-long, from nose to tail, and weigh more than 450 pounds. Adult females can grow up to 9-feet-long and weigh up to 370 pounds. Amur tigers also have longer, thicker fur than other tiger species due to the harsh winter conditions in their native habitat.