The largest tiger subspecies, the majestic Siberian tiger, currently only lives in the east of Russia, in the Ussuri region. This beast originally inhabited forests in the Far East between Baikal and the Pacific Ocean.
Tigers are reclusive and distinctly territorial animals, with a single tiger living on up to 3000 square kilometres. They mark their territory with urine and by scraping bark off trees on their borders. They hunt big ungulates and wild boars, with a success rate of one in ten hunts.
Unfortunately, the Siberian tiger is an endangered species. According to the latest IUCN data, there are only around 360 adult and adolescent tigers living in the wild. As part of the EAZA European preservation programme, there are approximately 240 tigers registered in zoos. Therefore, breeding in zoos is important for the survival of the species.
The first tigers came from the wild
In the past, Prague Zoo already bred a number of these beautiful beasts. The very first successful rearing of a baby tiger was by parents Amura and Ťapka, who came from the wild, in 1961. It was a huge success, because there were only a few dozen animals living in the wild at the time, and the conservation of the subspecies for the future generations depended exclusively on the rearing of cubs in human care.
Arila is new to Prague
After the death of the old female, Prague ZOO bred only one male Siberian tiger, Rádža. Now, Rádža has a new partner – the beautiful three-year-old tigress, Arila, who arrived from the zoo in Duisburg, Germany. So far, she is keeping her distance from Rádža and carefully exploring her new enclosure.
Prague Zoo is one of the few zoos in the world that has representatives of various tiger subspecies. Besides the large Siberian tigers, it has also Sumatran tigers, the smallest surviving tiger subspecies that, in the wild, only live on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and Malayan tigers. Both of these subspecies are critically endangered.