Hailing from the Bronx, Yuri is making himself comfortable in his new home.
Welcome, Yuri! It's exciting to have this eight-year-old join the Denver Zoo family for many reasons: We get to see him when we visit, and, with luck, he'll make a valuable contribution to his endangered species.
Yuri is an Amur tiger born in the Erie Zoo in 2010. He also happens to be a TV star! Animal Planet's The Zoo has often featured Yuri, as well as the other animals at the Bronx Zoo, which was his home for the past seven years. He came to the Denver Zoo in January, at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, and has spent the last several weeks getting to know his new digs.
Yuri joins the zoo's resident lion, Nikita. It is hoped these two will spark a love connection, and give the zoo some adorable little cubs. Yuri hasn’t sired any cubs yet, so his genetics are particularly valuable to collective efforts to save the species and maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population of Amur tigers, which are listed as endangered primarily because of poaching.
While the two tigers have yet to meet each other because they are letting Yuri get settled in, they can see each other, and it seems to be going well so far.
“The two tigers can already see each other from various points in the exhibit, and Nikita is showing signs that she's ready to meet her new mate,” said Assistant Curator of Carnivores Janee Zakoren. “You can hear them ‘talking’ to each other most afternoons.”
You can visit him now in one of the two main yards of The EDGE exhibit, where Nikita is, as well. The zoo says you can tell the difference between the two because Yuri is almost twice his fellow tiger's size, weighing around 435 pounds, and has heart-shaped markings above his eyes.
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