Pawfect First Date: Amur Tigers Meet for First Time

Keepers at Woburn Safari Park are delighted to announce the successful introduction of their two male and female Amur tigers following an international breeding recommendation. 5-year-old male Dmitri and 12-year-old female Minerva were introduced for the very first time in Woburn's nine-acre drive-through tiger enclosure earlier this month, to the delight of both keepers and visitors.

The pair of Amur tigers, which are listed as 'Endangered' in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, could be seen fondly greeting each other and relaxing together shortly after their initial introduction, just metres away from excited visitors' cars. Keepers are delighted that Dmitri and Minerva (known as Vera) have taken such a shine to each other and are hopeful they may be able to participate in the Endangered Species Programme (EEP) breeding recommendation moving forward.

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Hope for amur tiger breeding

Dmitri arrived at Woburn Safari Park from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in 2022, as part of a carefully coordinated move to support the welfare and future of his endangered species. He was born in 2018 and was raised with two brothers until he was mature enough to make the move towards adult independence, as he would do naturally in the wild around this age.

After his initial move, Woburn's keepers worked tirelessly to help Dmitri transition from a zoo to a safari park environment, which involved building his confidence in the expansive 9-acre drive-through reserve, getting him used to vehicles and introducing him to Vera by sight and through using her scent. As a result of his improved confidence, keepers felt Dmitri was ready to be introduced to Vera when she came into her next season, which is a monthly hormonal cycle in which female tigers are receptive to and non-aggressive towards male tigers.

Exciting Progress for Keepers

Senior Carnivore Keeper, Tommy Babington said, 'Dmitri and Vera's behaviour so far has been positive. We have seen them interacting, relaxing together and 'chuffing' at each other, which is a soft exhale sound tigers make to express a friendly greeting. This behaviour gives us hope for continued introductions and potential progress with the breeding programme here at Woburn Safari Park'.

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Spot the pawfect pair yourself!

This summer, visitors to Woburn Safari Park may spot Dmitri, Vera or even the 'pawfect' couple together during one of their introductions while Vera is in season. Spot the Amur tigers in the Kingdom of the Carnivores drive-through enclosure in the Road Safari at Woburn Safari Park.