A nine-year-old Amur tiger named Botzman has been welcomed by Highland Wildlife Park after moving to Scotland last month from his former home at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
Wildlife conservation charity The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland hope the park’s current female Dominika and the new arrival will breed in the future. Amur tigers are endangered in the wild, so any cubs Botzman and Dominika raise would contribute to the future of the species, which is at risk of extinction in the wild.
Botzman has spent the last eight years at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo where he recently fathered three cubs, born in 2018. The big cat will be kept in a private area while he settles in before being slowly introduced to Dominika.
Graeme Williamson, team leader of predators at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, said, “Botzman is a handsome, confident cat who is known for his incredible ability to jump high up into trees to pull down his dinner. He fathered his first litter of cubs in 2018, when he proved himself to be a playful but patient father, teaching his cubs how to climb and swim.
“He will be missed by both zookeepers and visitors at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo but his move to Highland Wildlife Park is a vital part of the European breeding programme for the species.
“With just 500 Amur tigers remaining in the wild, it’s important that tigers like Botzman are given the opportunity to father cubs with other mates, ensuring genetic diversity in the programme and ultimately safeguarding the future of the species.”
A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help RZSS Highland Wildlife Park and sister site Edinburgh Zoo which need almost £700,000 per month to keep going while closed to visitors. To find out more and donate visit: www.highlandwildlifepark.org.uk/support-us/