December 27, 2016
By Kelli Steele
The Brandywine Zoo’s Amur tiger, Zhanna, (click here) is scheduled to be transferred to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in New York early in January 2017, according to DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation in partnership with zoo officials and the Delaware Zoological Society.
The relocation is prompted by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan – a robust and scientific endeavor to manage the genetic diversity of captive species. Zhanna’s genetic profile and age make her a good candidate for breeding and consequently, for transfer to a zoo with a successful tiger breeding program.
“As an AZA Accredited institution, the Brandywine Zoo is committed to species conservation,” said Brandywine Zoo General Curator Lynn Klein. “We rely on the cooperation among zoos to ensure a healthy, genetically diverse population.”
Amur tigers are an endangered species, with fewer than 500 living in small populations in far eastern Russia and northeast China. The tigers are losing their habitat due to logging activities, human encroachment and poaching. The AZA supports habitat protection and anti-poaching programs and at the same time, also supports careful matching of breeding pairs in captivity within the AZA accredited facilities. Zhanna was born at the St. Louis Zoo and she is one of only 300 tigers in zoos accredited by the AZA....