A rare Amur tiger has made his public debut at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire..
After travelling almost 2,000 miles to join the Zoo from Moscow eighteen-month-old Botzman spent his first few weeks settling in behind the scenes before making his first appearance.
Keepers have spotted the youngster, who weighs in at a hefty 158kg (25 stone), exploring his new paddock.
Senior keeper Siobhan Sellwood-Brown said: “Botzman is settling in really well. He’s extremely lively and very inquisitive - it’s fantastic to see him enjoying his new surroundings. He’s a beautiful boy; visitors are fascinated by him.”
Botzman joins Whipsnade’s female Amur tiger, Anastasia, in their Tiger Falls enclosure where keepers are gradually introducing the pair before they meet each other properly in a few weeks’ time.
The Amur tiger, which is the biggest subspecies of tiger in the world, is endangered with only a few hundred left in the world. Botzman is an important part of the European Endangered species Programme for Amur tigers, and it is hoped he will go on to breed at Whipsnade in the future.