Arrival of endangered Amur tiger at Norfolk's Banham Zoo marks new hopes for preservation of the species

Mishka Credit: Woburn Safari Park

Meet Mishka, the newest arrival at Banham Zoo in Norfolk.

The Amur tiger has been sent by staff at Woburn Safari Park in Bedford, where she was born in 2015, on an important mission to help protect her species from extinction.

She's been identified as a genetically compatible mate for Banham's resident male Kuzma, who was bred at the Norfolk zoo 12 years ago.

Together they will take part in an important breeding programme in an effort to preserve and protect the increasingly threatened species.

Mishka as a cub. Credit: Woburn Safari Parl

Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are one of nine subspecies of tiger- three of which are now extinct.

They are now classed as endangered by the International union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

There's thought to be only 500 Amur tigers left in the wild due to habitat loss and hunting.

Kuzma at Banham Zoo in Norfolk. Credit: Liam Austin

This particular breeding programme maintains a population of around 250 Amur tigers which are managed by a breeding programme coordinator to maintain as much genetic variability as possible.

 In 2018, the Zoological Society of East Anglia donated £25,000 to Wildcats Conservation Alliance, whose mission is to save wild tigers and Amur leopards for future generations by funding carefully chosen conservation projects.

Africa Alive in Suffolk have also welcomed a new animal- a baby aardvark. Credit: Louise Knock, Zoological Society of East Anglia

Meanwhile, Mishka isn't the only new arrival for the Zoological Society of East Anglia, who also oversee Africa Alive in Suffolk.

Keepers at Africa Alive have recently welcomed the birth of an aardvark, who was born to mother Boo and father AJ.

The gender of the newborn won't be known for a while. Credit: Louise Knock, Zoological Society of East Anglia

Staff say it's notoriously hard to distinguish the gender of an aardvark and so the gender of this newborn won't be known for a while.

Although aardvarks are not endangered in the wild, they are also managed as part of a European Breeding Programme.

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