BRIDGEPORT — Get ready to roar a sad good-bye to Changbai, the female Amur Tiger who has lived at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo for more than two years.
Changbai, mother of tiger cubs Reka and Zeya, is schedule to move to a new permanent home on Wednesday. Born on May 24, 2007, Changbai arrived at Beardsley in January, 2017, from the Philadelphia Zoo.
“As sad as we are to say goodbye to Changbai, the planned transfer of animals to other member zoos ensures the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population,” said Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Deputy Director, Don Goff in a news release.
Managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, inter-regional transfers are arranged with careful attention to gene diversity in the hope that successful breeding will take place. Changbai was sent to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo as a genetic match to the zoo’s resident male tiger at the time, Petya. In November, 2017, Changbai gave birth to Reka and Zeya. Petya, was transferred to Sedgewick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, in November 2018.
Amur tigers are are critically endangered in the wild. According to AZA statistics, Amur tigers are thought to occupy less than 7 percent of their original range. Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, poaching, tiger-human conflict, and loss of prey, four of nine subspecies have disappeared from the wild just in the past hundred years. The future of the Amur tiger has been a major concern of the world’s zoos for many years.
Beardsley Zoo has been the birthplace of multiple endangered species, including tiger cubs, maned wolf pups, red wolf pups, two baby giant anteaters, and most recently, two Amur leopard cubs.