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WATCH: Highland Wildlife Park welcomes new male Amur tiger

By Gavin Musgrove

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The Highland Wildlife Park hopes to resume its endangered Amur tiger breeding programme, with the arrival of a new male.

Botzman was introduced to his new home late Monday afternoon, at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland attraction by Kincraig, and has since been settling in.

Staff hope the park’s current female Dominika and the new male will hit it off.

Keith Gilchrist, animal collection manager at the wildlife park, said: “We are very excited to welcome Botzman into our care and for visitors to meet him soon.

“For the first few weeks he’ll be kept in a private area while he settles in and then we will slowly begin introductions with Dominika.”

Nine-year-old Botzman was born in Moscow and has spent the last eight years at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, where he fathered three cubs born in 2018.

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 endangered 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.”

The Highland Wildlife Park’s previous male tiger Marty died in July, last year, at the age of 10 following a veterinary procedure after experiencing health problems.

He fathered cubs Murray and Vicktor in 2013 with Dominika.

Botzman will be off show from the public until he settles into his new surroundings.

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