BRIDGEPORT — Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo announced Tuesday it will be saying goodbye to one of three Amur Tigers housed at its facility.
After arriving in Connecticut in January of 2017 from the Philadelphia Zoo, Changbai will be moved to a new permanent home Wednesday.
Changbai is the only female among the species at Beardsley.
The 12-year-old is leaving behind the two tiger cubs Reka and Zeya she gave birth to in November 2017.
Inter-regional transfers are arranged by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan with careful attention to gene diversity in the hope that successful breeding will take place.
The AZA says Amur tigers are rare and critically endangered in the wild, occupying less than seven percent of their original range.
According to Beardsley officials, Changbai was sent to Beardsley Zoo as an excellent genetic match to the Zoo’s resident male tiger at the time, Petya.
After the cubs were born, Petya was transferred to Kansas — now it’s Changbai’s turn.
“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,” Beardsley Zoo’s Deputy Director, Don Goff explained.
According to officials, Beardsley Zoo has had repeated success in breeding endangered species.
The 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.