The Assiniboine Park Zoo is saying goodbye to one of its Amur tigers this week. Sarma, a two-year-old female, is heading east to her new home at the Cherry Brook Zoo in Saint John, N.B. The move for the mature cat is a part of the North American Species Survival Plan, which allows for the relocation of animals to maintain diverse populations in zoos across the continent when circumstances allow.
"Sarma’s at the point in her life where she would typically leave her mother and she’s going to an excellent facility that is thrilled to welcome her," Dr. Brian Joseph, director of zoological operations at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, said in a statement. "She can play an important role in the Species Survival Plan and we’re very pleased to contribute to those breeding efforts and assist in growing the Amur tiger population in Canada."
Sarma’s last day in Winnipeg is Thursday. Her parents, 14-year-old Kendra and 19-year-old Baikal, will remain at the zoo. Both are expected to be a part of the new tiger exhibit, which is scheduled to be unveiled this month.
The Assiniboine Park Zoo is currently working on acquiring additional Amur tigers to be a part of the expanded 26,000 square foot mixed vegetation habitat. Construction on the new enclosure started in late June 2013.