Delaware's Brandywine Zoo recently transfer an Amur tiger named Zhanna to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in New York.
The Wilmington zoo made the transfer in accordance with the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan.
“As an AZA-accredited institution, the Brandywine Zoo is committed to species conservation,” Lynn Klein, the Brandywine Zoo's general curator, said. “We rely on the cooperation among zoos to ensure a healthy, genetically diverse population.”
The AZA’s plan works to manage captive species' breeding to ensure genetic diversity. Amur tigers, native to eastern Russia and northeastern China, are endangered, with just 500 individuals living in small populations in the wild.
Zhanna, born in the St. Louis Zoo, has an ideal genetic profile and age for breeding, and the Bronx Zoo is internationally renowned for its tiger-breeding program, as well as boasting an open range exhibit and state-of-the-art off-exhibit areas.
“Zhanna is a beloved animal at the Brandywine Zoo and we will all miss her,” Michael T. Allen, executive director of the Delaware Zoological Society, said. “We wish her the best and look at this as a new beginning for Zhanna and an opportunity to embark on a new phase of development at the Brandywine Zoo.”