DETROIT, Mich.(WXYZ) - Kisa, a female 8 year old Amur Tiger, has a new friend that arrived at the Detroit Zoo this week from Wisconsin.
Kolyma, a 13 year old male, arrived from the Racine Zoo, with ideas of the two have a love connection and hoping for cubs.
"Neither Kolyma nor Kisa has produced offspring but we are hopeful that will change," said Curator of Mammals Robert Lessnau. But he cautioned, "Animals are individuals and there are no guarantees of success."
Amur tiger breeding season typically runs from January through April. The usual gestation period is approximately three-and-a-half months, after which an average of two cubs is born.
The recommendation came from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP is a cooperative management plan among AZA-accredited zoos to ensure genetically healthy, diverse and self-sustaining populations of threatened and endangered species.
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is the largest subspecies of tiger, growing to 10 feet in length and weighing up to 400 pounds. Listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, only around 450 Amur tigers are left in the wild due to illegal poaching and deforestation of their natural habitat.