Woburn Safari Park is arguably one of Bedfordshire’s best attractions that never fails to excite us all. Thousands of visitors flock to the park every year to see the incredible animals that call it home.
Things have just got even more exciting as keepers have welcomed a brand new Amur tiger. He’s called Dmitri and weighs and incredible 165kg.
Amur tiger’s are the largest species of big cat on the planet and with 2022 being the Zodiac Year of the Tiger, the move has been carefully coordinated between Woburn and Whipsnade Zoo where Dmitri was born.
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Dmitri will celebrate his fourth birthday on June 23 but was originally raised at Whipsnade with his two brothers. Dedicated teams at both establishments have worked closely together to make his transition seamless and when he’s ready he will join tigress Minerva, who is currently ranked as one of the most important females in the captive tiger population in Europe.
It’s hoped in the future Dmitri will also become an important member of the international breeding programme. Sadly, it’s thought there are fewer than 500 Amur tigers left in the wild and coordinated captive breeding has proven incredibly important and effective.
Ben Davies, Acting Head of Section: Carnivores, said: “Woburn Safari Park is synonymous with tigers and Dmitri’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time. His joining us is the start of an amazing new adventure for all the team here. He and Minerva will be able to assist in our fundraising campaign coinciding with the Year of the Tiger and we are sure that our visitors will love getting to know him!
“For the Woburn team, it will also be lovely to once again have another tiger at the Park; after having to say a very sad goodbye to Elton, the Park’s old male tiger, in January. Hopefully, one day we will also see Dmitri become a father to his own set of cubs, to help safeguard the future of this iconic species.”
Visitors will soon be able to see Dmitri in his new nine-acre drive-through home. He will be noticeable bigger than Minerva and has a distinctive sideways number five pattern on his right temple compared to Minerva’s off-shaped heart above her right eye.
Sarah Mcgregor, Predators Team Leader at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, said: “We are all very excited for Dmitri to begin a new chapter as he leaves ZSL Whipsnade Zoo to start his next adventure at Woburn Safari Park. It has been such a privilege to have worked so closely with Dmitri since he was born here, and to get to watch him grow into the playful, inquisitive character he is today! Whilst he will be missed by our team and regular visitors, we are all very excited for what his future holds!”