New Amur tiger at Roosevelt Park Zoo

The Roosevelt Park Zoo announced Wednesday the addition of Viktor, a three-year-old male Amur tiger that came to the zoo from the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. He will be housed in the adjoining enclosure to Krapinka, the zoo’s female Amur tiger.

Amur tigers are some of the largest big cats in the world. There are only 400 to 500 left in the wild, in Eastern Russia, China and North Korea.

Some Amur tigers can get up to 600 pounds, according to Ann Olson, Roosevelt Park Zoo veterinarian, and Viktor is about 450 pounds right now. Viktor also has some training, she added, though not necessarily to do tricks. He has been trained to open his mouth for a dental exam, to raise his paws to be checked by a veterinarian, and to present his body to the zookeeper for a quick exam, Olson said.

Olson said it took Roosevelt Park Zoo a couple of months to acquire the new tiger. They receive recommendations from other zoos and were recommended to get Viktor, she added, and made sure all of the right permits were in place. Viktor is currently on loan, but could be recommended for a zoo somewhere else. “But for the time being, he’ll be at Roosevelt Park Zoo,” Olson said.

Roosevelt Park Zoo had the space for another Amur tiger and both tigers will be in separate enclosures.

The zoo opens for the season on Saturday. They will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until June 1, and then from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We’re very excited for our opening,” Olson said. “There is some construction going on, so please excuse the dust. It’s going to be a very exciting summer here at the zoo.”

Jill Hambek