Spring is a busy time at Denver Zoo, with new animal babies debuting their sweet faces and matchmaking in full swing.
The New It Couple
Love is in the air for Denver Zoo’s new Amur tiger, Yuri. The eight-year-old, 435-pound tiger was recently moved from the Bronx Zoo to the Denver Zoo with hopes of pairing him up with fellow tiger Nikita, and making some very cute contributions to their endangered species.
“The two tigers can already see each other from various points in the exhibit, and Nikita is showing signs that she’s ready to meet her new mate,” says Janee Zakoren, assistant curator of Carnivores at Denver Zoo. “You can hear them ‘talking’ to each other most afternoons. She is definitely excited by his presence.”
For now, staff at the Zoo are waiting for Yuri to adjust to his new home before making a formal introduction to Nikita.
Yuri was born at the Erie Zoo in Pennsylvania in 2010, and has spent the last seven years at the Bronx Zoo. No stranger to attention, he was featured in Animal Planet’s The Zoo, which gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the Bronx Zoo.
As of 2005, a population survey of wild Amur tigers, conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society, counted between 430-500 of the species. In 2014, the Conservation reported that the number of Amur tigers in human care was 480.
Yuri is making more frequent appearances in The EDGE, Denver Zoo’s newest exhibit, where guests can identify him by his healthy size and the heart-shaped markings above his eyes.
New to the Herd
On February 5, the newest member of the Lesser Kudu herd at Denver Zoo, Winifred, was born. Named after her grandpa, Fred, she joined mom, Moscato, grandma, Dakarai, and dad, Joe, in the Zoo’s Central Ranges habitat. These friendly forest antelopes are found in northeastern Africa, in particular Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan. According to the Zoo, Winifred is adventurous and loves romping around outside, as well as napping in the front corner of the yard.
Zoo Baby Watch
Another new zoo baby is set to join the family any day now. Denver Zoo’s 23-year-old Linne’s two-toed sloth, Charlotte, is due any minute, with a due date estimated to be between late February and early March.
The new sloth baby will join big sister, Baby Ruth, who was born in January 2018. Once the new baby is born, it will hide in Charlotte’s fur while nursing for the first four to five weeks, then stay with Charlotte for up to nine months before venturing out on its own.
Visit Winifred and Yuri at Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St., Denver.