Cat of the month: Amasia

This month our featured cat is Amasia, the Amur tiger!

We’re excited to bring you the newest episode of our Meet the Cats series – our newsletter cat of the month, Amasia the Amur tiger!
Amasia was born on-site at The Big Cat Sanctuary on 27th June 2012, along with her two sisters Aleena and Siberia, to parents Ronja and Pan. Aleena and Siberia moved to our sister site, Paradise Wildlife Park, in September 2013, whilst Amasia stayed at the Sanctuary along with her parents. Currently, Amasia is next-door neighbour to our vacationing resident Baikal, the white tiger.

Amasia is known for her feisty personality. She is the queen of her own castle and very much likes to be up early in the morning to see the morning activities taking place around the Sanctuary. However, Amasia has recently come on leaps and bounds through her training sessions with Keepers Maddie and Simon. Training provides a calming and stimulating routine of activities where desirable behaviour is positively reinforced. Regular training has worked wonders for Amasia with staff noticing huge improvements in her general wellbeing. Along with training, Amasia loves enrichment – particularly enrichment feeds where she has to dig, hunt, climb and work out exactly how she can get her food.

Amasia stands as an ambassador for the endangered Amur tiger (formerly the Siberian tiger), or Panthera tigris altaica in Latin. The Amur tiger are found in the Russian Far East in the same habitat as the Amur leopard – the most critically endangered big cat on the planet. It is expected that around 500 Amur tigers are still left in the wild, giving them a classification of Endangered (EN) under the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species with their population numbers stable at the time of the last assessment (February 2010). As with most animals across the planet, the threat to their existence is predominantly due to human-wildlife conflict; poaching, the logging trade destroying habitat, and land development reducing the tiger’s habitat and ultimately seeing these wild animals getting closer and closer to human settlement.

So what are the distinct characteristics for an Amur tiger? They are one of the largest big cats on the planet, with a distinctively lighter orange coat to that of their Asian counterparts, along with an accompanying white undercarriage, as well as having a longer and thicker coat for the colder conditions in their Far East habitat. Their paws are larger and have extra fur which are better equipped for the snowy, forest conditions. Amur tigers can live between 10-15 years in the wild and can live to over 20 years old in captivity.

We’re proud to work with our conservation partners WildCats Conservation Alliance (based at ZSL London Zoo) to protect this magnificent species. Their vital in-situ work includes population and health monitoring of the cats in these ecosystems, as well as finding ways to mitigate conflict between cats and humans, by working in communities to provide assistance, advice, and education.

Wanting more Amasia in your life? You can watch her Meet the Cats episode by clicking the video below! Interested in adopting our wonderful girl? Visit our website here.