NYC - Bronx - Bronx Zoo: Tiger Mountain
The Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), like this one at the Bronx Zoo's Tiger Mountain, is a rare subspecies of tiger (Panthera tigris). Also known as the North China Tiger, Manchurian, Amur or Korean Tiger, it is the largest naturally occurring member of the Felidae family.
The Siberian Tiger is critically endangered. In the early 1900s, it lived throughout the northeastern China, Korean Peninsula, northeastern Mongolia and southeastern Russia. Today, it has virtually disappeared from South Korea and is largely confined to a very small part of Russia's southern Far East (the Amur-Ussuri region of Primorye and Khabarovsk. The tiger population in the wild was probably lower than 50 in the 1930s, increasing to more than 200 in 1982. A count, taken in 1996 reported 430 Siberian Tigers in the wild. However, Russian conservation efforts have led to a slight increase, or at least to a stable population of the subspecies, as the number of individuals in the Siberian Forests was estimated between 431 and 529 in the last count in 2005.
On average, male Siberian Tigers weigh about 225 kilograms (500 lb) and female Amurs weigh about 160 kilograms (350 lb). Apart from its size, the Siberian Tiger is differentiated from other tiger subspecies by its paler fur and dark brown (rather than black) stripes. As well as colour their fur is thicker and longer (Siberian Tigers have full manes around their upper neck) to help sustain the freezing temperatures of its habitat. Siberian Tigers also have larger feet than most other sub-species to facilitate movement through snow.
Like all other cats, the Siberian Tiger is a carnivorous predator; an adept hunter, it preys primarily on wild boar, roe deer, sika deer and goral, but will also take smaller prey like lagomorphs and fish. Unlike the Bengal Tiger, the Siberian Tiger rarely attacks humans.
The Siberian Tiger is the national animal of North Korea, South Korea and the former USSR.
The Bronx Zoo, located within the Bronx Park, is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising 265 acres of parklands and naturalistic habitats and home to over 4,000 animals. Focused on conservation, it opened on November 8, 1899, with 22 exhibits, 843 animals. The zoo's origins date back to 1895, with the establishment of the New York Zoological Society (NYZS), renamed Wild Conservation Society (WCS) in 1993. Only the outer structure of the World of Reptiles remains much as it was in 1899. With the 1941 opening of African Plains, the Bronx Zoo was one of the first U.S. zoos to move away from cages and exhibit animals in naturalistic habitats.