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Vancouver Zoo welcomes two female Siberian tigers

The Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove is now home to a pair of one-year-old female Siberian tigers. The cats, which are listed as endangered, came to the Lower Mainland zoo from South Korea. - Robert McDonald/submitted photo
The Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove is now home to a pair of one-year-old female Siberian tigers. The cats, which are listed as endangered, came to the Lower Mainland zoo from South Korea.
— image credit: Robert McDonald/submitted photo

The Greater Vancouver Zoo has added two endangered tigers to its list of exotic animals.

One-year-old sisters Hana and Hani are the newest additions to its cat family, coming from a zoo in South Korea.

Hana and Hani are Siberian tigers.

The sisters were born on May 22, 2011 and now weigh  approximately 180 lbs and 130 lbs respectively.

Typically, tigers are solitary animals unless they are family or mating.

“Our hope for the sisters is that they can become part of the Species Survival Plan Program, which works to co-operatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population,” said zoo manager Jody Henderson.

“We are all very excited with their arrival as this is the Greater Vancouver Zoo’s first animal exchange between our sister zoo, Seoul Grand Park Zoo in South Korea, a partnership that we formed in November 2010.”

Siberian tigers are listed as “endangered” according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Originally there were nine tiger subspecies and now there are six, which all are categorized as “endangered.”

The tiger range has been declining by over 50 per cent over the last three generations and the tiger population also suggests a decline by at least 50 per cent over a similar period, said Henderson.

There used to be hundreds of thousands of the different species of tigers, where as now there are probably 3,000 to 5,000 in the world. In some areas of the world, the population decline is not  reversible, she said.

Tigers are at the top of the food chain but unfortunately are hunted for trophies.

Different body parts of the tigers are used in traditional Chinese medicines.

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