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Photo Information
Copyright: Elaine WHITBY (Misty) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 0 N: 19] (97)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-04
Categories: Cnidarians
Camera: Canon 400 D, 100-400 4.5-5.6L
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-02-01 3:18
Viewed: 4763
Points: 3
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Ronja, a female Amur tiger, was imported from Zoo Gardens Schwerin, Germany to WHF in 2004. Being a breeding Amur tiger in the European Breeding Programme, it is hoped that she will mate successfully in the future and rear her cubs at WHF.

Ronja came to WHF with a number of dental problems and since being with us has had three dental treatments which have resulted in the reduction or loss of all four canine teeth. Tigers have such a powerful bite that if as in Ronja's case they break a canine the remaining teeth are at risk of damage, thankfully we have been able to give her the best available treatment and as a tiger only uses canines in the hunt and kill her lack of teeth will not present a problem to her.

Ronja weighs a healthy 140 Kg and eats 10 – 14 Kg (20 – 28 lbs) per meal, 3 times a week.

Amur tigers are the largest of the subspecies and Ronja emanates an aura of a Russian queen with her stunning markings and captivating beauty. Her temperament is on the aggressive side but with the work of aromatherapy pioneer Caroline Ingraham and some gently coaxing from her keepers she has improved in attitude and temperament. She still doesn´t enjoy crowds and will take to her sleeping quarters at the first sight of photographers.

There are laround 600 surviving Amur tigers in the wild. Nearly all are found in the coniferous, birch woodlands of the Primorski Krai region of Russia with a few along NE China and Northern Korea.

The Amur tiger is the largest and heaviest subspecies of tiger making them "the" largest cat in the world. Males measure up to 3.3 metres and they can live up to 25 years in captivity.

To survive winter the Amur tiger has a fine but long fur coat with a layer of fat which allows them to stand the bitter cold temperatures of Eastern Russia. Their coat is lighter in colour than other tigers with more white colouring around the face, chest and underside. They have large paws which act like snow shoes.

Tigers run extremely fast over short distances and can leap 10 feet in a single bound. A tiger´s roar can be heard over a mile away.

Current threats
The Tiger in Russia faces a number of threats – some old and some new.

Illegal poaching – hunting tigers in Russia was banned in 1947 but with the dissolution of the Soviet Union illegal hunting has been fuelled by demand from across the borders in China and Korea.
Hunting of Prey – the tiger prey is also hunted by impoverished local people so there is direct competition with man.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes that tiger parts will cure sickness but there is no proof for this what so ever. This creates demand for tiger parts.
Loss of habitat to natural fires and illegal logging as well as human needs to search for gas and oil within their range.

parthasarathi has marked this note useful
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Hi Elaine, good timing in capturing the yawn, I think the downside to this shot is the wire in the background. Often a problem with captive shots. Of course in this country that is the only way we can see these spectacular animals.


Thanks for the information you shared and yes, for a nice picture too.

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