Two Amur tigers, named Sinda and Bira, have recently moved into their new home at Knowsley Safari in the northwestern UK city.

Open to the public on 26 May, the new and interactive space allows visitors to stand right next to the majestic big cats.

Incredible photos show excited little visitors just a few feet from the stripey beasts, separated by only a wall of glass.

“We’ve been developing our new tiger habitat for more than a year and can’t wait for guests to see it,” said Eveline De Wolf, Head of Living Collection at Knowsley Safari.

“It has been designed especially for Sinda and Bira, to provide an enriching home with a flowing stream, large natural ponds and mature trees.”

We’ve been developing our new tiger habitat for more than a year and can’t wait for guests to see it

Eveline De Wolf, Head of Living Collection at Knowsley Safari

Amur tigers were once found throughout the Russian Far East, northern China and the Korean peninsula.

Sadly, excessive hunting nearly led to them becoming extinct by the 1940s.

Just 40 individuals were left in the wild.

Salvation came when Russia became the first county in the world to grant the tiger full protection.

Thanks to continued conservation and anti-poaching efforts, the population is now stable at around 540 individuals, according to WWF.

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Endangered tigers: Visitors to Knowsley Safari can get really close to the animals

Of the nine subspecies of tiger, three are already extinct and the Amur tiger is the largest living species remaining.

Footage shows Sinda and Bira exploring their 10,000m2 Russian-themed home, walking across felled trees and wading through streams. 

Guests visiting throughout the summer will be able to immerse themselves in the habitat and learn all about the Amur tiger and threats to their survival and conservation.

The new facility at Knowsley Safari has been designed to enable breeding and contribute to the global breeding programme for the species.

“This is the first major habitat development we’ve undertaken in recent years and it sets the standard of things to come at Knowsley Safari,” said Edward Perry, Managing Director at Knowsley Safari.

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Endangered tigers: Visitors can also learn all about the majestic big cats and their habitat

“As always, our starting point was to create an enriching and natural landscape for our Amur tiger sisters, Sinda and Bira to explore and enjoy.

“As well as creating a great environment for our sisters to thrive, we also wanted to bring our visitors a real taste of what makes the Amur tiger different to other subspecies and educate them on the challenges they face in the wild – all through play and fun! 

“We want this to be an active experience for our guests and so we’ve created lots of different activities around the habitat for them to explore and learn from.”

In the wild, Amur tigers’ habitat is now restricted to the Sikhote-Alin range in the Primorski and Khabarovsk provinces of the Russian Far East, some border areas of China and possibly in North Korea. 

They represent the largest unfragmented tiger population in the world.

Source of Travel News

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