Seoul Zoo tigers to be relocated to a more natural environment

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A group of Siberian tigers currently on display at a local zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi province, will be moved to a government-owned arboretum this summer, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said on Wednesday. .

The selected tigers from Seoul Zoo will be transferred to a 48,000 square meter forest designed to simulate a wild tiger habitat. The area, called “Tiger Forest,” is part of the ministry’s 220.1 billion won ($ 192.4 million) project to build Asia’s largest arboretum in North Gyeongsang Province, which is expected to build Asia’s largest arboretum. officially open to the public this year.

A Siberian tiger residing at Seoul Zoo in Gwacheon Province watches from a cage. (Yonhap)

The government plans to choose two or three tigers, including at least one female, for the move, but the exact number, male-to-female ratio and date of their move have not yet been announced.

A series of medical tests will be performed on tigers within the zoo to select a healthy batch for the project. The procedure includes a blood test performed by animal experts, as well as a thorough screening.

Supervisors of the process are very cautious with the medical test after the controversy that followed the death of a male tiger transferred to a Daejeon zoo reserve in April. According to a government report, the animal suffered from a chronic illness that developed into uremia due to the stress of the relocation process three months before its death.

During the transfer, the tigers will be given a car designed to respect their very sensitive nature. The temperature and humidity will be controlled inside the cage and the car will run at a speed of 70 kilometers per hour.

Once in the forest, the tigers will benefit from an adaptation period of two to three months and will be released when the arboretum officially opens, scheduled for September or October.

Security fences will be installed around the forest for the public.

Siberian tigers are considered extinct in South Korea, with the last sighting dating back to 1921 in the mountains of North Gyeongsang Province. At present, around 50 such animals, mostly donated or imported from China or Russia, reside in local zoos in South Korea.

By Jung Min-kyung ([email protected])


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