Welcome Natasha: The New Amur Tiger at Milwaukee County Zoo

The Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country has welcomed a new, majestic resident – an Amur tiger named Natasha.

This 11-year-old feline beauty has made the journey from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio to join the Milwaukee County Zoo’s tiger family, rotating daily with Kash and Tula in their cozy indoor and outdoor habitats.

Photo from Milwaukee County Zoo

Arriving on November 1st as part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Amur Tiger Species Survival Plan®, Natasha has been getting used to her new home while also bravely battling blastomycosis, a serious fungal infection.

The zoo’s experienced animal care team is diligently treating her, with her prognosis being cautiously optimistic.

Natasha is expected to undergo treatment for three to six months, but she’s already showing signs of feeling at home, engaging in enrichment activities, and showing a keen interest in her dietary preferences.

Amur tigers, the largest and palest of their subspecies, are sadly considered Endangered, with less than 500 remaining in the wild. Their thick neck fur protects them from the harsh winters of their natural habitats in far-eastern Russia and northeastern China.

At the Milwaukee County Zoo, Natasha takes turns with Kash and Tula, offering visitors a unique chance to observe these magnificent creatures up close. And if you’re curious, you can distinguish Natasha from Tula by their distinct eyebrow patterns and the charming black speckles on Natasha’s nose.

The zoo team notes that Natasha has never had cubs and is currently not being introduced to Kash due to her ongoing treatment. However, her engaging personality is already shining through. She’s particularly fond of beef and enjoys the occasional whole prey, along with taking pleasure in enrichment activities that include tearing apart boxes and napping on her firehose bed. Surprisingly, she’s also found a liking for Jaguar cologne – and who could blame her?

Visiting Natasha is a great opportunity to teach kids about wildlife conservation and the importance of supporting endangered species. Plus, you can contribute to the cause by visiting the Tiger Conservation Campaign online.

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