Gateway Gazette

Calgary Zoo Mourns Loss of a Matriarch

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our 19 year old Amur tiger, “Kita”.

Kita arrived in 1999 from the Toronto Zoo, and in her time here had five of her own cubs.  From these five cubs, Kita has eight grandchildren, five great grandchildren and three great great-grandchildren totalling 21 direct descendants ​residing in both North America and Europe. These descendents represent four per cent of the total captive population.

In 2000, Kita and Khasam had Marilei, Tsamara, Fedor Eh and Katja.  In 2012, Katja and Baikal had three of their own; Vasili and Samkha who thrive at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg and Kira who remains at the Calgary Zoo. Kita and Lashka also had one cub, Vitali in 2007. Over the years the Calgary Zoo has had 19 successful tiger cub births within the SSP. The median life expectancy for female Amur tigers in captivity is 14.3 years.

With only 350 Amur tigers left in the wild and less than 500 in zoos worldwide, Kita’s contribution to the SSP is remarkable. We will miss her.

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