Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Female tiger brought to Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Media captionThe tiger was tranquilised for the journey

A female tiger has been brought to South Yorkshire as part of a breeding programme.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster is leading a project to encourage a pair of endangered Amur Siberian tigers to reproduce.

Sayan, a three-year-old Siberian tigress, has been moved from Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent to her new home.

Three months ago a male tiger called Vladimir was moved to Doncaster.

Simon Marsh, head tiger keeper at the park said: "He started off being quite a grumpy cat so hopefully he'll soon realise there is a female cat around, which will hopefully cheer him up"

The project was set-up to encourage one of the largest endangered big cats in the world to breed.

It is estimated there are fewer than 450 Amur Siberian tigers surviving in the world.

'Big cat fight'

As part of the breeding programme a "Land of the Tiger" enclosure has been built but the animals will not be released into the area together for a number of months.

Cheryl Williams, director of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park said: "They will be in separate reserves to start with and will be gradually introduced.

"You have to make sure that they are going to get on and you have to pick your times, otherwise there will be just a big cat fight.

"It will be a long slow process until they get on with each other."

Sayan who made the six-hour journey from Kent to South Yorkshire will be shown to the public from Saturday.

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