Bon voyage to big cat Barney

2 September 2016

Keepers at Blackpool Zoo are preparing to say ‘bon voyage’ to a very special resident as he leaves for a new life in France.

Barney, the two-year-old Amur tiger, will leave his birthplace after being one of only two cubs to be born in Blackpool in the past 20 years.

His twin brother, Radzi, left the zoo earlier this year and is now settled with a three-year-old female called Mila, in Zoo Santo Inacio in Portugal.

Barney will set sail for La Bourbansais Zoo in Bretagne in France next week.

Adam Kenyon, Section Head of Large Mammals at Blackpool Zoo, said: “It really is the end of an era here at Blackpool Zoo as we wave goodbye to our youngest tiger, Barney.

“It was a monumental occasion when he and his brother Radzi were born to mother Alyona and father Zambar in 2014 as we hadn’t had tiger cubs at the zoo for a very long time.

"In the wild they would naturally leave their parents at around this age so his move to France to be with a new partner is great timing.

“Both cubs will now play a vital part in the species’ breeding programme, which is fantastic.

“We are looking forward to hearing that Barney has settled in well.”

Zambar arrived at Blackpool Zoo in 2010 from Marwell Wildlife Park, where he was born and hand-reared after being rejected by his mother. He was joined in 2012 by Alyona, who arrived from her birthplace Safaripark Beekse Bergen in the Netherlands.

The Amur tiger is the largest member of the big cat family and is an endangered species. They are found in isolated populations around the Amur River valley in the far east of Russia and on China’s north east border. The wild population continues to be under threat due to habitat loss.

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