Potter Park Says Goodbye To Amur Tiger Nika


Potter Park Zoo Amur tiger Nika moved to John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week. Nika was born in Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo and has been at Potter Park Zoo since 2009. While at the zoo she gave birth to three cubs – Kira, Savelii and Ameliya. Daughters Kira and Savelii were transferred earlier this year to Bramble Zoo in South Dakota. Daughter Ameliya and father Sivaki remain in Lansing.

“Nika added to the success of our breeding program with the birth of her three cubs,” said Cynthia Wagner, Animal Curator at Potter Park Zoo. “The Amur tigers are beautiful animals and we are fortunate to take part in their preservation.”

Amur tigers are native to the Amur-Ussuri region of Siberia along the coast of Russia. Poaching and habitat destruction have taken their toll on the species and it is estimated that only 400-500 Amur tigers remain in the wild.

Potter Park Zoo has aided in the survival of the threatened species by participating in the Amur Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Amur Tiger SSP makes annual breeding and transfer plans. After it was suggested that Nika be transferred, the Potter Park Zoo staff finalized the plans for Nika’s move.

“Having Nika as a part of our Potter Park Zoo family since 2009 makes saying goodbye to her rather difficult, but we know we are placing her in caring hands,” said Sherrie Graham, Executive Director at Potter Park Zoo. “We are excited to follow her progress at John Ball Zoo.”

Nika will be living in the Crawford Tigers of the Realm exhibit at John Ball Zoo. She will be on exhibit this summer with two other tigers.