PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Zoo held a welcome party for it’s newest big cat on Friday.
The public got their first glimpse of the 300-pound orange, white and black striped Amur tiger when the door opened to his outdoor enclosure.
8-year-old Isabella Divartollmeo of South Philadelphia was there with her school.
“They are in the cat family and they are beautiful,” she said.
Grom comes to the Philadelphia Zoo from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado on a breeding recommendation. Zoo keepers are hoping to pair him with one of two 8-year-old Female tigers.
The newest cat on the block is still waiting to meet the ladies.
“He hasn’t see them visually, but he obviously smelled them and heard them, but he hasn’t had a visual on them as of yet,” said Tiger Keeper Jennifer Robertson.
The Philadelphia zoo now has a total of five Amur tigers.
“He is one of six subspecies. Tigers, as a whole, there are only 3,200 left on the entire planet so his subspecies, only 540 individuals.”
The tigers serve as ambassadors, educating guests about conservation.
Tigers are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat loss from deforestation and poaching.