Winnipeg zoo welcomes new tiger cubs

The Assiniboine Park Zoo has welcomed two Amur tiger cubs from the zoo in Calgary.
Samkha's name means sacred in several areas of India. (Assiniboine Park Zoo)

The Assiniboine Park Zoo has welcomed two Amur tiger cubs from Calgary.

Samkha and Vasili, both males, arrived Friday from the Calgary Zoo. They were moved to Winnipeg on a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan (SSP) based on their genetics for future breeding, according to a news release from Assiniboine Park Zoo.

Samkha and Vasili are currently on a 30-day quarantine period and won't be available for viewing by the public until next month. (Assiniboine Park Zoo)
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” Brian Joseph, director of zoological operations, said in the release.

“Not only will they be a delight for our visitors, they will play an important role in the future population of Amur tigers worldwide through the Species Survival Plan.”

The cubs were named through a naming contest held by the Calgary Zoo after the cubs were born on March 30, 2012. The name Samkha has the reverse syllables of the cub’s grandfather’s name, Khasam, a long-time Calgary Zoo resident.

The name means sacred in several areas of India.

Vasili means royal or kingly in Russian.

Samkha and Vasili are currently off exhibit during a standard 30-day quarantine period and are not available for viewing by the public.

The Assiniboine Park Zoo is nearing completion on a new 26,000-square-foot tiger habitat and expects the cubs to move into the exhibit once their quarantine period is complete.