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.
“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.