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NakaNaka, an Amur tiger, is the newest arrival to the Racine Zoo.

She made the trip from the Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut in December where she has been acclimating to her new digs. Born at the Rosemnd Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, the 12-year-old female weighs in at about 260 pounds. She eats about 10 pounds of meat a day.

“Naka has been in quarantine since her arrival in December 2016, getting to know her keepers, her surroundings and being slowly introduced to her neighbor Anya.” said Theresa Donarski, Curator of Conservation and Animal Care. “Tigers are normally solitary animals and females would not live together in the wild. So living and rotating in dens and exhibits is something both of them will get used to in no time at all.”

Amur Tigers are the tops in the cat world because they are the largest cats, but they are also “a critically endangered subspecies,” according to a press release by the Racine Zoo. A number of people hunting the Amur tiger almost brought them to extinction. But by the 1980s their population had increased to 500 tigers and increased now to 540.

Now that Naka is no longer in quarantine, she’s ready for visitors.



Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.