Meet the Denver Zoo’s newest celebrity: A 435-pound male Amur tiger featured on Animal Planet

The Denver Zoo plans to introduce its newest celebrity fighter, 8-year-old Yuri, to 8-year-old Nikita in the hopes that the two will mate and attract more of the Amur tigers into the world.

Yuri was born at the Erie Zoo in Pennsylvania in 2010, according to a news release from the Denver Zoo. He spent seven years at the Bronx Zoo in New York and has been featured on Animal Planet’s “The Zoo. ”

The Amur tiger, distinguished by the heart-shaped markings above his eyes, joined the Denver Zoo in January, the release said. The movement came at the recommendation of this Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.

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Zoo officials said Yuri spent getting acquainted in his new house.

“Because Yuri hasn’t sired some cubs yet, his genetics are especially valuable to zoos&rsquoefforts to conserve the species and maintain a population of Amur tigers,” the release said.

Yuri, an endangered Amur tiger, joined ...

Provided by the Denver Zoo

Officials at the Denver Zoo are optimistic Yuri will breed with another resident Amur tiger.

Yuri, an endangered Amur tiger, joined ...

Provided by the Denver Zoo

Yuri, pictured in an enclosure, is a resident at the Denver Zoo.

Yuri, an endangered Amur tiger, joined ...

Provided by the Denver Zoo

Yuri is a brand new addition to the Denver Zoo.

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Amur tigers are considered endangered due to poaching and wild prey, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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Visitors can see Yuri at The Edge exhibit, where Nikita is also living.

“The two tigers can see each other and Nikita is showing signs that she’s ready to meet her mate,” stated Assistant Curator of Carnivores Janee Zakoren in a statement. “You can hear them ‘rsquo & talking; to each afternoons. She is definitely excited by his presence. ”

For more on the tigers and The Edge exhibit, see the zoo’s website.

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