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Zoo Boise welcomes an endangered tiger – Akasha will ‘live out her golden years’

May 26, 2022 Updated Fri., May 27, 2022 at 11:08 a.m.

By Alex Brizee Idaho Statesman

BOISE – Zoo Boise has welcomed a new four-legged feline.

Akasha, an 11-year-old Amur tiger – an endangered species – arrived in Boise on May 6, according to a news release from the zoo.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Zoo Boise to welcome an animal into our family and take great care of her while advancing our conservation mission,” Zoo Boise Director Gene Peacock said in the release.

Akasha joined Zoo Boise’s ReTIGERment Home, which will allow her a place to “live out her golden years,” according to the release. Some of the amenities Akasha will enjoy range from zoo chefs’ cooking to cleaning services, health care and a maintenance crew to repair anything in her new home. Amur tigers live an average of around 11 years in the wild but often live longer in zoos.

“Tigers are solitary and enjoy being alone, so having a private residence and access to a pool at Zoo Boise are both important to Akasha,” according to the release.

Akasha, who spent the majority of her life at the Mesker Park Zoo in Indiana, will help tiger conservation efforts – her Gem State retirement is freeing up space at another zoo for a pair of younger tigers to breed, according to the release.

“To have a very successful program, zoos across the nation need to work collaboratively to meet both the welfare and genetic pairing needs of species in their care in order to sustain a healthy population,” said Trista Fischer, Amur Tiger Species Survival Plan vice coordinator, in the release. “We are very grateful to Zoo Boise for taking in Akasha, spoiling her during her retirement years, and helping both the Amur and Sumatran tiger populations.”

Boise residents and visitors are welcome to view Akasha in her new home, but she has access to her inside dwelling, which means she might not always be seen, zoo officials said.

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