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March 18, 2016

Philadelphia Zoo welcomes new Amur tiger

Grom joins family of four tigers, will appear in various exhibits

Philadelphia Zoo Tigers
031716_TigerPhiladelphiaZoo Source/Philadelphia Zoo

Grom comes to Philadelphia from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado.

The Philadelphia Zoo proudly welcomed a 7-year-old Amur tiger to an existing family of four this week with the addition of Grom, a 300-pound beast who could grow to almost double that size in the years to come.

According to zoo officials, the nearly 8-year-old Grom came to Philadelphia from Colorado's Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. He'll make himself at home with two brothers, Wiz and Dmitri, and two sisters, Koosaka and Changbai. 

Initially, Grom will split time between several exhibits, including First Niagara Big Cat Falls, and can be seen on the prowl in the mornings each day before noon.

Amur tigers, a subspecies of Siberian tigers, are native to the Amur River Valley in far east Russia and are also found in southern Russia and northern China. In the 1940s, the species was nearly driven to extinction, with barely 40 tigers left in the wild. Russia became the first country to grant them full protection and the population rebounded to about 500 by the 1980s. They remain endangered, but conservation efforts have stabilized the population at around 540, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

In captivity, Amur tigers can live between 16 to 22 years or more. As an adult, Grom could grow up to 10.5 feet long (three feet for the tail alone) and weigh as much as 570 pounds. At the Philadelphia Zoo, he'll be fed a specially formulated meat diet including weekly portions of shank beef bone, long bone and liver.

Grom will turn 8 years old on May 11, so be sure to stop by the Philadelphia Zoo to pay him a birthday or welcome visit in the coming months.