SF Zoo to get 10-year-old Siberian tiger

SAN FRANCISCO

The zoos' new 10 year old tiger is named Shasta. She is is coming from the Omaha Zoo, which is remaking itself and swapping some animals out for others that will call their new exhibits home.

When the tiger gets to the San Francisco Zoo, its name will change to Martha. That is what the winning bidder chose for the naming rights at this weekend's Zoofest fundraising event.

The 295 pound Siberian will be trucked here from Omaha and should arrive by June. She will be on exhibit after a brief quarantine period.

Veteran tiger trainer Chris Austria commends the zoo for replacing Tatiana with a new Siberian tiger. He says Martha is one of only about 500 left in the world.

"I think it's really important for the public to see these endangered animals and realize their importance in the world," he said.

Tatiana's grotto-mate Tony, an 18 year old Siberian, was euthanized last year after zoo officials determined that the old tiger's quality of life had deteriorated.

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