Big cat residents at Merseyside’s Knowsley Safari had a ball getting into the Halloween spirit this week as they batted at their boo-tiful enrichment toy, taking in the autumn air.

Female Amur tiger Sinda, clawed, wrestled and chased the bright orange enrichment ball, styled in the fashion of a pumpkin complete with a jack- o’-lantern face worthy of spooking the best of us – but not these cats! 

It’s estimated that there are just 500 to 550 of the Amur tiger species left in the wilds of the Russian Far East and Northeast China.

Earlier this year, six-year-old male Amur tiger Miron, who originated from Moscow Zoo, made Knowsley Safari his home as part of breeding efforts to help save Amur tigers. One of a litter of four and the offspring of parents born in the wild, Miron’s presence creates a unique opportunity to introduce new genes into the breeding programme. If the mating is successful, it will be considered a very positive moment in the ongoing conservation of these endangered big cats.

Numbers of Amur tigers in the wild – and their prey – have been depleted by poaching and their natural habitats are being lost to logging and deforestation. Through WildCats Conservation Alliance, Knowsley Safari is supporting projects which aim to stabilise and increase Amur tiger numbers.  

To visit Knowsley Safari and see Miron and Sinda for themselves, guests must pre-book tickets and a timeslot online at With contactless entry and enhanced hygiene regimes and social-distancing measures in place across the Safari’s 550-acre site, guests can be assured of one of the country’s safest days out.


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