Poaching leads to animals going extinct, says NWest park manager

Journalist watch a mixed-breed tiger named Crystal at the Kudusrus predator park in Boshoek near Rustenburg. Photo: ANA/Stringer

Journalist watch a mixed-breed tiger named Crystal at the Kudusrus predator park in Boshoek near Rustenburg. Photo: ANA/Stringer

Ben Van Staden shows journalists a part-Siberian and part-Bengal tiger named Crystal.

Animal poaching has led to many animals going extinct, including a rare breed of Siberian tiger, said Kudusrus manager Ben Van Staden.

The predator park in Boshoek near Rustenburg in the North West was unfortunate to experience two lion poachings in 2018, he said.

“It was a huge blow to the park when it happened,” he told journalists on a media tour around the Moses Kotane local municipality.

The tour is aimed to promote tourism and tourist attractions within the municipality.

Kudusrus has about 30 lions, eight tigers, and a crossbreed. They have a breeders permit which allows them to practice.

There is a mixed-breed tiger that is part-Siberian and part-Bengal named Crystal.

“This tiger is a mixed-breed because they are slowly disappearing. She is three-years-old and is enclosed with a six-year-old year male. We are trying to get them to breed but it is not easy,” he said.

Crystal is a white tiger and got her name from her clear crystal eyes. The tiger was bought to the park about 18 months ago from another predator park.

As a Bengal mixed-breed, she can easily breed with any type of a tiger. She is enclosed with a normal Siberian tiger, the pair is expected to produce normal tigers.

Van Staden said there were about 2,000 Siberian tigers left in the wild, Samaritan tigers were also decreasing, while there was still a good population of Bengal tigers in India.

The park hopes to increase the cat family by getting a panther, Asian leopard, puma, and cheetah.

-African News Agency

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