COLORADO SPRINGS — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has announced they have raised $88,170 in memory of their late Amur Tiger, Savelli, and they will donate it to the Wildlife Conservation Society Tiger Program.
In March of 2021, the zoo's 9-year-old Amur Tiger, Savelli, died from anesthesia complications after an artificial insemination procedure. The zoo says Savelli's loss was "huge" since Amur Tigers are an endangered species. According to the zoo, there are less than 500 wild Amur Tigers on earth, meaning they are the most endangered species of the "big cats" family.
Despite the tragedy, the zoo says a silver lining in Savelli's death is that they were able to raise funds in her memory. The zoo said on Wednesday during a presentation that they raised $34,000 within 24 hours for the Savelli Memorial Fund, and with the community's help, they've gotten close to $100,000.
The zoo announced that they will donate $88,170 to the Wildlife Conservation Society Tiger Program in Russia. Far East Russia is where the largest populations of wild Amur tigers reside.
The program has been running since 1992. Their work involves securing landscapes for the tigers, monitoring populations of tigers and their prey, and supporting law enforcement and anti-poaching efforts.
In a press release, the zoo concluded with "we still feel the tragic loss of Savelli, we are able to also feel hopeful that her legacy will live on to help her endangered kin in the wild."