Russia gives two Amur tigers to South Korea

Russia gives two Amur tigers to South Korea

23 June 2011

Two Amur tiger cubs from Russia arrived at the central zoo in Seoul in an official ceremony Thursday. The decision to offer the cubs as a gift to Korea came at the suggestion of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last year, when Moscow and Seoul celebrated the 20th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. 2010 was also the Year of the White Tiger, according to the lunar calendar.


A male tiger named Rostov and a female, Penza, were brought to Korea on May 24 of this year. Rostov behaved quite aggressively in the beginning, while Penza refused all food during the first three days after their arrival. But the cubs have since been able to adapt themselves to the local climate and food, and they now feel comfortable in their new home.


Speaking at the ceremony, Russian Ambassador Konstantin Vnukov thanked the staff of the Seoul zoo for their efforts to acclimate the tigers, and he expressed his wish that workers should teach the tigers to understand Korean.

* * *

Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan of South Korean (Republic of Korea) thanked Russian officials for giving South Korea tigers. "The Siberian tigers were given to South Korea by Russia to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The tigers, which have been given a new home on the Korean Peninsula, symbolize the friendship between our two nations. Once more, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Russian Government," Kim Sung-Hwan said.