Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love is in the air across DZG’s 40-acre site for the many furry, feathered, prickly and scaly couples who have been carefully matched as part of vital breeding programmes to ensure the continuing survival of the world’s rarest animals.

And one-year-old snow leopard, Taïga, who has formed one of our newest pairs with male, Margaash, aged six, was intrigued to find a love token in their enclosure this morning, with a wrapped box containing some tantalising smells and tasty treats for the big cat to find – watch her reaction in the video below!

Precise matchmaking goes into pairing our animals, which is all done by the species’ studbook holder, who considers thorough details about each individual, including pedigree and age.

DZG’s Registrar and Research Co-ordinator, Dr David Beeston, said: “The studbook identifies which animals are closely related, which avoids any in-breeding and then makes all recommendations of who to match with who.

“Here at DZG we’re proud to be linked to many international conservation and breeding programmes, which are extremely important to how we manage our animal collection.

“In recent years, we’ve been incredibly successful with the breeding of Humboldt penguins, Asiatic lions and critically endangered Sumatran tigers, with DZG youngsters moving to other collections around the world to form their own partnerships and to continue strengthening the species’ bloodline.”

Mwah! Kisses for another of our new couples – Patagonian sealions, Oba and Tania – thanks to Sam Weaver for the pic!

  • If you’ve forgotten all about Valentine’s Day, use some animal magic to woo your sweetheart with a limited edition adoption of Taïga and Margaash – it’s a purr-fect gift! FIND OUT MORE HERE.

Watch Taïga make her Valentine’s discovery below!