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Duluth zoo's tiger leaves for St. Paul mate

The Lake Superior Zoo is loosing Murray, its 450-pound male Siberian (Amur) tiger, Wednesday morning.

The Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Species Survival Plan selected Murray as a potential mate for a female at Como Zoo in St. Paul.

Murray is one of 12 animals at the Lake Superior Zoo that is part of the Species Survival Plan. The cooperative program helps ensure the survival of endangered species by enabling zoos and aquariums across the nation to exchange animals for breeding.

The pairings are made based on the animal's genetic makeup.

Murray was born at the Minnesota Zoo in 1993. He arrived in Duluth in 1998 as a donation from the Minnesota Zoo. During the past ten years he has shared an exhibit with Natasha, the zoo's female Siberian tiger. Natasha won't be alone for long.

Murray will be replaced here by Ussuri, a three-year old male Siberian tiger that should arrive from the Seneca Park Zoo shortly.