A group of Siberian tigers currently exhibited at a local zoo in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, will be transferred to a government-owned arboretum this summer, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, The Korean Herald reported.
Selected tigers at the Seoul Zoo will be relocated to a 48,000-square-meter forest designed to simulate a wild tiger habitat. The area, called “Tiger Forest,” is part of the ministry’s 220.1 billion won ($192.4 million) project to build Asia’s largest arboretum in North Gyeongsang Province, set to officially open to the public this year.
After arriving at the forest, the tigers will be given an adjustment period of two to three months and released by the time of the official arboretum’s opening, scheduled to be in either September or October. Safety fences will be installed around the forest for public viewing.
Siberian tigers are considered extinct in South Korea, with the last sighting dating back to 1921 in the mountains of North Gyeongsang Province. Currently, 50 tigers, mostly donated or brought in from China or Russia, reside in local zoos in South Korea.