Mikhail was born on October 31, 1998. He arrived on September 12, 2000 from the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Though Mikhail is a part of the Species Survival Plan, his genetics are well represented in the captive gene pool, so he is not approved to breed.
Mikhail, or "Mik," does very well as a solitary tiger in his habitat. He roars along with the lions across the zoo and the Amur Leopards, and observes guests as they pass. His keepers offer him daily enrichment to engage all his senses and to keep him physically and mentally active.
Mik especially likes feathers dropped from birds in the Zoo's collection and hard plastic moveable toys like balls and barrels. He likes watching the African Pygmy goats walking past and the wind socks moving on the roof. He likes to listen to CD's of nature and wild animal sounds, and he prefers scents like freesia and lilac and various spices, as well as urines from other species.
Novel food items like whole prey of quail or rabbits, partial carcass feeds, bones, and even hanging food items from a zip line in the tiger habitat help keep Mik engaged in his environment and "foraging" for prey like tigers do in the wild.
Keepers use part of his daily diet to keep Mik mentally engaged by learning new things and physically engaged by learning to play games like soccer on cue. Training also encourages Mik to open his mouth for oral exams, allow a blood draw, and get his nails trimmed.