Photographs by Nikolai Milov, Aleksander Kryazhev/RIA Novosti, Scott E Read / Shutterstock.com

    With over 11,000 total animals spread over 770 species and attracting over 1.5 million annual visitors, the Novosibirsk Zoo has proven to be the largest and one of the most famous zoos in Russia. It holds one of the worlds’ most comprehensive collections of felidae and mustelidae, and also the only zoo on the planet, located in the pine forest.

    But what makes this place especially remarkable is its world-renowned conservation facilities. It contains over 350 threatened animals, takes part in 77 international captive breeding programmes for endangered species. The Novosibirsk Zoo was the first in the world to successfully breed in captivity a number of rare species, such as otter, marbled polecat, Siberian grouse, Siberian bighorn sheep, Putorana snow sheep and others.

    The first liliger – a hybrid of a liger and a lion – was also born at the Novosibirsk Zoo.

    Novosibirsk Zoo. Liger Zita with liliger cub

    Novosibirsk Zoo, Liligers

    Another famous zoo family is the polar bears Kai and Gerda with their cub, named Shilka.

    Novosibirsk Zoo. Polar Bear Gerda and Shilka

    Novosibirsk Zoo. Polar Bear Gerda and Shilka

    The other Novosibirsk Zoo inhabitants are meerkats, otters, takins, leopards, cheetahs and , and many more besides.

    Novosibirsk Zoo, Meerkats

    Novosibirsk Zoo, Meerkats

    Novosibirsk Zoo, Cheetah

    The mascot of the Novosibirsk Zoo is the snow leopard, a beautiful and graceful animal, which has been preserved only in Siberia, Altai.

    Novosibirsk Zoo, Snow Leopard