We thought you would like to see these photographs of one of our Amur tigers, Blotch, apparently attempting to drown and suffocate a large boomer ball! They were taken at lunchtime today. Tigers, unlike most other cats, enjoy water and Blotch was oblivious to the fact that she was also splashing guests in her excitement! We provide our animals with enrichment such as Boomer balls to challenge them and to encourage natural behaviours. Blotch appeared to be treating the ball like a prey animal and would not let her younger brother Vladimir, or her twin sister Stripe, too close to it! For a few minutes at a time Blotch would grapple with the ball and attempt to take it up onto the bank. If it slipped out of her grip she would reach out and pull it back in again and under control.
As mentioned in an earlier blog we hope to give the tigers a hanging boomer ball soon. They clearly provide a good workout, keeping the carnivores fit and mentally stimulated.