TIGER TRIO TEAR INTO BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily, page16, April 2 2005
When you’re a Sumatran Tiger, tearing into your birthday present is no trouble – in fact clawing through the wrapping paper may be more fun than the birthday present itself.
That was certainly the case yesterday as three Sumatran Tiger siblings at Australia Zoo celebrated their first year of life.
Female cat Singha and her brothers, Juma and Ranu, had a massive whipped cream platter in lieu of a birthday cake.
The tigers arrived at the Zoo in May last year at just four weeks of age.
Big Cat supervisor Giles Clark said they had definitely each developed their own distinctive personalities since then.
“Singha is the smallest, being the female, but her smaller size definitely doesn’t put her at any disadvantage,” Giles said.
“She certainly bosses the boys around quite a bit and she likes her food – she’s really quite protective over her meals.
“Juma’s probably the one that’s more laid back out of the group… whereas her brother Ranu is the bossy one.”
Giles said the tigers had been busy settling into their new home at the Tiger Temple which opened to the public on Easter Saturday.
He said they would one day become part of a breeding program to help boost the number of Sumatran Tigers.
He said as little as 300 of the cats remained in the wild, and their numbers continued to reduce as a result of habitat destruction and hunting.
“Tigers’ bones and body parts are used in the traditional Chinese medicine trade and, even though it’s illegal, there’s obviously still a very high demand to supply that trade,” Giles said.