International Tiger Day

Tiger cub at Chester Zoo
Tiger cub at Chester Zoo


The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats and this magnificent creature, with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face, has a day that is dedicated to it. This was first celebrated in 2010 and was founded at an international summit that had been called in response to the shocking news that 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared in the last century, with only around 3,000 left alive. Tigers are on the brink of extinction and International World Tiger Day aims to bring attention to this fact and try to halt their decline. Many factors have caused their numbers to fall, including habitat loss, climate change, hunting and poaching and Tiger Day aims to protect and expand their habitats and raise awareness of the need for conservation. Many international organisations are involved in the day, including the WWF, the IFAW and the Smithsonian Institute.

The above photo was taken at Chester Zoo in March 2012.

They’re a critically endangered species, with only a few hundred left in the wild, so we must do all we can to stop them becoming extinct.

We were delighted when our two adult tigers, Kirana and Fabi, had their latest tiger cub triplets in January 2015, named Kasarna, Jaya and Topan.

Kirani and Fabi also had two healthy cubs in June 2013 named Kasih and Nuir, who later moved to France and Poland in June 2015. Also sisters Nila and Tila, born in October 2011 moved to Le Pal in France and to Heidelberg Zoo in Germany as part of a co-ordinated breeding programme, vital to ensuring the survival of Sumatran tigers.

Sumatran tigers are the smallest of all tigers and their low stance lets them creep up on prey unseen. Their stripes are narrower and closer together than those of other tigers.

You might be lucky enough to see one of our family swimming as we often put meat on a raft floating in the water so they have to swim to it.

They have webbing between their toes, making them superb swimmers.

We hide their food in a way that is not only stimulating for the big cat but also physically demanding, encouraging them to use those big powerful muscles to find their food.

For example, we hoist food up the feeder pole in their enclosure to encourage them to hunt for it as they would for prey in the wild.

Our tigers are registered on the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme which means we work closely with other zoos on conservation breeding projects to hopefully save these beautiful animals for years to come.

CLICK here to read more about tigers


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