Saturday, 15 October 2011

Tiger encounter

Inda & Me
For my birthday present my sister and her boyfriend gave me a tiger encounter as they knew we planned to visit Western Plains Zoo as part of our road trip, and my sister probably has vague memories of the tiger photograph I had hanging on my bedroom wall for most of my childhood. I did, and still do have a bit of an obsession with big cats.

I was completely ecstatic when Lissy gave me the tiger encounter gift voucher, and when the day came for me to meet the tigers I literally I skipped in to the zoo like a little school girl.

We got to feed Inda, a 4 ½  year old Samatran tiger who was hand raised. When she took the first piece of chicken out of some tongs I was perplexed by how gentle she was, then later the keeper hand fed her. As I fed Inda she stood on her back legs and all I wanted to do was put my hand through the fence and rub her tummy, and touch her beautiful, big black paws. To be so close to such an amazing animal is humbling and has left me with a feeling that is indescribable.

During the tiger encounter we learnt lots about big cats, what threatens them in the wild, and how zoo conservation programs work. We also met Satu, a 4 ½  year old Samatran male tiger who is set to breed with Inda in the next few months. He was considerably larger than Inda and was very impressive to watch leap up a pole and rip off a bag that contained chicken.

Satu flexing his muscles for lunch

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