“Ramah absolutely loves being outside. He’s also very food orientated, so strongly motivated to do whatever it takes to satisfy his appetite. Regular climbing like this – where he’s sometimes having to go up numerous times to get all of his reward - is great for building up his muscle strength, and it’s fantastic for our visitors to be able to see just how agile, strong, and fast these big cats are,” says carnivore keeper Kristin Mockford.
Kristin says both tigers are very active, are now super relaxed, and confidently utilising all three different areas of their habitat - including the pool and beach area, and don’t seem at all bothered by this summer’s wet weather! They are also happily sleeping right up against the windows of the tiger shared shelter, giving visitors incredible up-close experiences of them.
The relocation of these critically endangered tigers from Oklahoma City Zoo and Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center (Kanas) – part of an international breeding and advocacy programme between zoos, will sometime in the coming months see them paired up to mate. However, this is something that has to be done very carefully explains Kristin.
“Tigers are primarily solitary, and generally only come together for breeding, so it’s really important we take things slowly. We need to get to know Zayana’s reproductive cycle patterns and ensure both cats are also super comfortable and confident in their habitat’s inside areas, which is where they’ll first come together without any barrier between them.
“Ramah loves the outdoors but is still just getting comfortable with his new indoor space so we’re helping him with this by doing lots of training inside and giving him plenty of positive experiences here – like having his breakfast,” says Kristin.