22 July 2009
Well, it seems only yesterday we were holding three tiny fur balls in our arms thinking they were the cutest bundle of stripes we'd ever laid eyes on! Nowadays, when they wrap their massive paws around our waist, one gets to thinking... where on earth did the time go?!
Our three beautiful Bengals, Charlie, Mika and Sunita celebrated their second birthday last Saturday, July 18 at Australia Zoo. They're not nearly full-grown, but they've certainly come a long way from when we first met.
The ‘kids,' as we sometimes call them, are the epitome of rowdy teenagers. They love food and treats, love to annoy each other and the other tigers. And when nothing else holds their interest they crash out and sleep for hours on end! Charlie at present weighs in at 114kg, Sunita at 101kg and Mika at 96kg making these guys one massive trio of trouble makers!
As rambunctious as they can be, we fell in love with them from the start. As they grew, we watched their unique little personalities emerge more and more.
Charlie is the biggest and most affectionate of the three. He is always looking to cuddle up to a handler or another tiger and wants to tell you all about it! Sunita is very playful and the ‘mother hen' to her siblings; always holding them down and grooming them all over...including the handlers! Mika is the baby and is always on the lookout for what she might be missing out on. When everyone else is resting, you can be sure Mika will be sneaking up ready to pounce on someone in an effort to get them to play! Mika can also be found cuddling up to big sister Sunita and sucking on her ear as they fall asleep together!
It is hard to admit, but as each day passes we see a little of their clumsy cub behaviour fall away and in its place emerges the beauty, power and grace that are unmistakably a real tiger. As keepers, we will always remember them as goofy little fluff balls, but are amazed that these wild majestic animals continue to welcome us as part of their lives each and every day.
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