Animal Diaries Archive
New Tiger Handler
28 March 2008
Positions to work with tigers come around about as often as a Lunar Eclipse. As most people are aware, there aren’t too many zoos around the world that work with their tigers in a hands-on environment; so when a position becomes available, we get a mass of resumes from hopefuls. Our most recent recruit is a female with past experiences with Horses and Marine Mammals.
Allisha joined the Big Cat team at Australia Zoo last December and was very fortunate to start while we had young cubs in our tiger family. Starting with tigers while they are young makes it a lot easier to establish a relationship and bond with the animals. Getting to know our older tigers can be a little more challenging as they are less trusting in people they aren’t familiar with.
Getting to know the adults takes time and only comes with hours of positive experiences with the tigers. We generally start introducing handlers on walks with the tigers as a third person. Allisha has just started this with one of our Sumatran males, Juma. Out of all of our adult tigers, Juma is the most easy-going individual which makes it easier to introduce new handlers to him.
Allisha has done a few walks with Juma and there has been some really positive progress.
Our Amazing Sumatran Tigers
The magnificent Sumatran Tiger is only found on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Sumatran tigers are the smallest of the tiger subspecies; males weigh an ...more
On display at the Tiger Temple