Animal Diaries Archive
A dream come true!
23 May 2008
When people refer to childhood careers or their ‘dream job’, most think of doctors or policemen or even politicians. My dream job however, was a little more left field. At a very young age I decided that I wanted to work towards saving the last of a magnificent and once plentiful animal, the tiger. I wasn’t quite sure how, but with a lot of hard work and a little luck I landed a job at Australia Zoo. After working with Native Mammals and Primates, I recently became the newest member of our Big Cat team!
Learning to work with tigers is a long process and is definitely not an exact science! Each day is different, each cat has its own personality, and every situation is unique so there are always surprises in store.
At the moment, we have an entourage of cheeky cubs so you might say that I arrived at the perfect time as I can build my relationship with the cubs as they grow. They are defiantly a handful and if they aren’t sleeping, they are stalking, chewing, or smooching something; all natural behaviours that are preparing them for the apex predators that they will soon grow into.
The tiger is the largest of the big cats and definitely not thought of as weak or lacking in courage. But when our cubs call out to us and their siblings for reassurance because, for example, a big scary wheelie bin is upsetting them, it gives us a greater understanding of just how vulnerable they can be and how important it us for us to provide a relaxed and positive environment for them.
A few days ago, I got my first tiger smooch from one of our nine month old Bengal cubs Mika! I tell you there is nothing better in this world than a fluffy, warm, whiskery face affectionately rubbing yours, followed by a huge stripped body flopping down on your lap settling in for a cuddle! Unbelievable!
So keep reading for more awesome big cat stories as I’m sure there will be many more to come!
Big Cat Kass
Our Amazing Bengal Tigers
Tiger fur is usually coloured with orange stripes on a black base with a white underbelly. White tigers are rare with dark pink noses and blue eyes. Stripele ...more
On display at the Tiger Temple