Animal Diaries Archive
Khan and Manas: Bengal Brotherly Bond!!!
27 April 2007
In November 2003, Australia Zoo was blessed with some beautiful Bengal tigers, Khan and Manas. Arriving at Australia Zoo at only two weeks of age, the handlers were lucky enough to establish a close bond enabling handlers to work with them long-term.
Three and a half years down the track our relationship is ever so strong, but this bond between the two brothers is remarkable. It is quite rare for zoos to have tigers in together in a captive environment, let alone males. This is because tigers are known for being solitary animals in the wild.
Of course, there is a lot of behavioural management and supervision from the handlers; because it is important to read the tiger's behaviour and moods as to not create undesirable situations. But mostly, Khan and Manas love being in each others company and do almost everything together.
All of our tigers are taken out for walks during the day, but usually not all together because the other tigers do appreciate some time out from each other. When the handlers walk Khan and Manas they love to go together and we know this for a fact because when one is left behind, boy do they have a whinge! The handlers will walk the tigers for one or two hours and throughout the walk Khan and Manas won't leave each others sight.
During the day at the Tiger Temple, the handlers will rotate the tigers on and off display on the tiger's terms. By that we mean that our tigers basically run their own day so if they want to go out to the temple exhibit, we take them out. If they want to come off of the temple exhibit, we take them back to their back of house exhibit. But with Khan and Manas, what one does - the other does. They just love spending the day playing together.
Even when it comes to food, they are exceptionally well behaved. After their bones, they will casually swap over and check what the other has left behind. But as for the other tigers, usually we feed them in separate areas all together.
All of our tigers have a wonderful relationship between them all and we are very fortunate. All five tigers will play together and groom each other, but Khan and Manas' relationship is a stand out with such a close bond.
Tigers can live up to their early twenties in captivity compared to the wild where they are lucky to reach 10 - 12 years old. Here at Australia Zoo Khan and Manas will spend the rest of their lives here and it appears Khan and Manas' relationship will continue to grow and be the best of friends.
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