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Tigers - Austrailia zoo 05

Tigers - Austrailia zoo 05
Al, 9 Apr 2008
    • snowleopard
      The photos with the keepers in with the big cats are extraordinary because they'd give many other zoo officials around the world heart attacks!
    • Dan
      I am ambivalent about this, to say the least. However - I take it that the tigers are not drugged, de-clawed or de-fanged as in some af the Asian "amusement centres"?

      If this is case - and no other form of brutality is at hand - I suspect the cats are having fun and get a bit of enrichment from this? I hope so...
    • PAT
      At Dreamworld (a themepark in Queensland) the tiger keepers even go swimming with the tigers in their massive pool.
    • crocman
      I wouldnt call it enrichment, its just a money-making show
    • Hix
      They are not.
    • Naimsindi
      I think I watched a documentary a few years ago about this this where they walk the tigers annually through the streets and people can touch them but only on their flanks...?

      If it is they interviewed one of the keepers there after one tiger attacked him. The cat was "playing" with his trainer (shoe) and the guy fell over, the cat then viewed him in a different light (prey) and went for him. The keeper survived and the cats definitely had all their claws and teeth...
    • WildEncounters
      the amount of rumours about zoo tigers being drugged, do you have any idea how much 9 animals of this size and weight would cost to effectively drug per day? they have all their teeth and their claws and as proven can choose to attack if they wish. These are hand reared individuals, imprints is all. not drugged! And its not a money making scheme, this is a zoo known and recently awarded for its concervation messages. Any money made goes back into the zoo. I don't see Teri on holiday much, that girl works her arse off for those animals which is more than can be said for other people we know of...
    • Naimsindi
      I think with anything it is swings and roundabouts. I personally do not agree with this kind of contact as I don't see how it benefits the animals, and I personally think that the risks outweigh any rewards. You can have just as strong a bond with a cat in protected contact and with proper training and conditioning can have almost as much access socially, medically and educationally.
      That being said charities like 21st Century Tiger would not be able to operate as efficiently without donations from Dreamworld (who pay all their operating costs) and would Dreamworld be able to donate as much without these kind of encounters....?
    • jinxs
      This is at Australia Zoo, not dreamworld. By having a relationship with the cats, the handlers are able have an extremely big impact on their lives. Protected contact cats can only have some forms of training and conditioning as enrichment however, in reality there isn't a great deal that can be done to stimulate cats that are held in most "standard" zoos.

      @Naimsindi Of coarse these cats benefit. They have interaction with handlers, which provides stimulation, Direct 1 on 1 training and conditioning, which provides stimulation, Leash training so they can be taken on walks, which provides stimulation, play sessions with toys, which provides stimulation, should i go on.

      And of coarse it is risky, its the nature of the job. however the keepers are obviously professionals and are extremely dedicated to not only providing the cats with a quality life, but also doing it in the safest way possible. Just think, at any other Zoo that works protected contact with Cats, what happens if a keeper through error or what ever reason, comes face to face with a tiger that hasn't been hand reared? well, they don't stand a chance, you will be reading about them in the paper the next day. where as, these cats are less likely to "attack" because these keepers have very strong, positive relationships with them. As long as they remain alert and keep the cats best intrest in mind, it seems a very safe invironment.

      Not to mention that Australia Zoo out of all those in this country are responsible for the most amount of money going to Tiger Conservation
    • DavidBrown
      There is an ongoing thread called "Why all the hate for the Australia Zoo"? I think this photo sums much of the "hate" up. I admired that Steve Irwin introduced people to reptiles, spiders, and sharks in an engaging way, but I don't see how letting people go in with tigers has any educational value whatsoever. What is the message here? "Tigers are just big kitties. Let's pet the kitties. Down kitty, down! AUGGGGGGGGHHHHH!"
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    9 Apr 2008
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