CINCINNATI, OH (July 29, 2015)– This coming Wednesday, July 29, is International Tiger Day, and the Cat Canyon keepers and volunteers are gearing up for our 2nd annual celebration from 10am – 3pm in Cat Canyon. We will also be celebrating the birthday of our Malayan tigers, Taj and Who-Dey. They will turn eight years old on July 30.
Like last year, keepers and volunteers will be on hand at the Malayan tiger exhibit to talk with guests about tigers and how we can help save this critically endangered species. In addition to talking with our keepers and volunteers and seeing Taj and Who-Dey, you can compare your hands to tiger paw prints, see example of tiger enrichment items (e.g. toys), and participate in the tigers’ birthday fun. Roar!
Why are Malayan tigers in such big trouble? The most immediate threat today is from poaching and the illegal wildlife trade in tiger body parts used in traditional Asian medicine. The loss of forests on which tigers rely, which are rapidly being converted to palm oil plantations, is another major threat. Add to that the competition with hunters for sambar deer and other natural prey, which can lead tigers to attack livestock and increase conflict with people.
The Zoo is committed to ensuring the survival of endangered tigers, of which there are fewer than 3,200 remaining in the wild. Over the next three years, the Cincinnati Zoo has pledged to support the tiger conservation efforts of Panthera. Panthera is the leading international wild cat conservation organization with a mission to ensure the future of wild cats through scientific leadership and global conservation action.
To ensure the tiger’s survival, Panthera works across Asia with numerous partners to end the poaching of tigers for the illegal wildlife trade, prevent tiger deaths due to conflict with humans and livestock, and protect tiger prey species and habitat. Through their program, Tigers Forever, Panthera works to protect and secure key tiger populations and ensure connectivity between sites so that tigers can live long into the future.
“The Cincinnati Zoo is committed to effective, sustainable conservation efforts, and when it comes to saving tigers, nobody gets results like Alan Rabinowitz and his team at Panthera,” said Cincinnati Zoo Executive Director, Thane Maynard. “It is a shame that tigers are being illegally poached for the skin and bones, but by inspiring our visitors at the Cincinnati Zoo and partnering with Panthera, we remain dedicated to the belief that there is still room in this world for great cats.”
The International Tiger Day Celebration is FREE with general Zoo admission.