International Tiger Day 2018

Posted July 25, 2018 by Michelle Kuchle

International Tiger Day is Sunday, July 29th! Join us at the Zoo to celebrate these amazing animals and all things tigers! Chira, Batari, and Izzy are our 1.5 year old Malayan tiger sisters. They are wonderful ambassadors for their species.

These cubs are critically endangered and the most genetically valuable females in the United States. We’re hoping that they will contribute to the survival of their species by producing offspring when they become sexually mature.


Chira is a social butterfly and will make friends the easiest with new people. She has the least amount of black stripes on her forehead. At this point, she is the smallest of the group. Somehow, she always manages to have a surprised look on her face!


Batari is the smartest and sweetest, and is always ready for husbandry training. She has little circles smushed together on her forehead on both sides. At this point, she is the biggest of the group.


Izzy is more protective than the other two, always unsure of new people, but she is also the bravest when it comes to new toys. She has black lines coming straight down her forehead. Also, if you look behind her right ear you will see a small white tuft of fur.

Smart Cats!
Keeper Michelle works with Izzy on husbandry training

All three girls are currently working on some husbandry training, which makes their life way less stressful when it comes to vet visits! For example, all of them voluntarily took their vaccine injections this year! When we start husbandry training, we check with the vet staff first to see what is the biggest priority. Vaccines are very important as they get them annually. It greatly reduces the amount of stress the tigers have to go through if they willingly come up to the mesh, press their hips into the mesh, and wait for their shots just like you do when you go to the doctor’s office. The next goal we have will be for the tigers to allow us to voluntarily do blood draws through their tails to be able to complete blood tests with no stress and no anesthesia.

These ambassadors are a great way to inspire everyone to help tigers in the wild. Tigers are highly endangered; most of them are listed as critically endangered due to habitat destruction and illegal hunting. The Zoo is committed to ensuring the survival of endangered tigers, of which there are fewer than 3,900 remaining in the wild. We have 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. 

How You Can Help

There are many ways to help tigers! Some easy solutions include buying recycled toilet paper or products that use sustainable palm oil. As consumers, we can do our part to protect tigers and their rainforest habitat by choosing products made with certified sustainable palm oil. The Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping Guide connects you with more than 500 products manufactured by companies certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Simply download the app onto your Smartphone and take it with you when you go shopping!

Please join us on July 29th to meet our tigers and get to know what makes them special! We will have an information booth, designated enrichment times, selfie station, tiger stamps, and more!