Tiger brothers earn their stripes

Two tiger brothers earned their stripes as animal champions at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Wednesday 20 July, when they hunted, stalked and pounced upon their very own trophies to celebrate the launch of summer holiday family event The Ultimate Animal Challenge

Makari the Amur tiger stalks a trophy at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Tigers Makari and Czar, 4, were given the chance to demonstrate the original “stalk and pounce” moves, just days before summer visitors will be given the chance to have a go themselves.  

Keepers scented the 3D, gold trophies with meaty treats, then hid them around the tigers’ habitat for them to track down and pounce upon. 

Families can put their own speed, stealth and smarts to the test this summer, when they take on The Ultimate Animal Challenge during a winning day-out at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Bringing the whole family together in a battle of agility, memory and surprises, summer visitors to the UK’s largest Zoo will be able to go head-to-head with other families to prove their place at the top of the tree of life. 

Team leader Sarah McGregor said: “Makari and Czar are incredibly athletic, young tigers, with bundles of energy and curiosity, so we are always thinking of new ways we can challenge their natural abilities to stalk and pounce.  

“There’s no doubt that Makari and Czar can show our visitors what it means to have the ‘eye of the tiger’ and be the champion of any challenge involving stealth and jumping, but we hope that visitors will come here during the school holidays to see which of their family is the best at it, as well as lots of other adventurous competitions, at the Ultimate Animal Challenge.” 

Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) are classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Thanks to the efforts of many conservation organisations, including ZSL’s Russian Far East programme, there is now a stable breeding population of Amur tigers at Lazovsky Zapovednik (State Nature Reserve). 

Families can see who is best at stalking like a tiger, solving puzzles like a chimp, digging like a meerkat, remembering like an elephant and taking on the giant inflatable for the Ultimate Showdown, at The Ultimate Animal Challenge, which runs from Saturday 23 July – Sunday 4 September.  

Best known for its colossal beasts that graze enormous enclosures, like the Zoo’s herd of Asian elephants and two species of rhinoceros, the conservation zoo is home to 10,000 animals, from leaping lemurs to adorable otters. Summer visitors will also be able to see some of the Zoo’s recent additions, including male lion, Khari, and three, young cheetahs. 

For a champion day out during the school holidays, book today! 

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