We all get sick of decorations at this time of year – so this fed-up tiger took matters into her own hands. Siberian big cat called Soundari was determined to bring down a carved pumpkin which her keepers had suspended from a tree at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire. The tiger was joined by her two sisters, Shouri and Svetli, but none were successful in bringing the seasonal squash to the floor.
The trio were given the tasty snack by their keepers at the Longleat. The vegetables had been hollowed out and filled with treats, providing a mental and physical work-out for the animals. Staff also treated other animals, including the macaque monkeys, who clambered all over their pumpkin and used it like a swing.
The pumpkins were given to red pandas and anteaters, one of which used its elongated snout to investigate. Keeper Ian Turner said: ‘It’s become something of a tradition for us to have a competition to see which members of staff can come up with the best carved pumpkin. ‘For the animals, the pumpkins’ appearance was of a lot less interest than what was inside as we had hidden a variety of treats within them.
‘The tigers in particular got very excited and were literally leaping off the ground to get to theirs. ‘The anteaters made good use of their extra-long tongues to give the inside of their pumpkin a thorough inspection.
He added: ‘Once again though it was the monkeys who seemed to get the most from the experience. ‘They not only got all the treats inside but also used the pumpkin as a swing before then breaking it up in to smaller segments and sharing it amongst them.’ The Amur tiger is better known as the Siberian tiger and is the largest of all the big cats.
Fully grown females can weigh up to 25st and measure more than 6ft 6in from head to tail. They are native to far east Asia and are critically endangered after their numbers dropped to around 40 in the 1940s. Their current population is about 500, the highest in 100 years.
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