Sumatran tiger escapes the heat in custom-pool at ZSL London Zoo
Jae Jae, a male Sumatran tiger, has been making the most of the summer heat-wave with swimming lessons at ZSL London Zoo.
Unlike domestic moggies, tigers love water, and Jae Jae is no exception. He could often be spotted relaxing in the cool waters of his custom-built pool, but in a bid to make the most of his incredible muscles, keepers wanted Jae Jae to try out the tiger-paddle.
Jae Jae was slightly dubious at first, gingerly tiptoeing around the outskirts of the pool and dipping his paws into the water – but a cleverly devised raft topped with horse meat soon enticed the 130kg big cat in to the deeper waters, where he demonstrated perfect swimming skills.
Tiger keepers placed the floating raft in the centre of the tiger’s pool, which is over 1.5m deep at its deepest point, where it was topped with Jae Jae’s favourite meaty treats.
Constantly devising new ways to keep the tigers and all of the animals stimulated and active, the new raft forms part of Jae Jae’s daily enrichment, helping to encourage his natural behaviours.
Tiger keeper Tony Cholerton said: “Jae Jae loves chilling out in the Tiger Territory pool – especially on hot days – but we really wanted him to make better use of it and encourage his natural swimming abilities.
“Not only is swimming fantastic exercise for Jae Jae, the anticipation of getting to the meat stimulates his natural predatory instincts – and catching his ‘prey’ is the best reward he can get!”