This milestone is to be celebrated not only because Padang is a great Cat, but because as this year of the Tiger comes to a close, all species are critically endangered. Sumatran Tigers are estimated to number less than 400 in the wild.
A favorite among visitors, she has many fans. Two fans and frequent visitors to the Zoo’s Lion House are two friends who met at the Zoo, Kim and Lee. With the enthusiastic support of the Big Cat Keeper and approved by the Veterinarian, they have been making Enrichment toys for the Cats since the beginning of the year. One of their main passions is celebrating Birthdays and although Zoo management doesn't make an event of them, Padang's two biggest fans were able to show their love and go all out for her big day!
Personality considered, the party theme was Pink Princess, with all the Cats in the Lion House, four Lions and the other Sumatran Tiger, getting themed party toys filled with treats (by the Keeper) in celebration of Padang’s Birthday.
The Birthday girl had a three tier cake made using a low box with a cake silhouette on one side, two Paper Mache bowls, and two party bags! All her toys are made with her age and physical limitations taken into consideration. She is in great health, but suffered a wrist injury as a cub before coming to San Francisco and suffers from a bit of arthritis, so her toys are kept open ended and at a certain height, to make it easy for her to remove the food treats put in them. Both Kim and Lee agree, “She might be able to get into other things, but we don’t want to take any chances, plus she doesn’t seem like she enjoys ripping into things.”
Padang also likes things of comfort. Fluffy blankets, decorative pillows, and stuffed animals adorn her nest box. Sometimes in the morning the Keeper will find she’s taken a pillow to the yard over night. Lee has observed, “She takes care of her things. She’s one of the smartest animals here.”
Happy Birthday Padang!
Scroll down to view photos from her party!