Monday, November 29, 2010

Endangered Tiger turns 21 years old today!

Female Sumatran Tiger Padang, celebrated her 21st Birthday today! Padang is believed to be the oldest Tiger of any species, living in a North American Zoo. She was born November 29, 1989 at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, but has lived most of her life at the San Francisco Zoo.

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!

Padang at her party!

Padang and her Birthday cake, toys and treats! Padang had a great Birthday! Her keeper hooked her up with all kinds of goodies, treats and scents! She had Chicken in her cake, Meat chunks in her bowls, and a Blood Sickle in one bag and a Bone in the other! Everything, including her new Birthday Blanket, had a bit of scent on it. Perfumes, Spices and even a bit of Tiger Balm! Happy Birthday Padang! We love you!

Special Thanks to our Big Cat Keeper who not only takes great care of our cat friends, but is awesome, supportive and fun! We love you too! :) None of the fun would be possible without you!

Padang's Lion House-mates wish her a Happy Birthday!

Padang shares the Lion House with four African Lions and another Sumatran Tiger. Everyone got party prizes and wished Padang a Happy Birthday and Many more! They each got a Mache Ball, a Polka Dot Tower and a Tiger Party Bag! The Keeper filled their toys with Rhino scented hay, Bones, Meat and Poultry chunks, and Blood Sickles! A fun time was had by all!

Pictured here: African Lions - Jahari , Jahari, Amanzi, Sukari, Sukari, Tunya, and Sumatran Tiger Leanne.

More photos of Padang and her friends partying can be seen at >>> ... (might be later tonight as i'm still sorting and uploading, so check there in a bit!

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