Throughout 2014, Philadelphia Zoo is celebrating the Year of the Big Cat, a year-long campaign featuring many of the majestic cats that call Philadelphia Zoo their home. Our goal is to inspire visitors to take action to protect big cats as well as raise awareness about habitat destruction. Each week throughout the season, keepers and other staff members will share a blog post to help you get to know our cats better.
The spotlight of this week is on our two female Amur tigers, Kira and Changbai.
Kira is a 17-year-old, very intelligent, strong-willed cat. She occasionally has a stubborn side to where she can be a challenge to work with for both routine and new behaviors. One of her favorite activities is tearing apart cardboard boxes sprayed with different scents and perfumes. Kira is easily identified by her Phillies-shaped “P” on the left side of her neck, as well as crooked tip of her tail. Kira can often be observed soaking in the shallow pools of the exhibit or napping in the shade.
Changbai (or "Chang" for short) is Kira’s 7-year-old daughter from her fourth and final litter. Chang has a playful but guarded personality and loves new toys that aren’t too big and scary. She can be cautious of new things, especially when it comes to her environment. In the warm weather months, she enjoys taking her toys into the deep end of the pool where you can usually find her every day in the afternoon.
By Jen Robertson, First Niagara Big Cat Falls Keeper