Take a look at the new Land of the Tigers habitat at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 12:27 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:39 05 October 2020
Big Cats About the House star Giles Clark officially opened Land of the Tigers at Hertfordshire’s Paradise Wildlife Park.
The star of BBC Two series Big Cats About the House and this summer’s Bears About the House cut the ribbon to Paradise Wildlife Park’s new habitat yesterday (Thursday) ahead of Land of the Tigers opening to the public on Saturday, October 3.
After starting out at the Broxbourne-based zoo as a teenager, Giles is now director of Big Cats and Conservation at Paradise’s sister site charity, The Big Cat Sanctuary.
He said: “It was incredible to see the Amur tigers, Aleena and Siberia, settled into their new home: Land of the Tigers!
“It is an absolutely fantastic habitat, which has put the animal’s welfare at the very forefront, as well as a focus on educating our public on the issues this species face in the wild.
“We need people to continue to visit zoos and sanctuaries to raise awareness for our planet’s wildlife and Land of the Tigers is the perfect place to see nature in all its beauty.”
The new Land of the Tigers attraction is the first of its kind in the UK.
No other Amur tiger enclosure in the UK features a pool deep enough for both tigers to be fully submerged under water.
Additionally, it is the first mixed habitat of its kind in the country with the introduction of 41 koi carp and grass carp in the pool.
This acts as fantastic enrichment for the tigers, who watch the fish.
They can also swim with the carp in the 22,000 gallons pool.
Keepers at Paradise have also built a viewing area where you can come face to face with the tigers while they swim, as well as admire the beautifully coloured carps.
Amur tigers are an endangered species and wildlife park officials hope the new habitat at the White Stubbs Lane zoo will raise awareness of Aleena and Siberia’s cousins who are struggling in the wild.
Conservationist Giles knows these sisters well, with their triplet Amasia staying at The Big Cat Sanctuary.
After announcing the zoo’s next project, Sun Bear Heights, and a tour of Land of the Tigers, the popular conservationist also took part in one of Paradise’s Big Cat Feed experiences.
Giles also took part in one of Paradise’s Big Cat Feed experiences.
He fed one of the tigers with some fresh meat – the equivalent of a “packet of crisps” snack for the big cat!
In the wild, Amur tigers are constantly under threat due to negative human impacts, including habitat destruction, poaching, the illegal wildlife trade and many other issues.
Paradise’s tiger habitat focuses on the illegal wildlife and logging trade where the unsustainable and unlicensed mass destruction of forest leaves the wild Amur tiger endangered to extinction, as classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Paradise has structured the new habitat around themed shipping containers that would be comparable to those used to transport chopped down trees within the illegal logging trade.
Paradise CEO Lynn Whitnall said: “Land of the Tigers will bring visitors closer to our beautiful tigers than ever before through the incredible underwater viewing part of the habitat.”
For those wondering about fish being in the tigers’ pool, this kind of co-existing has been successful in many zoos across America, Europe and Asia.
Paradise Wildlife Park / The Zoological Society of Hertfordshire is the first to create this kind of mixed habitat in the UK.
The park posted on its Instagram page: “We have taken all of the outcomes into consideration and researched this kind of mixed habitat in great detail.
“We also took the idea of having fish in our tiger pool to our ethics committee which is made up of independent international and world-renowned vets and wildlife experts who were happy with the habitat.
“Our fish also have various caves and areas where the tigers can’t get to.”
Paradise Wildlife Park is also home to more than 800 animals, including 10 individual big cats, the largest anaconda on display in the UK, and a bespoke World of Dinosaurs, complete with 30 motion sensored dinosaurs.
For more, and to book tickets, visit www.pwpark.com
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