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A Grrreat Birthday for Tibor the Tiger
Tibor, Edinburgh Zoo’s male Sumatran tiger, turns six today! To celebrate, keepers have arranged a special breakfast treat for the ferocious birthday boy. Born on the 16th July 2007, Tibor came to Edinburgh Zoo in October 2008 from Heidelberg Zoo in Germany.
While tigers are already impressive to see, Tibor looks especially fierce as he only has one eye. Just before arriving at Edinburgh Zoo his right eye was injured and despite treatment its condition continued to deteriorate. The eye developed glaucoma, which can be very painful in both people and animals, so surgery was performed to remove Tibor’s right eye. He has since fully recovered from the surgery and has adapted well to being single-sighted, though sometimes his mate Baginda likes to sneak up on his right side to give him a surprise!
Alison MacLean, Head Keeper Giant Pandas and Carnivores at Edinburgh Zoo said:
“For Tibor’s birthday we will be tying a joint of meat to one of the trees in the tiger enclosure as enrichment. We often provide our animals with enrichment activities, which help to keep them in good physical condition and to provide mental stimulation similar to what they would experience in the wild.
“While Tibor might not be quite as feisty as Baginda, he still keeps the keepers on their toes. He can be very vocal – snarling and growling when he knows food is nearby. He may only have one eye, but I don’t expect his birthday present to last very long!”
Baginda joined Tibor at the Zoo in May 2011 from Benidorm Zoo in Spain as part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). After a gradual introduction process, Baginda and Tibor have been living together in the same enclosure for six months now and are only separated during feeding times. The keepers have recently noted the two tigers mating while Baginda has been in season and successful breeding would be a significant achievement for the conservation of Sumatran tigers. Found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Sumatran tigers are Critically Endangered, with as few as 300 left in the wild.
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