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Some cats DO like water

Friday, March 12, 2010 8:53am
assiqua swimming 002.jpg assiqua swimming.jpg

Some very lucky visitors (and myself!) were surprised to find a tiger taking a morning dip in the pond at the start of our Big Cat tour last week. Yes, contrary to popular belief, some cats do like water and some, like the Sumatran Tiger, actually like to swim in it.

Sumatran Tigers are one of the few big cats that can swim and they even have webbing between their toes, making them very efficient swimmers.

So who was the tiger in the water you ask
…Assiqua, our 11 year old female from France. It was only 28 degrees here in Adelaide but it was overcast and humid, imitating a perfect day in a Sumatran Rainforest. Assiqua started with sitting on the edge of the water but then decided to go all the way in and wade around. For 20 minutes we watched this beautiful animal in the water, pawing and hissing at the fish in the pond.

Assiqua is not our only water cat. Our male Sumatran Tiger, Tuan, can sometimes be seen taking a dip. When Tuan first came to Adelaide Zoo he wasn’t that keen on the water but with a little encouragement he does cautiously adventure in.

One of my fellow Carnivore keepers, John, has been placing items such as a blood or bone icicle into the water, enticing Tuan in. And just like Assiqua, Tuan cannot resist the cool water on a hot and humid day in Adelaide... if only the keepers could join in on those days!

Comments

surely Assiqua isn't that old? Are you sure about that?
Posted By: Dave on Friday, March 12, 2010 10:28pm
she went for a swim during the tiger feed on our wedding day. great durprise for us and our guests!
Posted By: jo jo on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 11:20am
Thanks for picking that up Dave, I must have had Tuan, our 12 year old male tiger, on the brain when writing that one. Assiqua turns 11 years old this April. Arliah
Posted By: Arliah on Monday, March 29, 2010 4:28pm
Are Tuan and Assiqua likely to breed soon?
Posted By: Connor on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 7:17am
Thanks for your question Connor. Assiqua and Tuan have been brought together as a breeding pair and our ultimate goal is to breed them. At the moment the Carnivore team is working towards a successful introduction between the two but even then nothing is guaranteed. Keep checking the website for further updates.
Posted By: Arliah on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 3:10pm

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