Tigers at Alaska Zoo Have New Toy
Ball suspended on zip-line keeps tigers Korol and Kunali active
ANCHORAGE - Keeping active is one of the keys to happiness – for both people and tigers.
That's why on Wednesday the Alaska Zoo rolled out its latest tiger toy: a zip-line with a bright orange ball suspended underneath.
Zoo caretakers say the tigers need both physical and mental stimulation to remain healthy, and the balls provide them an opportunity to act like tigers, stalking, and attacking the toy.
The so-called "boomer balls" are made from a special hard plastic so the tigers can’t chew off pieces.
"They had a lot of fun knocking those around. I had to put a little bit of perfume on both of them to kind of entice them to get them to play with them," said zookeeper Jim Rutkowski.
The zoo has two Amur tigers: brothers, Korol and Kunali. They came to Anchorage in June of 2008 from the zoo in Syracuse, New York, where they were born.
Amur, or Siberian tigers are among the most endangered animals on the planet, with only about 400 to 500 left in the wild.