Each year on July 29, people celebrate International Tiger Day. As well as being a celebration of tigers, the annual event is also designed to raise awareness about conservation efforts to protect these prime predators from extinction.
The first International Tiger Day began in Russia in 2010 at the Tiger Summit in Saint Petersburg and it has continued ever since. As well as being the largest big cats, tigers are also the largest land mammal carnivores on our planet with a natural habitat extending from Russia and across Asia through Indochina and Sumatra. Three subspecies of tiger are now extinct – Caspian, Javan and Bali – and to prevent further losses, leading conservationists like Chester Zoo work hard on their behalf.
Chester Zoo’s tireless efforts to preserve endangered tigers makes it an excellent place to spend International Tiger Day this Saturday. It has a special breeding programme dedicated to Sumatran tigers, which are the smallest subspecies of tigers. Renowned for having webbed paws for swimming and stunning striped coats, Sumatran tigers are solitary creatures, only uniting with others to mate.
In January, twin Sumatran tiger cubs were born in Chester Zoo, helping bolster the species’ number and in April, they took their first steps outdoors. As a result, zoo visitors arriving on International Tiger Day will be able to enjoy seeing the tiger cubs explore their huge habitat onsite and partake in some rough-and-tumble play, making it the perfect place to celebrate.