We had a grrreat time celebrating Global Tiger Day and raising heaps of awareness for the plight of tigers in the wild.
Our 1,500 visitors also helped us pull in £175 for conservation charity 21st Century Tiger, which supports the creatures in the wild.
Today, it’s estimated there could be as few as 3,200 tigers surviving, which includes 300-400 Sumatrans just like our three-year-old Joao and beautiful four-year-old tigress, Daseep.
The popular pair (left – photographed by talented DZG member Tal Chohan) played a huge role throughout last Wednesday’s event helping spread the important conservation message to visitors.
They were also treated to ball games and blood lollies made of frozen blood and meat pieces – as enrichment activities.
ABOVE: Thanks to Sarah Holt for the great pic of Daseep and Joao finding their cool treats
Our education team put up a fascinating display including tiger biofacts, such as skulls and skins, to bring home the message about the alarming decline of the creatures in the wild.
ABOVE: Presenter Dorrie Hall and assistant Sarah Redding spread the conservation message and collected donations and raffle money for 21st Century Tiger
Our Customer Services staff, below, wore their stripes with pride throughout the day with their faces painted and they sported orange or gold tiger T-shirts.
One lucky visitor took home a huge cuddly tiger after their winning ticket was plucked out in the fundraising raffle.
And the whole event was a big talking point during BBC WM’s lunchtime show with Caroline Martin, which was broadcast live from the Castle courtyard.
Caroline chatted to big cat Senior Keeper Sarah Evans and Presenter Dorrie Hall, pictured above left, about our tigers and the threats the animals face in the wild as well as grabbing a word with one of Daseep’s biggest fans, zoo member Kathryn Willett – pictured above right.
The popular broadcaster also interviewed Zoo Director Derek Grove about the success of the zoo, Trainee Keeper Cara Sheldon about the bats in our Castle Creatures exhibit, Head of Birds Kellie Piper about our birds in the flying display and Presentation Assistant Amy Hickman on the 11th century Castle at the heart of the zoo.
Zoo Director Derek Grove said: “The day was a great success and through our tiger talks, education stand and interviews on local radio we highlighted the plight of tigers in the wild.
“We are so grateful to our staff, members and visitors who get behind us for special events such as Global Tiger Day.
“We’ve shown that together we can make a difference to support tigers in the wild and play our part in securing their future survival.”