My favorite animal is the tiger. Being cats, seeing them active at the zoo requires getting there early or when the keepers are there for talks or feeding.
I really don’t have a bucket list per se, but the opportunity to be up close and personal with a tiger would be on it if I did. The enclosure for the tigers at the Jacksonville Zoo puts a very strong and thick piece of glass between you and the tiger, but it’s about as close as I’ve ever been to a tiger. It was a thrill to be that close. Sure, I want to pet one some day, but I am grateful for the opportunity to be up close and personal in any capacity I can.
Tigers in the wild are extremely endangered due to hunting, poaching, and habitat loss. Anything and everything that can be done to raise awareness of impending extinction is a very good thing.
I took an animal behavior course in college and studied the Tigers at the Philadelphia Zoo for a few weeks. It was one of most fun things I did in college. No special access to the Tigers, just watched them for an hour a couple times a week. It was a fun project though.
I learned that tigers can be distinguished from one another by the markings over their eyes. I also heard a lot of people calling them lions. In fact, the non-scientific name to my report was “Look at the Lions”. Some days I wish I could spend my entire day at a zoo or aquarium to not only study the animals, but how the people describe or react to them.
Here is a collection of my photos from the Jacksonville Zoo on April 2, 2015.