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Zoo 19: Siberian Tigers

8:13 AM, Mar 4, 2010   |    comments
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Columbia (WLTX) -- It's the Year of the Tiger, and News 19 headed out to Riverbanks Zoo to see what life is like for the big cats.

At Riverbanks, Siberian tigers Dimitri and Anya usually only come out one at a time, but that's nothing unusual.  "They're solitary animals," says keeper Butch Yowler, "so here at the zoo, they live like they would in the wild.  We don't keep them together at all."

Both tigers eat a processed, frozen diet that's shipped to the zoo, but, as Yowler points out, "In the wild, they'll eat pretty much whatever they can get a hold of."

Siberian tigers also typically enjoy cooler temperatures, according to Yowler.  "They're a lot more active when it's cool," he says.  "In their habitat, they have a lot of ledges and rocks to climb on, logs to scratch on, and of course they have bamboo and stuff to hide in and around."

In fact, one of the main differences between lions and tigers is the way the animals hunt:  tigers prefer to stealthily stalk their prey alone, while lions hunt in packs.

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