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Behind the scenes with the Big Cats at the Magnetic Hill Zoo

By Tara Clow May 9, 2023 | 7:40 AM

Have an interest in the Big Cats?

The Magnetic Hill Zoo is offering a behind-the-scenes look to the public.

Spokesperson Patrick Comeau says they have the four big cats, the tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard, “What distinguishes them is not only their size but what we call the hyoid bone. It’s a special bone in their throats that isn’t fused to other bones, so we call it a floating bone. And it has a lot of flexibility which allows for big roars and the chuffing that you hear and the moaning. Cougars are small cats, they’re not in the Panthera, even though they’re quite large.”

This isn’t the first year for the program, but Comeau says it’s very popular because tigers aren’t something visitors get to see up close every day, “It’s a wonderful experience. We want to promote conservation for these animals because they are endangered. They are magnificent and marvellous creatures that we want to keep around for years and years to come. Visitors get the chance to see them and really be able to have that personalized experience and are motivated to want to make a difference.”

Visitors who take part in the Behind the Scenes: Big Cats program spend time with the Zookeepers in the Amur Tiger exhibit, learning more about Alik the Amur Tiger, with a demonstration of training and feeding. Visitors also learn more about all of the steps taken to ensure the safety of the animals, Zookeepers and the public.

“We hear stories of Zookeepers getting hurt or animals getting hurt, which is something we really never want to happen here. So we have lists and lists of safety measures that we take for all animals, not just our big dangerous ones. But all animals have multiple measures that we take to make sure that they are safe that we’re safe, that they don’t get the opportunity to escape either,” Comeau adds.

(Photo: TDCB)

(Photo: TDCB)

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