MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Zookeepers in Manhattan are training Malayan tigers to make their health care needs easier.
The Sunset Zoo is home to two Malayan tigers, brothers Malik and Jaheem.
Although they may look related, Head Keeper Savannah Hiatt said these two tigers have personalities all their own.
“Jakeem is our bigger boy. He’s definitely more cautious. He’s a little bit more timid. He likes to check out situations. He’s not really sure about new things,” Hiatt said. “Malik is our smaller boy but he’s very brave and he’s always charging into situations first. There’s not a whole lot he fears.”
Malik and Jakeem are 13-years-old, which is around middle-aged for a Malayan tiger. Hiatt said zookeepers have trained the tigers so they don’t have to put them under anesthesia every time they have an exam.
“We do things along the lines of checking their mouth, checking their paws,” Hiatt said. “We can ask for the tigers to come up on the mesh so we can check their underside.”
This training is done behind the scenes normally. However, the Sunset Zoo is about to start construction on a new tiger exhibit.
The new exhibit will include a mesh training wall, so visitors can see the trainings up close.
Once construction begins, the tiger exhibit will be closed to the public until Fall or Winter 2021.