Birthday wishes for old tiger





One of Hamilton Zoo’s oldest residents — a Sumatran tiger named Mencari — celebrated her 22nd birthday on Monday. With a life expectancy of 15 years in the wild, Mencari is currently the second oldest captive Sumatran tiger recorded in the world. Hamilton Zoo staff were delighted to be celebrating the big cat’s big day. “Mencari is definitely a favourite among her keepers,” said carnivore team zookeeper Samantha Jeune. “Solitary by nature, Mencari lives on her own, but has visual access to her neighbours, mum and daughter pair Sali and Kirana. She is very confident in herself and is our ‘queen bee’ for sure.” The team know Mencari well, and enjoy giving her different treats. These include chicken, blood ice blocks on hot days, and even a sprinkling of ground cloves around her habitat, as tigers love “smooching” anything with a clove-like smell. Part of the celebrations meant thoroughly spoiling the tiger. Mencari was offered her favourite food, as well as an ice block “cake” to get into, Jeune said.