WHY DON’T THE TIGERS WAKE UP WHEN YOU ARE STROKING THEM SO ROUGHLY !
Every day they get plenty of pats, hugs and tummy rubs. So much so that they have almost become desensitized by it, it’s normal to them when someone new starts rubbing or heavily patting them. The other reason that customers seldom visit the park in the early morning or late evening when the tigers actually want to be awake. Large crowds of people swarm to the park in the blistering heat of the day and expect to see a largely nocturnal animal running jumping and looking into the cameras for the perfect picture. It’s just not natural for the tiger to have so much activity at the peak times of the human day!
WHY DO YOU USE STICKS WITH THE TIGERS!
Sticks are held by trainers at all times for safety. From a very early age the cubs are taught that biting and clawing are not permitted. This has to be instilled in them every day for the rest of their lives. It is the only way it can make it possible for a human to be in the same enclosure as a man eating animal.
The use of electric shock, whips, chains, declawing, drugging and food deprivation reward are also methods that could be used on a tiger but Tiger Kingdom believes the method of “nose tapping” is the only method that reduces the harm to the tigers, and remains a successful way of preventing human and tiger injury.
If a tiger injures a human it usually calls for the animal to be put down. Without any kind of discipline it is just as much a danger to the tiger life as it is to the customer. A human may survive a tiger bite but the tiger most certainly wouldn’t! The sticks are not sharp and do not cause cuts.
As the tigers get older they learn that the stick is a warning. It is used when face to face eye contact or threatening behavior is shown by the tiger, but as they mostly sleep during the busiest parts of the day a trainer will usually bang it on the fence or something nearby to let the tiger know they are approaching and that aggressive behavior will be met with a hard knock to the nose. This technique is also used in training aggressive dog and other biting animals except that for this animal using a finger or hand is the preferred method. Not something I would suggest with tiger with its size and power!
Some institutions are strictly against training cats for any reason. But even they have their cats trained to a certain extent. When the cats’ food is brought to the den, they come to eat. They are then locked in their den while the keepers clean the enclosures. This is a perfect example of the reward training method.
If cats are to be handled, they must be trained not to play with people the same as they play with each other. If a cat struck or bit us the same as they would another cat in play, we would not last very long. They must be taught that our skin is like tissue paper compared to theirs.