Tanvir the tiger is a 'scaredy cat'

Press Association
Sunday 23 October 2011 08:24

A "scaredy-cat" Bengal tiger has damaged his species' fearless reputation after getting stuck at the top of a 15ft activity tower.

Two-year-old Tanvir was affectionately branded a "wimp" by keepers at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall, Bristol, after spending more than 24 hours at the summit.

The playful animal took just minutes to scale the tower, which has branch-like platforms to test the tigers' ingenuity. But after shinning up the structure on Monday morning, he was too frightened to come down.

The zoo said Tanvir was likely to gingerly descend the "enrichment tower" when his hunger became unbearable - although tigers can go for five days without eating.

Spokeswoman Samantha Cordrey said: "He's quite a mischievous little tiger and yesterday he went up his enrichment tower for the first time. There's a smaller tower, of about 5ft, and even that took him half an hour to get down from, so he's a bit of a scaredy cat.

"He's still stuck at the top today. Every time he gets to the edge, he looks out, puts a paw over, and thinks 'No, I'm not doing it!' He will make his way down when he gets too cold or hungry. He got up there within seconds but he can't get back down. It was made to challenge him but he's a bit of a wimp.

"He's on a big platform, just lying down. He will call to you but won't climb down. He stands up, looks around, stretches out his paw to see how far he thinks it is, then decides against it.

"People think tigers are ferocious animals without fear but they can get scared quite easily. They are not as full-on as people think."

Going up and giving food to timid Tanvir, who has been with the zoo since the summer, would only prolong his stay in the tower, she added.

On the ground he lives with two other tigers - Kushkja, aged six, and eight-year-old Khan.

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