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Training Tiger Cub Triplets Can be a Tough Task

Published On: Aug 24 2011 12:16:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 13 2007 06:10:39 AM CDT

They are one of the "mane" attractions at the Philadelphia Zoo. But keeping the "Big Cats" healthy requires more than veterinarians and medicines, better care involves training the cats to participate and that can be challenging when you've got triplets on your hands. WFMZ's Jaccii Farris has the story. [ WEBLINK: (Philadelphia Zoo Welcomes Tiger Cub Triplets) ] [ TIGER CUBS AT PLAY ] "Here you go.." 15 week old tiger cubs Koosaka, Changbai and Terney may think this is just an afternoon snack... but taking meat from a human's hand is the first step in keeping themselves healthy. (whistle) good job! good sit! The triplets mother Kira and the other big cats at the Philadelphia Zoo have been trained to follow commands that go beyond sit and lay down. This is Kia... "we taught him to donate blood from his tail vein for a piece of meat." Without the training, veterinarians must use blow darts to give vaccinations like rabies. A process that is very stressful for the animal. The health care commands can also be used to clip nails and for regular examinations. "Right there touch it, go good job! But the training can also serve another purpose... lay down good boy can you wag? good boy. "When you see them up close you have an appreciation for wanting to take care of the big cats in their own space and their own environment." And for some animals like the tiger... that appreciation could be the catalyst that one day moves them off the critically endangered list. we'll be around if you have any questions. Jaccii Farris 69 News.