Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Tiger Forest Brings Zoo Visitors Within a Whisker of Magnificent Big Cats
Indianapolis Zoo introduces its new Tiger Forest exhibit

June 01, 2011

Staring into the eyes of any tiger is an amazing experience, so try to imagine what it will be like when you have an up-close encounter with the magnificent Amur tiger this summer at the Indianapolis Zoo.

The new Tiger Forest exhibit, presented by Citizens Energy Group, opens Memorial Day weekend and will allow you to get closer to the zoo's tigers than ever before as you come face to face with those piercing yellow eyes. Separated by no more than a thin plate of glass, you'll be so close you’ll be able to see their four-inch long, razor-sharp claws and count their whiskers!

Tiger Forest will be a showcase of one of the world's most endangered animals and a longtime favorite of Indianapolis Zoo guests. As you approach the new exhibit, you will encounter great viewing from different sides of not just one, but two tiger habitats. Wind through the space and discover an overlook onto a stream where Amur tigers can play and cool off.

As is typical on the border between Russia and China, both plants and fallen trees add to the landscape, with some leaning right against spots where visitors can "hide." And, of course, tigers love to play throughout their terrain!

Amur tigers are the largest of the five surviving sub-species of tigers worldwide, and they are in serious danger of extinction. There are only a few hundred Amur tigers left in the wild and a few hundred more in human care. Another important facet of Tiger Forest is the story that is told in words and pictures of the vital research being conducted in Russia as part of the effort to save this animal before it disappears forever from the wild.

Indianapolis Zoo vice president of conservation, Norah Fletchall, traveled to the forests of Siberia to learn more about the work of the tiger researchers, Dr. Linda Kerley and Misha Borisenko (a husband and wife team) and to also bring back information about the survival chances for this apex predator. The zoo is also providing funding to continue this important work. Look for the story of Linda and Misha on the signs surrounding the Tiger Forest.

Also look for the Zoo's three Amur tigers, females Cila and Andrea, and male Petya. The Indianapolis Zoo has been a longtime supporter of and participant in the Species Survival Plan® for the Amur tiger, with many different tigers and cubs in residence over the years. Cila was born at the Indianapolis Zoo, and Petya has been "borrowed" from the Pittsburgh Zoo. It is hoped by many that Cila and Petya may get together and produce more of the rare Amur tigers.

Come be a part of this excitement and visit the latest addition to the Indianapolis Zoo, the Tiger Forest, presented by Citizens Energy Group.

For more information, visit the Zoo’s web site at