The big cats take some time out to play on International Cat Day

The lions and tigers living at Woburn Safari Park have been proving that even big cats are just little kittens at heart as they’ve enjoyed playing with a new toy created for them by the keepers this week.

In preparation for International Cat Day, keeper Simon Fox spent three days crafting an antelope from fire hose for the big cats.

Vera With Antelope Toy

With the tigers first up to have a go with their new enrichment activity, it took Minerva, the park’s seven year old tigress, no time at all to spot the large antelope toy.

After approaching the lurking antelope warily, she showed off her natural hunting skills and strength by quickly picking up the creation, which was a struggle for the keepers to lift, claiming it as her own.

Next up it was the lions turn. Bolder in their approach, the lionesses all had a good sniff of their new toy, with Tullulah taking a particular liking to it.  

Tullulah With Antelope Toy

Simon Fox, Animal Keeper, said: “We are always looking for new ways to keep the big cats enriched and with International Cat Day coming up it seemed like a great time to try out some new props with them. The antelope is made from recycled fire hose and was smeared in some of their favourite meaty foods.

Designed to stimulate their natural hunting instincts, both the lions and the tigers took an interest in their new toy and demonstrated their natural strength by carting it off across their enclosures with ease.”