Experts at the Terra Natura Park in Benidorm start weaning the Asian tiger cub Kali.
The Vet from Terra Natura, the nature and animal park in Benidorm has started to wean little Kali an Asian tiger born in November 2010 and rejected by her mother Ela. The appearance of her first teeth means that this carnivore can be weaned off milk and started on solid food.
The little tiger cub has started to lick and take tiny bites from pieces of meat. As the teething process progresses the amount of meat will be increased and the amount of milk ingested decreased until milk is eliminated from her diet. Kali’s carers are following the same process that the mother tiger would do had she not abandoned Kali.
It will be between one and two months for the weaning process to be complete The Veterinary will control the size of the pieces of meat, which are mixed with milk until Kali become familiar with the smell of meat. This way the cub receives all the nutrients necessary for her growth, if milk was removed too soon she would have a deficiency in calcium from her diet.
The keepers have been feeding Kali 20 grams of meat and are watching her carefully to ensure that her digestive system is ready for the change. If all goes well more meat will be introduced until she is eating about a half a kilo a day in approximately one month’s time.
Adult tigers in the park can ingest between three and four kilos of meat every day. In the wild these felines can fill their stomachs with up to 35 kilos of meat in one sitting as they only eat after a hunt.
The vet from Terra Natura Benidorm has also vaccinated Kali to protect her immune system and placed a small chip under the skin on the left side of her neck, to make it easy to identify her.
Tigers are a species considered to be in danger of extinction and categorised as a CITES I species (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and because of this they must each have a chip to identify them.