Tiger Encounter at The National Zoo & Aquarium
The National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra is famous for the up close and personal tours and encounters that it offers, with encounters such as Meet a Cheetah, the Giraffe Encounter and the White Lion Encounter. Each tour and encounter is jam packed with exciting activities which allow you to get a hands-on experience with these exotic animals.
The Tiger Encounter tour (which has been available at the Zoo for many years now) allows the participants to come face to face with two huge 3 meter long and 300 kg Tigers, with paws as big as your head!
This encounter costs $50 per person or $80 for a couple which does not include the Zoo entry fee and goes for a duration of 15 minutes. Although this tour is short a sweet, the participants are given the opportunity to learn about and feed the two 6-year-old Tiger brothers, and when you’ve got a 300kg killing machine inches away from you with only a cage stopping them for attacking you, a second of having your head turned away from them to take a photo can feel like a life time.
At the beginning of the encounter the Tiger handler introduced himself and the Tigers and gave a run down of how to behave and how to stand when feeing the Tigers. With the participants shoulder to a post they feed the Tiger a big piece of meat through the fence with a pair of tongs.
Throughout the duration of the encounter the handler discussed what life in the wild would look like for these Tigers and the major causes for the very serious threat of extinction. After discovering the cruelty that these animals face in their natural habitat, it was comforting to find that all money raised from the animal encounters at the National Zoo and Aquarium go towards supporting local and overseas conservation initiatives and charities, with over $100,000 being donated last year alone.
I would recommend to everyone to go and participate in this once in a life time experience, which gives you the opportunity to see these beautiful creatures up close and to learn more about the struggle to save them from extinction.