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A Bengal tiger pounces on a ball.

Posted June 12, 2014. A Bengal tiger pounces on a ball.
Photo courtesy Jessica Hanline Sanders.

Have you ever watched a house cat sneak up on a toy, flex its front shoulder muscles, and pounce? The zoo’s two Bengal tigers, Scout and Lucy, do the same thing. The tigers, who have been together since 1998 when they were cubs, love to chase and tackle or crouch and pounce on enrichment toys like the giant ball in this photo. Stimulating these natural behaviors helps keep the cats healthy, engaged and curious, and promotes social bonding among the animals.

Shelly Dicks, Mammal Supervisor, says that the tigers, and all the cat species at the zoo, share a lot of behaviors with our domesticated friends. The big cats roll on their backs and bunny-kick with their legs, and when a keeper they know approaches, the tigers rub their faces against the door to say hello. And, just like domesticated cats, the Zoo’s big cats love to sleep.

What is your favorite cat behavior to watch? Tell us on Facebook.

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