Monday 26 September 2016

Sumatran tiger shows off his 'Fabi' ball skills

Published 17/05/2016 | 18:11

Sumatran tiger Fabi plays with a 30-inch heavy duty ball at Paignton Zoo (Paignton Zoo Environmental Park/PA)
Sumatran tiger Fabi plays with a 30-inch heavy duty ball at Paignton Zoo (Paignton Zoo Environmental Park/PA)

Cats like to play - and big cats like to play hard.

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Sumatran tiger Fabi showed off the power and grace of his hunting skills at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park in Devon.

The eight-year-old male tiger used his teeth and claws as he leapt at the giant ball, bought for him by keepers at the zoo.

Even though Fabi was using his lethal force to bring down nothing more dangerous than a giant plastic toy, the exercise was a useful one.

Matthew Webb, senior head keeper of mammal, said: "Enrichment is about stimulating animals mentally and physically.

"Playing with one of these balls brings out natural behaviours and is a real workout for his muscles.

"These balls are specifically designed to withstand the force of even tigers, lions and rhino."

Mr Webb added: "He played with it all day, right up till just before he came in for the night. He's very inquisitive and playful, a typical young tiger."

The 30-inch heavy duty ball came from an animal enrichment and nutrition specialist and cost £200.

Fabi arrived at Paignton Zoo last year from Chester Zoo.

Press Association

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