Friday, 9 May 2014

Tigers take to the catwalk at Philadelphia Zoo

By Daniel Kelley

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - When a full-grown Amur tiger peers down on people just a few feet below, it's a new experience for cats and humans alike.

The Philadelphia Zoo, the nation's oldest, is unveiling an exhibit that allows its large cats to walk along enclosed, overhead trails that span the zoo's pathways.

The new walkway officially opens on Saturday, but two tigers Wiz and Dimitri have already tested it a few times.

They had never encountered humans at anything other than eye level before, said Kay Buffamonte, lead keeper of the zoo's Big Cat Falls exhibit.

"Being elevated for them is a position of power," she said.

Once inside, the two cats like to run, said Andy Baker, chief operations officer of the zoo.

“I've seen them get up to pretty high speeds,” he said. 

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