Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Memories of Tarzan: cleaning chores

Posted: 22 January 2010. Updated: 22 January 2010


As Tarzan approaches his second anniversary at the ADI Rescue Centre, life appears to be good for our lovable rogue.

He maintains his deceptively calm and almost friendly demeanour and seems to enjoy his new found life in the African bush.

Occasional visitors are often surprised to see a Tiger in Hoedspruit and to locals he has become somewhat of a celebrity; they could never have imagined seeing such an exotic feline in their homeland. He is older than realised when we first rescued him from the circus, but we will probably never know how old. He loves attention and is very inquisitive about visitors - unlike our previous tigers.

When he hears the meat truck on feeding days he is very quickly on his feet. Feeding time has also proved to be a double benefit for both animal and staff as this presents a good opportunity for a spring clean of his enclosure. With Tarzan safely confined to his gourmet meal in a fenced off feeding area, staff have great opportunity to get into his enclosure and clear all the debris of discarded bones and to clean out his beloved pool.

This pool has proved to be a top hit with our big cat and he enjoys cooling off most days to beat the midday sun. All the removed bones are taken to a separate area called the ‘Vultures Restaurant’ where the birds pick at the smallest amounts of meat to ensure nothing is wasted.

Tarzan, unfazed by the apparent intrusion, is happy to remain with his meal and has no interest in the flurry of activity occurring in his usually peaceful enclosure. It is no small task to clean the pool and requires plenty of elbow grease but after an hour or so the enclosure is ready for its inhabitant.

Like Sarah & Caesar, one of Tarzan’s greatest vices is spending his time snoozing in the shade, only being interrupted by the odd termite or fly, which, if he can muster the energy, is soon swatted away with his huge paws. To see him stretched out and enjoying life undisturbed is always a pleasure and reminiscent of someone relaxing after a particularly hard day, but then to Tarzan its just another tough day at the office!

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