Even a big cat can"t resist a snowball fight! Daseep the Sumatran tiger gets her claws out in game with keepers


Even a big cat can't resist a snowball fight! Daseep the Sumatran tiger gets her claws out in game with keepers
The two-year-old tried catching the snowballs with her mouth and paws
She did not want to stay in her heated pen but explore her first deep snow Staff at Dudley Zoological Gardens have used sledges to transport bedding and food to its 1,300 animals after inches of snow fell in recent days

By
Becky Evans

PUBLISHED:

19:04 GMT, 23 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 24 January 2013

She may originally hail from the tropical rainforests of Indonesia but that did not stop tigress Daseep getting stuck into a snowball fight.

Instead of waiting for room service in her heated enclosure, the two-year-old Sumatran tiger wanted to explore the first deep snow she had seen.

Keepers at Dudley Zoological Gardens kept her entertained by playing the unusual game of catch.

Stop that! Daseep looks cross as keepers throw snowballs but staff said she loved playing in the white stuff

Stop that! Daseep looks cross as keepers throw snowballs but staff said she loved playing in the white stuff

Jill Hitchman from the zoo in Dudley, West Midlands, said: 'This is
the first heavy snow Daseep has seen and keepers thought she would stay
cosy in her heated den, but she couldn't wait to explore.

'Keepers
built her a snowman which she demolished in minutes then spent the afternoon throwing snowballs which she absolutely loved catching with
her paws.'

Staff told the Birmingham Mail that the plummeting temperatures meant they had to smash frozen pools in the penguin enclosure and part of the moat that is home to Patagonian sealions also froze over.

But the cold weather was ideal for those animals, while the less hardy creatures such as meerkats and small primates stayed indoors.

Catch: The two-year-old Sumatran tiger gets her eye in during the unusual snowball fight

Catch: The two-year-old Sumatran tiger gets her eye in during the unusual snowball fight

Howzat! Daseep catches the snowball and is rewarded with an explosion of the white stuff in her face

Howzat! Daseep catches the snowball and is rewarded with an explosion of the white stuff in her face

Parts of the West Midlands have been hit
by more than three inches of snow in recent days making it difficult
for zoo staff to travel across the 40-acre site.

Staff had to use sledges to get food to the zoo's 1,300 animals.

Zoo chief executive Peter Suddock told the Birmingham Mail said staff have used manual labour to transport food and bedding in the snow since the zoo opened in 1937.

He said: 'It's a huge hilly site which is difficult to negotiate in icy conditions, but we always manage to get round it all and ensure every animal is fed.

Mr Suddock added: 'It’s business as usual for us and lots of the animals
love this weather, particularly our young tigers and baby red panda,
but others are staying holed up and opting for “room service” until the
weather improves.'

Daseep tries to catch the ball in her mouth before jumping at it with her paws - and claws - outstretched

Daseep tries to catch the ball in her mouth before jumping at it with her paws - and claws - outstretched

Daseep tries to catch the ball in her mouth before jumping at it with her paws – and claws – outstretched