Celebrate earth’s largest cats at the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society on July 29 for International Tiger Day. Only six subspecies remain of these striking big cats, though one, the South China tiger has been largely considered “functionally extinct” with no wild sightings in more than 25 years. Habitat loss, encroachment and fragmentation, and poaching has isolated the last remaining populations of tigers, with numbers declining to as little as 3,000 left in the wild (a decline from an estimated 100,000 just 100 years ago), leaving them critically endangered. To help raise awareness about the plight of one of the most recognizable animals in the world, as well as promote the protection and expansion of wild populations, International Tiger Day events will be held worldwide on Tuesday, July 29, including the Palm Beach Zoo.
Home to a mating pair of Malayan tigers, Mata and Berapi, the Palm Beach Zoo has been at the forefront of conservation efforts not only with captive-bred tigers (it is estimated that only 500 Malayan tigers remain, 60 of which live in captivity in North America) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, but also through education initiatives here at the zoo, and an active role in conservation efforts in the wild. The zoo will dedicate July 29 to International Tiger Day with special activities starting at 11 a.m. and running through 3:30 p.m., including targeted zoo talks with zookeepers and special animal enrichments at the Tiger Falls exhibitory.
- The Palm Beach Zoo’s International Tiger Day events run from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on July 29.
- For more information, visit palmbeachzoo.org.
Keeping the tiger-themed party going, the Palm Beach Zoo is dedicating its Friday night party, Safari Nights, to the big cats on August 1. Dubbed Safari Nights: Tiger Fest, the zoo will stay open late (5:30-9 p.m.), giving guests a chance to see the animal ambassadors – many of which are nocturnal – welcome the night. This family-friendly event will include tiger-inspired activities with keeper talks, photo ops with Timmy the Tiger, face painting and airbrush tattoos, among much more.
- Admission costs $15.95 adults, $9.95 for children; members are free.
- For more information, visit palmbeachzoo.org/safari-nights.