Land of the Tiger
Tigers have been kept at Hamerton since the arrival of our first pair of Bengal Tigers in 2001.
Our 'white' male 'Blizzard' was born at CERZA in northern France and his mate 'Lady-Belle' came from a circus in Belgium. They quickly became favourite animals at the Park and have been admired by many thousands of visitors.
2014 sees the expansion of our tiger facilities into 'Land of the Tiger', a whole new area taking in the original accommodation and adding a brand new house, to be followed by a third paddock. Large off-show dens provide privacy and the Tigers can be seen in their indoor housing for the first time, through glass windows.
A new pair of 'white' Bengal Tigers arrived from Hodenhagen in Germany in early 2014. These fabulous animals are very popular, and graphics tell the story of this naturally occurring colour mutation from almost mythical status in Indian folk-lore to the reality of the present day. Detail is given about the inheritance of this colour, which is not an albino as it carries pigment in the dark stripes and coloured eyes. Bengal Tigers are the commonest of the 6 remaining sub-species of Tiger, but even so 95% have been exterminated by man in the last century.
The other sub-species of Tiger are critically endangered and it is likely that the captive population will be all that is left of them within the next few decades. In the wild pressure from hunting and habitat loss is unlikely to be halted, and the best that can be expected is that the rate of increase of the destruction is slowed. Captive breeding has never been more important, and we are delighted that the most rarely seen Tiger will soon be coming to Hamerton as the third phase of our 'Land of the Tiger' project. The Malaysian Tiger was only described In 2004 and only a few hundred survive. These unique animals are part of a project involving the Malaysian Government and a small group of European Zoos.