Celebrate earth’s largest cats at the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens 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 Naples Zoo.
For International Tiger Day, special presentations will take place at 12:15 and 3 p.m. with the keeper of the Malayan tiger exhibit. There will also be a raffle for a tiger paw print painting, made by one of the zoo’s tigers, with 100 percent of the ticket proceeds benefitting conservation efforts with the Wildlife Conservation Society. The zoo’s social media fans can enter a Facebook tiger photo contest by visiting the zoo and posting their best tiger snapshots, which will then be put out for a vote. The winner will receive a family or grandparent zoo membership as well as a gift basket filled with tiger goodies from the gift shop.
- The Naples Zoo’s International Tiger Day events run from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on July 29.
- For more information, visit napleszoo.com.