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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Hasn’t she grown!

A STAR of a zoo is celebrating her first birthday in style.

South Lakes Wild Animal Park’s Kadi, the tiger cub, turns one today (Wed 7th).

The Sumatran tiger will be treated to a special cake designed by keepers.

It will be made up of minced meat and tasty tiger treats and served on one of the enclosure platforms.

She usually has to climb a telegraph pole to collect raw meat, hooked from the top.

Niall McGilchrist, animal manager at the Dalton zoo, has been helping rear Kadi since she was born.

The ‘proud parent’ is thrilled to see Kadi reach one-year-old.

He said: “It was a big surprise when she was born.

“We now have one very large, constantly-growing tiger cub who is doing very well.

“It has been absolutely brilliant for us, for her and for the park.”

Sumatran tigers are critically endangered and there are only around 350 of them left in the wild, in Sumatra, Indonesia.

The zoo runs the Sumatran Tiger Trust Conversation Programme and the park has raised more than £1.5m to keep Sumatran tigers in the wild through the charity.

Mr McGilchrist marked Kadi’s birthday by reflecting on his past year with her.

He said: “It’s been fantastic, especially having never done anything like this before with a tiger.

“We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into and so it was a learning curve for us as we went along.

“Once we got past the critical three-month part, she has come along in leaps and bounds. We haven’t had to do much with her.

“For us, knowing that all the really hard work we put in at the start has paid off is great and she’s still going strong.

“I have very much a ‘proud parent’ approach to it all.”

Kadi, who weighed just more than a kilo when she was born, was named after zoo boss David Gill’s youngest daughter.

She is now around the size of a Great Dane and will continue to grow.

In years to come, Mr McGilchrist hopes the animal park will be able to find Kadi a mate and allow her to breed.

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