Tiger swimming lesson at zoo

London Zoo's Sumatran tigers have been getting special swimming lessons - to help them keep cool in the heatwave.

Swimming "good exercise" for tiger

Tiger keeper Teague Stubbington said: "Jae Jae loves chilling out in the Tiger Territory pool - especially on hot days - but we really wanted him to make better use of it and encourage his natural swimming abilities.

"Not only is swimming fantastic exercise for Jae Jae, the anticipation of getting to the meat stimulates his natural predatory instincts - and catching his 'prey' is the best reward he can get!"

Swimming is good exercise for the tiger. Credit: ITN
Taking a dip. Jae Jae explores the deeper sections of the pool. Credit: ITN

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Swimming lesson for tiger at London Zoo

A Sumatran tiger at London Zoo has been getting special swimming lessons - to help him keep cool.

The pool is a feature of Jae Jae's new Tiger Territory enclosure. Credit: ITN

Unlike domestic moggies, tigers love water, and Jae Jae the male Sumatran tiger is no exception.

He was a bit nervous at first, as he wasn't used to the deep waters. Credit: ITN

The new Tiger Territory enclosure contains a custom-built pool and Jae Jae could often by seen relaxing in the shallow end.

But keepers wanted to help him make the most of the deep waters - and his incredible muscles - so decided a swimming lesson was in order.

To entice the big cat in, they devised a special raft that could be topped with yummy treats.

Keepers placed meat on a raft in the middle of the pool, to entice him in. Credit: ITN

The floating raft is placed in the centre of the tiger's pool, which is over 1.5m at its deepest point, and topped with Jae Jae's favourite snacks.

Although he's a Sumatran tiger, Jae Jae still gets hot in the summer. Credit: ITN

The new raft forms part of Jae Jae's daily enrichment, helping to keep him active and stimulated.