Whipsnade Zoo's tiger brothers enjoy Christmas fun

Christmas has come early for three tiger brothers, after zookeepers gave them festive gift boxes to unwrap. 

Three-year-old Amur tigers Dmitri, Makari and Czar discovered the colourful Christmas presents in their habitat at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, each sprayed with a different intriguing scent.

The curious trio investigated the festive packages before tearing them open and playing with the cardboard boxes and brightly-coloured paper. 

And it seems - just like human toddlers - that was enough to keep the tiger brothers entertained.

Team leader Sarah McGregor said: “We knew that, like so many three-year-olds, the brothers would find the packaging so much more fun to play with than any present, so we decided to avoid unnecessary waste and just wrap up empty boxes. 

Tigers playing with their Christmas presents at Whipsnade Zoo Credit: Whipsnade Zoo

"We were proved right! They absolutely loved ripping open their gift boxes and playing with the mess! 

"Spraying the boxes with different scents, such as perfumes or catnip, made the gift boxes even more exciting for them and helped engage their natural instincts to sniff out and investigate new things.”  

 Amur tiger facts:

  • Amur Tigers are on the Red List of Endangered Species

  • A breeding programme in their native Russia is working well

  • The Amur tiger, was formerly known as the Siberian Tiger

  • It is one of the largest Tiger species in the world