Endangered tigers prefer underfloor heating!
As they face their first winter in their new home, 11 rare tigers at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park’s new Bengal Gardens enclosure ignore straw beds for shelves heated by boilers donated by Viessmann
Lincolnshire, UK – Keepers at the newly-opened Bengal Gardens at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park have found that their Bengal tigers prefer the underfloor heated shelves in their enclosure to straw and other alternatives provided to make them feel at home.
The Bengal tiger is one of the world’s most endangered species and it is thought that there are only 1,500 left in the wild. Opened in spring this year, Bengal Gardens is home to 11 Bengal tigers that were formerly kept as pets or as part of collections. The 6,500 sq ft
enclosure has its own lake, woodland and enrichment facilities and sits adjacent to the largest parrot sanctuary in the world, the Parrot Zoo Trust, which is also part of the park. The site includes a 200 ft animal house, research facility and a hospital.
After a visit to the sanctuary in early 2017, Viessmann donated two gas condensing boilers for the tiger enclosure. A Vitodens 100-W model provides underfloor heating for the large concrete shelves within the tiger habitat, kept at 18 degrees, as well as some nearby radiators, while a Vitodens 111-W storage combi boiler provides heating and hot water for
the staff’s sinks and showers.
Sanctuary CEO, Steve Nichols said, “It is not only important, it is imperative that we keep these tigers safe. We have got nearly 1% of the world’s population here in Friskney! We are incredibly grateful to Viessmann for the donation. It has been interesting to watch the tigers make full use of their heated shelves. When the heating was turned on, every animal stood up and moved on to the shelves! They are using them to sleep and interact with each other when the outside temperature is too cold. The tigers now have a choice throughout the year, no matter the weather is outside. The warmth is also beneficial for their joints. Tigers in captivity are prone to arthritis and by supplementing their food with cod liver oil and offering the heated pads, this offers much needed pain relief or can prevent the onset of arthritis in the first place.”
The Lincolnshire Wildlife Park has recently begun to take in more species of exotic animals. It is ranked as having very high standards of care by the World Zoo Organisation and strives to set new levels of care for the critically endangered tigers. The park’s focus is on animal welfare, research and conservation.