Sometimes it’s as easy as placing some of them on a scale and getting a reading. Others, like our Amur tigers, may need a little convincing.
The staff works hard and can be very patient and inventive. Using barrels or other large objects to create a walkway, a large board is placed in the exhibit and covered with cardboard or leaves. Sensors connected to a scale are placed under the board, and using our tigers’ favorite treats (chicken, herring or capelin are preferred) the animals are walked onto the board and stationed there long enough to get an accurate weight.
Of course this seldom happens overnight, so establishing trust and keeping it positive is the key to it all. Knowing our animals’ weights is a very important aspect of our husbandry program and making it a positive experience for them is paramount.
– Ryan Statt, zoo keeper