Siberian tiger rolls giant snowballs at Russian zoo

Zoo officials said they found Siberian tiger Tanya was building the giant snowballs at night, while she wasn't being observed.
By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Jan. 27, 2015 at 10:29 AM
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KALININGRAD, Russia, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A Russian zoo said keepers thought someone was throwing giant snowballs at an Amur tiger until the animal was seen showing off her snowman building skills.

Officials at the Kaliningrad Zoo said zookeepers thought people were throwing giant snowballs into the exhibit for the endangered Amur tiger, also known as a Siberian tiger, until the female big cat was caught on camera creating the snowballs by rolling snow in the method used by children the world over to create the base of a snowman.

"When we first saw the snowballs -- including some that could be used to build snowmen -- we were convinced that they were the work of zoologists who had made them to entertain the animals," zoo spokeswoman Yekaterina Mikhailova told Gazeta.ru.

"Naturally, no one thought that the tigress was able to make them by herself. Zoologists decided that someone joked and threw large snowballs into the cage, but one evening she was caught," Mikhailova told The Siberian Times.

Officials said Tanya seems to prefer creating the snowballs after dark, when she generally isn't being watched, but she will push her creations around her enclosure to amuse zoo visitors during the day.

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