Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I can't believe I had never seen the Bengal tiger show before this year. They look like such soft and cuddly babies even though some of them may apparently get up to 600 pounds in weight, the show's announcer said. Another interesting tidbit he shared: The tigers have a 15-foot range when they take aim to go to the bathroom — but he may have been joking about that one. The trainer and the two other men working with the tigers seem to have absolutely no fear when playing with the giant animals inside the arena, which I just can't understand — they play with them as if they were little puppies almost. When the show starts, there are 9 tigers in the arena (3 cubs and 6 adults). The group is slowly whittled down as one by one each of the tigers performs the tricks they have learned over time, and then returns to its pens. The tricks range from sitting up on their hind legs to actually standing up on their hind legs and walking backward. And if you happen to forget to bring a camera to catch all of this excitement, the group sells disposable ones with an extra surprise — the first photo on each roll is one taken by the trainers featuring a photo of the tigers up close. I'd definitely say without a doubt that if you can only see one show during the Cherry Blossom Ferstival, the Tigers of India Bengal Tiger Family Show is what you should see. Shows are at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and feedings are at 8 p.m. each day throughout the festival. If you stop by, give them a "Raaargh" for me.

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