Like their house cat relations, Siberian tigers at the Minnesota Zoological Gardens hone their hunting skills by play fighting.
Siberian tigers, the largest of the tiger subspecies, have the most stable population numbers. This is likely because they share their harsh northern habitat with fewer people, and their forest homes are less affected by timber operations.
In contrast to the scarcity of wild tigers, critics worry that new breeds of domestic cats, like the toyger, will contribute to the problem of too many unwanted cats roaming the streets or dumped on shelters. For their part, Santee and fellow breeder Pam Rohan make sure the toyger kittens they sell as pets are spayed or neutered before they arrive at their new homes.
I do not want to contribute to unwanted cats in the world or my cats being put into shelters or rescues, Rohan said.
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Photograph by Michael Nichols/NGS