Blackpool Keeper Academy 2016 Big cats

We classify animals to prevent translation errors and to give them universal names.

(Binomial nomenclature)

Order Carnivora:

•Specialised teeth for tearing and biting

•Meat is the main part of their diet (doesn’t mean they’re a carnivore!)


Wild dogs:

•African Hunting dog

•Bush dog






There are three species (Grey wolf, Red wolf and Ethiopian wolf) and one subspecies (Iberian wolf).

Blackpool Zoo have Iberian Wolves which face threats such as habitat loss/fragmentation and being hunted.


I made wolf enrichment by filling sacks with scents and leaves. Here they can be seen interacting with it.

Most animals have highly developed sensory abilities. Keen eyesight helps predators find prey. Acute hearing can detect an impending threat. Smells are important for marking and recognizing territories. Sensory enrichment can encompass any of the five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. The most common form of sensory enrichment used is olfactory enrichment; which utilises sense of smell by introducing new or unusual smells into an enclosure. (

I recognised both submissive behaviours:

•Tail between legs

•Low position of head (making other individuals higher)

•Ears back

As well as dominant behaviours:

•Position of head up

•Ears up (alert)

•Tail up

The breeding cycle of a wolf

•4-6 weeks after mating: Build a den

•2 months after mating: pups (born deaf and blind)

•2 weeks: open eyes

•4 weeks: begin to venture out of the den

•5 weeks: start to wean off mother’s milk

•8-10 weeks: leave the den

•4-6 months: eyes change colour from blue to gold

•1-2 years: participate in hunting (learned behaviours)

Some females will join a different pack to avoid inbreeding.


Features of the family delicate

•Short skulls

•Well developed claws for tearing

•Claws can be retracted when not in use for hunting

Big cats that can purr and roar are classified as panthera.


Threats in the wild:


•Traditional medicines

•Conflict with humans

•Habitat loss

•Population fragmentation

We made enrichment for the Tigers!


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