Everyone who has a cat at home knows they love a good scratching post. Here at IEAS, the big cats feel the same way. As we walk through their habitats, we see lots of scratch marks on trees and in the dirt. The lions and tigers will stand as tall as they can with their paws on a tree, clawing some big marks in the bark. This is not necessarily to keep their claws sharp! These markings are a lot like those you would see in the wild. The big cats have scent glands on their paws and use the marks as a territorial sign, claiming the area they are in as their own. This tree is in the habitat of Allie and Rasul, two white Bengal tigers. Allie (below) loves to scratch this particular tree!
Big cats also have scent glands on their cheeks, chins, between their toes, and at the base of their tails. They will frequently rub their cheeks and faces on the fences to mark the boundaries of their territory. Between this and scratching their trees, we see lots of markings happening in the habitats of these big felines!
Come visit the Sanctuary to learn more about these big cats! We offer conservation education tours every day at 11:00 and Saturdays at 11:00 & 3:00!