Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Features

June 28, 2010

County Has Two Tigers On The Prowl At Circle S Ranch

Greensburg — For about three weeks, Decatur County has been the home of two tigers, one Indochinese and one Siberian, at Stapp's Circle S Ranch about five miles east of Greensburg.

Jasmine and Rocky are the newest residents of the local non-profit, which houses a variety of animals for the education and enjoyment of area families. Jasmine is a five-week-old Siberian tiger and Rocky is a four-week-old Indochinese tiger. Both of the cubs came home to Stapp's Circle S Ranch from G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Springer, Okla., about three weeks ago. Before bringing them back to Indiana, a few members of the local staff were trained to care for the delicate young animals, explained Josie Clark, their primary caregiver and a member of the trained group.

From now until they arrive at the age of 12 weeks, Jasmine and Rocky are safe for interaction with the public. After that time, handler Scot Halberstadt explained, they will be able to have physical interaction only with their caregivers and trainers. For the safety of those caring for them, the tigers will no longer have physical contact with humans after the age of about 16 months.

The young big cats are now eating about eight ounces each of specialized formula every five hours around the clock. In the past three weeks, Clark reported, they have grown considerably and become much more active. She also noted that the cubs always let her know when it is time to eat by crying out - acting as an effective alarm clock in the night and morning.

As they mature, they will transition to meat and consume seven chickens each day, Halberstadt explained. Full-grown cats, Clark noted, will likely weigh about 650 pounds and will be capable of leaping 15 feet.

This represents another step in the diversification of the facility, which was already home to wolves and black bears amongst its many residents. The non-profit facility hopes to offer an enriching experience on a smaller scale than many major zoos and closer to home for their Decatur County neighbors and their families.

To learn more about the facility, visit www.stappscirclesranch.com or call 663-6709.

To learn more about the source of the animals , G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park, visit www.gwpark.org or call 405-665-5197.

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