Natasha and Tsar cautiously approached the snow, unsure what to think of it.
“At first, they were hesitant to go out,” Jody Sentel said of the two Amur tiger cubs at the Sedgwick County Zoo enjoying their first snow. “They were real inquisitive for a few minutes, digging in it, sniffing at it. They were very confused by the fact that it stuck to their noses.”
But it didn’t take long for the cubs to start playing, said Sentel, zookeeper of the African Veldt exhibit at the zoo.
The cubs, born on July 6, started tackling each other and their mom, Talali, in the fresh snow.
Natasha and Tsar went on exhibit at the zoo on Sept. 19, braving rain, thunder and lightning for the first time.
Amur tigers adapt well to cold weather, Sentel said. The environment of their native habitat is harsh.
“They’re one of the few animals that are able to go out when it’s this cold,” she said Sunday. “Usually when it’s under 20 degrees, there are only a few animals that want to be outside.”
Stephanie and Cinda, the zoo’s two South African elephants, for example, were kicking it inside Sunday. Zookeepers brought in wheelbarrows filled with snow for them to eat.
The zoo’s hippos also enjoyed some snowy snacks.
The holidays so far have gone well for the tiger cubs. They got a gingerbread house to eat and cardboard tubes filled with meat during the zoo’s recent “Season’s Treatings.”
The zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.