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Photos: Cast Members Perform a Tiger Checkup at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom works with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to provide the highest standards of care for all of the animals living at the Disney park, and part of this care involves regular checkups with the vet! Recently, Disney’s team of veterinary Cast Members performed a checkup on Sohni, a Sumatran tiger, with Guests looking on. And, for everyone at home, Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment team shared a behind-the-scenes look on Facebook:

Tiger checkup Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Every animal at Disney’s Animal Kingdom receives regular checkups by Disney’s expert veterinarians and in the case of Sohni, the Sumatran tiger, she received a good bill of health and was able to quickly get back to her home located within the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

Tiger checkup Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Wellness exams like the recent one conducted on Sohni not only benefit her and the other tigers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom but in conservation and animal care programs around the world as well. Disney’s veterinary Cast Members take the information and data they gather from regular checkups and research and share it with other AZA-accredited institutions around the world.

In addition to regular checkups, tigers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom actually help Cast Members by following training techniques to participate in their own medical care. Hand signals and verbal cues from Cast Members tell the tigers to move their tails and paws for daily exams, and other signals even help the tigers get into position for ultrasounds, blood draws, and injections.

Tiger checkup Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Like every species living in Animal Kingdom park, another important part of the tigers’ daily care is their enrichment. For tigers at Maharajah Jungle Trek specifically, Disney Cast Members find ways to encourage natural behavior by hiding meat around their habitat and providing toys that have been sprayed with a special perfume to encourage these big cats to work on foraging, stalking, running, and scent-marking.

Guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom can find Sohni and other Sumatran tigers at the Maharajah Jungle Trek located in Asia. And, while we can’t guarantee you’ll be lucky enough to stumble upon a tiger checkup, we do recommend taking the train from Harambe Village in Africa up to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. From there, you can visit Conservation Station, which offers a view backstage into a medical exam room.

Credit: Disney

As for tigers in the wild, Disney supports the future of this beautiful species through collaborations with the AZA and the Disney Conservation Fund. The fund supports nonprofit organizations around the world that work with local communities to protect these species in the wild. And, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park works with the AZA’s Species Survival Plan program to ensure responsible breeding of tigers both at the park and locations around the world.

For more close up looks at animals during your next trip to Animal Kingdom, be sure to take a Kilimanjaro Safari, walk the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, and check out the animal walking trails in the Oasis and on Discovery Island.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."