When I come across videos like this, I think, “Wow, they must have been really bored,” because who thinks of putting a camera in a snowman just to see what a tiger would do to it? The staff at Longleat Safari Park, apparently. They have taken it upon themselves to show the world what the world’s largest cat does to its natural enemy—the snowman.
These Siberian tigers made quick work of the snowmen and showed us a unique view of what it must be like to be eaten by a tiger. “Mauling” seems too strong a word, as they seemed more interested in playing with the snowman than killing it. Roughhousing might be a more appropriate term.
Watch as these keepers insert a GoPro camera in the shoulder of the snowman before scurrying away to the safety of their Jeep. There’s no HD though, so you’ll have to settle for 240p.
I have a love-hate relationship with tigers. On one hand, they seem so cute, like oversized house cats you’d love to have as pets. Then you keep watching and they show you how bad their little nips and bites can be and you’re just like, “Yeah, never mind.”
Soundari, the star of this epic close-up, is a 7-year-old tiger. A spokesperson of the park said that the recording “gave us the opportunity to do a quick health check on Soundari’s mouth, gums, and teeth.”
Oh the things people do with their cameras. At least in this situation, it’s a little more educational than some of the hidden camera footage we see (or hear about) online.
Hopefully news like this can raise awareness for the Amur tigers’ dwindling population. In 2011, the effective population numbers were alarmingly low—only 14 tigers according to a report in the journal Mammalian Biology. The 500 Amur tigers currently surviving in the wild are not counted as part of the effective population because of very low diversity, meaning any diseases or genetic disorders are likely to be passed on to the next generation.