when she suddenly jumped up and freaked out when a group of noisy and stupid boys came along. She began pacing back and forth, growling...looking like she was perfectly capable of not only jumping the moat that surrounded her enclosure, but the fence as well. Fearless and ready to do whatever was necessary to protect her babies. Staring down those boys who very respectfully and sheepishly backed away. Don't mess with a mother tiger. And don't mess with her cubs. Zoos have changed since I was a little girl. I believe for the better. Animals are more protected, and understood. So I am sorry to say that we did not get a good look at the tiger cubs, or the mother. She has the privacy and the security that she needs and deserves for her babies. The Hogle Zoo has really improved over the years. And I enjoy it much more than I used to. I don't feel as sorry for the animals. The Highland Cats area is especially Jungle-like. The animals have a large and beautiful area to live in...with hiding places, water ponds, trees, grass, caves and privacy when they want it. So the tigers, and the snow leopard can be the mothers they need to be without having to worry so much about their cubs. And they are good mothers.
By a very interesting contrast, we ended up going to the zoo playground before we left. And I observed a very interesting dynamic that I have witnessed before from a very complicated species. The human mother. While it would appear that someone who would take their child to the zoo in the first place would seem to be a good parent, I saw a few things that would suggest the opposite. Mothers who are morons. A group of moms were talking while the kids were playing. Good for everyone, right? So a little girl runs over, excited to see a few groundhogs poking up from the groundhog exhibit that is next to the playground. She is so excited..."Mom! Mom! Look! It's a little groundhog! Mom! Mom! Look at the groundhog Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Look! Mom, do you see it mom?!!! Mom! Mom!"....Sad...but the mom didn't stop talking to her friends for even a minute to see what her daughter was excited about. The girl tried a few more times to get her mom's attention. Then finally gave up. She walked away and I felt horrible for her! I just can't believe it! This is your little kid excited about a groundhog! When kids are little, everything is wonderful and exciting and magical, and then, overnight, its not. It made me mad. And it makes me mad that there are so many really amazing moms in the world who can't get pregnant or who have life threatening illnesses, and the idiots are the ones raising the future! The human race is doomed. At least the Tigers have got it right. Their babies are the very most important things in the world. They are not distracted by stupid things. Nothing comes before the care and protection of their offspring. We can learn a lot from the tigers.