Dreamworld: Tiger Island
Tiger Island is an attraction at a theme park in Australia called Dreamworld. It features a large grassy area separated by a wide moat and fence, a tiger-themed cafe and shop, a play pen and a den both separated by glass for visitors to observe cubs. Tiger handlers are on the island with the full-grown tigers throughout the day and encourage them to perform tricks at the shows, which take place on the island. Tricks include getting the tigers to sit up, stand, climb trees and leap across logs and platforms for milk and meat rewards.
As a local, I have been going to Tiger Island since it first opened. During that time, I have seen many different tigers, including bengal and sumatran. I’ve seen cubs born and the tiger shows gradually evolving into the leaping, climbing, music-accompanied spectacle that they are today.
When I was studying screen production at uni, Dreamworld even allowed me and my crew the chance to interview some of the handlers in our ten minute documentary about the relationship between the humans and their wild cat charges.
At the heart of Tiger Island is a strong desire to make a difference in wild cat conservation. There is a collection box at the stairs where people crowd in to watch the show. What a great way to spread the word about the plight of tigers, at the most sophisticated, fun and exciting theme park in Australia!
Dreamworld is centrally located just 40 minutes from Brisbane and 20 minutes north of Surfers Paradise and is open from 10am to 5pm every day except Christmas Day (25/12) and ANZAC Day (25/4).
About Tiger Island
Opened in 1995, Tiger Island is the largest interactive tiger facility outside the United States and is an educational conservation-based attraction that actively works to save tigers in the wild. The island offers 1600sqm of uninterrupted views of the Big Cats playing with their handlers from across a moat.
In the specifically designed habitat of Tiger Island, the tigers and their handlers co-exist peacefully without the constraints of cages. Dreamworld’s tigers are trained (never ‘tamed’) by establishing and maintaining a strong bond, based on trust, respect and affection, between the handlers and tigers.
Currently home to six rare Bengal tigers, six Sumatran Tigers and two cougars, the stars of the show are undoubtedly the three newest residents, Shanti, Jaya and Ndari. Born at Tiger Island on June 9, 2008 as part of an international breeding program, the girls joined their adopted sister, Sali.
A percentage of funds raised from all Tiger Walks and Tiger Photos is donated directly to saving tigers in the wild.
Tiger Walks are incredibly popular and advanced bookings are necessary.
If you came to this site for information about the documentary entitled Tiger Island, please be advised that this program is not available for purchase (as advised by Dreamworld on 29/11/2010).
Click here to visit the official Dreamworld website.