What happens when two kinky cats meet and find each other attractive? This week in Wild World, your host takes you through the beginnings of the Big Cat Mating Ritual of New Zealand.
The Big Arsed White Bellied Tiger feels threatened when the Tall Golden Furred Tiger enters her territory. As yet his intentions are unknown. She watches from satefy, ready to react. (While they are sub-species, they do not always play together well, and it can end in bloodshed and tears.)
Her interest is piqued, however, when he begins to preen and show his pelvic stripes as he stretches. This is a prelude to a mating, rather than a battle for territory or food. The question now is, will she show interest in return?
The Golden Tiger is in luck – the White Bellied Tiger has beckoned him closer. Touching his nose (we were very lucky to capture this moment on film) indicates that she, too, is interested in getting to know him better. However, she has not yet bared her belly, so at this stage she is only showing interest, not a definite willingness to mate.
Teasing has begun now – faux-humping, biting of the neck, and scratching. This can get rough, but is generally in fun. If anything, the White Bellied Tiger is the one to draw blood, while the Golden Tiger will keep his claws sheathed if he wishes to pursue her successfully.
Yes, he has coaxed a pleased growl from the White Bellied Tiger, which rumbles through the atmosphere. Again, she is touching his face, showing her approval, and allowing him to touch hers in return. This suggests that the next step is imminent…
Oh yes, we are very lucky to see this – and the Golden Tiger is also in luck! She has bared her belly, suggesting that she is indeed desirous of mating with him, and that after some more rough and tumble play, grooming, and touching, they will make the ground shake as they coming together.
The courageous Amie Wee managed to capture these creatures on film – see their mating continue next week.