Chanel is the purr-fect scent for Arina
It’s not often you hear about a tiger that loves Chanel but at Howletts Wild Animal Park, Chanel perfume is the smell of choice for an important tiger enrichment programme helping enhance the everyday lives of the tigers.
Enrichment is all about making the tigers routine more interesting and helps mimic situations they would find in the wild. By spraying scent around their home, it adds a new smell the tigers may not have come across before and promotes their natural behaviours, such as looking for prey or for a mate and even being warned out of another tiger’s range. Different smells would be encountered often in the wild, so this activity seeks to emulate that and encourage the tigers to explore their sensual awareness.
Here’s where you can help… as the Park doesn’t have a regular supply of perfumes, they are reaching out to supporters and fans on Facebook to donate some of their unwanted perfumes. These could be full bottles that have been left in the back of the cupboard from Christmas or birthdays, to near empty bottles that have a few sprays left in them.
So, whether you’re a Chanel wearer or have a different perfume of choice, why not let the tigers into your sweet-smelling secret and send them a bottle today. Simply send your perfume to:
FAO Carnivore Section
Howletts Wild Animal Park
Please ensure all values are entered
Interviewer: “What are we doing today?”
Dan: “We going to ask our supporters and fans on Facebook to donate some of their unwanted perfumes maybe things they’ve got for Christmas or birthdays that are at the back of the cupboard and they’re not using because they are of great help to us and we use them for enrichment purposes”
Interviewer: “Why is it that tigers and other big cats enjoy perfume”?
Dan: “So obviously perfume isn’t something they wouldn’t encounter in the wild, but in the wild they would encounter a whole host of different smells and smells are extremely important as it could lead to prey, but also it can indicate where other cats are. So this example it’s tigers so at especially at breeding season for both males and females its important and it’s a way they can communicate”.
“It’s all about trying to give them different novel smells because in the wild they would encounter those and it’s also to promote those natural behaviours such as looking for prey or looking for a mate maybe or being warned out of someone else’s range, but also they enjoy it so it’s a 50/50 to find something they enjoy”.
Interviewer: “Do the cats have a favourite perfume?”
Dan: “The favourite brand that we found is Channel, but we get a range of different ones coming in from very cheap perfumes to very expensive perfumes it doesn’t matter too much but the main issue that we have is we can’t get them in regularly enough we’re kind of relying on our own supply’s from home or family and friends so ideally if we could get some donations that would give us the opportunity to do this enrichment more often than we’re doing at the moment”.
Interviewer: “What is Enrichment”?
Dan Kemp: “Enrichment is to make the animals lives interesting, sometimes that means to make it difficult so we might hide their feed, hang their feed up in a tree, put some blood in so they think they’re going to find food and they’re not because all those kinds of things would happen in the wild. With the scent it makes their lives a bit different there’s something new in the enclosure, any novelties are good”.
Interviewer:“What’s it like working with big cats?”
Dan: “It can be challenging obviously we have to move them a lot but it’s just a fascinating experience to work so closely with these animals and become a custom to seeing them on a daily basis so when you see guests come in and they’re amazed to see a tiger it promotes that novelty again. I mean its everyone’s dream to work with these animals.”
Interviewer: “Where do you get the perfume from? Do you rely on donations?"
Dan: “We don’t really have a regular supply, most of our perfume bottles are almost empty, so the idea really is hopefully that we can get some more donations and then this is something we will be able to do more frequently because the cats do enjoy it and it will give us more opportunities to make their lives a bit more interesting”.