(Salt Lake City, UT) –It’s 2010—a wild new decade ushered in as Year of the Tiger. To celebrate this Chinese Zodiac sign, Hogle Zoo is holding an Asian Highlands celebration featuring the Zoo’s Amur tigers as well as local Chinese cultural entertainment. Join Hogle Zoo Saturday January 23, 2010 from 11 am to 1 pm to kick off Year of the Tiger at Asian Highlands.

On this day, Amur tigers are highlighted with a special training demonstration at 11 am with Hogle Zoo’s adult male tiger, Kazek, followed by an enrichment presentation at 1 pm with Hogle’s three young tigers born last summer. The Salt Lake Chinese Choir and the Utah Chinese Folk Orchestra will perform at Sherpa Stop at Asian Highlands at noon. Also, parents and kids will receive Chinese paper fans as part of the celebration (while supplies last) as they dine on event menu specials at the Cat Wok Café.

Asian Highlands at Hogle Zoo is unique because the animals are from Eastern regions with weather similar to that in Salt Lake. “We invite visitors to check out this cultural celebration to see our Asian Highlands cats in these beautiful, natural surroundings,” said Hogle Zoo Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite. “These cats are from extremely cold climates so they are very active during the winter months. January’s temperatures make for a great time to check out the playful tiger cubs that were born here this past June, plus the location of Hogle Zoo gets you up and out of the inversion a little bit.” This event will also educate guests about conservation what we can do locally to help preserve habitats of tigers in the wild.

The Amur tiger, formerly known as the Siberian tiger, is listed as a critically endangered species. There are approximately 130 Amur tigers in AZA-accredited zoos and about 500 living in small populations of far eastern Russia and northeast China. Loss of habitat due to logging activities, human encroachment and poaching are the main threats to their survival in the wild. The Tiger represents the third sign in the Chinese Zodiac, symbolizing hard work and courage.

Visit Hogle Zoo online at www.hoglezoo.org or for more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite by email at hbraithwaite@hoglezoo.org or call (801) 584-1729.

About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums: Utah’s Hogle Zoo is one of only 221 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.  AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit www.aza.org.

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