Like cats of all sizes, Ballarat Wildlife Park's male tiger Satu preferred the box his birthday present came in more than its contents.
Satu celebrated his 14th birthday in style on Wednesday with a meaty cake, extra treats and an audience to sing him happy birthday.
Satu is more of a character, always giving people attitude and being out and about and getting in to things.Hanna Geeson
Satu, who arrived at the wildlife park in March from the Sunshine Coast's Australia Zoo, was the centre of attention on his big day - something keeper Hanna Geeson said he quite enjoys.
"He's not a shy cat. He usually comes up to investigate most things going on outside his enclosure. He's a beautiful cat who loves to see what's going on," she said.
Ms Geeson said Satu had settled in well, going on public display soon after his arrival.
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"Satu was born in Germany, and from Germany he moved to Traonga Zoo, then to Australia Zoo, then to us, so he's an experienced traveller and settled in really well."
Satu was the second Sumatran tiger to arrive at the Ballarat Wildlife Park in the past few months after 11-year-old female Maneki travelled to the park, also from Australia Zoo, in December.
"Maneki is a big sook. She loves her keepers and being tucked away in her bed where it's nice and cosy and she can nap it out ... but Satu is more of a character, always giving people attitude and being out and about and getting in to things."
At 14 Satu is firmly in middle age for captive-bred tigers, who can live more than 20 years.
His birthday cake was made of meat and he had an extra-special treat of cream sprayed on to a window which he licked off, delighting visitors who had a chance to be part of the celebrations.
"We gave him some presents, and as all cats will do, he much preferred the cardboard box," Ms Geeson said.
Sumatran tigers are a globally managed endangered species, and staff at the Ballarat Wildlife Park hope the international coordinator will allow Satu and Maneki to breed in the future.
The tigers are on display daily from 10am to 2pm.
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