Puss in box! Tiger gets in a tangle with her early Christmas present

By Leon Watson

Banda the Sumatran tiger thrashes around as she tries to get out of her early Christmas present

This greedy big cat must be feline silly.

After being given an early Christmas present, Banda the tiger wasn't a roaring success when it came to unwrapping it.

The gift was a tasty little meat hamper - just the thing for a hungry big cat. But when she stuck her head in to have a nibble, poor Banda got stuck.

Banda thrashed away after being given the gift by keepers at Paignton Zoo in Devon and eventually freed herself.

The animal-friendly presents were made of paper painted with food colouring and finished off with hessian ribbons.

Banda, who lives in the zoo with her mate Tenang, is a rare Sumatran tiger.

The giant cats are on the brink of extinction because of the destruction of forests, poaching and clashes with humans.

Struggling: Banda has a nibble, but can't get her head out of the animal-friendly present

Free: The tiger leaves the box behind as she takes a tasty piece of meat with her

They can only be found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra - the only remaining stronghold for tigers in the country.

Experts estimate that there are just 400 such tigers left in the wild, down from 1,000 in the 1970s, and only 7 per cent of their original habitat remains.

Tamed: Banda and the box full of meat given as a gift for Christmas



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