First there was the Puppy Bowl, in which little doggies roughhoused in a green-turfed “stadium” to entertain non-sports fans on Super Bowl Sunday. Next came the Kitten Bowl. And now, there’s the Tiger Bowl.
The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minn., created a playing field for three of their big cat rescues, tiger brothers Dimitri, Zeke, and Griffen.
“Other zoos had their tigers pick a team by going to a box, but that seemed underwhelming for these three crazy brothers,” said sanctuary executive director Tammy Thies.
So, the sanctuary team decided to simulate the big game itself, complete with giant papier-mâché footballs that the tigers promptly ripped apart with their teeth, and cardboard cutouts of additional players that the real tigers knocked down.
“We didn’t know if they’d come out and be afraid of it or demolish it,” Thies said of the setup. “It was kind of fun for them to destroy their toys.”
The three tiger brothers, plus a sister, were rescued last year from a Colorado roadside attraction, and were among 100 cats that needed homes. The video (watch it above), which the sanctuary sent to donors and posted on Facebook, was a way to raise awareness for the sanctuary’s mission.
“It looks like it’s just play for the tigers, but what we do is so important, rescuing exotic cats from places and people that shouldn’t have them,” Thies said.
A team of interns filmed the Tiger Bowl for about 15 minutes — just long enough to catch one cat making a miraculous Stefon Diggs-style leap up to a platform.
“He was going after the drone,” Thies said.