When the Wey & Arun Canal Trust received a request for old rope to keep a Hertfordshire’s resident tigers occupied, it was only too pleased to help out.

The Trust organised a collection of unwanted maritime rope to send to Shepreth Wildlife Park, where it is to be used by big cats including Sumatran Tigers Kelabu and her mum Ratna.

Keeper Alice Vasallo from Shepreth Wildlife Park explained why the rope was needed: “We use rope to make enrichment to keep our animals stimulated, which is a very important part of keeping animals healthy both physically and mentally. In particular, we are aiming to make a giant scratching post for our tigers and lynx that could help them replicate some natural behaviours in the wild.”

The collection was organised by rope supplier Buyrope.co.uk, which realised that maritime rope could make the perfect play thing for big cats. It has been supplying the wildlife park with coir boat fenders and contacted the Trust to see if it too could help.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust chairman Sally Schupke was keen to get involved: “The Sumatran Tiger is now critically endangered, with a population of less than 400 in the wild, and the Trust was only too happy to aid its conservation. The members of our boat team soon managed to collect a good amount of old rope and fenders. We now look forward to hearing how the tigers are enjoying their new toys.”