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Tigers: Tracking a Legend

Tigers Exhibit at the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Center in Kalamazoo Michigan

Join us at the Air Zoo for this High Tech, High Touch, TRUE Tiger Family Story!

"TIGERS: Tracking a Legend" is an amazing new exhibit at the Air Zoo that takes guests on an immersive journey into the lives of endangered Bengal Tigers! Visitors engage their senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell as they track a mother tiger and her two cubs through a collection of multi-sensory exhibits that highlight the physiology, behavior, and daily lives of these amazing animals. Guests also learn how both space science and aviation science are used in conservation efforts across the world.

Immerse yourself in these, fun interactive high-tech and high-touch exhibits that blend science, biology, ecology, and natural history into an entertaining adventure that will engage you and your entire family!

The Tiger's story connects to the exhibition's inventive and modular interactives and allows you to map your own path of exploration in your mission to find the tigress and her two cubs. Each station along the "20 Ways to Track A Tiger" discovery journey rewards the you with special stamp station markings on your Tiger passport: Tracks, Senses, Cubs, Hunt, Cave and Conservation.


Tigers Exhibit at the Air Zoo- Entrance Close Up

Enter Tiger Territory...
Your journey begins as you enter through the sacred Banyan Trees and find yourself in tiger territory. The first step of your adventure is learning how to identify the tracks you'll encounter along the way, including those of the Elephant Mahavat and the filmmaker.

Carnivore Capture
This station gives you the opportunity to experience the tiger's hunt through a dynamic touch sensory joystick that is linked to an interactive HD monitor. Using sound effects and bio-feedback, you'll experience the tiger's hunting movements and forceful bite.

Talk Like a Tiger
Utilizing an innovative voice simulation, you'll experience a wide range of unique tiger sounds and feel their related vibration (including infrasound frequencies that are below human hearing). Try your hand at imitating the sounds of tiger cubs, the tigress, and male tigers and get spectrograph feedback letting you know how close you've come. Kids love this activity!


Tigers Exhibit at the Air Zoo- Tiger Skeletons

Inside the Tiger
See extremely rare and remarkable tiger"CAT" scans through a sliding monitor that looks into a tiger's head, heart, spine, chest and abdomen as featured in National Geographic's Ultimate Cats television show. You'll see what makes tigers tick, and our Big Cat Comparisons will reveal the unique characteristics of the lion, leopard and cheetah.

Canine Bite Force
Through a unique steering wheel configuration with bio-feedback, you'll feel the strength of eight different carnivore canine bite forces. This amazing exhibit compares the bite strength of the hyena, tiger, wolf, leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, wild cat, and human, putting in perspective how powerful a tigers bite can be.

Smell the Scent of the Tiger
This totally unique exhibit allows you to actually sniff the various scents of a tiger through special panels on a claw-marked tree. Tigers have specific individual scents to identify each other and mark their territories and marking trees with a variety of unique scent markers.
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Tigers Exhibit at the Air Zoo- Cub Lightbox Close up

Eyes of the Tiger-Night Vision
Experience first-hand how a tiger's night vision is six times better than humans. Two advanced night vision monocular devices that gather existing ambient light produce a re-creation of what a tiger sees on a nighttime deer hunt. A Tiger's cornea lenses are 4 times larger than a human's, increasing their ability to collect and focus light on the retinas, and their eyes are roughly twice the size of a human's.


Muscles in Motion
An amazingly accurate animation rendered in HD by renown Big Cats illustrator, Mauricio Anton, reveals how tigers walk and run. Experience the grace and poise of Big Cat movement like never before!


Climbing Wall for Kids as part of the Tigers Exhibit at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo Michigan

Tiger Digi-Track Climbing Wall
The First Digi-Track Climbing Wall in the U.S. reinforces the TIGERS exhibition story and provides an award-winning experience for you to interact with 3D sensory sounds and lights on a climbing wall involving games like the Cub Survival Game, Tiger Tracks, Tiger Sound Match, Bee Blitz, Monsoon Rain and Jungle Jam. This is a huge favorite of kids visiting the Tigers exhibit and provides an unique learning experience while improving strength, balance, memory, and coordination.





Digital Climbing Wall Games Include:
  • Cub Survival Game- Players line up in the front of the wall to play the role of the tigress that needs to save her cubs by removing predators. Players must rapidly touch the climbing predator lights to advance the cub paw prints across the wall to their cave. Each person can maneuver across the wall to help the team succeed in the mission to save the cubs.
  • Tiger Tracks - Allows one player to become the tigress and light up a trail that the second player, the cub, must follow.
  • Jungle Jam - Allows visitors to make a light and sound compositions through triggering Indian jungle wildlife sounds and musical instruments

. Mother Tiger and Cubs models at the Air Zoo Science and Aviation Experience Kalamazoo MI

Tigress and Cubs' cave
This 360 degree walk-around cave with six photo rails illustrates a day in the life of these tigers quest to survive.

Photo rail themes include:

  • Explore the Tiger's Cool Caves
  • Be Alert for the Tiger's Predators
  • Keep Track of the Tiger Cubs
  • Predict the Travels of the Tiger Cubs

The models of the tigress and her two cubs have the highest level of artistic realism and allow for a perfect family photo at the front of the cave.
Authentic wild tigress and cub sounds come from within the cave and an HD monitor shows the tigress and cubs in the Indian jungle.

TIGERS Theater
Offers an immersive HD screening opportunity to see the TIGERS music video and The Making of TIGERS, while being immersed in the rich surround sound speaker capabilities of this acoustically enhanced, India jungle-themed theater that seats up to 30.


"TIGERS: TRACKING A LEGEND" is supported in part by the Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.
Kalamazoo Community Foundation Logo
Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program