Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Improvements & Expansion

It is with great excitement I announce the newest endeavor in the expansion and improvement of Holder's Tigers. Following the conclusion of our nine month touring season with the Kelly Miller Circus, we will return home to Oklahoma and begin construction on a new outdoor compound.

Our daily routine with the Kelly Miller Circus starts with traveling to the next town, on average a 30 to 60 mile distance. Traveling early in the morning to take advantage of lighter traffic and cooler weather, the tiger compound is quickly erected and the animals unloaded to be cleaned, fed and watered. Within an hour of arrival, my girls are out relaxing and playing on the grassy lot with their assortment of "toys" and socializing amongst themselves.

The current traveling setup lines the transport enclosures end-to-end under a canopy awning, opening them to a roofed "exercise yard." With the new expansion and layout, the new outdoor yard will give the tigers more than double ( 2.4x ) the amount of open "free" space for the tigers on a daily basis.

The current tiger compound set-up

There are many considerations which affect the design process for a project of this nature. The compound must, of course, be structurally sound and able to safely contain a group of adult apex predators. It must also be quick and easy to assemble and disassemble for setup purposes and compact enough to load into the transport trailer during travel between venues.

Since taking responsibility and ownership of the tiger department on the Kelly Miller Circus in 2011, there has been an ongoing transition with the equipment and animals. In addition to the acquisition of two additional tigers over the past two years, all of the equipment related to the housing and presentation of these animals has been replaced. Two years ago, a larger trailer was purchased and was custom built-in. A new, larger performance arena was also constructed. Last year new transport enclosures were built, along with the first phase of a new home compound. These major landmarks are in addition to the numerous "minor" aspects that have also undergone replacement and expansion.

I try to follow the motto of Lowe's, "Never Stop Improving." Elephant trainer Gary Johnson of Have Trunk Will Travel also inspires me to continually strive to be the best I can be. His reputation precedes himself with having the best and nicest equipment possible. A reputation of professionalism and success is priceless and hard-earned. With this new endeavor, we will continue on the path to provide the best of care for my animals and continue the legacy of training exotic animals for circus performances across the country.

Ryan Holder
Tiger Trainer
Kelly Miller Circus