Shira was a female Saber-Tooth Tiger and a distrusted first mate of the seafaring ape, Captain Gutt. She is the secondary antagonist of Ice Age: Continental Drift but she went on to leave her life at sea and joined the the herd as Diego’s mate.
Shira lived in the Herd Valley happily married to Diego for many years to come and the sabers soon developed the urge to start a family. She along with the rest of the herd were forced to leave to stop the mother of all asteroids from destroying the planet.
Like all the other members of Gutt's crew, Shira was once in danger for her life when Gutt rescued her from an unknown fate. This earned Gutt her loyalty.
Shira defected from Gutt when she met another saber named Diego, who convinced her to leave the crew and join the herd of animals that he was a part of. Realizing unlike Gutt, the herd would look out for her, Shira renounced her position as a pirate, and joined the herd.
Shira had once been part of a saber-tooth cat pack but decided to leave them behind, to make a life of her own and to don't let herself depend on anyone, a decision that was hard for her to accept. At one point, Shira was found by Gutt, an ape that had taken to the seas aboard a great ship fashioned from an iceberg: Gutt had saved her life and she joined him as first mate.
The Herd's Capture
Aboard Gutt's ship, Silas, Gutt's trusted blue-footed booby scout, returned with news of a "huge bounty": four castaways were adrift at sea aboard a single ice floe. Gutt cast off grappling hooks made from skulls to catch the iceberg and pulled it towards his ship. Shira and the others on the crew got a look at the castaways to find a mammoth named Manny, two ground sloths named Sid and Granny, and a saber-tooth tiger named Diego, whose eye Shira caught. One of the crew, a rabbit named Squint, was excited to go down and do battle with the castaways. Annoyed, Shira pushed the rabbit down, ordering him to await their captain's orders.
Gutt made his presence known to the castaways, stating that they were lucky to have been found by Gutt and his crew. Manny informed the ape that they only wanted to return to the continent, which Gutt mocked, and informed Manny that there was no way back. With that, Gutt ordered his crew to attack the ice floe, taking the castaways as captives. Shira leaped from the ship and stopped Diego, who was cutting the mooring lines that tethered the ice float to the ship. Shira stopped him before he could cut the last one, keeping it under her paw. Diego, keeping his pride, declared that he doesn't fight girls. Feeling annoyed, Shira let the line go, slapping Diego in the face, at which point she pounced on him and pinned him down while laughing slightly and then saying "I can see why." Then Diego, like the others aboard the ice floe, was brought aboard Gutt's ship.
Shira was imprisoned within a tree to prevent another escape attempt. The herd then devised a plan to steal Gutt's ship which Shira accurately pointed out was a foolish idea. Diego reluctantly agreed with her. Manny then unsuccessfully tried to get a group a hyraxes to help them, which amused Shira. Luckily, Sid was able to communicate with them.
Diego came to Shira during the night with some water. Shira refused at first but decided to take it when Diego pointed out she would dehydrate without it. After thanking him, Diego commented on her harsh way of showing gratitude, to which Shira smugly responds it’s a gift. She then says for a saber he's pretty soft, but Diego rebuffed saying he's a remorseless assassin. Sid then came and put a coral necklace around Diego, much to Shira's amusement. They then discussed their pasts, and Shira tells Diego that just like him, she chose to leave her pack. Diego compared Gutt to the herd, implying that Gutt didn't care about Shira as he hasn't bothered to look for her. Aware of her captain's power, Shira warned Diego that Manny had no idea what he's up against.
Change of Heart
The next morning, Shira has clawed her way out of the tree prison, and returned to Gutt. However, the captain had a less than warm welcome for her. Gutt was furious that Shira failed to kill Manny, and further humiliated her by giving her position of first mate to Squint. Shira tries to tell Gutt about Manny's plan to steal the ship but is cut off by an army of Hyraxes. When the Hyrax successfully diverted the pirates' attention, the herd stole Gutt's new ship. Shira managed to chase down Diego and pin him, but he convinced her to leave Gutt's side, telling her that the herd looked out for each other. Moments later, Shira agreed to come with the herd, but instead stayed behind to preventing Gutt from reclaiming the ship. After Diego realizes what Shira did, they both looked at each other sadly as they floated apart.
After Gutt made a new ship, Shira timidly tried to explain her treason but the incensed ape cut her off telling her once all this came to an end, he would have a tiger's skin and he didn't care whose. Realizing the truth that Gutt never cared for her, Shira abandons the last of her loyalty for her captain.
Welcome to the Herd
Following Gutt's defeat, Shira asked Diego if he still wanted her on their "scurvy crew", to which Diego replied in the positive, welcoming her to the herd. Shira and her new friends traveled to a new home soon after. Sometime after arriving, Shira would officially marry Diego.
Manny and Ellie's Anniversary
One day, Shira was seen ferociously chasing an elk. She chased the elk past her mate and snarled, when he begged her not to eat him.
Later, Shira and Diego went to Manny and Ellie's anniversary party. They ate some berries and talked about having their own kids. However, Shira was reluctant because kids are afraid of them. A Young Start and Young Aardvark stumbled upon Diego and Shira and saw the berry juice dripping down their chin. The sabers acted friendly, but thinking the juice was blood, the kids ran away in fright. Shira was puzzled and told Diego that she even smiled. Later, there was a meteor shower and an asteroid approaching. They hid in an Ice Cave until they thought it was safe.
Along the journey, the herd comes to a river. Buck comically commands it to let them pass which Shira and Diego express their doubt. Suddenly a moon passes over and gravitationally pulls the water causing a path to open up. The sabers dropped their mouths in surprise.
After crossing the river, the herd is led through a forest where an electrical storm hit. Shira stopped when she noticed her fur by her paw becoming fuzzy from the static. They safely made it out and Buck went in and saved a baby pumpkin, which he called Bronwyn. The herd thought it was quite strange. They stopped for the night then in the morning they found that Granny was missing. They heard her yelling and followed it.
Diego and Shira told the young start and aardvark a story about their adventure. Pleased with how the kids have warmed up to them, Shira happily told her mate they'll make wonderful parents. At Peaches' Wedding, Brooke sang My Superstar which Diego, Shira, and the young aardvark and start danced to.
Personality and Traits
At first seeming gruff and cold, Shira was loyal to those that helped her: Gutt had once made her his first mate, a position which, despite Gutt's indifference at her loss, she initially held close. Shira was not easily swayed in her resolve and could often be quick to anger when she dealt with those that caused her trouble. Shira is also shown to be have a lot of pride when she refused the herd's help when she almost drowned, as she would rather die than be saved by the enemy. Her pride was shown again when she refused to accept the water Diego brought to her.
Despite her temper and her stubbornness, Shira did eventually fall in love with Diego, who showed her the herd was a better way of life than piracy. Herd life was initially something that Shira was uninterested in, due to her snide, sardonic persona, which deemed individuals like Diego, who turned down his rough-and-tumble life in a saber pack, as soft and weak. This opinion changed quickly as she was accepted into Diego's collective herd as his mate. Near the end of the film, she is shown to be quite affectionate towards Diego, given they've become a couple. She is seen leaning on his shoulder when the herd sailed away to a new home, as well as nuzzling his side in the credits.
Due to the developed urge to start a family with Diego, Shira is shown to have a soft spot for children and eventually makes progress when a young aardvark and start ask about their journey stopping the asteroid. Shira seemingly enjoyed teasing the kids as she asked if they could handle a scary story and even exaggerated saying they encountered zombies.
Shira is shown to be a very athletic saber. When she was being chased by Diego on Switchback Cove, she ended up in a dead end. When Diego thought she was trapped, she revealed she had the ability to climb steep hills and rocky areas, leaving him impressed. This is an ability that most sabers possibly don't have.
As a saber-tooth cat, Shira sported the same features that other sabers had: short, compact build with powerful running legs, clawed paws, short tail and ears, and a pair of fangs that were shorter than Diego's and not as sharp. Shira was grayish in hue, almost sliver, unlike other sabers, which tended to be dark tan or orange: Shira's pelt was striped somewhat with dark grey stripes and her eyes were vivid teal. Shira wore two earrings on her right ear, fashioned from an unknown substance, one being small and blue, the other, larger and green.
GuttHaving saved her life, Shira pledged her loyalty to the seafaring ape, Gutt. However Gutt in return saw his first mate as expendable and didn't bother to look for her when she was separated. He also humiliated Shira when she failed to kill Manny and took away her position as first mate. Realizing she didn't have to live like this, Shira finally abandoned her loyalty to Gutt and joined the herd.
DiegoShira has a very loving relationship with her mate Diego. Originally, Shira looked down on Diego for abandoning his pack for an easier life. After seeing how much the herd looked out for one another, her opinion changed and she began to fall in love with him. The two sabers got married after Gutt was defeated. After years living together as mates, Shira and Diego get the feeling to start a family.
Behind the scenes
Shira was voiced by actress and singer Jennifer Lopez.
Shira was initially supposed to have orange-red fur like most sabers of the franchise, but the directors decided to have her appearance stand out with a different fur color, to keep viewers from mistaking which saber was Diego and which one was Shira at wide screen shots. You can see a picture of Shira's early design in the Shira/Gallery.