Shira was a female saber-toothed 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. After Gutt rescued her she pledged her loyalty to him.
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 married Diego.
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 not let herself depend on anyone, a decision that was difficult for her to accept. At one point, while sailing the sea, 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 when her iceberg collapsed under her and she joined him as the 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-toothed 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 him 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. Annoyed, Shira pulled the line back, slapping Diego in the face, at which point she pounced on him and pinned him down while chuckling and saying "I can see why." Then Diego, like the others aboard the ice floe, was brought aboard Gutt's ship.
Once the herd woke up and found themselves tied up, Gutt and his crew attempted to convince them to join through the use of song. After Manny refused, Gutt ordered Shira to prepare the plank. Manny and Diego managed to escape their bonds, but the ensuing battle between Manny and Gutt accidentally caused the collapse of Gutt's ship. While Gutt and most of his crew escaped, Shira was left behind.
On the verge of drowning, Shira called out to Gutt and the crew. Manny and the herd approached her on a small ice floe and offered to save her. Out of pride, she declared that she would rather drown than accept their help, much to Diego's amusement. Ignoring her protests, Manny brought Shira onto their raft, though she remained ungrateful. Still amused, Diego asked if she would like to join their "scurvy crew." Shira mocked the idea, saying the group was the start of a bad joke. Diego responded by calling her "kitty", which angered Shira into pouncing on him. Though Diego quickly overpowered Shira, Granny's remark caused him to get off her.
Still lost at sea, Sid accidentally cracked the ice floe. Taking note of their situation, Diego points out they'll never get back to the continent on such a small floe. Shira told him they should have considered that before they destroyed the ship, causing her and Diego to start exchanging insults. The arguing continued until Manny pointed out a nearby island and they began to paddle towards it.
As soon as they hit shore, Shira attempted to escape, as she didn’t want anything more to do with the herd. Almost immediately, Diego took off after her as she could help them get back home. After a long chase, Diego finally caught Shira. Shira demanded him to get off her, which he refused and asked where does she think she'll be able to go. He quickly discovered that Gutt's crew was also at the cove.
Shira was imprisoned within a tree to prevent another escape attempt. The herd then devised a plan to steal Gutt's ship, which Shira claimed was a foolish idea. Seeing how they were outnumbered, Diego reluctantly admitted that Shira was right. 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 responded 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 doesn't actually care about Shira as he hasn't bothered to look for her. Though Shira was taken aback by this, she nevertheless remained true to her beliefs. Well aware of her captain's power, Shira warned Diego that Manny has 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. Furious that Shira failed to kill Manny, Gutt 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 hyraxes 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. Unfortunately while running to the ship, Shira noticed Gutt was pursuing them and stayed behind. When Diego questioned her actions, she told him she has his back and pushed some ice in front of Gutt, causing the ape to slip. After Diego realizes what Shira did, they looked at each other sadly as they floated apart.
Furious over the loss of another ship, Gutt climbs in between a crack in some ice and pushed it apart to make a new ship. After the crew was ordered to get on board, Shira timidly tried to explain her treason to Gutt. The incensed ape cut her off and told her that once all this came to an end, he would have a tiger's skin and he didn't care whose. Realizing that Gutt never cared for her, Shira glares at him and finally abandons her loyalty to her captain.
Welcome to the Herd
Shortly afterwards, when Gutt held Manny's family hostage, Shira was seen struggling to get up, suggesting Gutt had physically punished her for betraying him. During the battle, Shira attempted to free Ellie, but was waylaid by Squint, who called her a traitor. Shira then mocked him saying his nose looks cute when he's angry. Furious, Squint attempted to attack Shira, but was crushed flat by Ellie. Shira smirked at this before being knocked aside by Dobson.
Following the defeat of Gutt and his crew, Shira asked Diego if he still wanted her on his "scurvy crew", to which he replied in the positive, welcoming her to the herd. With the continent now destroyed, Shira and her new friends set sail to a new home. 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 let out a roar after he begged her not to eat him. As she continued her chase, Diego who was somewhat disturbed by his wife's ferocity told Manny that Shira unlike Ellie, isn't that much of a giggler.
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. Two kids, a start named Lily and an aardvark named Andrew stumbled upon Diego and Shira and saw the berry juice dripping down their chins. 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, Buck instructed the herd to stay on the trail as it would take them to the crash site. However, when Buck noticed the dino-birds who he agitated earlier approaching, he ushered them to leave the trail and enter the forest. Shira was about to protest, but Buck cut her off. Though suspicious, the herd did as Buck told them.
After entering the forest, the herd eventually came 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.
They found that Granny was getting massages from a prehistoric rabbit called Teddy. They were in Geotopia, a land of crystals and where everyone stayed in their youth. Brooke, a sloth, fell in love with Sid and called her squad of Minicorns called Bubbles and Misty. They tapped their hooves on the crystal floor, releasing a crystal hoverboard, which took them to the Geotopian master, Shangri Llama. Granny voices her disgust for llamas as they spit and smell bad. Shira is amused when Diego points out that Granny does too. As they watch the Llama argue with Sid, Shira and Diego began to wonder if the Geotopian leader could actually save them. After the Llama refused to help them, the herd decided to spend their seemingly final moments exploring Geotopia. Shira and Diego are seen snuggling gently as they watched the crystals.
After Sid broke the Geotopian wall, the Shangri Llama became furious as the crystals provide eternal youth. Watching the Llama rant, Buck gets the idea to use pent up energy to activate the volcano. However for this task, they would need to use the crystals to seal the volcano's steam vents. At first, the Geotopians were reluctant to give up their youth, but with some persuading from Brooke, they agreed to give up the crystals in order to save the planet. The crystals were put in a volcano, to move the asteroid elsewhere. The plan worked and they celebrated their victory.
Diego and Shira told Andrew and Lily a story about their adventure. Seeing 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 and Shira danced to along with Lily and Andrew.
Personality and Traits
At first seeming gruff and sarcastic, 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. Like many sabers, Shira is also shown to be very proud, shown when she refused the herd's help when she almost drowned, as she would rather die than be turned into a charity case. 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 a better way of life than piracy. Life in the herd initially was 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. Her 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 him 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 an aardvark named Andrew and a start named Lily 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. Given Diego's impressed expression, this is possibly an ability that most sabers don't have.
As a saber-toothed tiger, 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. The smaller earring was blue, while the other one was 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.
DiegoAs mates, Diego and Shira love each other very much. 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. Shira sees Diego as a way of protection, as she stayed close to him during the final battle against the pirates. 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.