Celebrate International Tiger Day With These Amazing Rescue Stories
Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary
Nora is a white Bengal tiger that was chained to a box as cub, so that people could pay to have their photo taken with her. When she outgrew that, she was used for breeding cubs for pets for the next 8 years. Thankfully, she was rescued by Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary and is now living in large, spacious habitat – free to live out the rest of her life with proper care and enrichment.
The Wildcat Sanctuary
Daisy was rescued from a roadside zoo and was in need of extensive veterinary care when she arrived at The Wildcat Sanctuary. She was diagnosed with spinal meningitis and an old heel fracture with extensive scar tissue. After receiving top-notch veterinary care at the University of Minnesota, we are happy to report that Daisy is enjoying her days at The Wildcat Sanctuary with her health being closely monitored.
Black Fire was one of 115 animals rescued from a cub-petting operation in Colorado. He had several medical issues when he arrived at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge including a deformed pelvis, and he required surgery for a life-threatening hernia several years later. Thankfully, Black Fire has defied all odds and is happy causing chaos with his sisters.
Clarence was surrendered by his previous owners after they were not able to comply with new laws in their state regarding exotic animals. He was kept in a 20 by 30 foot cage with 2 other tigers until he was attacked. Then, he was moved into a smaller cage inside of a pole barn. At Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary, he enjoys a large enclosure, pool, and plenty of enrichment.
Java was rescued along with Rajah from a circus in Oklahoma. They were 9 years old when they were rescued by PrideRock Wildlife Refuge in 2015. Java and Rajah have settled in well and are both very sweet. They are full of chuffs for their caretakers – although Java has her favorites, and who can blame her after her rough start to life!
Welfare Society (PAWS)
Mungar was rescued by PAWS from a captive wildlife facility that shut down. He endures serious defects commonly associated with inbreeding including blindness in his left eye and limited vision in his right; malformed neck vertebrae pinch his spinal cord, affecting coordination in his rear legs. Despite his challenges, this courageous and much loved tiger regularly engages in favorite activities, such as soaking in his pool, playing with a therapy toy, or resting on a specially modified platform where he can take in the smells and sounds of nature all around him.
Lions, Tigers and Bears
Maverick was confiscated by the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife from a celebrity who did not have the proper licenses to own an exotic animal. As is often the case, he became too much to handle for his owner as he grew and his wild instincts began to emerge. When he arrived at Lions, Tigers and Bears in 2014, he was a rambunctious 9-month old tiger cub. He has since grown into a healthy, 400+ pound tiger.
Keepers of the Wild
Kaos was purchased as a cub by magician Rick Thomas as a prop for his shows. After traveling and being used in magic shows for years, Mr. Thomas asked Keepers of the Wild if they would take in his 5 “show cat” tigers. They agreed to take the tigers if Mr. Thomas signed an agreement to no longer use wild animals in his shows, which he did. While Kaos was initially hesitant in his new, natural habitat, he has since settled in nicely – lounging in his pool and the shade of his favorite palm tree.
Forest Animal Rescue
Juanita was rescued from a cub-petting facility in Colorado along with 110 other animals, in the largest big cat and bear rescue in U.S. history. Seventeen sanctuaries from around the country joined forces to rescue these animals. Juanita now shares an expansive wooded habitat at Forest Animal Rescue with another tiger rescued from the same facility that used the tigers as photo props as cubs, and were then forced to breed to produce more cubs.
Mitre was rescued from a “pay-to-play” facility in Florida. As a cub, he travelled around and was handled by people who paid to hold him. After he became too large for this, he was put on display in a tiny cage and forced to perform circus tricks. Mitre was rescued by Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary in 2008 when the facility that exploited him was shut down. He now chooses to lounge under the trees in his spacious habitat, well away from people and other animals.
Gracie was born at a roadside zoo where she did not receive medical treatment for a condition called entropian. As a result, she is now 90 to 95% blind in both eyes due to the untreated condition. Gracie was rescued along with her sister, Thor, and both of their parents. At Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary, she receives the care and enrichment that she deserves – and loves pumpkin enrichment, her hammocks, and avoiding mud at all costs.
Black Beauty Ranch
Loki was a “pet” tiger who was rescued from a house in Houston in 2019 in a cage that he could barely move in. When he first arrived at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, he was fearful and had to learn how to climb and swim. One year later, Loki is enjoying his spacious habitat filled with grass, trees, and a pool, and acting like a healthy, happy tiger with the life he deserves.
Kamali was rescued from a pseudo-sanctuary in Texas with three other female tigers. They were all underweight and had an aversion to males, people with hats, and people with facial hair. It took Kamali a long time to trust her new caretakers enough to even eat. She spent her first several weeks at Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary pacing and refusing to eat. Once she realized that she was finally in a safe environment, and was receiving proper nutrition, she began to trust her new caretakers and was moved to a larger enclosure with plenty of tiger neighbors.
Carolina Tiger Rescue
Aria was rescued in 2013 when Carolina Tiger Rescue received a call about a severely malnourished tiger in desperate need of vet care in South Carolina. She was brought back to Carolina Tiger Rescue where she received excellent care, and became an energetic and happy tiger. Although Aria is no longer with us, her story exemplifies how good intentions are not always enough to provide the care that these animals deserve.
Luna was rescued from a backyard breeder, who wanted to breed the “perfect” white tiger. There is no such thing, since white tigers are the result of a genetic mutation that requires generations of inbreeding to produce. She was hauled around the U.S. and forced to breed, and when she became aggressive to the male tigers, she was beaten into submission. Luna was rescued by Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in 2005 and has been receiving the excellent care and enrichment that she deserves ever since.
Big Cat Rescue
Aria was rescued from a private owner who was not providing proper care or habitat for her. She was kept in a small enclosure with dirt compacted by years of urine left uncleaned. She came to Big Cat Rescue with open wounds on the pressure points on her shoulders and hips. Although the odds were stacked against her, Aria survived months of surgeries and treatment for her wounds, and is now thriving in her expansive enclosure.