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Neglected Tiger Cub Rescued From Circus, Makes Amazing Recovery!

When rescuers found this 9-month-old tiger cub in extremely dire conditions, no one imagined she could make a full recovery. But not only did she prove everybody wrong, she found something she never had at the circus: love!

thebuzztube.com

Vicky Keahey is a veterinary technician and the founder of In-Sync Exotics, a Texas-based rescue organization specialized in exotic cats. For almost two decades, Keahey has taken in many wild cats in need of care and support. But in March of 2011, she faced the most extreme case of neglect she’d ever seen – in the form of a Bengal tiger cub named Aasha.

You can follow In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Refuge on Facebook and donate to help them protect exotic cats on their website.

[tweetshare tweet=”When rescuers found this 9-month-old tiger cub in extremely dire conditions, no one imagined she could make a full recovery. But not only did she prove everybody wrong, she found something she never had at the circus: love!” username=”KittenSkeptic”]Aasha was brought to Keahey at 9 months of age, though she didn’t look it at all. The cub weighed 30 pounds – the equivalent of a three-month-old tiger. At her age, Aasha should have weighed around 120 pounds, but instead she was tiny. “I asked how could a 9-month-old tiger be that small,” Keahey recalled in an interview with The Dodo. And size wasn’t the only one of Aasha’s problems. Aside from stunted growth, Aasha had several health problems. She had bald spots all over her body where the fur had fallen off, and her skin was cracked, darkened, dry and bleeding. The people who brought her to Keahey didn’t know what was causing these symptoms, but once she saw the cub, she immediately figured it out: Aasha had ringworm. But the tiger’s wounds didn’t all stem from this fungal infection.

After closer examination of Aasha’s skin, Keahey noticed the cub had open wounds and what seemed to be bite marks. These were not consistent with a ringworm infection, and Keahey suspected Aasha must have been left at the mercy of bigger animals, probably other tigers. As it turned out, she was right.

Bullied By Bigger Cats

After closer examination of Aasha’s skin, Keahey noticed the cub had open wounds and what seemed to be bite marks. These were not consistent with a ringworm infection, and Keahey suspected Aasha must have been left at the mercy of bigger animals, probably other tigers. As it turned out, she was right.

Backyard Circus

Aasha had been rescued by the United States Department of Agriculture from a traveling circus, after an inspection found that the animals in the show were not receiving proper care. On top of the obvious malnutrition and neglect, the cub had been housed with an adult male tiger, who constantly attacked and nipped on her. The USDA inspector asked if Aasha could be transferred to Keahey’s care, and she accepted.

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Miracle Recovery

After eight weeks, Aasha’s health improvements became quite noticeable. Fuzz started to grow back on her bald spots, and she was gaining weight fast. She finally looked like a real tiger, and was even enjoying her baths – so much so that Keahey even put a small tub in her enclosure. But it would be another six months before the cub could take the next step in her recovery.

Water-phobic

Keahey immediately realized that Aasha hated the water, and would refuse to get into the bath. She would sprint away from Keahey and the vet technician found herself running around the enclosure, chasing down the cub. After a few weeks, Aasha became more accepting of the routine. But Keahey didn’t expect that this stubborn tiger would end up loving the water.After eight weeks, Aasha’s health improvements became quite noticeable. Fuzz started to grow back on her bald spots, and she was gaining weight fast. She finally looked like a real tiger, and was even enjoying her baths – so much so that Keahey even put a small tub in her enclosure. But it would be another six months before the cub could take the next step in her recovery.

Eight months after starting treatment, Aasha looked bigger and healthier. She had gotten so big, in fact, that Keahey could no longer safely go into her enclosure. But she continued to bond with the tiger through games, such as soaking her with a water hose. And it was time for Aasha to meet other members of her species.

A new friend

Aasha met another tiger at the sanctuary, Smuggler!

To prevent Smuggler from inadvertently hurting little Aasha, Keahey and her staff decided to let them get to know each other through a supervised “dating” period. They arranged playdates: short periods of time during which the tigers were placed together under supervision and allowed to interact more closely. Some of those playdates even included taking baths together – Aasha’s now favorite activity. After a few weeks, they were ready to get more serious.

Once the tigers had spent enough time getting to know each other, the staff at the rescue center decided the couple was ready to live in the same pen. Aasha and Smuggler were now able to be together all the time, which they passed lounging about in their enclosure and, of course, taking baths. It seemed like the relationship was meant to last.

Skeptical Kitten excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post here: thebuzztube.com

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Written by Skeptical Kitten

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