Stories of restoration and rehabilitation always make me smile, and it doesn’t just take place with humans either!
Aasha is a former circus tiger who at 9 months old weighed only 30 pounds, which is comparable to the weight of a 3-month-old healthy cub.
During her time in the circus, the Bengal tiger was not cared for the way she should have been. She was deprived physically and emotionally and had the bodily damage to prove it.
Patches of missing fur made up most of her weak body. Her exposed skin was dry and cracking, covered with dark spots and blood. Additionally, Aasha had bite marks, presumably from the larger tiger with whom she shared a living space while in the circus.
When Vicky Keahey, the founder of In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Centre of Texas, heard about Aasha’s situation from a United States Department of Agriculture examiner, she was immediately moved to do something about.
Before meeting Aasha, Vicky wasn’t 100 percent certain what the tiger’s main issue was, but once she met her she knew without a doubt that Aasha was suffering from ringworm. After confirming this with a veterinarian, Vicky began the rehabilitation process.
“Every day, twice a day, I would go in and give Aasha medications and spend time with her,” Vicky told the Dodo. “I knew I was going to have to handle her in order to get her well.”
The tiger was required to soak in an essential medicated bath every day, which she wasn’t too fond of initially. Aasha would run away from bath time and Vicky would have to trail after her to get her back. It took about eight weeks of treatment before they began to see Aasha’s fur growing back, but by the end of that time, she was enjoying the water like never before!
Aasha began to grow bigger once she started getting the nourishment she needed. Once she was restored physically, it was time to get her back with other tigers to see how she would respond.
They put her next to a larger tiger named Smuggler, and boy did he fall in love!
“He went crazy for her and was always showing off for her,” Vicky said.
Though Smuggler was twice Aasha’s size, Vicky was confident the young tiger would be able to take care of herself. The pair began courting, having supervised dates that eventually led to them sharing an enclosure.
Aasha went from neglected and mistreated to healthy and in love. Isn’t that the best turnaround!?
What a transformation! We’re so thankful for all the people who worked to turn Aasha’s life around. Animals are awesome and they deserve to be treated like it.
If you would like to contribute to In-Sync Exotics’ efforts to do great things for animals in need, you can donate here.
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