When a group of 10 tigers and three cougars were rescued from a wildlife facility looking to dispose of their carnivores, their condition was heartbreaking.
Among these was a tiger named Cincinnati, who arrived at the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue in Texas in February 2013, severely malnourished and desperately in need of care.
Upon arrival, these majestic creatures were in such a deplorable state that some were severely underweight, and others were bald.
Cincinnati’s condition was particularly grim: he weighed a mere 236 pounds, a shocking contrast to his healthy weight of around 400 pounds.
“They were so food aggressive from being so incredibly starved. We had to roll meatballs through the fence one at a time to prevent Cincinnati from eating too fast,” recalled Angela Culver, media director of In-Sync Exotics, in a conversation with The Dodo.
Despite his initial physical condition, Cincinnati’s spirited nature was apparent from day one. He eagerly explored and played the first time he was let out onto the sanctuary’s playground.
Culver fondly remembers the moment, “Seeing the joy in his eyes, like a child playing for the first time, was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. He seemed to truly appreciate the feel of grass beneath his feet and the freedom to run.”
It took five months of care before Cincinnati, and his fellow rescued tigers began to show signs of health and natural tiger-like behavior.
Fast forward to today, and the 10-year-old Cincinnati is a picture of health and joy. He has a penchant for running around and chilling out on his playground, taking ‘surfing’ breaks on a large blue disc in his enclosure’s pool.
He never misses an opportunity to invite his 17-year-old enclosure mate, Serena, for some fun and games.
Described as a “total goofball” by Culver, Cincinnati’s playful antics and adorable surprised expression, thanks to his unique eye markings, never fail to entertain anyone watching.
His transformation truly embodies the power of compassion and care in the face of adversity.
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