A heartwarming tale of two white tiger siblings, Simon and Jeremy, unfolds at a Minnesota wildlife sanctuary.
Born two years ago in a zoo known for breeding tigers, the brothers were destined for a life on display. However, a twist of fate brought them to a safer, more compassionate environment.
Following a management shift at the zoo, a new perspective took hold, one that opposed tiger breeding.
Consequently, the zoo contacted Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota, known for its commitment to big cat rescue, to see if they could care for the young cubs.
In a statement on its website, Wildcat Sanctuary agreed to provide the cubs a new home under the condition that the zoo ceases breeding their remaining adult tigers. The sanctuary applauded the zoo’s staff for prioritizing animal welfare over potential profit.
The sanctuary continued facilitating the transportation and neutering of the cubs, which the zoo kindly complied with.
Upon arrival, despite their familiarity with humans from the zoo, Simon and Jeremy were visibly frightened, recounted Tammy Thies, founder, and executive director of Wildcat Sanctuary.
The sanctuary staff embarked on a mission to familiarize the cubs with their new surroundings through various activities, such as reading aloud and providing enrichment toys. Their transformation marked the cubs’ first birthday into spirited, playful tigers.
Simon and Jeremy, stunning with their snowy fur and black stripes, were six months old at the time of their rescue.
The truth about white tigers, however, belies their alluring appearance. White tigers are not a separate species of albinos but are Bengal tigers carrying a recessive gene, a result of inbreeding two Bengals with this gene.
Wildcat Sanctuary states white tigers are a hit among zoos, fake sanctuaries, breeders, and exhibitors.
Regrettably, the captive population originates from a single white cub seized from his family in the wild and inbred ever since.
Due to health issues caused by inbreeding, these white tigers typically don’t live as long as their orange counterparts.
Jeremy and Simon, though, escaped this grim destiny. Simon, being the extrovert, is always ready to interact with people, play with toys, and occasionally trip his brother.
In contrast, Jeremy prefers a quieter approach, often letting his brother try things first but isn’t immune to playful antics.
According to Thies, the inseparable duo enjoys a spacious habitat with climbing platforms, a swimming pool, and toys.
They have their heated rooms but choose to snuggle together. The sanctuary’s efforts gave the brothers a second chance at life and disrupted the damaging cycle of white tiger breeding.
“We’re delighted to provide a home for these boys and to inspire a zoo to stop white tiger breeding,” expressed Thies.
She acknowledged the financial challenge of building a new enclosure with a pool. Still, she asserted it was a worthwhile investment for every rescue deserving a second chance.
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