When Rescuers Saw This Desperately Weak Tiger, They Couldn’t Believe How Much He’d Suffered

When rescuers found this poor tiger, he was dangerously thin, covered in painful red rashes and beginning to lose his sight. But since he was transferred to a new home, he’s learned to find joy in life again. In fact, he’s loving every moment.

So how did his story begin? Well, in 2013 In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue in Wylie, Texas, took in 13 big cats, including a tiger named Cincinnati. In fact, Cincinnati arrived at the non-profit organization along with nine other tigers and three cougars. Sadly, all of the cats were in a sorry state.

Unfortunately, the cats had been living in terrible conditions at the Caruth C Byrd Wildlife Foundation (CCBWF) in Van, Texas. Thankfully, though, CCBWF decided to get rid of its caged animals. And, of course, that’s how In-Sync Exotics came by this particular group of carnivores.

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After all, In-Sync Exotics has been rescuing abused and neglected big cats since 2000. In addition, its volunteers and staff work to help educate people on the realities of owning and breeding exotic cats. At present, the wildlife center’s residents include tigers, lions, leopards and cheetahs.

So, when the 13 cats from Van arrived, they were in expert care. And they needed it. After all, most of them were severely undernourished. At only 236 pounds, for example, Cincinnati weighed about 160 pounds less than he should for a healthy tiger.

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“When Cincinnati and the other cats arrived, most of them were uncertain [of their new surroundings] and so starved that they were food aggressive,” Angela Culver from In-Sync Exotics said. “Cincinnati was so underweight and starved that we had to throw individual meat balls through the fence to keep him from eating too quickly.”

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Immediately, then, the team gave the group of cats medication to prevent them from getting sick. Moreover, at their old home, the animals had slept on solid concrete with no blankets and no toys. Therefore, life at the wildlife center was going to be a big adjustment for all them.

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Thankfully, Cincinnati had family along with him at the wildlife center. In fact, his mother Cypress was among the tigers from Van. His siblings Jafar, Pepsi, Athena and Ukaidi also joined them at their new home.

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Harrowingly, though, Cincinnati’s stripy fur initially hung from his gaunt body, and he was completely bald on his shoulders, back and tail. In addition to all of that, he also suffered vitamin deficiencies that left him poor-sighted in one eye.

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Yet Cincinnati’s character shined through, despite being clearly very weak. For instance, after years of not being able to stretch his legs, this curious tiger finally had chance to explore. Indeed, Cincinatti walked – but could not run – around the sanctuary’s playground.

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“As soon as we let him out on the playground for the first time, he took off exploring and playing,” Culver said. “The look in his eyes was like a child getting to play for the first time in his life. It was sad that he had never been able to experience that before, but heartwarming to see just how much he loved the feel of grass under his feet and having room to run.”

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However, despite this glimmer of hope, Cincinnati and the other cats had a long road of recovery ahead of them. Slowly but surely, though, the traumatized animals learned how to become proper felines again. Indeed, they tentatively explored their surroundings and learned to enjoy their new found freedom.

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“[Cincinnati] seemed to find joy in every new discovery,” a wildlife center spokesperson wrote on Facebook. “Rather than being nervous about grass, toys and pools like most of the tigers from the Van, Texas, rescue… Cincinnati seemed to think that each new thing was FANTASTIC!”

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“He quickly claimed all the toys in the playground, running from one to another, as if so excited to find each one,” the post continued. “He was the first one to discover how much fun splashing in a pool can be, and is also extremely affectionate towards the staff and volunteers.”

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In fact, Cincinnati’s lust for life soon made him a firm favorite at the wildlife center. And, as his confidence grew, so did his health and wellbeing. Yes, the beautiful feline is now 10 years old and is one fine specimen of a tiger.

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Volunteer Christine Burrow has admitted that she has a special soft spot for Cincinnati. In fact, she even loves it when Cincinnati splashes her as she fills his water tub. “The story in his eyes tells you exactly what he’s thinking,” Burrow gushed.

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Cincinnati’s enthusiasm has also rubbed off on his fellow tigers. For instance, although her bouncy roommate sometimes annoys 18-year-old Serena, she plays some too. “She was reluctant to explore her outdoor playground at first, but she eventually learned that grass, sunshine, toys and pools are fun,” the wildlife center posted on Facebook.

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“[Cincinnati is] a total goofball and clown who loves showing off for anyone who will watch,” Culver said. “He likes playing peek-a-boo when he’s in the pool… His distinctive markings around his eyes make him look like he’s happy and always just a little surprised, which is adorable.”

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Images of Cincinnati on social media show him chasing balls, rolling in the grass and splashing around in the pool. The mischievous soul is also partial to playing hide-and-go-seek, much to the annoyance of poor Serena. From these photos, then, it’s clear to see that Cincinnati is a fun-loving character.

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After all, animals like Cincinnati are born to roam. So, finally, this tiger has found a happy home. “We all just adore him and his obvious joy in life is wonderful to witness,” his carers at In-Sync Exotics said.

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