Two neglected tigers were rescued from a roadside zoo in Oklahoma, but now, they’re beginning new lives and leaving their days of neglect behind.
The two female tigers were rescued in June from a roadside attraction. The ‘zoo’ was closed in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for multiple animal safety and welfare violations. The poor tigers were living in this abandoned attraction. The tigers, now named Lola and Mia, were both found in bad condition after a local called the Oakland Zoo to say that there were underfed big cats still living in small cages at the drive-thru zoo that were not receiving proper care.
Lola was found with facial deformities from an untreated infection in one of her teeth, but she received dental surgery at the Oakland Zoo after she was rescued. Mia was found declawed, which leads them to believe that the cat was used for taking pictures with tourists.
The poor tigers were kept in enclosures that were only about 10 feet by 15 feet, and they were living with feces, and dirty water dishes, Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Research at the Oakland Zoo, told CBS News.
“These are just atrocious conditions for an animal to live in and receive no medical care,” she said. “We’re very happy to be able to provide them with a forever home and a good quality of life.”
The animals are receiving medical care and recovering before they will be moved to a newly remodeled tiger exhibit.
“It will be very heartwarming to see them be able to walk out on grass for probably the first time ever. Tigers love water. The moment they get to jump into the pool, I think there’s going to be so many times when we really will be so happy about this work that we’re doing,” Kinzley said.
CBS News reported that the owner of the attraction was known to trade tigers with Joe Exotic from the Netflix series Tiger King.
Many are calling for the government to pass the federal Big Cat Public Safety Act that would regulate the possession, exhibition, or breeding of big cats. It would also restrict direct contact between the public and the big cats. The ownership and breeding of exotic animals are currently only controlled by state laws.
Although we wish that the tigers would have gone to a sanctuary instead of the Oklahoma zoo, they are at least getting the medical treatment, care, and a much larger space than they were in their previous home.
This article by Hailey Kanowski was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 20 July 2022. Lead Image Source : Ammit Jack/Shutterstock.
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