A catastrophic winter storm recently swept across Texas leaving millions without power amid below-freezing temperatures. Countless animals needed to be rescued from the cold, including a six-month-old “pet” tiger.
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office received many calls about animals left out in the harsh conditions and urged residents to keep their pets warm by bringing them inside. “If it is too cold for you to be outside, it is probably too cold for your pets! Please bring pets indoors and keep them safe and warm,” posted the department.
On February 13, officers rescued the 60-pound tiger cub after she was discovered outside in the freezing cold wearing a dog harness. She was brought to a local wildlife rehabilitation center to warm up and wait for road conditions to improve.
Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch offered to take the tiger cub – who was named Elsa after the character in the animated film Frozen – and give her a forever home at their wildlife sanctuary. The 1400-acre sanctuary’s goal is to give wild animals a natural life with minimal human interaction. Their motto is give each animal a “place to be looked after, not be looked at.”
Elsa rolled around in her hay bedding as she made the five-hour trip across the state to Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas.
Noelle Almrud, senior director of Black Beauty, said in a press release, “Elsa is a rambunctious young wild animal and appears to be playful and active. Sadly, she spent her first few months of life as someone’s pet. The dog harness she was wearing is a harsh reminder of the unnatural life wild animals are forced to endure in captivity. Elsa has a raw area on her forehead from rubbing on her cage from stress, and fur missing where the harness once was.”
Not only was her enclosure in San Antonio too small, but she was not being fed an appropriate diet. “She was on an inappropriate diet that would have caused severe health damage, but luckily, we got her early enough and will be able to remedy that. We expect her to quickly acclimate to her large, natural habitat and start behaving more like a tiger than a pet. We will provide everything she needs to have all of her physical and emotional needs met and give her the fairytale ending she deserves,” said Almrud.
Elsa is currently in quarantine but can see another rescue tiger named Loki. He was also rescued from a private residence in Texas a couple of years ago. The sanctuary hopes to introduce the two rescued tigers in the future.
Check out Elsa in her new home in the video below.
Tigers are not domesticated cats and shouldn’t be kept as pets.
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“Small young tigers like Elsa quickly become large, dangerous and deadly. Private possession of tigers as pets, and their use in cub petting ‘operations’ like we saw in Tiger King, is a serious and sometimes deadly problem in this country. Hundreds of people—including children—have been seriously injured or killed as a result of the cruel and unacceptable epidemic of owning big cats,” stated Kitty Block, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.
Sadly, it is still legal to own big cats in much of Texas. But you can help end the cruelty by signing the petition below to pass The Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would ban the private possession of tigers.
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