from: The Dodo
Sep. 30, 2016 By Zainab Akande Photos by Dave Burton, Renee Brown, Keri Ostermann, Karin Saucedo, and Lark Demler for In-Sync Exotics
Cincinnati was one out of 10 tigers who first arrived at Texas' In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue in February 2013.
The tigers, along with three cougars, came from a wildlife facility that had decided to get rid of its carnivores. The arrived in a saddening state — some were underweight while others were completely bald.
"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, media director of In-Sync Exotics, told The Dodo. "Cincinnati was so underweight and starved that we had to throw individual meat balls through the fence to keep him from eating too quickly."
The tiger had it particularly rough — he weighed only 236 pounds when he ought to have weighed 400.
Despite the troubling state that Cincinnati arrived in, his personality was crystal clear since day one, Culver said.
"As soon as we let him out on the playground for the first time, he took off exploring and playing," she 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," Culver continued.
It wasn't until five months after their arrival that these rescued tigers, including Cincinnati ...
... began to look and behave like proper tigers.
before & after
Today, Cincinnati, who is now 10, has proven himself to quite the outgoing guy. He loves spending his days running around and relaxing on his playground ...
... surfing on his large blue disc in his enclosure's pool ...
.... and pestering his enclosure mate, Serena, who is 17, to play with him.
"He's 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."
Cincinnati up to his usual games
Want to help In-Sync Exotics continue rescuing and providing a home for big cats like Cincinnati? You can make a donation here.