As many of you might be aware, in May of 2021 we were able to go on a rescue in Oklahoma. TCWR rescued a total of 10 animals from Thackerville, Oklahoma out of Tiger King Park. We were told that when we went on this rescue, there could be a chance a couple of the females could be pregnant!
We made sure to keep an eye on the suspected females who we thought could be pregnant! Big cats tend to hide their pregnancy really well out in the wild. They do this to not look vulnerable to other animals. This is why it was harder to tell if they were 100% pregnant or not. As it turns out, 12 days after her rescue, Priscilla gave birth to 3 cubs: Doj, Rosie, and Jinx! These 3 hitchhikers turned the 10 animals we originally rescued into 13!
We were ecstatic to have new babies at the refuge. Even more ecstatic to let their mother be able to raise them. Unfortunately, the vet noticed something was a little off with them. They could barely walk on their own. After lots of research, our vet found out these cubs had flexural tendon contracture of their hind limbs. This is commonly termed as “club feet”. We worked with other facilities to find out what we could do in order to give these cubs the best life possible. This has been one of the first cases of club feet being found in tigers.
Following AZA, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, guidelines we started in on therapy. Twice a day 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., these 3 cubs went through hot water massages, exercises to help loosen their muscles, and stints on their legs. We had to race against the clock with this therapy because at 40 pounds, these animals are big, strong, and aggressive tigers. We were able to get done with the therapy just in time.
As a result to therapy, today you can never even tell the cubs ever had club feet. They are able to run, jump, play, and be the tigers they are suppose to be. We were concerned that they wouldn’t even get to see their 1st birthday because of how bad their feet were. But, on May 20th of 2022 they celebrated their 1st birthday with us. There were boxes all over the place and each of them got their very own popsicle!
You can see these miracles still at the refuge. Currently, you can find them in the habitat just on the other side of the leopards. As you walk down the hill or pass the last habitat on the public tram tour keep an eye out for them. Come out and visit Priscilla, Doj, Rosie, and Jinx!