Some sections of this story may contain details that may be distressing for young children to read
Have you walked down our gravel pathway, or “bear tunnel” and met the white tiger who lives across from two black bears? Although she might not have a nametag, her name is Luna, and today we’re going to talk about her story!
Luna was born at a facility in Dade City, Florida along with her brother Remington in 2016. At this facility, Luna and Remington, along with two other cubs named Rory and Rajah, were forced to participate in a “Swim with Tigers” pay-to-play experience. The cubs would be forced into heavily-chlorinated pools, and would struggle to keep their heads above water, sometimes for hours at a time. Then, in 2016, PETA filed a lawsuit against this facility for not following the Endangered Species Act. This caused the facility to ship their tigers to other locations, and Rory, Rajah, Luna and Remington landed at another Florida facility.
For the next 3 years, a legal battle ensued to place the four tigers at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. Court appeals kept delaying the process, until tragedy struck. According to reports, a storm passed through Florida, knocking down a tree in Rory and Rajah’s enclosure. The two escaped, and were euthanized. This incident is what pushed the case to be finalized, and allowed Remington and Luna to be rescued.
Life at TCWR
Luna and Remington arrived at Turpentine Creek on January 15, 2020. They lived in a large habitat on our tour loop, where they could stalk tour groups, but could also hide away for some much needed privacy. Unfortunately, Remington passed in 2022. Luna was then moved to a new habitat in the Discovery Area.
Luna has had a huge personality from the first day she arrived at Turpentine Creek! She really loves to stalk guests, especially small children, which makes the Discovery Area the perfect home for her. She also loves to watch her new neighbors, Thunder and Harley! Luna also will chuff at staff members and guests alike, many times after sneaking up on them. She is even learning to explore the water again, despite her previous experiences! Although her life had a rough start, she is thriving now in her forever home!
Luna and Remington’s story is very sad, but unfortunately, is not rare. Many tiger cubs are born to be used in the entertainment industry. Once they become too large, they are discarded, and a new generation of cubs is acquired. Their story is just another reminder to support true zoos and sanctuaries, like Turpentine Creek, and avoid facilities that use their animals solely to make a profit. If you would like to support Luna’s continued care, consider symbolically adopting her at Luna Tiger Adoption – Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge!