If you are a newer visitor to Turpentine Creek, you might not have met Abigail before, as she now lives in Rescue Ridge. However, you might’ve met her two siblings, Chuff and Athena, who currently live on our tour loop! Today we’ll be talking about Abigail and the story that brought these three here to the refuge.
Abigail lived in a facility with her brother, Chuff, and sister, Athena, in Branson West, Missouri. At this facility, staff and volunteers were allowed to enter enclosures with their animals. One day in 2009, a 16-year-old volunteer entered their habitat in order to clean. While working, he tripped and fell. Abigail and her siblings acted on their natural instincts and attacked the volunteer. Luckily, he survived, but he is paralyzed from the waist down. After this incident, the facility was forced to rehome their carnivores, including Abigail and her siblings. You might meet Harley, the black bear who lived at this facility, who is also our oldest resident here at the refuge at nearly 22!
When TCWR staff members arrived at this facility, they realized that moving all three tigers at the same time would be a difficult task. They decided to sedate the siblings and actually carry them into the rescue trailer instead of using a rolling cart. The siblings were very aggressive and upset when they first arrived at Turpentine, but over time, they have begun to be more accepting of staff members working outside of their habitat.
Abigail, Chuff, and Athena used to share a habitat together; however, tiger siblings can have very different personalities, which is the case for these three. Abigail has a very strong, bold personality and has not settled down as much as her two siblings have. Due to this, Abigail was separated from these two and was moved down to Rescue Ridge to enjoy a quieter, more private habitat. It turns out that this was the perfect thing for her, as she is very happy to enjoy her peace and quiet! She loves napping in her grassy area and playing with her enrichment items!
The story of Chuff, Abigail, and Athena proves that even though tigers may have been in captivity their entire lives, they are still wild animals with wild instincts. It also goes to show that no matter how hard their backstory is, Turpentine Creek will always fight to make their forever home a happy one. If you’d like to support Abigail, you can symbolically adopt her at https://shop.turpentinecreek.org/collections/abigail/products/adoption