After undergoing dreadful neglect and horrific maltreatment, Aasha, a Bengal tiger, has gotten a new chance in life and a new husband to be with her along the way.
Aasha was extremely small for a 9-month-old tiger, barely weighing 30 pounds, which is the equivalent of a 3-month-old tiger cub. She was in an awful state, her health didn’t seem to be good, as pieces of her fur had fallen out and spaces of her skin were cracked and bleeding.
When an inspector from the Department of Agriculture heard about Aasha’s situation, he contacted Vicky Keahey, founder of Texas’s In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Centre and told him about Aasha’s situation, hoping they could transfer her into the center’s care.
Keahey remembers asking how could a 9-month-old tiger be that tiny. Apparently, the answer is untreated health issues and neglect. Aasha was a part of a traveling circus and was housed with a bigger and larger tiger who would attack her most of the time.
Once Keahey met the poor creature, he knew exactly what he was dealing with: a condition known as ‘ringworm’. This diagnosis was later verified by the vets who examined Aasha. As soon as it was confirmed, Aasha was immediately put into an isolated enclosure to be treated and nurtured.
With the bald spots, the dry skin and the bleeding areas, Aasha needed special treatment. Keahey would visit her every day, twice a day, to give her medications as well as to spend time with. She needed emotional support as much as the physical one.
The treatment required Aasha to take regular medicated baths, an activity that she seemed to hate. Soon enough, however, she got used to the water and even started to splash around and enjoy it. Then, signs of great progress with her health started to show.
Once returned to normal, it was time to see how Aasha would handle the usual situations and act around other tigers. She was then put next to a big tiger named Smuggler who grew very fond of her. It was love-at-first-sight between her and the tiny tigress.
Their attraction to one another was impossible to ignore. However, to make sure that he wouldn’t end up hurting her, the staff supervised their ‘dating’ period where they got to know one another, and before long, they started living in the same pen.
Four years later, the “love tigers” are still blissfully cohabitating and their relationship remains very strong.