Nikita’s a female Bengal white tiger who came to The Wildcat Sanctuary in 2012. She was 7 years old at the time and had already survived a horrible life of abuse.
Nikita was owned by the notorious Ohio breeder, exhibitor and ex-convict Sam Mazzola. As a typical pay-to-play cub, he used her from a very young age as a photo prop to make money. Nikita grew up in a small, cement slab cage with other tigers. She had to fight for her food, becoming dominant and dangerous.
Be sure to learn The Truth About White Tigers here and help educate others, too.
Mazzola would travel around with his exotics, bringing in over $20,000 per event. He’d force his bears to wrestle anyone who paid $1000 for the chance, and 1000’s did. Employees were seen using a bat on one of the tigers, too. We can only imagine the abuse Nikita endured.
When Mazzola died of asphyxiation in 2012, authorities divided up his animals and placed them at various facilities. Nikita went to a backyard facility where she lived alone in a 20’ x 30’ cage. But finally, she was safe and loved.
Until Ohio laws became much stricter regarding private ownership of exotics. Her current owners couldn’t meet the new regulations, so looked to place their cats at a sanctuary.
Life at the Sanctuary
We were happy to welcome Nikita to her forever home. No more being on exhibit, no more moving from place to place, no more abuse….just love and a serene environment for her to blossom.
And she has! She’s a much more docile tiger today, calmly sitting for operant conditioning and not as fearful of cameras as she used to be. Today, she trusts her caretakers and knows what true compassion feels like.
Be sure to scroll down to see videos of her amazing transformation!
How You Can Help
Without our sponsor parents, transformations like this just aren’t possible. If you’d like to consider sponsoring Nikita, or even giving a one time donation towards her care, you can do that easily using the buttons at the top of this page.
Thank you for your support!