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Pandora is a female tiger who arrived at The Wildcat Sanctuary in 2016.  She was 13 years old at the time.

Pandora before rescue

Pandora came from a notorious speed breeding, pay-to-play facility in Colorado. When she was a cub, the general public could play with her and take photos with her – for a price.

When an agreement was reached for the facility to close, nearly 100 wild animals needed a home. The Wildcat Sanctuary agreed to offer a home to four of those tigers. The cages at that facility were barren and small.

The day we loaded Pandora is a day I won’t ever forget. 

We were onsite at the facility to pick up a different tiger.  There were so many needing new homes.  But the original tiger we came for had become stressed, and it was in her best interest to let her calm down vs. transport her. 

We offered to come back to get her when we had time to move her with the least amount of stress (and that offer still stands if another sanctuary can’t accommodate her).  Instead, we decided to help another tiger there, since there were so many in need.

As we walked through the compound, one girl caught my eye.  So much so, I had to look twice. For a moment, I thought I saw Meme, the first tiger we rescued here at the sanctuary. It was as if I went back in time.

I was so taken aback, I couldn’t tell you if she looked like Meme, or if she just felt like Meme.  A very calm girl amongst the chaos.  She quickly approached, chuffed, then rolled to expose her belly.  There was something so sweet and wonderful about her.  She was Pandora.

Life at The Wildcat Sanctuary

Pandora is a gentle girl but was a little cautious of her open space here.  Spending 12 years at that facility, this new world could be a little intimidating.  She finally began exploring her habitat, scratching her perches and exploring new areas. Each day, she continued to spread her wings more and more.

Several of the tigers from that facility had to have emergency surgery for reproductive issues shortly after being rescued. Pandora’s mother and aunt had reproductive complications that led to emergency surgeries at other sanctuaries. To avoid this, we went ahead and surgically spayed Pandora.

Today, she’s one of the happiest, friendliest tigers. She’ll always come over to greet you with a chuff and she’s known for her vocalizations. Chuffing, mooing, and groaning affectionately.

Unlike other tigers who dive into their pools, splashing away, Pandora sees her pool as a place to cool off, soak and relax. She’s very composed about it.

She truly enjoys her newfound life living wild at heart – as she always deserved to be.

How You Can  Help

Our sponsor program is what makes top notch care possible for our residents. And Pandora would love to have you as a sponsor parent!

Or even a one-time donation toward her care would help so much, too.  Please click the buttons above if you’d like to help.

Thank you for your compassionate support.



You can read about her surgery at the University of Minnesota, with photos and news coverage HERE.

Read more about this historic rescue: Tigers rescued from cub petting