January 4, 2021
The Wildcat Sanctuary Provides Forever Home to Our First-Ever Newborn Tiger Cub
Along with his Parents and Two Geriatric Lions
TWS invites you to watch tiger cub Dash grow up, play and thrive at The Wildcat Sanctuary on his new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/230969098548538
Sandstone, Minnesota – The Wildcat Sanctuary was called upon in late November 2020 to help two adult tigers and two elderly lions in Indiana after one of their caretakers passed away. Staff and volunteers made the 14-hour journey from Minnesota with vehicles, trailers and transport crates to rehome the cats and bring them back to the sanctuary. As they were loading the big cats from the hillside private breeding facility in a rugged, remote area of rural Indiana, they were stunned to find that tigress Winona, approximately 3-5 years old and missing her tail, had given birth to a cub just hours earlier. Sanctuary staff named the 4-pound male newborn Dash.
The Wildcat Sanctuary’s Founder Tammy Thies explained, “The facility had bred tiger cubs for years to be sold on the Internet or used for cub petting profit. We had been told tiger Winona had given birth only 5 months ago, so we were shocked to find a cub born just four hours earlier lying next to Winona, the umbilical cord still attached. Marcus, the male tiger housed with Winona and father of the cub, noticed the cub at the same time our staff did. For little Dash’s safety and wellbeing, we had to remove him from his mother.
“We were devastated to make that decision, but comforted to know Dash would never be sold into the cub petting trade or used to breed more captive tigers. Dash is the youngest big cat I have ever rehomed to our sanctuary.
He will live his entire life ‘wild at heart’ in a large, natural habitat at The Wildcat Sanctuary, where he will be loved and receive proper vet care, nutrition and enrichment. We know the public will enjoy watching him grow up on his Facebook page.”
Thankfully, the decision had been made to finally give the breeding facility’s remaining big cats to The Wildcat Sanctuary. Once the four big cats and cub Dash arrived safely at the sanctuary in late November, the focus shifted to caring for infant Dash and making sure the four adult cats received intake exams, were treated for any health issues, settled into their new habitats and received proper vet care and nutrition, possibly for the first time in their lives.
Male tiger Marcus (about 5-8 years old) was badly in need of dental care for broken canines with exposed roots; he also required vet care for an infection and numerous wounds. Winona tiger, whose tail had been bit off by neighbor cats at the Indiana facility, will be spayed and will never have to endure another cub being taken from her and sold into the cub petting industry.
Geriatric bonded lions Wally (18 years) and Marlene (25 years), who lived for decades in a 20 x 30-foot concrete-floored cage, will now live out the rest of their days in comfort, enjoying their spacious habitat at The Wildcat Sanctuary with numerous platforms, dens, enrichment and indoor rooms with heated flooring. All four adult cats have adjusted well now and they love being able to walk on grass and snow – for the first time ever – and relax in their large natural habitats.
Little Dash tiger cub continues to receive round-the-clock care from the sanctuary’s founder Tammy and is being kept inside and fed every four hours. It was critical that Dash be quarantined upon his arrival due to his age and the COVID-19 pandemic. Dash now weighs 20 pounds and is growing rapidly. His eyes are open and he is walking. He is learning to eat out of a bowl and loves to chuff (a happy greeting noise tigers make). Even at just 6 weeks old, his personality is shining through. He loves his stuffed animals and has just started to sharpen his claws. Every day he marks new milestones in his development. Watch him grow on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/230969098548538