During her first four months of life, Aasha the tiger cub resided with a traveling circus. And the tiger she shared a cage with did not care for the cub’s company. Little Aasha never knew comfort or security. On top of her unsettled life in places not suited for a tiger, poor Aasha also suffered from a case of ringworm so severe her skin was raw, cracked, and bleeding.
Rescued by the USDA, Aasha was placed in the care of In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center in Collin County, Texas. There, Aasha met rescue founder Vicky Keahy, who made it her mission to give the little tiger the good life! And now, twelve years later, Aahsa is indeed a happy and healthy tiger with a best bud named Smuggler.
Stripey One Eaten Up with Ringworm
Somewhere between seven and nine months old, Aasha weighed only thirty-seven pounds. That’s the weight of a healthy three-month-old cub. And in addition to being so small, she also suffered a raging case of ringworm that covered her body and ate away at her striped fur.
“Her tiny feet were swollen and red; the skin on her tummy was raw, red and cracking,” In-Sync Exotics shared. “For 4 weeks we had to give Aasha baths with medicated shampoo and dip her in a special dip. She also had to take two kinds of oral medications to help clear up and soothe her skin.”
But here, Vicky encountered a problem.
Tigers generally love the water, but Aasha only found fun in the water hose. She hadn’t yet discovered the joy of a swim. Vicky often found herself chasing after the wily cub in order to get her bathed.
“Every day, twice a day, I would go in and give Aasha medications and spend time with her,” Vicky told The Dodo. “After eight weeks of treatments you could see little bits of fuzz growing back to [what once] bald spots.”
And as more time passed, Aasha recovered and began to grow.
“Within eight months she looked like a real tiger, and it was time to see how she would react to other tigers.”
That’s when Aasha made a best friend in Smuggler, a male tiger who also called In-Sync Exotics home. From the pair’s first meeting, “he went crazy for her and was always showing off for her.”
And now, more than a decade later, Aasha and Smuggler still love each other!
Two Happy Big Kitties
Both tigers may have started life on the rough side of things, but thanks to In-Sync Exotics, both big cats are happy and healthy. And for a girl who once didn’t like her baths, Aasha certainly loves them now.
She really enjoys it when she whips up a tub full of watermelon soup too!
Keep up with Aasha, Smuggler, and all their big friends at In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center on Facebook.