A six-month-old, 60-pound pet tiger found during winter weather last week near San Antonio has a new home in Henderson County.
The Humane Society of the U.S. said the tiger was found wearing a harness, indicating she was someone's pet, and was placed at a local wildlife rehab center until the weather warmed up enough for her to be transferred.
The tiger, now named Elsa, is now living at the Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison.
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“Elsa is a rambunctious young wild animal and appears to be playful and active. Sadly, she spent her first few months of life as someone’s pet. The dog harness she was wearing is a harsh reminder of the unnatural life wild animals are forced to endure in captivity. Elsa has a raw area on her forehead from rubbing on her cage from stress, and fur missing where the harness once was," said Noelle Almrud, senior director of Black Beauty.
Almrud said Elsa wasn't being fed appropriately, and that could have caused health issues later on, but that she's young enough for caretakers to turn that around.
"We expect her to quickly acclimate to her large, natural habitat and start behaving more like a tiger than a pet. We will provide everything she needs to have all of her physical and emotional needs met and give her the fairytale ending she deserves," Almrud said.
The Humane Society said Elsa will be quarantined for the next 30 days to ensure that she is healthy. When she is a little older, she will be introduced to a larger space and may be able to join Loki, another tiger who came to Black Beauty in February 2019 after being rescued from an abandoned house in Houston.
The 1,400-acre Black Beauty Ranch, operated by Fund for Animals in partnership with the Humane Society of the U.S., is one of America's largest and most diverse animal sanctuaries. The Humane Society said the ranch is the permanent home to nearly 800 domestic and exotic animals "rescued from research laboratories, circuses, zoos, private pet ownership, roadside zoos and government roundups."
The animal residents include tigers, bears, primates, bison, tortoises, horses, burros and more.
To respect the peace and privacy of the animals, the sanctuary is open to the public only twice a month for an intimate prescheduled Ranch of Dreams Tours. However, due to COVID-19 concerns, tours are on hiatus until further notice.