Tiger cub rescued from privately owned facility


The 8-month-old female was found with multiple improperly healed fractures

The 8-month-old female tiger cub is currently receiving extended care at the Oakland Zoo (Image courtesy of the Oakland Zoo)

The 8-month-old female tiger cub is currently receiving extended care at the Oakland Zoo (Image courtesy of the Oakland Zoo)

Oakland Zoo, acting as agents for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, assisted with the rescue of a female tiger found in a privately owned facility in western United States. Due to legal reasons, the Zoo cannot provide any specifics on her history before receiving care from the Zoo.1

According to an organizational release,1 the cub received a thorough exam, CT scan, and blood work by the Zoo staff where they determined the cub had 10 pathological fractures which caused pain and lack of mobility. This led to the cub having 50% muscle atrophy in her legs and was treated with the necessary pain medications and nutrients.

The team is also working to build her calcium and muscle growth, which can take several weeks to months. After her bones have built enough calcium, the veterinarians at Oakland Zoo will work with surgeons to help determine the next steps in her healing journey. While the veterinarians are cautiously optimistic that she will make a full recovery, although it will take time.

The injuries that she sustained are currently preventing her from performing natural behaviors like climbing and running and the keepers are working to strengthen her through specialized enrichment that is catered to her unique case.

“Seeing this young tiger enduring such obvious suffering is extremely difficult…no animal should experience life in this way. We are grateful to serve in a role that gives her hope for brighter days ahead,” said Nik Dehejia, CEO of Oakland Zoo.1

Oakland Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1988 and works to meet the needs of animal care and wellbeing standards, conservation, education, safety, and veterinary programs. The Oakland Zoo will use its knowledge to execute the rehabilitation of this tiger cub to begin her journey to recovery.

In 2022, The Big Cat Public Safety Act (BCPSA) was passed banning private ownership and public contact with big cats. The legislation, backed by the Oakland Zoo, has made it unlawful for anyone to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce as well as breeding or possessing any live prohibited wildlife species, unless an exception has been made.2 BCPSA also helped to put an end to ‘cub petting’ for profit, something that was epitomized in 'Tiger King', a popular true crime Netflix documentary that followed Joe Exotic.


  1. Confiscated Tiger Cub brought to Oakland Zoo for long-term rehabilitation and care. News release. Oakland Zoo. February 22, 2024. Accessed February 23, 2024. https://www.oaklandzoo.org/news/tiger-rescue#:~:text=On%20Tuesday%20afternoon%2C%20Oakland%20Zoo,healed%20fractures%20in%20her%20bones.
  2. What you need to know about the big cat public safety act. US Fish & Wildlife Service. Accessed February 23, 2024. https://www.fws.gov/what-you-need-know-about-big-cat-public-safety-act
Related Videos
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.