Male Siberian/Bengal Tiger
Arrived at Big Cat Rescue 12/5/2000
Bengali and Sarmoti, his brother, used to ride together on a horse drawn chariot in the circus. When he was retired here, we were told that he would surely kill someone because he was so confrontational. It is amazing what a change of living conditions can do for a tiger! Since his days are no longer spent on the road living in a transport carrier, but rather playing with his giant red Planet Ball, jumping in his pool, napping high on top of his den, or chuffing at his visitors, he is a very happy tiger.
Bengali loves operant training time. By training these wild animals in certain behaviors such as “sit” and “down,” our veterinarians have a much easier time doing routine, hands-off examinations. One day, Bengali became ill and began losing weight. Due to his operant training, keepers were able to draw blood from his tail without having to sedate him. Sedation is often dangerous and to be avoided whenever possible. Since Bengali was eagerly waiting for his treat reward for responding to the “down” command in his lockout, he didn’t even notice the procedure he was undergoing. Bengali has also been neutered since his arrival.