What was to happen to a lion named Cameron when an owner of the roadside zoo where he lived suddenly died and the zoo was forced to close? Luckily for Cameron, he came to live at Big Cat Rescue on 5/3/04. At the zoo, he had been raised with Zabu, the white tigress, with the hopes of cross breeding them and selling the resulting Liger cubs.
People often hybridize lions and tigers because they are either trying to create a novelty that people will pay to come see or trying to avoid the law. Until recently, some state’s laws did not recognize a 500 pound cross between a lion and tiger to be either. Therefore, people would buy them and claim that laws against owning a lion or tiger did not apply to them.
Even though Cameron went through a very tough time, in which his former keepers said he had lost over 200 pounds due to starvation, Cameron paced himself to survive. It was up to us to help turn his life around.
Since Cameron and Zabu were true companions, we had to do whatever we could to make a long life together possible for them. The first step was to build a 3-acre cat-a-tat designed especially for 2 large carnivores. Next we had to address the issue of neutering Cameron. We learned that if we neutered him, there was a strong possibility that he would lose his gorgeous, thick mane. To prevent that, we chose for him to undergo a vasectomy instead and he remained separated from Zabu (who we also spayed) until we were sure no breeding could take place. Reuniting them was a special moment and they are now very happy and very popular residents of our sanctuary.