Neglected Hamilton County tiger acquires new home, new attitude

Neglected Hamilton County tiger acquires new home, new attitude

See a full slide show of Hamilton at the Humane Society of North Texas Web site by clicking on the link below.

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009

FORT WORTH — For about a month, Hamilton has been a guest of the Humane Society of North Texas, along with a quarter horse, a gerbil and lots of dogs and cats.

Hamilton, a Bengal tiger seized Feb. 11 from a home in rural Hamilton County, was even on the shelter’s adoption list.

And Wednesday, Hamilton got a new home: He was adopted by Wild Animal Sanctuary, a nonprofit state and federally licensed facility just outside Denver, according to a shelter official.

Authorities found the tiger in a 15-by-25 foot cage, underweight and infested with hookworms. The big cat’s owner had been out of the country and had not registered him with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department as is required, according to the society’s Web site.

And the tiger wasn’t in the best of moods.

“When he first got here, he was a little upset,” said Charles Thompson, the Humane Society’s facility manager. “We’re not sure how often he got to eat, or what he was eating. He was just living in this little mudhole.”

At the shelter, Hamilton first got chicken, then was switched to meats such as roast, liver and hearts. The 5-year-old was 260 pounds when he arrived and gained “at least 50 pounds since,” Thompson said.

“Once he got adjusted, in about a week or so, his attitude changed drastically to the nicer side,” Thompson said.

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