Starved tigers, lion taken to Wylie wildlife center
11:23 PM CDT on Sunday, March 22, 2009
By JONATHAN BETZ / WFAA-TV
Sunday morning, federal agents rescued two tigers and a lion. The animals were reported to be in extremely poor health, neglected and starved. Rescuers said they believe the tigers and lion may have not been properly fed in weeks.
All three animals were taken to the In-Sync Exotic Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in Wylie.
“The fact that he’s not messing with the bone, that tells you right there something’s wrong with him,” said Vicky Keahey, with In-Sync, of one of the tigers.
The tiger’s teeth have been completely ground down. The other tiger is underweight and bald from the abuse.
Volunteers said “Kanye,” the lion, was so stressed or bored that he chewed his own tail, leaving the tip an open wound.
“It’s just awful, awful,” Keahey said of their condition.
Keahey said she rarely sees such neglect.
“I’ll probably cry myself to sleep tonight,” she said. “It’s hard … You just wonder how people can let them get like that.”
Keahey said the large animals were likely kept as pets.
The US Department of Agriculture trucked in the animals Sunday afternoon, but refused to talk with News 8.
The sudden addition is a strain for the Wylie center, which is already reeling from slumping donations.
Now, the center needs tens of thousands of dollars to build adequate cages for the animals and care for them.
“It’s going to put a much bigger strain on us,” Keahey said. “We’ve got three more mouths to feed. We’ve got vet bills already piling up.”