Tiger seized in raid to be sent to sanctuary
By Jaime Baranyai
February 24, 2009
A Bengal tiger seized last week during a raid on a southwest Missouri kennel has gotten better during her stay at the Dickerson Park Zoo but will be leaving Springfield Wednesday, Dickerson Park Zoo spokeswoman Melinda Arnold said.
The tiger — named Sheena — will be transported to the National Tiger Sanctuary near Bloomsdale, Arnold said.
Sheena arrived at the Dickerson Park Zoo on Thursday after authorities removed her from J.B.’s Precious Puppies in Seneca along with 208 dogs and a house cat after reports of unsanitary conditions and neglect.
When zoo authorities first saw Sheena, her coat was dull in color and had a lot of matting around the face and chest, Arnold said. There were urine burns on her feet, and she was somewhat emaciated and dehydrated, she added.
Sheena weighed 175 to 180 pounds — much less than a typical tiger of her breed, Arnold said. A normal weight for her would have been between 250 and 400 pounds, Arnold added.
Sheena has since cleaned up and gained some weight, Arnold said. She was given antibiotics, and put on a processed meat diet for carnivores.
“She’s put on weight since she’s been here,” Arnold said. “A nutritious diet and sufficient water has done great things for her. She continues to show improvement.”
Arnold said Sheena’s familiarity with people has been beneficial in this situation, but warns that tigers should not be domesticated.
“She’s very people oriented and she’s interactive with the vet,” Arnold said.
Margaret Bond, operator of J.B.’s Precious Puppies, faces two charges of misdemeanor animal abuse, one of which steams from her alleged neglect of the tiger. Bond has denied the allegations.
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