Tigers, Formerly of Napavine, Welcome Cubs

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Tigers, Formerly of Napavine, Welcome Cubs
Cat Tales: Samson and Delilah, Moved East After Owner’s Eviction, Have Litter of Four
Posted Jan 21, 11:05 am.
By Kevin Westrick
The Chronicle
The family of four Siberian tigers shipped from Napavine to a rescue park in Eastern Washington now numbers eight.
Samson, Delilah and their two offspring were shipped to the non-profit Cat Tales Zoological Park near Spokane in February when owner Paul Mason was evicted from his Napavine home. Delilah gave birth to four cubs on Nov. 24.
Debbie Wyche, one of the founders of the park, said the eight-week-old cubs are in good health.
The two males are about 18 pounds each, and the females are about 15 and 12 pounds, she said. They are currently under 24-hour monitoring in the park’s nursery.
“Basically, in the next month they’ll double in size,” she said. “Dad’s 700 pounds, so the boys’ll probably be about the same size.”
Mason did a good job looking after the animals, in Wyche’s opinion. The couple’s two previous cubs are now three years old.
“They were, if anything, overweight, more so than we typically see,” she explained. “The old owner, he took good care of the cats.”
The beasts are all faring well in their new home.
“They’re doing great,” Wyche said. “Being Siberian tigers, they don’t mind the snow as much as I do.”
Delilah was a good mother, she added, and took care of the cubs until they were two weeks old, at which point she wanted to be put back with Samson.
Some of their animals are brought in by the Wildlife Department, she said, and a few are part of the zoo system.
“The majority of our cats are probably from the same sort of circumstances (as the Napavine tigers),” she said, “Whether it’s a rescue situation, or people that can no longer keep them, or confiscations.”
Cat Tales hosts an adoption program in which people can sponsor an animal, month-to-month, for anywhere from $20 (for a snake or lizard) to $100 (for a lion or tiger). The shelter does not, however, allow individuals to physically take the animals home.
Cat Tales Zoological Park, located about 10 miles north of Spokane, was founded in early 1991 by Wyche and her husband Mike. The park is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture as an exhibitor and registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
A volunteer staff helps care for just under 50 animals, currently including pumas, bears, a liger, bobcats, a pair of singing dogs, an iguana and several snakes.
Mason, who could not be reached for comment for this story, moved to Onalaska with Samson and Delilah in 2002, and in April of 2003 moved to Mill Road, outside Napavine, where he built a large fenced enclosure for the big cats. In an emotional parting, he gave up his tigers to Cat Tales when he was evicted from the Napavine property in February 2007.

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