The USDA confiscated Shazam, his cagemate Jazz and the white lioness Sheila from a local entertainment facility where they had not been cared for properly. Shazam was very nervous when he first arrived at In-Sync.
When he took his first step into his new enclosure we could see immediately that he exhibited obvious signs of starvation including severe ascites which causes a distended belly. His eyes were lifeless, and he had a filthy, dull coat. He had no mane when he arrived and red, bloody sores on either side of his face. He suffered with three types of infections in both ears that caused him to rub at the fence constantly thus pulling the hair from around his head and neck. He tested positive for roundworms, Vitamin A deficiency and toxoplasmosis. His lack of muscle tone in his hind legs and toxoplasmosis, which affects the central nervous system, has affected his coordination making it difficult for him to walk. Since the toxoplasmosis was a past infection and left untreated, we believe he may have cysts along his spinal cord pinching the nerves.
Unfortunately, because the condition was not caught in time, it is irreversible.
With a proper diet and appropriate supplements, Shazam has made some remarkable improvements since his arrival. He’s walking more steadily and frequently and now has the strength to groom himself and play. He loves to carry around boxes and kick a ball around the enclosure. His ears are healed, and he’s growing back a beautiful, white mane. He will probably always be uncoordinated, but we’re hoping he will continue to build strength in his legs to compensate for this. He and Jazz join Malikai and Dinari in song creating a beautiful, wild symphony. We are hoping with continuous proper nutrition and lots and love and care, his body and spirit will continue to heal.
Shazam’s rare coloring is the result of a recessive gene called “chinchilla” or “color-inhibitor” and in the wild is only found in the Kruger sub-species and unique to the Timbavati region of South Africa.