Sheba’s previous owner, an exotic animal enthusiast, bought her when she was just a cub from an acquaintance in rural Oklahoma. Once Sheba became too large to have at home, he decided to transfer her to a Christian campground in Mountain Pine AR for hopes at a better life.
Sheba was a 9-year-old Indonesian tiger that had lived most all her life in a small concrete enclosure. After Sheba developed chronic arthritis, the campground’s director realized that the enclosure wasn’t suitable for her and contacted the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which organized her transfer to In-Sync Exotics. Kelly Donithan, IFAW’s wildlife rescue program officer said, “When IFAW first arrived, Sheba was slightly nervous, but mostly inquisitive and even playful. She seemed to warm up quickly to our presence and even greeted us with ‘chuffs,’ a friendly tiger vocalization.”
When Sheba first arrived she was very unsure about her new surroundings. Her new area was right next door to other tigers that she had never seen before. It took a while before she felt comfortable enough to go outside and explore her new play area but when she did she took in EVERYTHING. She walked around for a couple of hours sniffing all the grass and checking out the pool. I also feel that she was a little overwhelmed with all the sky above her head. There would be days that she didn’t want to go out and days that she didn’t really even move around much. We knew Sheba had severe arthritis but we were also concerned with how she moved her feet when she walked. From X-rays that were taken when we picked her up we could see some bone fragments around her toes. This is something we had run into before with big cats that had been declawed. Our vet believes that when Sheba was declawed, it was done so with regular small animal nail clippers. The toes had been cut into directly through the bone leaving jagged edges and some pretty large pieces of bone.
Once Sheba recovered from her foot and spay surgery we moved her to a different area of the facility where there is only one other tiger next to her. Sheba has done a complete turnaround and she loves to go outside and will even go up close to the fence where Kiro is for a conversation with him. She still isn’t real sure how to play but we have caught her tossing a ball around and chasing after it. We can’t wait to see how Sheba gets more and more comfortable and learns how to use her pool and play more with her toys. With her sweet demeanor she is the favorite of many volunteers. To find out more about Sheba visit :