smuggler the tiger

Species: Bengal Tiger
(Panthera tigris tigris)

Sex: Male, neutered
Born: October 24, 2009
Rescued: March 24, 2010
Weight at Rescue: 55 lbs.

tiger in a tub

bashful tigerSmuggler was rescued by US Border Patrol Agents near the US – Mexico border in Laredo, Texas when alleged smugglers attempted to bring him into this country illegally. At the time of his rescue, Smuggler was confined to a wire dog crate so small that he couldn’t even turn around.

He had been recently declawed, and at 4 months old was already 20 pounds underweight. He also already had a permanent scar on his forehead, most likely from trying to escape his small crate. Once agents found Smuggler, he was taken to a local vet for examination. Upon his 10 days stay at the vet he gained the weight he needed, and was given a good bill of health. On March 24, 2010 the vet drove Smuggler from his temporary home in Laredo to his permanent one here in Wylie.

Smuggler was welcomed with open arms by several In-Sync volunteers and was immediately introduced to the playground in Tiger Country. One month after his arrival at In-Sync we discovered pieces of bone protruding from the previous declaw. Smuggler was taken to our vet and X-rays lead us to believe that his declaw procedure was done by pliers breaking the bone of the first joint in every toe and pulling the claw from the toe. As a result our vet had to completely redo the surgery to perform a normal declaw.

He is now a healthy, happy, playful, bundle of energy that loves to play and get into any mischief he can find. He did cry a little when all the people left him the first night, so… the people didn’t leave. Volunteers babysat him through the night (and most of the day) until he was comfortable enough to be left alone.

Smuggler has been featured on Channel 8 in Laredo as well as Channels 4 and 5 here in the Dallas area. We sure hope all this exposure doesn’t go to his cute little head!

tiger kisses