Colorado Sanctuary Home to 39 Tigers Once Owned By Tiger King's Joe Exotic: They're 'Happier'
According to Drotar, the tigers came in malnourished and weak, with lackluster coats and extensive dental issues. Additionally, many of the big cats were poorly declawed and had mobility issues as a result. The public relations director also said the animals appeared to have broken spirits as well.
“It’s kind of like they tigers were thinking, ‘Wow, my life is not worth living,'” he said.
Luckily, that anguish ended once the animals settled into their new home.
“The animals are just happier. They are no longer just pacing,” Drotar said of how the tigers have changed since arriving at the sanctuary. “It was almost an immediate change with their demeanor. They see other tigers. They see other animals. They see a horizon. They just have more of a purpose for living.”
Two years after arriving at the sanctuary, the tigers now have muscle mass and thick, luxurious coats with an impressive depth of color, and they have space. Joe Exotic, according to Drotar, kept many of his tigers in 12 ft. x 12 ft. cages at the 16-acre G. W. Zoo. At the Wild Animal Sanctuary, each tiger habitat, which contains about 4-5 tigers, is around 16 acres.
“There is no comparison on where these animals came from and where they are now,” he added.
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