In April 2018, border patrol agent Marshall Maynard was working in Brownsville, Texas, near the Rio Grande when he saw three individuals trying to enter into the United States illegally.
They were carrying a black duffel bag, but they dropped it on the ground and fled before Marshall could stop them.
The agent approached the bag, began to unzip it — and was shocked to find a 3-month-old tiger cub all curled up, alive but motionless and likely sedated.
Border Patrol agents rushed the cub to a hospital for medical aid. He was described as being “on death’s doorstep” and had a temperature of 107 degrees. If he’d been stuffed inside the duffel bag for just 30 more minutes, he would have died.
The tiger was taken into the care of the Gladys Porter Zoo, where he regained his health. He doubled in weight, and his fur has returned to its healthy glow. Now 70 pounds, the cub is known for his extremely playful and inquisitive personality.
Senior veterinarian Thomas DeMaar says the Gladys Porter Zoo took the tiger’s rescue as opportunity to teach its visitors about wildlife trafficking and how these wild animals should not be pets. “Sometimes, people don’t even know that these things are prohibited or that they have a serious effect on wildlife conservation. These animals are being extracted from their natural habitat and put in as commercial entity,” he told the Brownsville Herald.
Three months after the tiger’s arrival at the zoo, it was announced he’d be heading off to an animal sanctuary in Wylie, Texas, that gives big cats all the love and care they deserve.
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