Our border patrol has many responsibilities when it comes to the safety of our country and the people who live within its borders. Unfortunately, we hear stories of trafficking almost every day. While we usually hear about people or drugs being trafficked, there are also cases of innocent animals being smuggled across our borders.
While inspecting a suspicious vehicle at the U.S./Mexico border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents came across something very surprising! There, on the floor of the car, was a tiger cub! Apparently, the 18-year-old man, who was attempting to smuggle the young cub into the states, thought he would keep it as his pet.
The baby tiger was taken to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California. After checking the cub out, officials determined it to be a healthy, male, Bengal tiger that was about five-to-six weeks old. Even though tiger cubs start going on hunting expeditions with their mothers at eight-weeks, they are not ready to be on their own yet; they are normally with their mothers until they are two years of age.
When the little guy first arrived at the park, he weighed just six pounds. Now, in just one week of around-the-clock bottle feedings, he is up to eight pounds. His feedings consist of a formula made especially for exotic carnivores.
This beautiful baby is treated much like a human baby. Not only is he fed around-the-clock, he also must be burped after his feedings. After that tummy is full of yummy food, he usually takes a nap.
It's not all eating and sleeping for the striped sweetie though; he also loves to play and to chew! Yes, the rescued cub is teething, which means that he is chewing on everything and that includes his keepers.
As cute and absolutely adorable as the little guy is, he is not going to stay that cute cuddly small tiger cub for long. Male Bengal tigers weigh in at around 500 lbs and are immensely strong. It is so important for people to remember that wild animals, such as tigers, do not make good pets because they are meant to be just that, wild animals. The park does not know how long he will be in their care, but they are happy to offer him sanctuary while waiting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to determine what needs to be done legally.
One of my favorite parts of this video is when the little guy lets out the cutest little roar! Now watch the video and try not to fall in love with this exotic cutie!
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