Big Cats React to New Rescues from Tiger King Park

How do the Current Turpentine Creek Residents Feel about New Neighbors?

July 1, 2021

As you know, we rescued 13 animals from Tiger King Park. As the court case involving these animals continues, we remain limited on the details we’re allowed to provide. Our current animal residents, however, have spent time since the rescue getting to know their new neighbors quite well. Interactions and reactions between new residents and current ones are always interesting; here are a few of our favorites! 

Bagheera, a black jaguar from Tiger King Park, currently lives next to Spyke, a black leopard. Spyke has been with us for years and doesn’t seem to care one way or another about his new neighbor. Prince and Tony, bobcats who were rescued two years ago, feel differently. They have lived across from Spyke long enough to be used to his daily routine. When Bagheera moved in, the bobcat brothers were a bit confused. They could be seen paying more attention to Spyke and Bagheera, whether they were out together or alone. The bobcats would “stalk” the leopard and jaguar, flicking their tails with eyes following them around their habitats. We think Prince and Tony believe there are now two “Spykes,” and are confused about seeing-double. These little fellas had never seen any type of larger black feline before their rescue, and likely believed Spyke was the only one in the world! They’re starting to figure things out, but it’s funny to observe them monitoring their neighbors. 

White tiger Snowball came to us during the 2016 Colorado Rescue. Snowball is known for his playfulness and tendency to destroy toys, stalk everything in sight, and be downright nosey. Kyro, a li-liger, is from the Tiger King Park Rescue, and moved in next to Snowball. The white tiger can come on a little strong; his big personality and staring problem can be too much for some animals to handle. Kyro doesn’t seem to mind. The pair watch each other and have long conversations through the fence (Snowball is likely giving him lectures regarding toy-destroying-best-practices). When Kyro is doing his own thing, Snowball seems a bit annoyed and bores holes into the li-liger with his eyes until the attention comes back to him. 

Poncho and Montanna, tigers also from our Colorado Rescue, enjoy long walks with new neighbor, Simba the lion. Sometimes fence-following can be rude, but this relationship seems amicable. Poncho and Montanna are chatty cats, emitting groans to team members and each other. They do the same with Simba, but he doesn’t seem to speak tiger. While Simba doesn’t respond verbally, he also doesn’t seem to reject the brother’s advances towards friendship. 

In a funny way, these interactions are a form of enrichment. Both new cats on the block and cats who have been around benefit from the sights and smells that come with different neighbors. We keep a close eye on everyone to ensure no one is too nervous or too territorial; as you likely know, some neighbors just aren’t a good fit. 

You can see these interactions in real-life by booking a tour. Remember, summertime means sleeping, shade-seeking cats, so coming on cooler days or opting for the 9 AM or 4 PM tour is often your best bet. To support the care of our new animal residents and those who may need help in the future, please consider becoming a recurring donor. 

If you’re also interested in learning about the female leaders that protect these animals, check out our “Tiger Queens” segment from This Life with Lisa Ling.

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