It’s a Big Cat Second Honeymoon

Chief & Mauri Will Be Reunited Soon

March 18, 2021

Chief & Mauri were in sad condition back in September of 2020 when we rescued them from their Charleston, Indiana, facility. In dire need of rehydration and proper nutrition, both had a severe infestation of parasites as well. Because of the severity of their conditions, it was necessary to provide separate but adjacent living spaces for each. Now that both are healthy and living large in the natural surroundings of their new forever home, we are fast approaching the time for their glorious reunion! And we are inviting you to be a part of that by submitting ideas for how we can make that very special day even more magical! 

 

Working towards that goal not only meant restoring the health of these two beautiful creatures, but medically preparing them to cohabitate for a lifetime together, that would not result in offspring. When it comes to lions, it is common practice to perform a vasectomy on the male, rather than neutering him, as we do tigers. That is because unlike tigers, the lions coat – specifically his regal mane, is dependent on his body’s rich supply of testosterone. Without it, he would completely lose his most impressive physical attribute, not only in our eyes, but in that of his female partner. In the wild, this outward display of testosterone also serves as a visual clue to other males, regarding his level of dominance and hierarchy, both within the pride and his animal species.   

 

In Chief’s case, given the fragility of his health, we opted to forgo surgery of any kind, and instead provide birth control to his mate, Mauri. Additional benefits of this route include the elimination of Mauri’s heat cycle, which also eliminates the increased male aggression that is associated with it. As of this writing, Mauri should be hormonally ready for re-introduction to Chief in roughly two weeks. However, such introductions are animal specific and differ according to individual situation and the animals involved. Based on observations, the reunion is expected to go smoothly and relatively quickly, given Chief & Mauri’s history and amicable nature of their union. 

 

Clearly, Chief is the more smitten of the two, frequently displaying a protective stance towards his much younger (10 years) bride. He routinely maintains close watch over Mauri, and during pre-op preparations such as simple administrations of medication, even the smallest expression of apprehension on Mauri’s part resulted in Chief racing to her cage-side in a loud and dramatic act of protection! Mauri, on the other hand is a bit more aloof and seems to be somewhat indifferent to the temporary separation from her partner. 

 

You can submit suggestions for Chief & Mauri’s Reunion Celebration by emailing us at tigers@turpentinecreek.org (put “2nd Honeymoon” in the subject line) or by using social media. Find us on Facebook, Instagram or TickTok. But hurry! We need time to prepare for that special day! Will it be a heart shaped piñata filled with chicken parts? Giant meat wine glasses? You tell us! We can’t wait to hear!