A Bengal tiger named Aasha was nine months old when she weighed 30 pounds, which is how much a three-month-old cub should weigh. When Vicky Keahey, founder of Texas’ In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center, heard about this, she knew she had to do something immediately to help.
She wondered how Aasha became so tiny and neglected, but it all made sense to her when she learned that Aasha belonged to a traveling circus. The USDA had recently investigated the animals, and found out that they weren’t receiving proper care. Without hesitation, Keahey agreed to take Aasha in.
As soon as she saw Aasha, she knew she had ringworm. She had bald spots all over hre body, her skin was dry and bloody with cracked, darken areas, and she had open wounds which Keahey assumed were bite marks from a larger tiger that she lived with.
She was taken to an isolated enclosure at In-Sync Exotics and given medication every day, twice a day. Keahey would go into the enclosure and spend a lot of time with her as well so that she wouldn’t feel alone. Aasha also received a special medicated bath every day, which would help her horrible skin and wounds. Aasha hated the water, which required Keahey to chase Aasha around in order to wash her.
After eight weeks of treatment, Aasha’s hair was finally starting to grow back. Aasha learned to love water, so much that Keahey put a small tub in her enclosure for her to swim and splash in. Keahey would also spray her with the hose, which she loved.
Eight months later, she looked like a perfectly healthy tiger. Keahy believed that it was time for her to meet other tigers now. They put her next door to another tiger there, named Smuggler, and he fell in love with her. “He went crazy for her and was always showing off for her,” Keahy told The Dodo.
Keahy saw the connection these two had with each other, so she let them “date.” They had supervised playdates until they were eventually able to move into the same enclosure together. Four years later, the two are still inseparable!
Over the years, Aasha has gone from a sick tiger cub who was mistreated and neglected, and terrified of water, to a happy and healthy adult tiger who found her soulmate and LOVES the water!