This little baby tiger boy was named Juriani, and he and his sister were rejected by their mom. McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary here in South Florida was asked if they could care for these two striped sweeties -- and they have been bottle feeding them and raising them to be big and strong.
Last week was the last week they were allowing the babies to have outside human contact (so they could grow up to be real tigers), and I was lucky enough to be able to go visit!
Before anyone wonders: This is a very reputable place, all certified and approved by the Florida Wildlife Commission and everything else they need to be. They don't "own" exotic animals; they rehabilitate them and nurse them back to health as well as take in animals that are confiscated from people who have them illegally or in ill care. It was a very nice, clean, well-cared for place and you could really tell they cared for their animals.
Now, more of me and the baby tiger!
I got to hold him! That's a water bottle in his mouth. He loved the crunching sound and it was like a toy to him.
Juruani was just like a normal kitten... only bigger! He had tons of stuffed toys that he loved to chase and carry around -- and put in his water bowl (just like a lot of kitties do)!
He is almost three months old, they said, and doing great. His paws are the size of my hands! Petting him and meeting him was really one of the most fabulous things I've ever gotten to do.
(And don't worry, I would never do anything like this in a mall or truck stop. I'd never condone a place that used these animals to make a profit. This place really was nice.)
Next up on my wild animal list: I'm going to swim with manatees in a couple months!