It is a bizarre set of circumstances that now has two white tigers under quarantine at an exotic animal sanctuary in North Texas.
“People will do just about anything to breed white tigers,” said Vicky Keahey, Founder and President of In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center in Wylie, Texas.
The sanctuary’s staff said Texas Parks and Wildlife contacted In-Sync Exotics after finding the tigers were being housed illegally on an undisclosed property. Two bears were also seized from that place.
"It’s pretty crazy, because they don’t really do seizures and confiscations a lot. So, when there is a seizure or a confiscation, it can be a little scary," Keahey explained.
The story behind the cats is unclear. Investigators believe the tigers are about six-years-old. Rescuers named the boy Asad. The girl is now named Zahar.
In-Sync Exotic’s staff is already noticing the animals have some health-related problems.
“They have really bad eye problems,” said Keahey. “They are both cross-eyed.”
It is not uncommon to learn about individuals in Texas housing tigers without proper permits, according to rescuers.
"It’s a huge problem, especially in Texas, ” Keahey explained. “There’s a lot of people that have illegal ownership of all kinds of different exotic animals. There’s more tigers in Texas than there are in the wild.”
For now, the sanctuary, which operates primarily on donations, is focused on treating the tigers and the 77 other cats on its property. The seized bears have been moved to a zoo in Gainesville, Texas.
In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center allows members of the public to visit its center for educational tours and visits. Click here to learn more about the Center.