Sprout and her sisters Runty and Star arrived at Catty Shack Ranch when they were about 17 months old. They had lived in a private zoo in Wisconsin that closed. We were asked by a national big cat rescue group as well as by the facility’s owner to provide a forever home to some of the tigers. Curt and John (a longtime volunteer) drove to the frozen north to bring 6 tigers to their new home in sunny Florida in January 2013.
When the Ranch volunteers saw the sisters’ thick luxurious coats (needed to survive in snowy, cold 5 degree winters!) and noticed that the 3 tigers were all very chubby, we nicknamed the trio “The Fluffies.” That moniker stuck. We followed our traditional practice of keeping their original names also. Sprout and her sisters quickly shed their extra coats and pounds and grew sleek and fit as they aged.
Since arriving at Catty Shack Ranch, Sprout and her sisters have always had lions as nearby neighbors. Imagine our surprise when they learned to mimic the lions’ roar! When our lions roared, the Fluffies chimed in, sounding like we had a large pride of lions living at the Ranch. However, with time, they remembered that they were tigers and quit answering the lions’ call.
Sprout and her sisters have a deep attraction to the scent of bleach. At Catty Shack, dilute bleach water is used liberally to disinfect and clean platforms, feed holes, fencing and other surfaces. All the animal caregivers know to spritz the Fluffies’ food platforms with harmless diluted bleach as the final step in cleaning their home. When the tigers are readmitted to the enclosure, they each run to separate platforms to roll in the scent. It is a funny sight to see all 3 roll, twist and rub, trying to absorb the enticing smell.
At Catty Shack Ranch, Sprout enjoys a healthy diet of raw meat with vitamins and supplements appropriate to her species, age and current health conditions. All our animals receive regular veterinary care and are very much loved.
Born: August 14, 2011
Rescued: January 16, 2013
Classification: Panthera tigris tigris (Bengal tiger)