Nero arrived at Catty Shack Ranch on July 24, 2010 when he was about 6 years old. He had lived in a private zoo that could no longer care for him. Nero adapted quickly to life at the Ranch. The day after he arrived, we were open to the public for Sunday afternoon tours. He was already completely at ease, swimming in his pool. It was as if he’d always lived here.
All tigers are adept swimmers and love water. In the summer, our tigers cool off under the flow of water from the hose into their pools. In the winter, they will break the ice that forms on the water to do their own version of a “polar bear plunge.” Nero is one of our tigers who loves his pool the most. Many times, he balances with all 4 feet on the lip of the pool as if he were a tightrope walker. Then he eases his body into the water to float or play.
Nero is our largest cat, weighing close to 600 pounds. Yet when he jumps onto his cable spools or even higher onto the roof of his den box, he does so effortlessly and lightly. His movement is all grace and elegance.
Nero is a crowd favorite, especially at feeding time. He stretches up to reach a piece of chicken that Curt, our Executive Director has placed high up in the mesh of his enclosure. You see the size of his paws and his long powerful claws. His 3-inch incisors quickly chomp down on the chicken. He is a very impressive tiger.
Nero’s special favorite volunteer is Dr. Fred, our Medical Director. When Nero catches a glimpse of Dr. Fred, he gets ready to play their favorite game – sneak, stalk, surprise ambush. Dr. Fred stands with his back to the barrier fence, knowing what is happening behind him. Nero crouches down low at the back of his habitat, stealthily crawls along the ground and then springs up onto the mesh to surprise his favorite human. If Dr. Fred turns around and catches Nero in the act, Nero returns to the back of the enclosure to begin the game again. In his mind, Nero always wins.
At Catty Shack Ranch, Nero enjoys a healthy diet of raw meat with vitamins and supplements appropriate to his species, age and current health conditions. All our animals receive regular veterinary care and are very much loved.
Born: April 29, 2004
Rescued: July 24, 2010
Classification: Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)