Monterey (aka Monty), Colby and Brie arrived at Catty Shack Ranch when they were 6 weeks old and nameless. A private zoo in Wisconsin was closing and we were asked by the owner as well as by a national big cat rescue group 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. The three older tiger cubs, the Fluffies rode in temporary enclosures in a cargo trailer.
Three little cubs rode in a large dog crate in the truck cab as they required bottle feeding with special formula every 4 hours. At that age, the cubs were about the size of similar aged large breed puppies, weighing 9 to 11 pounds each. As babies, the cubs had no name yet. To honor their Wisconsin heritage, we dubbed the litter ’The Cheeseheads” and named the boys “Colby” and Monterey” and their sister “Brie.” When the boys were neutered before their 1st birthday, they each weighed over 100 pounds. Much love, formula and healthy food went into this transition.
Of the 2 brothers in the litter, Monterey’s stripes and facial marking are darker. To some of us, his dark marking on his forehead resembles a primitive butterfly drawing. As males, both boys are larger than their sister Brie. All 3 tigers love to play in their pool and drag any object they can into the water. We often find rather large tree limbs submerged as well as shredded phone books, torn cardboard, beef ribs and leg bones after the trio has enjoyed their enrichment activities.
Monterey delights in splashing volunteers, especially when they are trying to take photos from behind the back fence and pool area. There is nothing like a big wet tiger surprise in front of your face and camera lens. Monterey thinks his nose makes a most interesting closeup selfie.
At Catty Shack Ranch, Monterey 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: December 2, 2012
Rescued: January 16, 2013
Classification: Panthera tigris altaica (Siberian tiger)