Colby, Monterey 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.
Tiger cubs may continue to grow and reach maturity for 4 or 5 years. Colby and Monterey vie for who is larger and perhaps threaten Nero’s title as our largest tiger. They are now big, strong, handsome boys.
Colby has trained his volunteers well. He is known for being the last of the trio to enter the lock out den at cleaning time and last to be readmitted to their enclosure. After his siblings have exited, he remains in the side enclosure, ignoring the open doorway. To get him to leave the den, we have to bribe him with a piece of chicken placed close to the slide gate – close enough to see and smell, far enough away to force him to exit to earn the treat. And we have to keep Brie and Monterey entertained to keep them from snagging his treat. Clever Boy!
At Catty Shack Ranch, Colby 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)