Christian’s story began in 1996 with his birth at Tigers Only Preservation Society (TOPS) in Clarksburg, NJ. Christian, along with 23 other tigers, was confiscated in 2003 due to poor living conditions. The animals were moved to the Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in San Antonio, Texas. Christian and the other animals he was rescued with arrived thin and dirty. For many years, WAO was able to provide a wonderful home for Christian and other animals. Unfortunately, WAO grew too big and went bankrupt in 2010. Over 400 animals, including exotics and domestics, were in need of rescue. In 2010 and 2011, Carolina Tiger Rescue was able to assist in rehoming ten animals, including Christian. Tigers in America, a non-profit that assists big cat sanctuaries in the US., helped with the cost of transporting and building new enclosures. When Christian arrived at Carolina Tiger Rescue, he was in good health, though a little on the meatier side (a small diet was in order!).
November 15th, 2016
Near the end of August, Christian had a spell of not being as steady on his feet. His back end was a little weak and wobbly. With a tiger of his age, it is not unusual to see damage to their spinal column. It can be caused by multiple issues, including a blown disc, arthritis impinging on his spine, or possibly a blood clot. We began him on a steroid therapy to try to reduce any inflammation. His walking improved for a while but took a turn for the worse in recent weeks. We knew that it would only be a matter of time before we would have to make a quality of life decision. Dr. Lassiter and I saw a marked decline in his ability to move and decided that waiting any longer was not doing him justice.
Christian’s passing is a story of triumph. Though the start of his life was not one of great joy, he did find love for the last years of his life. He lived to a very grand age of 20 years old. His quality of life was wonderful up until just the last few months of his life. He had a fantastic personality and was easily recognized by his droopy left ear, which was a result of chronic ear infections when he was a cub. Christian was not on the tour route because he got very nervous around large crowds and the noises from large trucks bothered him, but he loved playing in his pool and hanging out with Max. His enclosure mate, Max, and many of the Carolina Tiger Rescue family will greatly miss the old man.