Fenimore is a very shy tiger who enjoys peeking at guests from behind his hiding spots. He doesn’t always realize just how large he is and how small the trees that he hides behind are, so he can typically be spotted very quickly. Fenimore and his enclosure mate, Emerson, exhibit signs of skeletal problems that have shown up in their short statures and rounded shoulders. This is likely due to malnutrition when they were cubs. Fenimore has a sweet disposition and a teddy-bear face that the Carolina Tiger Rescue family fell in love with immediately.
How Fenimore Came to the Sanctuary
Fenimore Tiger was rescued along with three other tigers (Emerson, Mona, and Moki) from the Wesa-a-Geh-Ya facility in Warrenton, Missouri, in September, 2008. Wesa-a-Geh-Ya closed following an attack on a volunteer by a tiger named Hercules. Hercules was shot and killed by his owner to stop the attack, and his body was initially hidden from local authorities. The law enforcement officer that responded to the scene was told that the volunteer was injured by a pit bull, but the owner of Wesa later corrected this statement. Wesa-a-Geh-Ya had surrendered its USDA license in 2003 (a USDA license allows a facility to exhibit animals to the public), and had been under pressure from PETA. At the time Wesa announced its plans to close, there were approximately 22 tigers, 8 lions, a cougar, and several other exotic animals on a small portion of the 17-acre property. The other animals were placed at different sanctuaries and animal parks in Oklahoma and Colorado. Even after its closure, Wesa-a-Geh-Ya continued to be investigated by the Warrenton sheriff's department and the USDA based on accusations that they bred and sold exotic animals and pelts for profit. Warren County did eventually establish an ordinance banning the ownership of exotic animals.
Fenimore is a shy tiger who avoids large groups of people. He has a very sweet disposition and enjoys the attention he receives from keepers and staff. He loves to be talked to and will "chuff" back with all that he has to say.
Fenimore, like his enclosure mate, Emerson, has distinct structural deformities that were likely caused by a lack of nutrition when they were cubs. These deformities are especially noticeable in their shoulder area. They have very rounded shoulders which make them shorter in stature than your typical male tigers.
Fenimore is located in Pine Forest. He lives with Emerson Tiger and their enclosure is sandwiched between Madonna’s and Roscoe and Camilla’s enclosures. Emerson is still very wary of large groups and becomes frightened and aggressive towards them, so he and Fenimore are off tour route.
Fenimore was rescued along with three other tigers including his enclosure mate, Emerson, from a roadside zoo in Missouri. Roadside zoos are "zoos" that pop up on the side of the road to catch tourist traffic. Many roadside zoos are not accredited facilities and are only open to make money. Many of these places lack the large enclosures that animals such as tigers need. They also do a lot of breeding so that they always have animals on hand. The roadside zoo that Fenimore came from was shut down after a volunteer was hurt by another tiger. It is always important to research a facility before you visit it. Ask questions and find out why they exist and what their goal is.