Recently, U.S. Border Patrol Agents that work along the southern border with Mexico in Texas thwarted a smuggling attempt. What the agents found in the bag, however, was not drugs or cash or guns.
The clock started ticking the moment the agents opened the bag and realized they had a tiny life in their hands that was hanging by a thread.
WHAT THE HECK?
The agents, from Brownsville, Texas were on patrol near the Rio Grande river. It was there that they encountered three individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally. Those individuals were carrying a black duffel bag.
When the immigrants saw the agents, they dropped the black duffel and ran back towards Mexico.
It was at that moment that the agents made the shocking discovery.
Sadly, crammed inside the tiny duffel bag, the agents discovered a baby tiger. At around 3 to 4 months old, the little guy was not doing well. He appeared to be unconscious, but luckily he was still alive.
The agents rushed the ailing tiger cub to Brownsville’s Gladys Porter Zoo for treatment. Upon arrival, doctors were not sure if the smugglers had given the tiger drugs to sedate him or not. Luckily, the little guy stabilized and came to rather quickly.
Irma Chapa, Border Patrol communications director, sent out the following tweet about the gorgeous little boy.
— Irma Chapa (@chapa_irma) April 30, 2018
A short time after arriving at the zoo, Chapa posted an update concerning the tiger cub. According to her, he is enjoying his home at the zoo, and the little guy is “doing great.” He is expected to make a full recovery.
“Have a Tiger by the Tail”, this adorable rescue has South Texas oohing and aahing!
Our gorgeous Border Patrol rescue and Gladys Porter Zoo save is doing great today according to Dr. Tom. Demaar.♥️ #DHS #CBP #USBP @CBPRGV @USBPChief pic.twitter.com/lb8WfnP7PX
— Irma Chapa (@chapa_irma) May 2, 2018
There’s even a new post from the zoo with some fantastic footage of the little guy. Considering it’s been just a little over a week since he was found unconscious in a duffel bag, this little guy is doing wonderfully. He even has a few fans already.
The tiger cub recently rescued by Border Patrol agents has made his way to our Small World Nursery, where he'll be for the next 6-8 weeks. Our vet and nursery staff will monitor his health before he's transferred to his permanent home. #GladysPorterZoo #WildlifeTraffickingRescue pic.twitter.com/6qdzuBMsSB
— Gladys Porter Zoo (@GladysPorterZoo) May 11, 2018
PET TIGERS IN THE US
There are only around 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Sadly, there are an estimated 5,000 tigers owned privately in the US. Many times, people attain these animals from smugglers like the ones busted at the border.
A lot of these animals are not cared for properly, and they are mistreated. Tigers are abused and used in roadside attractions and zoos, and a few have even disappeared entirely.
Like all of our favorite domesticated animals, tigers deserve way better than to be used in such a way. Visit the World Wildlife Foundation to learn more about what these glorious creatures face in captivity. You can even lend your support to stop the private ownership of tigers in the US.
Do you know someone local to you that has a wild pet? How do you feel about the practice? Tell us all about it in the comments.
Feature Images via Irma Chapa Twitter