The story of Aasha, the Bengal tiger, certainly had its ups and downs. At about nine months old she weighed in at 30 lbs, which was more size-appropriate for a tiger cub approaching three months of age; something was definitely wrong with Aasha, and her story came to light in March of 2011 following a US Dept. of Agriculture inspection. The USDA inspector noticed the abnormalities with Aasha and called upon Vicky Keahey, founder of the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center in Texas, to see if she could offer some assistance.
Keahey couldn’t help but speak up about Aasha’s condition: “I asked how could a 9-month-old tiger be that small?” She began to learn more about Aasha’s circumstances and cane to find out that the Bengal tiger cub was part of a traveling circus; she lived in a cage with a much bigger tiger that played the alpha role by picking on her quite frequently. When Keahey first laid eyes on Aasha, she instantly came up with a diagnosis: ringworm. Ms. Keahey also said, “Aasha’s bald spots covered almost her entire body and her skin was dry [with] cracked, darken areas and bleeding.”
For two months, Keahey tended to Aasha: “Every day, twice a day, I would go in and give Aasha medications and spend time with her. I knew I was going to have to handle her in order to get her well. After eight weeks of treatments you could see little bits of fuzz growing back to [what once] bald spots. Within eight months she looked like a real tiger, and it was time to see how she would react to other tigers.” They ended up putting Aasha in an enclosure next to Smuggler, a larger male tiger, and he took a liking to Aasha immediately. As it turns out, they now both live in the same enclosure and you can catch a heartwarming clip of the two tigers playing together: a heartwarming tale indeed!