Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two Special and Handsome Tigers

We hope you enjoy this special blog featuring two brothers, who came from the same failed roadside wildlife park in 2003, but arrived at In-Sync Exotics nine years apart.

So let’s start at the beginning as we introduce you to Midas! In February of 2003, In-Sync Exotics spearheaded a rescue of 33 tigers from a roadside wildlife park. At the time of the rescue, we only had room to accept three tigers—Raja, Jasmine and Midas.  We wanted to keep Tyjar, Midas’ brother, but we simply did not have the funds to care for four tigers.

So, Raja, Jasmine, and Midas were transported to In-Sync Exotics on February 10, 2003 and on that same day, we transported Midas’s brother, Tyjar, to a friend’s facility in Scurry TX.  When we said our good-byes to Tyjar it was a bitter sweet moment for us all. We knew that Tyjar would have a good home and that he would be loved; we just hated splitting up the brothers whom had lived next to each other in their old location for the past five years.

We were blessed to have Midas with us for eight years.  He was a very smart, inquisitive tiger, who loved to play in the water!  Whenever he received a new toy enriched with a scent he would give you the biggest smile you have ever seen. His favorite toy was his large barrel which he dragged all over his cage and even into his den. Midas had many cute antics that always delighted the volunteers and visitors.  One of his most memorable antics was to play “embarrassed” by putting his paws over his face, rolling around and moaning to the glee of his “audience!”

Handsome Midas crossed the Rainbow Bridge on April 25, 2011 after a long battle with skin cancer.  The type of cancer Midas had was extremely aggressive.  He underwent three types of chemotherapy and for awhile, it appeared the cancer went into remission.  For the next 2 1/2 years, we thought Midas beat the cancer, until it came back with a vengeance and this time the cancer was not limited to his skin--it was now in his blood.  Midas was so weak from the cancer that we had to make the difficult decision to quietly let him go. 

While we mourned the loss of Midas, fate took an unusual twist--who would have guessed that about nine months later we would receive a special request from Tyjar’s owner, asking if we would be willing to take Tyjar on a permanent basis?  Our hearts jumped with joy at the opportunity of giving Midas’ brother a new forever home with us!

For the past nine years, Tyjar traveled the United States as a circus star.  Each time we checked in on Tyjar, we saw a happy, well-adjusted tiger.  Up until recently, Tyjar enjoyed working with the other performing cats. However, about a month ago that changed. Two younger females took it upon themselves to start “bullying” Tyjar during playtime. As this behavior escalated some of the older tigers joined in.  As Tyjar started showing signs of stress, our friend made a difficult, loving decision.  He felt a change in location where he could spend the rest of his life with his birth mother and sister, Jasmine and Samu, would be best.

Tyjar relaxing in the playground

On January 20, with tears of sadness and joy at both facilities, Tyjar was moved to his new home at In-Sync Exotics and reunited with his family.  We just wished Midas had lived long enough to see and play with Tyjar again.

What makes these two cats very special is that there are not many "strawberry" colored tigers left in captivity, which is estimated around 30 or less, and the last wild "golden tabby tiger" was shot outside of Mysore Pradesh, India in the early 20th century.

The golden tiger, golden tabby tiger or strawberry tiger is an exotic cat with an extremely rare color variation caused by a recessive gene and is currently only found in captive tigers.  Like our white tigers, Harley and Kazuri, they are not considered a separate species of tiger.  In the case of the golden tiger, this genetic variation is the wide band gene; while the white tiger is due to the color inhibitor gene.  

The first recorded golden tiger cub born in captivity was in 1983 and the offspring came from two standard-colored Bengal tigers, both of whom carried the recessive genes for both the golden tiger and white colors. The cub was born at Dr. Josip Marcan's Adriatic Animal Attractions in Deland, Florida.

So not only is Tyjar a rare colored tiger, but he is so darn handsome too! Let's take a look at Midas and Tyjar, side by side so you can see how handsome our golden tigers look--together at last.

We hope you enjoyed today's special feature and we hope you will join us tomorrow for more information about out exotic cats and Nugget (of course)!

We'd love to hear from you, so feel free comment and don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below. And as always, don't forget to share your favorite blog postings with family and friends! Thank you!



  1. I'm kind of surprised that you guys consider a circus a good home for a wild animal. I think the work you do in providing homes for the animals is great but I have to disagree with you on circus animals being happy.

  2. You are absolutely correct in that "wild" animals do NOT belong in circuses or roadside zoos and without a doubt, most of the conditions in those are deplorable. However, from what I read, Tyjar was placed with a "friend," and this friend had a traveling circus.

    What I also read is that In-Sync maintained contact with and "checked in on Tyjar" and saw that he was a "a happy, well-adjusted tiger" and "enjoyed working with the other performing cats."

    You only need to meet Vicky Keahey, her animal keepers and volunteers to know they would NOT have spear-headed a rescue that would have taken the cats from 'the frying pan into the flame' - from one bad situation to another. Undoubtedly, this particular circus owner truly cared about the well-being of his animals or he would not have contacted In-Sync when Tyjar began showing signs of stress. Luckily, In-Sync now had the room to re-home Tyjar!

  3. Tyjar is just TOO handsome!!

  4. I do not think that a circus is a good home for any animal. However I do know this person personally and this person loves and takes care of his cats.

    Therefore I'm pretty sure that Tyjar was happy where he lived.

    Vicky Keahey

  5. I'm sorry but I think if you truly love and care for wild animals you don't put them in a traveling circus.