4 min read

Starving Tiger Who Was So Skinny Now Looks Nothing Like His Old Self

He loves to play with his new toys.

Cincinnati was one out of 10 tigers who first arrived at Texas' In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue in February 2013.

The tigers, along with three cougars, came from a wildlife facility that had decided to get rid of its carnivores. The arrived in a saddening state - some were underweight while others were completely bald.

A thin Cincinnati | In-Sync Exotics/Dave Burton

"When Cincinnati and the other cats arrived, most of them were uncertain [of their new surroundings] and so starved that they were food aggressive," Angela Culver, media director of In-Sync Exotics, told The Dodo. "Cincinnati was so underweight and starved that we had to throw individual meat balls through the fence to keep him from eating too quickly."

The tiger had it particularly rough - he weighed only 236 pounds when he ought to have weighed 400.

In-Sync Exotics/Dave Burton

Despite the troubling state that Cincinnati arrived in, his personality was crystal clear since day one, Culver said.

In-Sync Exotics/Dave Burton

"As soon as we let him out on the playground for the first time, he took off exploring and playing," she said.

In-Sync Exotics/Dave Burton

"The look in his eyes was like a child getting to play for the first time in his life. It was sad that he had never been able to experience that before, but heartwarming to see just how much he loved the feel of grass under his feet and having room to run," Culver continued.

In-Sync Exotics/Dave Burton

It wasn't until five months after their arrival that these rescued tigers, including Cincinnati ...

A before and after of Cincinnati | In-Sync Exotics

... began to look and behave like proper tigers.

In-Sync Exotics/Renee Brown

Today, Cincinnati, who is now 10, has proven himself to quite the outgoing guy. He loves spending his days running around and relaxing on his playground ...

In-Sync Exotics/Keri Ostermann

... surfing on his large blue disc in his enclosure's pool ...

In-Sync Exotics

.... and pestering his enclosure mate, Serena, who is 17, to play with him.

Cincinnati giving Serena a kiss | In-Sync Exotics/Lark Demler

"He's a total goofball and clown who loves showing off for anyone who will watch," Culver said.

In-Sync Exotics/Lark Demler

"He likes playing peek-a-boo when he's in the pool ... His distinctive markings around his eyes make him look like he's happy and always just a little surprised, which is adorable."

In-Sync Exotics/Lark Demler

You can keep up with Cincinnati and Serena on Facebook.

Cincinnati up to his usual games | In-Sync Exotics

Want to help In-Sync Exotics continue rescuing and providing a home for big cats like Cincinnati? You can make a donation here.

In-Sync Exotics/Karin Saucedo