"You just don't know what people are going to do with the animals once they get them," Flores told the woman, who then asked for the names of Flores' tigers before the conversation trailed off. Little did Flores realize, the woman went to the individual auction of every tiger Flores had named and purchased them.
At the end of the day, the woman found Flores, and said, "I've been looking all over for you, I've got something for you." The woman then handed the proof of purchase for Taz and the other two tigers to Flores — and they were in Flores' name.
"I just got three tigers and I was like, 'Where am I going to take them?'" Flores recalled.
Luckily, Cheryl Morgan, a different woman who ultimately bought Noah's Land, asked Flores, along with her husband, if they wanted to stay at the park and work for her, granting Flores permission to keep her newly acquired tigers at the park. With nowhere else to take the animals, Flores agreed.
Love At First Sight
In 1999, Morgan partnered with Wayne's World Safari in Mathis, Texas, and had all the animals in the park transferred there from Noah's Land, which closed its doors for good.
It was there that Taz and Flores met Ticha.
"We got a call from a vet's office over there and he said he had two baby tigers who had come in," Flores said. "They had been attacked by a Rottweiler. Whoever their owners were had a dog. You could buy a baby tiger so easily back then for a few hundred dollars."
The veterinarian refused to let the two cubs, who were taken from their mother as infants to be made into house pets, return to the home where they had been hurt — so he asked if Morgan and Flores wanted to keep them instead. Morgan kept one cub and Flores ended up with Ticha, a female Siberian tiger.