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The Name Game!
Drum roll please! We know everyone has been waiting for this big announcement. The gifting of a name is extremely important. In some cultures, they wait until the child is several years old before granting them a name. We wanted to make sure the names selected were the right fit for the lion cubs. Slowly but surely the names have been figured out and we wanted to share them with you!

Last year we had lion cubs born to Etana and Niara. Each had two boys and two girls. As these cats have grown and developed, unique personalities have really come out. One cub in particular has been very special. One of Etana's females had to have a leg amputated almost a year ago. Because she was the smallest and had been through the most we had used the nickname 'Baby'. As she's grown, the name has stuck. She had been separated from her family after the surgery until July. We were able to move Baby to a handicap accessible space right next to her family! The kids were excited to see their long lost sister since she had to be in our recovery suite until an appropriate space was made for her. You can now find Baby out sunning herself and laying close to the fence where her siblings come over to visit.

Etana's other girl is Chika and the two boys are Cheloti and Mavuto. Cheloti is the largerr of the two males while Mavuto seems like he runs the place. 

Niara's crew have received the names Nala and Kiara for the girls and Afton and Raffiel for the boys. These four siblings are a bit more laid back than Etana's kids, but they still know how to get into trouble. As the cubs get even bigger, their personalities will really start to shine. Keep an eye out and see if you can begin to tell these trouble makers apart!
Overcoming Loss
On May 23rd, 2017, a large semi truck pulled into the sanctuary parking lot, bringing with it, the newest residents, having been retired from the circus industry. Those 7 white tigers began to settle in and adjust to their new home. Ravi, Krishna, Farah, Sirit, Dakar, Bashir, and Jazmin all have become part of the family, here at NTS.

Later in July, we announced the arrival of Farah's two cubs born on July 6th. We were excited to offer a live stream, so our devoted fans and supporters could watch the babies as they began to grow and develop. 

Tragedy once again visited NTS. The smallest and weakest cub passed away on August 4th. Our animal care staff noticed the baby displaying an abnormal breathing pattern; following which, he was quickly rushed to our veterinary clinic. There he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Despite the rapid response and dedicated work by our veterinarian and animal care staff, he passed away a few hours after arriving at the clinic. Following a postmortem exam by our veterinarian, several other health problems were discovered that were very likely a result of genetic birth defects. Birth defects are very commonly seen in white tigers, and can manifest in a number of different forms. Unfortunately the combination of pneumonia and the preexisting health issues culminated in an unwinnable battle for a cub of his age. 

Farah's surviving cub is incredibly strong and healthy. He has already gotten a name as well, McKade! Our animal care staff is working very closely with our veterinarian to ensure he stays in peak health and any potential issues are addressed as soon as possible. Loosing such a young member of our family was obviously very hard on everyone at the sanctuary, and we appreciate the patience and respect that all of our supporters have shown during this time. Keep watch for the continuation of the live stream, as our little guy explores his outdoor habitat under the close supervision of mom!
Road to Retirement
Just like the event in May, we have more to add to the story! On August 14th, 2017, a second semi truck drove into the sanctuary lot. This time, there were 9 white tigers on board. These cats had just come off the circus route, ready for permanent retirement. The cats were unloaded from the truck while still in their roll cages, one by one. They were then linked together in almost a 'tiger train' to safely haul them to their habitats. 

Fortunately we had been prepared for their sudden arrival, having known they were coming but unsure of exactly when. The cats were moved into temporary habitats where they will be awaiting the completion of new permanent homes. 

The day after their arrival, all the cats were found sleeping in their beds or stretched out on the grass. After months of living on the road, these animals finally had time to relax. A lot of traveling circuses do not own the animals they use in their performances. They can lease cats while out on the road.  All 16 of our new white tigers came from one of these leasing agencies that has finally closed down. Many of the new arrivals are related to some of the cats rescued in May. 

As these animals get more accustomed to their new life and settled in, we will be able to start introducing them to you. There are so many new faces and names to learn, it has even been a challenge for our staff. Of the new arrivals there are 4 boys: Dimitrios, Jeeva, Shaman, and Sharm; and 5 girls: Darsha, Krisma, Carma, Shiva, and Xena.

We have already begun construction on the habitat spaces for these cats. If you would like to help, you can donate on our Giving Grid, designed to raise funds for the habitat construction!

Staff Spotlight
Kailey King began working at National Tiger Sanctuary in March of 2017. She is a Junior at Missouri State University, majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Animal Science. She and her blue-heeler, Zoey, come to work ready to make a difference for the big cats. She is one of the animal care staff. Kailey's favorite part of her job includes feeding the cats, providing new enrichment, and the satisfaction of a clean pool  which only lasts about an hour during the summer). After school she plans to have a lifelong career working with and around exotic animals, aspiring to help with the conservation of these incredible endangered animals and their native habitats.
Cat of the Month
For the month of September you can adopt Bambi, our only yellow leopard! Bambi arrived in the summer of 2014 along with Blackie, Princess, Precious, and Stripey. These five big cats had been used in an local magic show. Bambi showed signs of anxiety and stress and was terrified when she first arrived. After several days in her new home, she finally started to settle in. Bambi now loves to interact with tours and get snacks as she flirts with any men in the group. You can adopt Bambi today! Symbolic adoptions come with a t-shirt, photo, window decal, and an adoption certificate!