This rare tigon is one cool cat

- 'Rhaja' is a rare breed.  He is one that almost never happens in the wild.

"He has a tiger head, bit of a lion body, bit of a tiger tail, and he has a mixture of stripes and spots that are absolutely beautiful," offered Clayton Rosaire, vice president of Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary.

Rhaja has been cooling off in a pool under the hot Florida sun. But he's also attracting a lot of attention.

"We've had quite a few people that have been interested in them. Such a rare animal. So few facilities have them," continued Rosaire.

Rhaja is a tigon -- a mix between a female lion and a male tiger.  Rosaire said there are fewer than 100 of them in the world.

Big Cat Habitat adopted him from another facility that needed help.

"He came from a facility here in Florida that just had some space issues. They needed a little extra room so they wanted to find a great home for him," Rosaire explained.

Animal handlers are now working with Rhaja to figure out his personality and to determine his best fit at the sanctuary.

"With the animals, it's going to take a little bit of time. He's the new guy in town. They have to learn to love him," Rosaire offered.

Rhaja arrived less than a week ago. If all goes well, he will spend his life at the Sarasota habitat. He cannot be released into the wild because he has spent his whole life in captivity.

For now, he seems to be settling in well at his new home and is ready for people to visit him.

"We hope it gives something new and exciting for the kids to look at, and the families," added Rosaire.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • This rare tigon is one cool cat
  • Helping America's heroes, one step at a time
  • Rape suspect arrested in two St. Petersburg cold cases
  • Polk detectives look for lotto ticket scammers
  • Tampa police search for skimmer suspect
  • Clearwater police seek help finding missing teen
  • Smart meters could slow power restoration in Lakeland
  • Rescheduled Snooty memorial to be held Sunday
  • Hernando bank robbery suspect dies after deputies fire shots
  • Man dies, girl injured when Jetski collides with boat in Clearwater