TAMPA (FOX 13) - It could be a long road to recovery, but Teisha has taken the first step. She is the 13-year-old tiger that just arrived in the wee hours of the morning on Friday at Big Cat Rescue.
"It's pretty heartbreaking," Susan Bass told FOX 13. Teisha wobbled as she slowly left the holding cage she was moved in. The fact that she was unstable and only stood for about 20 seconds before she plopped onto the ground in her new environment is not a good sign.
Her new handlers say she appears to have a number of medical problems, some possibly stemming from a poor diet.
"We know she has some bad teeth and she is 60-70 pounds overweight," said Bass.
A man in Ohio owned Teisha, along with 4 other tigers and a number of bears. He voluntarily gave them up after unsuccessfully trying for two years to get the proper licenses from the state to keep the animals legally.
Big Cat Rescue will not know the extent of her problems until a veterinarian examines her.
She joins nearly 100 other big cats the rescue has taken in, including lions, leopards, bobcats and servals.
It is going to take more than TLC to put the tiger back on track. It will money, a lot of it. The plan is for her to live the rest of her life at the sanctuary. Her food alone is expected to cost a whopping $100,000.
More information: http://bigcatrescue.org/