Tiger found at border saved by emergency care at zoo


Veterinarians at a zoo in Texas sprang into action this week to save a tiger cub found by a border patrol agent at the U.S. Mexico border Monday.

The agent was responding to an illegal border crossing. 

Customs and border protection says the subjects dropped a bag containing the tiger cub. It was suffering from heat-related symptoms when it was brought to the zoo.

Unpredictable and at time dangerous. That’s how Derrick Deluna describes the U.S. Mexico border. His feelings about the Feds who guard it…

“They just go and protect us from the unknown.” Derrick Deluna, Resident

Border Patrol Agent Maynard said yesterday the unknown became the unbelievable.

After receiving a report of activity along the border, he headed to scene. He says initially nothing seemed unusual. 

“I came across this duffel bag on the ground, and at first I thought it was maybe potentially narcotics.”  Border Patrol Agent Maynard

As he got closer, well, let’s just say he was wrong.

Maynard: “The first thing I saw was a couple of big paws in there, and I knew it was something interesting so I opened the bag a little more, and to my surprise it was a tiger.” Border Patrol Agent Maynard

Maynard says the young tiger was rushed to the Gladys Porter zoo to be inspected.

Senior Veterinarian Thomas Demaar explained initially the tiger wasn’t in the best condition.

“The tiger was hyperventilating, was hot to the touch, actually had a temperature of 107.” Senior Veterinarian Thomas Demaar

So veterinarians at the zoo took emergency measures.

Demaar tells us they used ice, cold water, and several IV’s to lower the animals temperature. A blood test later revealed the tiger was sedated. Demaar said the young cat is now doing much better. He said big cats should only be handled by professionals.

“They revert back to predator behavior and you don’t know what will trigger that. But inside that cute furry body is still a predator.” Senior Veterinarian Thomas Demaar

He explains for now the tiger will remain in the zoo’s care.

Smugglers abandon tiger cub in duffel bag on Texas border

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