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Tiger Cub Smuggled Three Years Ago Is Now Living Happily In Its Forever Home

A terrifying story with a happy ending. Three years ago, a six week old Bengal tiger cub was rescued from a wildlife trafficking attempt at a San Diego area border crossing. Today, the fully grown tiger, Moka, is living happily with another rescued tiger named Nola.

Moka was discovered in the floorboard of a sports car driven by an 18-year-old man who was attempting to smuggle the tiger from Tijuana through the U.S.-Mexico border. As reported by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and Border Report, the passenger under whose legs the cub was hidden had at first said that it was "just a cat." The driver, Luis Valencia, when questioned, claimed that he had bought the tiger in Tijuana after seeing someone walking it on a leash and wanted to keep it as a pet. Later, of course, it was discovered that both statements were false, and Luis was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges.

The cub was taken to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and had a surgery that saved his life. At the time, his weight was less than that of the average house cat - just 6 pounds. His name, Moka, means "chance" in Bengali and was given to him as a way of commemorating the story of his discovery. There, he got to meet Rakan, "a Sumartan tiger cub whose mother was unable to care for him," and together they grew up, played, wrestled, and pounced, becoming stronger and happier.

After a few months of care, still only a few months old, Moka was moved into an animal sanctuary called Lions, Tigers & Bears east of San Diego where he met Nola from Louisiana - another now fully grown tiger who was rescued as a cub.

The founder and director of Lions, Tigers & bears, Bobbi Brink, told Border Report that "[Moka and Nola] were both the same age, so they made great roommates, now they're best of friends," as well as that "[h]e's kind of shy but Nola is his strength. She'll be the first one to go out and check out something then slowly but surely he'll be right behind her," and no ending could make us happier.

Take a look at pictures of Moka from three years ago, over the first three months at the safari (with Rakan!) and today below.

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Celebrate International Tiger Day With Tiger Cubs (14 Pics + 1 Vid)

Happy International Tiger Day

We shared an update from India's Tiger Reserves earlier this morning, and we're happy to hear the numbers for these endangered animals have been climbing, over the years!

However, there's always more work to be done! On this day, it's important to raise awareness for their conservation. Sadly, tigers have lost 90% of their natural habitat and their population has dwindled down to less than 4,000. India shared a report that revealed their tiger population increased from 1,400 in 2014 to a total of 2,967. That's more than double! While there is still a long way to go, it feels like we're on the right track. 

Let's continue to help this beautiful species thrive by spreading the word and donating what we can! You can even adopt a big cat at World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

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Tiger Population Doubled In India

Over the past 12 years, India has nearly doubled its tiger population! Did you know that Tigers in India hold up to 70% of the world's tiger population? How wild is that! 

In honor of International Tiger Day, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister, released a report about the current status of Tigers in India. His report states, "In 1973, there were just nine tiger reserves which have now increased to 50. It is important to know that none of these reserves are of poor quality. Either they are good or the best."

Three tiger reverses (out of 50 reserves) shared in 2018 that they have no tigers left. The reserve with the most tiger population is Corbett at 231 tigers, followed by Nagarhole with 127 and Bandipore with 126 tigers. 

Check out some gorgeous tigers from India's Tiger Reserves below:

Story via Business Insider

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Photographer Aditya Singh quit his job, left Delhi and moved to Sawai Madhopur city, in Rajasthan, just outside Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. He moved here in order to be closer to nature. His wife, Poonam Singh, opened a tourist resort there to earn their living. And over the past 20 years, the Singh's has bought roughly 35 acres of land which shares its boundary with Ranthambore tiger reserve and left it completely undisturbed.

Now, the land is flourishing as it's covered in a lush greenery and is frequented occupied by wild animals, including tigers, throughout the year.

What inspired this new way of living? Poonam Signh tells Quartz India, "My first sighting was a tigress with three cubs on a hill. It was magical. At the end of the trip, I just asked him if we can move to Ranthambore. He wanted it, too, and within months we moved. As far as this land is concerned, it was a dream that we both saw and achieved together to have our own area of wilderness."

The future goal? To continue buying more land to expand the forest even further, and to inspire others to follow suit. 

How incredible is that? The Singh's are our heroes! 



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Better look out! These lions and tigers are haanngry! For those of you that don't know, 'hangry' is a combination of hunger + angry. 

And it is very, very real. 

Big Cat Rescue is an educational non-breeding, accredited, sanctuary for these magnificent murder floofs! In their bio, they describe their residents attitudes, "In many of our videos the big cats come of to be sweet, but wait until they are introduced to food. This is one of those times they like to show their wild side!"

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Welcome to your new forever home! Thanks to the incredible and heroic efforts of Animal Defenders International, in collaboration with Big Cat Rescue, three tigers who have spent their lives in the circus are now officially retired and living in a grand open space where they can relax and play -- all day. 

If you wish to help contribute toBig Cat Rescue's effort, you can help feed the cats at no cost to you using Amazon Smile! Visit BigCatRescue.org/Amazon-smile

Thank you, Big Cat Rescue for caring for these beautiful creatures! For those of you that don't know, Big Cat Rescue is an educational non-breeding, accredited, sanctuary and a registered non-profit 501c3 so your donations are tax deductible. 

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Facts About The Gorgeous Murder Floofs Known As Tigers

Let's list some of the reasons as to why we're so obessed with tigers, shall we?

1. Aladdin. You cannot tell us that growing up with Aladdin, you didn't want a Rajah of your own, as a pet. You can try to tell us but we won't believe you. 

2. They're gorgeous 

3. Intelligent 

4. Extremely badass. Like, extremely. 

5. Did we mention gorgeous? Well, let's mention that one again. 

Tigers have been through a lot, in history, and it's important to know that these animals are sadly endangered. If you love tigers as much as us, and want to help out in anyways you can, WWF has an 'adopt a tiger' program, in which you can make an symbolic adoption. 

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Tigers Have A Pattern On Their Ears That Look Like A Set Of Spare Eyes

Tigers are such incredible, strong and unique cats. What makes them unique? First of all, tigers are the largest cats in the world! They are the embodiment of bravery, competitiveness and self-confidence. The are also difference from other wildcats due to their solitary nature. 

Not only that, they have a unique marking on the backs of their ears, a white spot that resembles that of a set of eyes. This marking is called 'ocelli,' according to Tigers.org. But why would an animal so dangerous need such a unique pattern? Find out below! 

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We're all aware that cats love fish but what about the bigger guys? Do BIG cats like fish? What do you think --w ill they go crazy for the treat? 

You can follow Big Cat Rescue on Facebook! 

Via BBC Earth
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Tiger: Who are you?

Cubs: We are you, but smaller

Watch these adorable tiger cubs come in contact (for the first time ever) with adult tigers! 

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Ex-circus Tigers Are Rescued and Given Forever Homes

Five tigers who used to be part of and perform as part of a traveling zoo in Spain, have been rescued. After years of terrible conditions and rigorous performing, the five will go and live a new and loving life at a zoo on the Isle of Wight.

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Endangered Manchurian Tiger Gives Birth To Quintuplets

The Manchurian Tiger is sadly on the endangered list. However, there is a lot of excitement because the 11-year-old endangered tiger gave birth to five beautiful and healthy cubs at a park in China's Heilongjiang province! See how adorable they are! 

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