MURCHISON, Texas—In February 2019, a young tiger made national headlines when he was found in a small cage inside the garage of an abandoned Houston home. For the past five years since the tiger’s rescue, he has been thriving at Black Beauty Ranch, an animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas, where the staff named him Loki. This month is Loki’s seventh birthday and caregivers describe him as relaxed, mellow and enjoying being the adult tiger he deserves to be.

Loki experienced a long adjustment period when he first arrived at the sanctuary, which is part of the Humane Society of the United States, going from likely being someone’s pet to living in a natural multi-acre habitat. While it is unknown how long he was kept in that small cage tucked away in a dark garage, sanctuary staff could see the effects on him being confined. Caregivers said that when Loki first stepped on grass at Black Beauty, his reaction indicated to them that he likely never before experienced that feeling under his paws. Loki also did not seem to be aware that he could stand tall on his hind legs like a wild tiger, since the cage he was found in barely allowed him to stand up without hitting his head.

Sue Tygielski, senior director at Black Beauty Ranch, said: “After receiving proper care from our team, Loki looks physically strong and robust and has grown into a confident tiger. He likes to chill out in his lush, expansive habitat and spends his days splashing in his pool, sunning on his platform, and lying under shady trees taking in the breeze. It is typical for tigers to rest for 18 to 20 hours a day, and relaxed Loki is certainly expressing natural behaviors. Like all of our sanctuary residents, Loki will never have to experience cruelty again.”

Sanctuary staff worked on conditioning him with positive reinforcement training that would support his health and wellbeing. This process helped him learn how to be a wild tiger and promote his ability to express his natural instincts and behaviors, including understanding how large his habitat is, realizing that he has the freedom to play in his pool, feeling comfortable exploring the woods, climbing, and stretching out on his platform.

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Loki's Arrival - 2019

Loki Now - 2024

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