By the time USDA inspectors discovered Aasha the Bengal tiger in a traveling circus, she was 9 months old and weighed a meager 30 pounds, which would have been healthy for a tiger about a third her age. Not long after this, the USDA contacted Vicky Keahey, the founder of Wylie, Texas’In-Sync Exotic’s Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center, and to ask if she could help.
As it turned out, Aasha’s mistreatment at the hands of the circus was worse than they had thought. She was kept in a cage with an adult tiger who bullied her, but there was something else about Aasha that seemed especially off. Vicky knew she had to do something — and fast!
After Aasha’s condition was discovered by the USDA, they contacted Vicky to see if she could help. Once she saw the poor tiger, she knew she was obligated to act. But first, she had to take her to see a medical professional to see what was still bothering Aasha.
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Once Vicky took her to the vet, however, the answer to their troubles was found. In addition to the emotional trauma Aasha had experienced, she was suffering from a severe case of ringworm.

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Given these issues, the recovery wasn’t going to be easy. Twice-a-day, every day, Vicky gave Aasha her medication. She also had to give the tiger a daily medicated bath, which Aasha was not a fan of!
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At long last, she began to improve — big time. Once her treatment had finished, Aasha had also become a huge fan of the water, so Vicky put a small tub in her enclosure for her to play in.
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“Within eight months she looked like a real tiger, and it was time to see how she would react to other tigers,” Vicky concluded.
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Not long after this decision, Vicky decided to introduce Aasha to one of the male tigers in her care, Smuggler. “We loaded her up and put her right next door to Smuggler. He went crazy for her and was always showing off for her.”
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Even though Aasha was still much smaller than Smuggler, the two were immediately drawn to one another.
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Vicky began to oversee some “dates” between the two, so that they could get used to spending time together.
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Eventually, the two of them were ready to be moved into the same enclosure.
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It’s been four years since they did, and things have never been better!
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“Aasha is still about half Smuggler’s size, but he knows when to steer clear of her.”
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Nowadays, Aasha is hardly recognizable as the same tiger as the thin, malnourished cub that she used to be.
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And she’s still a fan of the water!
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big fan!
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What a difference a little love and attention makes!
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Here’s a video of Aasha and Smuggler from 2011, when they were just getting to know each other. 
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It’s so heartwarming to watch them play together like that, especially knowing where Aasha came from. Thank goodness she has a loving family to call home!

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