Luca was somewhat of a miracle baby. CARE had spayed, neutered or separated all big cats that could produce offspring. Therefore on April 1, 2006, when sounds of a newborn tiger resonated through the sanctuary, we thought someone was playing an April fools joke. Then to our surprise, sounds of babies came from Alley and Archie’s enclosure (two tigers we had gotten custody of a couple of months before). Although Archie had been neutered, soon after custody, we had been too late.
Four baby tigers. What a nightmare for the CARE staff, who were overwhelmed already. The commitment of a possible 20 years (times 4) now awaited us and was an overwhelming thought. We all tried to make the best of the situation.
Luca was trouble from day one. He was always in the middle of any mess that was to be made as a baby. He has always been stubborn and independent with a slight mischievous streak. We learned early on to never turn your back on Luca. If given the opportunity he would get away with what ever he could. The word “trouble” followed Luca from day one, covered with poop and fighting with his siblings for the nipple they had. Mind you the nipple changed every time he realized the milk was better on the other side. As he got older it became the toy on the other side of the enclosure and now the food on the other side of the enclosure.
Luca has calmed through the past years. He is much needier than we ever expected. He quite jealous of the others getting attention. His eyes have mellowed from “trouble” to “love me”, which is a wonderful site to behold.