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Oakland Zoo Unveils Rescued Texas Tigers

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Molly, one of the four tiger sisters transferred to the Oakland Zoo. (Oakland Zoo)

Molly, one of the four tiger sisters transferred to the Oakland Zoo. (Oakland Zoo)

DougSovern20100908_KCBS_0208r Doug Sovern
Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then...
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OAKLAND (KCBS) – The newest additions to the Oakland Zoo,  four tigers recently rescued from a backyard zoo in Texas, were unveiled Wednesday to members of the local media.

The tiger sisters named Molly, Milou, Ginger, and Grace are known as generic tigers whose bloodlines have been crossed or inbred with multiple breeds of tiger.

The four were rescued when a couple running a backyard zoo divorced and neither could keep them on their own.  A zoo in Brownsville, Tex. then kept them for four years along with other tigers but the facility was at its capacity when the Oakland Zoo stepped in to take all four sisters.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

While illegal in California, Texas and other states allow individuals to keep tigers and other wild animals as pets – often as money-making ventures.  The practice is getting new scrutiny after nearly five dozen wild animals were  set free in Ohio Tuesday, most of them later killed by authorities.

The tigers arrived in Oakland last month following a flight donated by FedEx.  They four were kept in quarantine for weeks to make sure the animals were healthy and acclimated to their new surroundings before making a public appearance, according to the zoo.

The tigers seem to be adjusting well to their new Oakland home.

“They’re pretty forgiving animals,” said Oakland Zoo cat keeper Erica Calcagno. “Even animals that come from abusive situations can be pretty forgiving of us stupid humans.”

Now they’re lounging in the sun and rubbing up against rocks and logs sprayed with Calvin Klein’s Obsession.  “Perfumes, and especially Obsession are a favorite among cats,” said Calcagno.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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