Oakland Zoo welcomes two rescued tigers from abandoned roadside zoo
OAKLAND, Calif. - Two tigers, the two newest members of the Oakland Zoo, are doing well and recovering after being rescued from an abandoned roadside zoo in Oklahoma.
The two tigers, Mia and Lola, are part of the four big cats rescued from a defunct drive-thru roadside zoo in June, Oakland Zoo wrote in a press release.
Mia and Lola, are permanently staying in Oakland Zoo. The other tiger rescued will have her new home in a San Diego sanctuary while the lion will stay in an Arkansas wildlife refuge.
Both Mia and Lola were sent to the veterinary hospital upon arrival for medical evaluation and have been recovering there since.
Mia was energetic but lean. Lola had a badly infected tooth that caused facial deformity. She is scheduled for a dental procedure Thursday, a zoo representative told KTVU.
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Oakland Zoo hopes to transfer Mia and Lola to their habitat and be seen by the public by early August, a representative told KTVU.
Oakland Zoo has dedicated their tiger habitat to rescued tigers for the last 30 years, the zoo's spokesperson, Erin Harrison, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"We don’t breed tigers here. Our tigers passed away last summer," said Harrison. "Oakland Zoo wanted to keep the exhibit open to help tigers in need of rescuing."
The Oakland Zoo said they became aware of the four big cats when a concerned Oklahoma resident contacted them in May.
The Oklahoma roadside zoo was shut down by the USDA in 2008 due to "multiple animal safety and welfare violations", according to the Oakland Zoo.
The owner of the zoo was reported to be associated with "Joe Exotic", also known as "Tiger King" in the popular Netflix series. Harrison told the Chronicle that the zoo owner and Exotic allegedly traded animals with each other.