White tiger cub fights for its life after being found in the trash
Athens, Greece - A white tiger cub was dumped in the trash behind a zoo in Athens, causing the baby animal to fight for its life. Officials are looking for clues as to how this could have happened.
Veterinarians at the Attica Zoological Park in Athens, Greece, have been desperately trying to keep a white tiger cub alive, according to Reuters.
A member of the zoo's cleaning staff discovered the three-month-old animal in the trash behind the zoo on February 28 in critical condition.
"When I first saw the cub, I couldn't believe what I was seeing in front of me, I honestly couldn't believe that an animal was in such a state," explained Noi Psaroudaki, a zoo veterinarian.
"She was probably fed an improper diet, and she is severely deficient in vitamins and minerals, and this makes her bones extremely fragile."
Zoo staff said the cub also had a metal pin in her back leg.
Not surprisingly, this is the first tiger the zoo has discovered, the zoo's founder Jean-Jacques Lesueur told Reuters. Yet sadly, it's not the first abandoned animal they've come across.
"We had a number of cases of animals dumped, but usually these are abandoned pets - puppies, kittens, tortoises," Lesueur said.
"But a tiger? Never."
White tiger found in the trash at won't stay at Athens zoo if it recovers
If the tiger cub survives, it will be moved to a wildlife sanctuary, as the Athens zoo doesn't normally care for animals like it.
A number of international organizations have reportedly already contacted the zoo to inquire about the cute cub.
Per the WWF's website, white tigers are not a separate species of tiger. These animals' striking color is "the result of a genetic mutation called leucism."
White tigers are often mated through selective breeding, which often results in inbreeding. This can cause cubs to have multiple deformities and problems, as is the case with the tiger found in Athens.
As the Attica Zoological Park wrote on Instagram, recent tests confirmed the animal's condition is dire, and it is suffering from both genetic deformities and ones created by inadequate care.
"The young animal is experiencing significant problems... because of the deformed skeleton, some organs are compressed, making it difficult for the animal to eat or breathe," the zoo wrote.
Local police are looking for those who abandoned the tiger in the trash. They were able to get the suspected perpetrator's license plate number from the zoo's security camera footage, and believe the tiger is a victim of illegal wildlife trafficking.
Unfortunately, illegal animal trafficking is nothing new in Greece.
Maria Ganoti, head of the animal rescue organization ANIMA, told Reuters: "These usually come from entry points like Turkey, or Cyprus, but Greece has started to become an entry gate for the rest of Europe."
Many around the world are now holding out hope for answers, and the tiger's recovery.
Cover photo: Screenshot/Instagram/atticazoo