Nikita (sometimes spelled Nakita) was a large, mostly Siberian tiger who lived to be almost 20 years old. He was rescued from an Ohio facility operated as a tiger training and photography business shut down by the USDA permanently in 2006. Even though the owner had lost her license, she continued to charge people to come into her back yard and pet adult tigers and lions and have their pictures taken.

To make the cats more tractable, she had them declawed and had their canine teeth removed, as you can see in the photo. This kind of mutilation causes years of pain and structural difficulties in walking and eating. Nikita spent most of his days for the first 12 years of his life chained down and immobilized on a concrete slab so people could sit on him and have their pictures taken.

When the owner was finally evicted from the property where she kept the cats, the starving animals were taken into custody by Knox County officials and together with help from the Ohio Humane Society US and the International Fund for Animal Welfare two tigers and two lions were relocated to Big Cat Rescue.

— at Big Cat Rescue

Categorized as Nikita