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Tiger cub found in Hemet taken to animal sanctuary in Alpine

A 3-month-old tiger cub found wandering in Hemet has a new home: the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary in Alpine east of San Diego. He's doing well, the sanctuary says.

A 3-month-old tiger cub found wandering in Hemet has a new home: the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary in Alpine east of San Diego. He’s doing well, the sanctuary says.

(Lions Tigers & Bears)

A 3-month-old tiger cub found mysteriously wandering the streets of Hemet in Riverside County has a new home: a wild-animal sanctuary in Alpine, 40 miles east of San Diego.

The move to the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary was authorized by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, officials said.

The department is investigating how the tiger came to Hemet. The tiger had been declawed, suggesting it was being kept as a pet.

The cub was found Thursday and taken to the Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto near Hemet, officials said. From there, it was taken to the Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Phelan in San Bernardino County.

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Enter the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary and sanctuary founder Bobbi Brink. Lions Tigers & Bears specializes in providing homes for 50-plus “rescue” animals, including jungle cats, horses, a pot-bellied pig, llamas and various fowl.

Brink offered a permanent home to the cub. Her sanctuary also provided space for Meatball, the California black bear who was discovered roaming the neighborhoods of Glendale, La Crescenta and Montrose in 2012.

Meatball, whose age is unknown, is a celebrity of sorts at Lions Tigers & Bears. He weighs 410 pounds and enjoys eating salmon and avocados and swimming in a small pool, officials said.

The 25-pound tiger, as yet unnamed, arrived in Alpine on Saturday.

The animal is “resting, eating well and exploring his new environment,” according to the sanctuary’s Facebook page.

Monday will be a big day: “He’ll be making his media debut and checking in with the veterinarian.”

tony.perry@latimes.com


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