The skinny, two-month-old male cub was found wandering the streets of Hemet, Calif., and was taken to a shelter operated by San Jacinto County. Later, California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials sent the cub to Lions, Tigers & Bears, a federally and state licensed big cat and exotic animal rescue sanctuary that occupies 94 acres in Japatul Valley, east of Alpine.
Himmel the tiger cub arrived in Alpine weighing 27 pounds and has been steadily gaining weight with a diet of raw chicken, meat and supplements, according to Bobbie Brink, founder and director of Lions, Tigers & Bears. “We’re not sure of its exact subspecies at this point,” said Brink. She said the cub could grow to be 500 pounds and live 20 years.
Larry Himmel, who worked for CBS News 8/KFMB-TV starting in 1979, passed away Nov. 5, 2014, from pancreatic cancer.
Lions, Tigers & Bears is open to visitors by appointment only between Wednesday and Saturday. Its website is www.lionstigersandbears.org. The sanctuary can be reached at (619) 659-8078.