Siberian Tiger Rescue in Napavine, WA – February 21, 2007.

Footage is from the surrender and initial transport of the Siberian tiger family to their forever home at Cat Tales. We share this now as reminder that while this rescue occurred well over a decade ago, the forever care commitment for housing, food, medical, dental and loving care continues today.

The Napavine Washington confiscation / relinquishment of four Siberian Tigers. The seven hour process began with S.W.A.T. clearing access to the animals. Though rescues like this are less common in Washington with stricter laws imposed, the call could come in any day from anywhere in the US and we are prepared to assist when needed.

Cat Tales is responsible for funding their participation in the rescue including transportation costs, equipment, and staffing. No additional Federal, State, or Local funding or compensation is provided. Public support is absolutely necessary for providing this assistance along with housing and care for the animals once they arrive in Spokane.

Setting the stage for this video –

  • The footage is shot at the rescue site in Napavine, WA;
  • the two tigers seen are Sampson and Delilah;
  • the man with the paint gun moving Sampson up the ramp is the old owner;
  • Cat Tales is the dart team;
  • the veterinarian is monitoring sedation;
  • Sampson is the tiger on the stretcher being lifted with law enforcement help;
  • due to Sampson’s size the transport crate might look small, but is designed for safe smooth transport.

Staff from Cat Tales in Spokane, WA traveled 300 miles to the western corner of the state to help agencies confiscate 4 Siberian Tigers. Clarke County Sheriff officers, S.W.A.T. team, Clarke County Animal Control Officers & Veterinarian, Washington State Patrol, and the Cat Tales rescue team all converged on the site early in the morning.

These 4 Siberian tigers were surrendered to Cat Tales by the owner, Paul Mason, who housed them in his back yard in Napavine located about ½ hours’ drive south of the WA state capitol, Olympia.. Mr. Mason became financially unable to maintain his home and was facing eviction. Along with the eviction he was forced to surrender his tigers and though he was not at all pleased about the impending surrender, he chose to do what was best for the animals and he relinquished them to the Cat Tales.

The Cat Tales team began the process of acquisition of the tigers from their former home. The tigers were sedated for capture one at a time in case of complications. All sedations went smoothly. The four tigers included the older pair, Sampson & Delilah and their offspring Romeo & Juliet. Sampson weighed ~700 pounds as seen by the number of strong law enforcement members needed to lift him. Juliet was the smallest at ~300 pounds. The tigers showed signs of being well fed, but living conditions lacked proper care, sanitation, drainage and showed possible escape risks as seen by the hole in the trailer fencing.

Cat Tales rescue team provided the sedation, crates, vehicles, transportation to and from Napavine to Spokane, and all related costs. The news media were held back by law enforcement for their safety and to prevent interference in the surrender of the tigers. You can hear the news helicopters in the background while they filmed from the air. The press was provided with footage and information once the tigers were transported off of the property.

The Tigers were fully awake prior to travel to Eastern Washington. The tigers and the team arrived safely back in Spokane at ~3:00 the next morning and unloaded the cats into their new forever home.

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