Tigers for Tomorrow Hopes to Keep Team Strong, Population Safe
Atalla () - Seeing a rise in the number of wayward, abandoned, and injured Auburn Tigers, one woman with a vision founded an organization called Tigers for Tomorrow to do something about the problem. "Every year Auburn has any number of Tigers get involved in some mischief involving contact with people," said founder Susan Steffens. "Most of the time the behavior is harmless, but sometimes violence does occur." Many other Tigers become injured and are no benefit to the rest of the Tiger population. "It is quite sad," said Steffens. "Most of the time these Tigers are simply abandoned to their fate in the world of humans. We wanted to put a stop to this and show that they can be redeemed and stay a part of the Auburn landscape."
At the same time Tigers for Tomorrow feels that part of its mission is to research Tiger behavior and provide education and training to the people of Auburn about how to deal with an out of control Tiger situation. "One of our more surprising findings was that male Tigers often become more aggressive and agitated in the rural Auburn environment," said Steffens. "We have since developed Tiger avoidance and self defense courses, mainly for the female population." The courses are being delivered on campus this year during the first week of the Auburn Tiger season.
"I am not surprised by their findings," said Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville. "We see many of our Tigers act up and start fights in their first year away from the den. It is a delicate balancing act. We try to stoke their aggressive tendencies while expecting them to behave around the young Auburn Tigresses."
Tigers for Tomorrow research shows that once an Auburn Tiger becomes too used to human contact, they begin to leave their mates and have an impulse to wander more. This pattern is repeated on campuses all over the country. "Once the male Tigers are injured, become violent, or stop respecting females we can't just have them running loose on the field," said Tuberville. "Tigers for Tomorrow is their best chance at survival."
For her part, Steffens says that Tigers for Tomorrow does everything possible to put Tigers back out on the plain. "If our Tigers become rehabilitated during their stay at Tigers for Tomorrow, we gladly take them back," said Tuberville. "Unfortunately we just can't be their surrogate mother."
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