Hank spent the first decade of his life in prison-like conditions at an Ohio tiger cub breeding facility that was shut down when the state enacted SB 310 - the Ohio Dangerous Wild Animals Act in 2014. Hank was rescued in 2015 along with his partner Crystal, and they were relocated to Lions Tigers & Bears while the Ohio Department of Agriculture conducted an investigation on the facility they were seized from. They remained under Lions Tigers & Bears' care, and in spring of 2018, we were granted full legal custody of the tiger pair as well as two cougars, Punkin and Melanie, who were also rescued from the same facility.
While many people believe white tigers are their own species, the truth is these tigers are inbred Bengal tigers (and/or inbred Bengal tigers crossed with Siberian tigers), who have become a lucrative product of the exotic animal trade. They have no conservation value at all. They exist solely as a product to be sold - often suffering through lifelong exploitation, mistreatment and neglect.
In order to get a white tiger, fathers are bred to daughters and granddaughters. This inbreeding comes with high rates of congenital health problems, and many cubs are born with chronic health issues including hip dysplasia, scoliosis, mental impairments and facial malformations. Many "surplus" tigers are produced through the senseless breeding of white tiger cubs and the entire industry leads to massive animal welfare abuses. However, Hank and Crystal are survivors of this circle of exploitation and they will continue to receive the utmost compassionate lifetime care at Lions Tigers & Bears.