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Three Legged Tiger Tackles Cancer

EUREKA SPRINGS, AR -- A Northwest Arkansas tiger is overcoming a battle with cancer one leg at a time.
EUREKA SPRINGS, AR -- A Northwest Arkansas tiger is overcoming a battle with cancer one leg at a time.

"Turpentine Creek has 459 acres here to build on for these animals that need sanctuary," says Emily McCormack, an Animal Curator at Turpentine Creek.

It's a territory that's full of tales.

"These cats didn't ask to be in the situations that they've come from."

And Max is no exception. He and two other cats were rescued from a private owner in 2012.

"They were declawed and most animals have a really bad reaction to that."

But after two surgeries, his health only got worse.

"His whole knee had swelled up and we immediately brought him to the vet and x-rayed it and it ended up being bone cancer."

But Max is a survivor. He recently went through a life changing surgery and is learning to walk all over again with just 3 legs.

"He's had 4 legs for 10 years of his life, but somehow he's got this amazing spirit and we just knew that maybe we could give him a shot."

So Curator Emily McCormack took on round the clock care for Max.

"He also had to have shots of antibiotics to help his healing. There's always that concern of, 'Hey, I may have lost another friend' because he's probably not going to trust me again."

But now back on three paws, Max isn't holding any grudges.

"Hopefully we saved his life and he's been just a character. He's just a character here now."

A tiger that sure has earned his stripes, without missing a beat.

"He started realizing he could still get on the bench and still get in and out of his pool and that took a few weeks for him and now he's doing great."

Losing a leg and gaining back a life.

"To go through something like that that we did, I'd say we're bonded for the rest of his life."

Max has one more surgery to fix his claws that were improperly cut off by his former owner.

That's scheduled for friday. Then, his health should finally be on the mend.
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