Cameron and Zabu were born in a roadside zoo in New England in 2000, destined for one purpose: to someday breed in the hope of producing ligers, according to the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ.
During this time, Cameron was 200 pounds underweight and Zabu had ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ flaws caused by breeding. In 2004, the pair was ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇd from the zoo.
In the hands of the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ, however, the two animals were finally safe from any further ᴍɪsᴛʀᴇᴀᴛment or exploitation.
More importantly, the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ saw how bonded the couple was and knew they had to be kept together.
“When Zabu and Cameron were ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇd, we constructed a large natural enclosure for the two of them to share since they are truly bonded as a couple,” the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ writes. Cameron got a ᴠᴀsᴇᴄᴛᴏᴍʏ. However, when Zabu started going into heat, Cameron became especially possessive of her and ᴀɢɢʀᴇssɪᴠᴇ toward caretakers at the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ. Zabu was subsequently sᴘᴀʏᴇᴅ, which seemed to work for a few years before Cameron once again started to display possessive and ᴀɢɢʀᴇssɪᴠᴇ behavior.
“Because Cameron’s behaviors were testosterone-driven we had only two choices; separate him from Zabu forever or ɴᴇᴜᴛᴇʀ him,” the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ writes. “The decision was easy.”
After Cameron was ɴᴇᴜᴛᴇʀᴇᴅ, he ʟᴏsᴛ his glorious mane, but it was a small price to pay to keep him happy and close to his (very demanding) wife.
The two enjoy each other’s company, running around, nuzzling, and taking peaceful naps.