Barnum and his companions, Isabella and Big John, were confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Brownsville, TX because of violations of the Endangered Species Act, the Lacey Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. They were part of the Spanish Circus that was on its way back to Spain. Isabella, Big John and Barnum were cramped in a small trailer along with ponies and camels and kept in deplorable conditions. The tigers were hot, underfed, thirsty and just about lost all will to live. They were transferred to a temporary home near Brownsville until IEAS stepped in to offer these helpless animals a second chance at a better life. IEAS worked non-stop to get a habitat constructed in order to get these tigers out of the conditions they were living in. With the help of the local community and other organizations, the money was raised and the habitat was constructed. These tigers who were once kept in a cramped, hot trailer, and to the point of no hope, now enjoy a 15,000 square foot habitat with perches to lie on, two running pools and trees for shade. They are now living they life they rightly deserved from the beginning. This was truly a fairy tale ending for all involved.
Barnum was named by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus who generously donated funds to help build his habitat. Barnum is a very laid back tiger. Every morning, he enjoys playing hide-and-seek with the keeper while waiting on his meal. While the keeper lowers his gate, Barnum is hiding behind a small tree in the corner of his habitat. All you will see is one side of his head and an eyeball staring back at you. It's amazing that he is able to hide behind a tree that is smaller in width than his head. Barnum is one of the many animals at IEAS who have benefited from the Emotional Enrichment Program.