These 8 incredible photos show a rescued tiger cub's journey back to health.

1. This is Aasha. She's a healthy, happy tiger living in the care and comfort of a wildlife rescue center. But this wasn't always the case.

All photos by In-Sync Exotics, used with permission.


2. Aasha had a rough start. As a cub, she was put to work in a traveling circus.

None of the animals in the show were receiving proper care. As such, Aasha was malnourished and had bald spots and open sores on her body.

3. That's when an inspector from the U.S. Department of Agriculture called Vicky Keahy at In Sync Exotics.

Keahy is known throughout the country for taking in big exotic cats, especially those who've been abused or neglected. At In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center, her Texas sanctuary, she cares for tigers, lions, cougars, and more.

4. With medicated shampoo, medicine, and lots of love, Keahy got to work bringing Aasha back to life.

And after all those baths, the young cub learned to loved playing in the water.

5. Aasha grew equal parts strong and curious, especially about other tigers at the facility.

6. She soon made friends with Smuggler, a playful male tiger who happens to be twice her size.

7. After a few successful playdates, the two moved into the same enclosure.

But don't call it a love connection: to reduce the number of cats in captivity, all the rescued animals at In-Sync are either neutered or placed where they won't be able to breed.

8. Which is just fine for Aasha, who's now celebrating five happy, healthy years at the sanctuary.

Want to support animals like Aasha and Smuggler? You can!

There are thousands of exotic animals living in homes or working in shows across the U.S. They often lack the proper conditions, space, food, and enrichment required for their size and species.

That's why rescue and rehabilitation efforts like In-Sync Exotics are so important. They support all types of animals, including big cats, primates, elephants, and more. These facilities and nonprofits greatly appreciate reliable, conscientious volunteers, donations, or even just a signal boost.

So if you're up for giving animals a fresh start, give what you can.

Since Aasha has been here she is healing and becoming more like a tiger cub. She enjoys playing with her enrichment and has learned to play with the water from the hose. She hasn't jumped in her tub yet but we know it is just a matter of time. All of us at In-Sync are looking forward to a long happy healthy life with Aasha and a lot of great laughs

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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