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

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

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A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

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via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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