Despite laws in place meant to prevent it from happening, the ownership of exotic cats, such as tigers and cougars, is still a rampant problem. Worse than displacing the animals to keep as pets is that many of them are abused or abandoned by their owners. Sanctuaries to help these animals are few and far between, and the biggest one is the Big Cat Rescue.
Who are they?
Big Cat Rescue started up in 1992 intending to provide the best care for the big cats they look after, end the abuse of big cats in captivity, and prevent the overall extinction of big cats around the world. In addition to taking cats into their care, their goal is to take a step further and end the abuse at the root of the problem through education and legislative acts. Currently, they house over 80 big cats in their sanctuary, including tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, servals, ocelots, and caracals.
What are they?
Big Cat Rescue is a no-contact sanctuary for big cats who have been abandoned, abused, retired from the circus, or were meant to be killed for their fur coats. Since they are no-contact, none of the staff, volunteers, or guests are allowed to touch the cats. The cats are kept in an enclosure that they can roam freely in both day and night, rather than being put into a night house as zoos do. The enclosures provide plenty of hiding spots for the cats, so they have the option not to be seen by staff or guests on an educational tour if they choose. A list of all big cats that have been in their care, both alive and deceased, is available to the public, as is a live stream of medical procedures that anyone can watch.
Ultimately, Big Cat Rescue acts as the voice for the animals that don’t have one. They work to expose those who have abused big cats despite it placing a target on their backs and, most importantly, make sure there’s a safe place for the big cats to go when they have nowhere else.