Millions of people have tuned in to Netflix’s series ‘Tiger King’, which sheds light on tiger breeding, selling, and collectors in America. However, they are focusing on the people and not the real victims – the tigers.
Social media is full of photos of people dressing up like characters in the series, but what is being done to end the tiger breeding and pet ownership?
Wildcat Sanctuary, an accredited big cat facility located in Sandstone, MN, doesn’t think the popular docuseries is doing enough to expose and address the captive tiger problem, so they created Tiger Amnesty Week (April 14-21).
Tammy Thies, founder of The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS), said, “With so much focus on the human characters in the series, we wanted to do something to help the real victims – the tigers. We have spacious, unoccupied habitats at our sanctuary that could be helping big cats right now.”
The goal is to have privately-owned big cats surrendered to sanctuaries where they can live a more natural and humane life. TWS offered to cover the costs of transport and relocation to any accredited big cat facility to any person that surrendered a big cat during the Tiger Amnesty Week.
“Our goal isn’t to vilify the owner, but to provide a safe, life-long home to leopards, tigers, and lions in need.”
There are a few guidelines that must be met for people interested in surrendering their big cat:
– TWS will take in cats if the owner agrees not to acquire another exotic cat or a breeder agrees to stop breeding.
– The legal owner of the animal must contact The Wildcat Sanctuary and fill out a surrender form.
– The big cat must be located in the United States
– The Wildcat Sanctuary will try to help all wild cat species, but priority will be given to big cats such as
leopards, jaguar, tigers, lions and hybrids of those species that pose a public safety risk.
– The sanctuary will not accept cats from breeders intending to dump older animals in order to make space for more breeding.
TWS is dedicated to providing the best possible life for all the big cats in their care. Currently, there are over 100 big cats roaming free in outdoor habitats, eating a proper diet, and receiving all necessary medical care at an onsite hospital.
Tigers, lions, and all other big cats are not meant to be pets and the sanctuary is serious about protecting them. They do not sell, trade, or breed animals and asks for serious inquires only. ‘The volume of “fake tiger calls,” as a result of the Netflix series, is taking away from the real work of helping animals,’ said TWS.
The sanctuary is not open to the public for tours but people are encouraged to go on a virtual tour. Meet some of the wild cat residents in the video below and don’t forget to share.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.