A tiger in your back garden? Kept in a cage? Impossible, we Germans and Europeans would think. Oh, and illegal, at least for us. In Ohio? Legal. Normal. A small exotic animal in your garden is impressive, shows power and status. Taming the wild and subordinating it.
During my week long trip to Florida I was able to visit Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, a centre for mistreated and rescued big cats. Rescued from the fur industry, life in a circus or from those who think it’s ‘cool’ to keep a tiger in their garden and end up quite overwhelmed by the situation.
Jeff, the Director of Donor Appreciation of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, gave me a guided tour of the cats’ new caged homes. They’re lucky to have ended up here, since the Big Cat Rescue can’t take in all the animals found in distress. There aren’t enough resources – be it money or space. Those cats that made it here escaped from death. But it’s still really sad to see them here and to know that they’ll never experience freedom again. They’ve never experienced the wild, their home – nature. They’re used to being fed at 4pm promptly and have forgotten how to hunt. In the wild, all these cats would starve.
Tigers are solitary animals. Only those rescued together are kept together, like the three golden tigers and the one white tiger at the Big Cat Rescue. They were rescued from a crazy, money-driven woman who was using the tigers to make more money. First she removed their claws, then their incisors, to make them ‘harmless’. Then they were put in a cage. Tourists could come and live in her house, ‘living with the tigers’, for 3000 US$. At the end of the week, they had their photograph taken and were given a certificate as ‘tiger trainer’. I wish the stories I heard weren’t real, just myths, but sadly they’re all true.
Humans are interested in being close to tigers and don’t mind paying vast amounts of money for the experience, which means that there is always someone willing to exploit the poor beasts to make money. The GW EXOTIC Animal Park in Oklahoma is the largest animal exporter. On 16 hectares 1400 animals are bred and kept – from bears to elephants. Cute animal babies lure in visitors. For 200 Euros you can have your picture taken with a lion cub, for 50 Euros you can cuddle with a monkey for 5 minutes. And when the animals are fully grown they’re sold to zoos or the fur industry.
It is incredible what conditions and laws enable the possession of exotic animals in the USA. Only when the animals become a threat to the population do the authorities intervene, such as in this story in Zanisville, Ohio. A private zoo owner let his private collection of wild animals out of their cages before committing suicide. More than 50 zoo animals, including Bengalese tigers, grizzly bears and orang utans were suddenly roaming the town. 48 of them were shot. Their owner had previously spent a year in jail for cruelty to animals (amongst other things) and had been released in 2010. Despite this history, he’d been able to buy and keep all these animals. How is that possible? The two surviving animals ended up at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.
After my visit I had a horrible head ache because I was so angry at those people keeping wild animals without knowing what they’re doing. Without understanding the repercussions of their actions. Defenceless animals being used for profit. It makes me so angry to see people make money out of powerless creatures. I don’t ask for much, just please, if you’re reading this, PLEASE never ever go to the circus. PLEASE never buy a fur coat again. PLEASE boycott zoos. And PLEASE start thinking about your own actions. This is just a small step in the right direction. And these are only a few stories of animal cruelty – the whole picture is so much worse…
The law says that tigers are allowed to be kept in a cage like this for 60 days without having to be let our for exercise. The law doesn’t even state for how long the tiger is supposed to be let out for after the 60 days have passed – in and out, 20 seconds, would be enough. But seriously, who even monitors whether the tigers are let out at all? Flavio is one of the tigers saved from conditions like this.
Cats smell using their vomeronasal organ
To learn the truth about big cat rescue, their cats, their lies, deceit, and fraud, you must go to bigcatrescuelies.blogspot.com.
ROFTLMAO you are so out of touch…… elephants, 16 acres, LOL, your so miss lead, check out http://www.bigcatrescuelies.blogspot.com
??? The GW EXOTIC Animal Park in Oklahoma is the largest animal exporter. On 16 hectares 1400 animals are bred and kept – from bears to elephants. This numbers and animals are in the GW EXOTIC PARK
A great reportage. Thank you
First of all we have never had elephants and never will, we have 46 acres and did big cat rescue say one word about being sued for 9.3 million dollars? for slander, would you like in on that too. get your facts straight before slandering anyone. and we have never used a monkey for public contact…..get your facts straight
I am talking about the The GW EXOTIC Animal Park isn’t this clear?
Joe, stop trolling! It wasn’t long ago you couldn’t afford to pay your bills. Maybe if you spent less time trolling BCR online, you wouldn’t have that problem. Yes, Joe, we all know its you.
Christine, Please visit bigcatrescuelies.blogspot.com. You can request supporting documents that will provide you with all the proof you will need to convince you that Big Cat Rescue is nothing more than a highly advertised roadside zoo run by an unethical woman with a very dubious past.
Here is another side of the story! http://911animalabuse.com/2011/09/11/gw-exotics-animal-foundation/
And Christine, I think you did a GREAT job!!!
Awwww! I envy you so much for being able the visit them! What a lovely blog ^^
And please don’t mind about Sue and Joe, they’re just spamming, like always ;)
Christine, I have a few questions as well as some comments. First comment, NONE of the Ohio animals are at BCR. There were 2 monkeys ( 0 Apes- this means no orangutans) , 1 bear and 3 leopards that survived the incident (1 leopard died at the zoo). All of the animals were taken to the Columbus Zoo where they remain. Second comment, the three tigers you are referring to as having been used by a woman who had people paying to live? with them–where did this come from? The last three tigers BCR took together came from an “accredited 501C3 sanctuary” that closed in Texas (look up Wild animal orphanage) after a couple offered to provide lifetime care for them. I am unfamiliar with the story you tell. Third comment– GW exotic animal park, have you been there? There are NO elephants, I have visited the 46 acre facility and it is spacious and clean. There are several species to observe and they appear to be well cared for.
The stories of ABUSED AND NEGLECTED exotic animals are greatly exaggerated to perpetuate the activist agenda– NO HUMAN DOMINION OVER THE ANIMALS–Let me spell this out for those uninformed readers- NO PETS, that’s correct the agenda is to abolish ALL captive kept animals including cows, no more milk, chickens, no more eggs. Everyone must become VEGAN–DO YOU GET IT YET?
FYI: Joe Exotic is none other than Joe Schreibvogal, owner of GW Exotic Animal Park.
Beautiful article and images Christine. You can tell BCR really cares about all their animals. Those in their charge are very fortunate to have been taken in.
A very nice post! It was interesting to read. And I love the pictures! I hope that the US joins Europe soon; these cats shouldn’t be kept as private pets. It isn’t our right to own whatever we please.
The one thing I would change was the “boycott zoos” line. While zoos aren’t ideal, they are necessary for reviving some dwindling populations. The black-footed ferret, for example, was saved from extinction by captive breeding programs. Stud books and Species Survival Programs keep information on genetics and maintain genetic diversity in populations. Of course, no one should support roadside zoos and pseudo-sanctuaries, but supporting proper breeding programs and even better (W)AZA standards is important. (For the record, I refuse to intern or visit zoos that are not AZA accredited.) It’s unfortunate, but in order for many endangered species to survive, human intervention is necessary.
you are talking about the one and the same, maybe you need to visit this place and see for yourself instead of listening and reading what others say.
auch ich war im letzten Jahr bei BCR. Eine tolle Organisation und sie bemühen sich sehr nach ihren räumlichen Möglichkeiten um eine einigermaßen tiergerechte Haltung. Ihr unermütlicher Einsatz gegen die private Großkatzenhaltung in USA über hearings ect. hat sicher schon einige umdenken lassen, aber so was wie ein Bewusstsein entwickeln geht halt leider nur in Minischritten. Ich züchte seit mehr als 14 Jahren Maine Coon Katzen im kleinen Rahmen und die Auswahl der Käufer findet bei uns icht übers Portemonaie, sondern den Kopf und die Bedingungen statt. Generelle Tierliebe ist eine Frage der inneren Haltung, die Wertschätzung als Mitgeschöpf muss einfach da sein. Und oft ist das eben nicht der Fall, oft werden die Bedürfnisse der Tiere nur so lange berücksichtigt, wie es kein Geld kostet, für den Menschen passend und bequem ist.
Funny how blind and stupid people are that read the internet. You can call the USDA and find out that there are no elephants here nor has there ever been, BCR did not get any of the OHIO animals. Goes to show that this whole story is a discredit to the readers. try checking out http://www.911animalabuse.org and see where BCR paid 94 thousand dollars for the animals she has and that you just fell for the scam.
Thank you for this wonderful report. The bad guys hate us and no one listens to them, so their only recourse is to come and defile sites like yours with their lies. Any reasonable person can see that Big Cat Rescue is succeeding in ending the trade in these magnificent animals and that those who speak out against us are cruel to both animals and people.
Rachel, Big Cat Rescue/Carole Baskin wanted very much to be accredited by AZA and was turned down….twice. It was then that she decided to call herself an “accredited” sanctuary, even though she was again turned down by several accrediting organizations because of her commercial activity. Finally TAOS made a special category just for her, but she was never accredited by them as a sanctuary as she claimed as she did not meet their standards.
Jamie, it is interesting to see that you did not deny that bigcatrescuelies is a truthful depiction of the lies, deceit, and fraud perpetrated by Big Cat Rescue but instead tried to deflect Christine to your “abuse” site for “the other side of the story.” Please note that Joe is not a contributer of the 36 reports at bcrl, which are complied from documents and first hand reports supplied by BCR’s own former staff.
CAROL! WOW, all I posted was another site that has information on it, just like Joe and Sue did! AND I researched all the information on the site BEFORE I posted it. I have read ALL THE GARBAGE about BCR, and that is EXACTLY what is! If he is not a contributer to the the blog, that’s fine. I know at least one contributer is an exotic animal owner, in the private sector. I’m not an idiot! I have researched BCR and other sanctuaries. It takes money to run them and the only way to get that money is to do so is by FUNDRAISING! BCR is upfront about it’s past. It’s all on their website. BCR is not the only sanctuary I support. And some of those sanctuaries support the same laws and bans that BCR does. BCR is accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries, which I have also researched. Also, BCR publishes financial records. You can see where the money goes!
I could CARE LESS in BCR uses domestic rabbits!!! I mean, the cats have to eat! Rabbits multiply like rabbits! (Yes, I have read all the info on the blog). What is it about BCR that makes YOU so mad? Just asking? And yes, I have read all of the other anti BCR websites, they are laughable! I have READ all the USDA reports and FDA reports. I know where my money goes! And I support laws and bans on exotic, dangerous, and unpredictable animals. I don’t care if it is a cat, monkey, baboon or alligator, snake, ect.
Something else for everyone to watch is “America’s Most Dangerous Pets”. You can veiw the documentary at this link: http://watchdocumentary.com/watch/louis-theroux-americas-most-dangerous-pets-video. If the link doesn’t work, then google Louis Theroux “America’s Most Dangerous Pets”.
Draw your own conclusions. Do all your research! Thank you!
Carole Baskin is not only cruel to animals and people, she tortures and kills them.
Look at the photo of her smiling volunteers holding freshly murdered bunnies at bigcatrescuelies.blogspot.com and read the reports of her millionaire husband who went missing after being denied an order of protection against her. Many of Baskin’s critics do not even own big cats, so it is hardly about “ending the trade” in big cats but about lies, deceit, fraud, and a woman with a violent past being glorified in the press by those who don’t have a clue as to her true character. You would hear from many more people, but they are fearful of giving their true names and addresses for fear of being murdered or “disappeared” and declared dead like her husband. These are not lies, these are documented truths that anyone willing to do the research can find on their own.
you want the truth go to http://www.bigcatrescuelies.blogspot.com this site is from one of her own employees
Jamie. BCR was not upfront about it’s past until investigative reports like Bay News 9 forced them to change their website and stop lying to the donors. What is the founder of BCR if not an exotic animal owner in the private sector? She started out with 144 cats that she now admits were bought as pets to be bred. Because she chooses to call herself a sanctuary does not mean she is no longer an exotic animal owner in the private sector! The bigcatrescuelies blogspot has several contributors who are also non-profit corporations caring for exotics, no different than BCR. The difference is truth and integrity. Since this hub was posted there have been 2 more former volunteers of BCR come forward (read their comments on the blog) to tell how they too were told to lie about the cats at BCR being rescued. A leopard does not change it’s spots.
ps The fact that you believe that BCR’s cats have to eat live or killed domestic rabbits to survive and you “could care less” about these animals tells me everything
we need to know about your staunch support of BCR.
I am laughing so hard, that I have tears in my eyes. GW Exotic Animal Park does NOT have elephants – sorry – I am roaring over this article. and what! DO NOT JUDGE IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TO GW EXOTIC ANIMAL PARK.
Perhaps if somebody checks out what the law says about the two locations. Check out the USDA APHIS site. It contains the federal inspection reports. BCR has repeat offence in March 3, 2011 and an idirect violation (this stems from previous inspections earlier that no longer show). GW has an idirect violation. Seems GW takes better care according to the experts that inspect and compare locations to the animal welfare act.
Jaime asks what about BCR that makes me mad? The same thing that makes me mad about her post. She claims to have researched the facts, yet after being confronted with undeniable proof of unethical behavior and murdering innocent animals (so they can “be excited” to feed them to their favorite cats) she still supports these disgusting practices. Her lack of compassion for all animals speaks for itself.
huh joe does NOT have elephants
Whom ever did the research on BCR needs to look just a bit deeper.
If you had researched properly you would have found that by supporting BCR you not only support extreme animal cruelty but also Fraud. Many of the animals you mention were born at BCR or purchased by Carole Baskin – not rescued as stated on their website.
Previous employees of BCR tell the truth:
When you visited BCR did your research involve finding out just how many bobcats have died there since 2003 that were being rehabbed? How about the 3 they stole from Alabama and caused their deaths just last year? This facility is very impressive indeed, the most impressive fact is just how many big cats die each year there.
Your compassion regarding the domestic rabbits being tortured and killed at BCR overwhelms me and shows the public exactly how much you disrespect animal life. In fact; if you had an education in rehab you would know this practice is completely unnecessary, and otherwise considered barbaric and psychotic behavior.
Christine Neder, your research is not Credible or Fact. Please re-write your article with true facts. Here is a good start.
So many voices… how to find out the truth?!?!
Carole Baskin, the “bad guys” are people who claim to rescue animals yet torture and kill innocent animals in the name of a Sanctuary, while pretending to be Experts.
The “bad guys” are people who dupe the public allowing them to believe fabricated rescue stories to secure donations.
The lies you mention the “bad guys” post, can you please be more specific because I would love to address those topics? Having said that we all know you will not do this because you know they are not lies but in fact the truth, that is why you continue to hide from open discussions, interviews or news stories while stopping by with your hit and run non-factual statements.
Any reasonable person would properly research you and your facility before supporting either because BCR’s practices and death records do not make it an ethical or successful caretaker of wildlife.
You have a lot of nerve speaking of cruelty to animals, you are a disgrace to all ethical caretakers of animals. The only thing you are succeeding in doing is fooling the public with your continued lies. You are invited – to a public debate about the truth? Shall we?
Maybe we can start with this story? Any comments?
4/18/11, Rouleau, Mark wrote:
There is no Alabama investigation. By the time Alabama was notified of
the bobcats they were in Florida. The Vets assistant who had the
kittens was under the impression that Carole Baskin (or her employees)
had the proper paperwork and was authorized to take the cats based on
permits issued by Florida. She was duped. The The US Fish and Wildlife
Service declined to intercede. Therefore the only agency that has jurisdiction left is Florida.
The bobcats in question are deceased. Even if they were alive we would
not allow them back to Alabama as we prohibit the importation of
bobcats. We would not know if those were the same cats or what
diseases they may have been exposed to. All your inquiries need to be addressed to Florida.
This case is being handled by Florida FWC. Alabama has no
jurisdiction in Florida and Carole Baskin cannot be extradited to
Alabama for Misdemeanor offenses.
Capt Mark T Rouleau
Law Enforcement Supervisor
Alabama Division Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
64 N Union St, RM 559
Montgomery, Al 36130
10 News Investigators raise questions about Big Cat Rescue transparency
Here is a another recent article you might find interesting.
To quote, ” It’s all about ego, arrogance, and superiority complexes….”
“It is most likely the reason Carole (Baskin) has deluded herself into believing that some of her animals, originally purchased ad breeders, were gallantly rescued from scumbag owners.” Look at her old USDA records. 28 violations here, 10 there, etc. She herself was the scumbag owner she “rescued” these cats from!!
Another quote from this article, “….my conclusion that her change was due to her need to be on top in the big cat field is entirely consistent with every piece of information about her. Now she gets to paint herself as a true hero, even above the accredited (AZA) facilities she had failed to join ranks with.”
Sure sounds like “ego, arrogance, and superiority” to me! If you want desperately to become an accredited zoo and AZA turns you down, then trash all zoos and other competitors, call your roadside tourist attraction an educational sanctuary, and continue catering to the tourists while raking in millions. But better disappear your millionaire husband first, because he made it very clear that he did not agree with your plans.
Christine, I feel for you. You obviously had very good intentions when you went to Big Cat Rescue to do a story on “abused and abandoned” cats. Carole Baskin has 60,000 duped supporters and takes in millions in donations. She is a master of marketing and deception. You can’t blame the people who work for her as many of them have either been told to repeat stories they do not know are lies or they stay on as volunteers and tour guides anyway out of love and loyalty for the animals.
I for one recognize that you too have been lied to and that the errors in your story are no fault of your own, but the result of believing what you were told by people lacking in morals and ethics. You can find the truth not in the thousands of self-serving articles written and posted by the founder of Big Cat Rescue, but in the statements and supporting documents supplied by her former staff.
The newspaper and TV news investigations viewed at bigcatrescuelies.blogspot.com all had to pass the scrutiny of the TV station and newspaper legal teams before being aired. If they were untrue, millionaire Carole Baskin would have publicly sued them. She did not. She instead edits her website, and online statements or posts a new video to cover up, explain or make excuses for what has been exposed.
lol, you need glasses! lol
Christine, just so you are aware, the fact that you BREED ANYTHING makes you an animal abuser in the eyes of BCR and all the other activist groups.
Christine, because of your story hundreds more people visited bigcatrescuelies and learned the truth about this place and it’s founder. In this life or the next, one day justice will prevail. In memory of Don Lewis, thank you for allowing these posts.
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