BENEFITING: CARNIVORE PRESERVATION INC
EVENT DATE: Oct 11, 2014
As some of you know this summer my daughter, Andie, spent 8 weeks as an animal care intern with the Carolina Tiger Rescue, aka Carnivore Preservation Trust Inc., Pittsboro, NC (near beautiful Chapel Hill). The CTR is a 501(c)3, top-rated nonprofit wildlife sanctuary whose mission is saving and protecting wildcats in captivity and in the wild. Andie had an amazing experience, and we all learned so much about the issues surrounding ownership of exotic wild animals by the general public.
Keeping lions, tigers and other big cats in private hands is a public safety issue, an animal welfare issue and a global wildlife conservation issue. Using commonsense you might ask “why would anyone have a lion or tiger for a pet?” But people do. In fact, there are as many as 7,000 tigers known to be in private ownership just in the United States and another 8,000 wildcats estimated to be in private hands. By contrast, fewer than half as many tigers live in the wild. Many of these owners operate so-called sanctuaries that are more like petting zoos than refuges offering the animals protection. You may recall an incident a few years back in Ohio where police shot and killed nearly 50 animals, 38 of them big cats, owned as part of a backyard menagerie. I could go on citing cases of people, including children, being attacked by tigers on leashes…yes, leashes, lions that have killed the person caring for them because of unsafe enclosures, and roadside zoos offering the public an opportunity to be photographed holding the offspring of these big cats.
Carolina Tiger Rescue has been instrumental over the years in rescuing big cats that have been living in captivity in unsuitable, unhealthy and unsafe conditions for both the animal and people. When I visited the CTR at the end of Andie’s internship I saw a female tiger rescued by the staff of the CTR when she weighed less than 70 pounds--their average weight is around 250. Her owner thought grocery store cat food was an adequate diet. It’s not. At CTR this beautiful animal has flourished and is now sporting a healthy weight, coat and sparkling eyes.
The cost of saving and protecting these wildcats is great. As I embark on my first ever half marathon this fall (The Prairie State Half Marathon, October 11) I am not asking that you meet me at the finish line, but please support my efforts by donating to the Carolina Tiger Rescue/Carnivore Preservation Trust, Inc. For more about CTR check out their website at www.carolinatigerrescue.org.
You can also Like them on Facebook.
I thank you and the big cats thank you for your support.