While on vacation in Florida we stopped at the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa to see and learn about big cats. We were amazed at just how lax the laws are for owning, using, & mistreating these beautiful cats.
The Big Cat Rescue in Tampa takes in unwanted cats from all over the United States. These cats come from a variety of ways: they are surrendered by owners, they are “retired” by circuses, rescued by fur farms, confiscated by law enforcement, etc.
We were amazed to learn that 20 some states have no real laws to enforce the ownership of big cats and how this leads to demand of these beautiful animals and the decline of wild populations.
Big Cat Rescue has 14 species of cats including: tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, servals, ocelots, caracals, jungle cats, leopard cats and a Geoffroy cat. The sanctuary has 55 acres of land and the cats are housed in areas that provide safety for visitors and stimulation for the cats.
From the Big Cat Rescue website:
Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. We are home to over 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts. Our dual mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care and educate the public about the plight of these majestic animals, both in captivity and in the wild, to end abuse and avoid extinction.
One of the many Big Cat Rescue videos: