Big Cat Rescue is a non-profit organization that focuses on rescuing and rehabilitating big cats such as tigers, lions, and leopards. Recently, there has been news that the organization has closed down, leaving many concerned about the fate of the big cats they were caring for. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the closure of Big Cat Rescue and what it means for the future of the big cats in their care.
The Background of Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 in Tampa, Florida. The organization’s mission is to end the abuse of big cats in captivity and to prevent their extinction in the wild. The sanctuary was home to over 60 big cats, including lions, tigers, and leopards, and was open to the public for educational tours. The organization has been involved in rescuing and rehabilitating big cats for over 28 years, and their work has been recognized globally.
The Controversy Surrounding Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue’s founder, Carole Baskin, gained nationwide attention for her role in the popular Netflix documentary series “Tiger King.” The documentary exposed the dark side of the big cat industry, including the abuse of animals and the exploitation of cubs for profit. Baskin, who was portrayed as a savior of big cats, became embroiled in a legal battle with Joe Exotic, a former big cat owner, who accused her of being responsible for the disappearance of her second husband. Despite the controversy, Big Cat Rescue continued to operate until 2020.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Big Cat Rescue
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on Big Cat Rescue. Due to the pandemic, the sanctuary had to close its doors to the public, resulting in a loss of revenue from tours. The organization relied heavily on donations from the public, which also decreased during the pandemic. As a result, the organization struggled to cover its expenses, including the cost of feeding and caring for the big cats.
The Sale of Big Cat Rescue
In 2020, Carole Baskin announced that Big Cat Rescue was for sale. The decision to sell the organization came after Baskin failed to secure a trademark for the phrase “Hey, all you cool cats and kittens,” which she had used in her videos and merchandise. Baskin stated that the sale was necessary to ensure the long-term survival of the organization and its mission.
The Future of Big Cat Rescue
Despite the controversy and challenges faced by Big Cat Rescue, the organization’s mission remains critical. The abuse and exploitation of big cats in captivity continue to be a significant issue, and organizations like Big Cat Rescue play a vital role in ending it. The sale of the organization has not yet been finalized, and it remains to be seen who will take over and continue its work. However, it is clear that the organization’s legacy will continue to inspire and educate people about the importance of protecting these majestic animals.
FAQs: Why is Big Cat Rescue closed?
Is Big Cat Rescue permanently closed?
No, Big Cat Rescue is not permanently closed. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sanctuary has been temporarily closed to the public since March 2020. The safety and well-being of the cats and staff are the top priority, and the sanctuary will remain closed until it is safe to re-open.
When will Big Cat Rescue re-open?
It is currently uncertain when Big Cat Rescue will re-open to the public. The staff is closely monitoring the situation and following public health guidelines to determine when it will be safe to re-open. The sanctuary will announce the re-opening on its website and social media channels once a decision has been made.
Can I still support Big Cat Rescue while it is closed?
Yes, you can still support Big Cat Rescue while it is closed. Donations are always welcome and are crucial to supporting the care and well-being of the cats. You can also support the sanctuary by purchasing items from their online store or becoming a member.
What is happening to the cats while Big Cat Rescue is closed?
The cats are still being cared for by the staff and volunteers at Big Cat Rescue while the sanctuary is closed. The staff is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that the cats remain healthy and happy. The cats are receiving daily feedings, care, and enrichment activities to keep them stimulated and active.
How can I stay updated on the status of Big Cat Rescue?
You can stay updated on the status of Big Cat Rescue by checking their website and social media channels. The sanctuary is also sending out regular email updates to their supporters. Be sure to subscribe to their mailing list to stay informed about any updates or changes.