IFAW leads wildlife rescue in NY and finds new homes for lions, tigers, bears, wolves
As an animal facility near Buffalo, NY closes its doors, 11 tigers, three lions, three black bears and two wolves need to find new homes. Working with six qualified U.S. sanctuaries and local authorities, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - www.ifaw.org) found a solution.
“This is an unfortunate situation where about 20 animals are becoming displaced due to the facility closure,” said Katie Moore, IFAW Animal Rescue Program Director. “We did not hesitate to step in and find them lifetime care at qualified wildlife sanctuaries. Dangerous animals like these require specialized care, diets and housing that the average pet owner simply cannot provide.”
IFAW has been working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to orchestrate the rescue and coordinate the safe transport of the animals to reputable sanctuaries including the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Big Cat Rescue, Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, In-Sync Exotics, The Wild Animal Sanctuary, and the Wolf Sanctuary of PA. Additional transportation provided by Loving Friends Transport and Animal Lifeline.
“The time has come for people to wake up when it comes to exotic animal ownership. We must enact laws that prevent the general public from acquiring, collecting and often getting in over their heads with dangerous wild animals,” said Moore. “The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, a proposed ban on the private ownership and breeding of big cat species and hybrids, is an important step in preventing more animals from suffering in sub-standard conditions and easing the pressure on quality sanctuaries.”
When owners are unable to care for their animals, the burden falls on true sanctuaries to provide lifelong care for even more animals. Most sanctuaries are already at or near capacity with unwanted, abandoned, or abused captive wildlife and all assume significant financial obligations to provide the necessary care to all animals at their facility, which, for big cats, can cost up to $10,000 per feline annually.
IFAW’s wildlife rescue team works closely with bona fide facilities to collaborate on rescues, to ensure animal care standards and to promote sanctuary sustainability. To date, IFAW has been involved in the rescue and relocation of more than 150 big cats in captivity as well as many other wild animals including bears and wolves.
IFAW partners, The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org, are helping to secure funds to support IFAW’s animal rescue work around the world.
Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos and video are available at www.ifawimages.com.