VIDEO: Three Tigers in San Antonio, Texas Moving to New Home
UPDATE, Nov. 10, 2010: IFAW team members will be talking about the move live at 4PM EST and again tomorrow 11.11.10 at 1PM EST at this link: http://ifaw.org/live
IFAW received the news a few weeks ago that a longtime grantee in San Antonio, Texas, Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) was unable to meet its financial obligations and as such, the USDA was looking for help in re-homing their exotic animals.
In happier times WAO was an exemplary sanctuary, providing much needed life-long homes for the victims of the cruel ‘exotic pet’ trade and other disadvantaged wild animals, which is why we had been supportive of their efforts. IFAW had helped place over 30 animals with WAO since 2001.
Despite the bad news, over the past several weeks, IFAW staff have been working closely with USDA and the WAO board to assess, recommend and in some instances aid in the placement and transport of certain animals from the grounds in Texas.
With IFAW participation in the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit just a few weeks away, a specific trio of cats sticks out in this effort, three tigers named Bali, Java and Titan. There is an IFAW team currently making the final preparations to move these three to their new home at Carolina Tiger Rescue.
On the day of the move, the IFAW team will load the tigers into a 36-foot transport trailer at first light and make the 20-plus hour journey to their new home Pittsboro, North Carolina. The three tigers did not know each other before their arrival, but they are all getting along well.
Bali is a 17-year-old male that came from a New England facility.
Titan is a neutered male and estimated to be 16 years old. He previously lived in a zoo in Texas that also closed.
Java is a female and is roughly 17 years old. Before coming to WAO, she lived with a private owner in Louisiana.
Even though these three tigers will have a home where they can live out their lives in relative peace, there is an overarching issue, tigers are in crisis. In fact, tigers are one of the most critically endangered species on our planet. Some experts predict that tigers may be completely extinct in the wild within the next two decades if habitat loss, poaching and trade in tiger body parts continue unabated.
There are twice as many tigers living in captivity in the U.S. than exist in the wild today. (See the IFAW report "The Fading Call of the Wild") Some 5,000-10,000 tigers live in captivity in the U.S., but as few as 3,000 tigers remain in the wild. The large number of tigers living in captivity in the U.S. raises numerous concerns regarding animal welfare, public safety and illegal trade. And perhaps worst of all, captive tigers like these can never be returned to the wild.
And yet, tigers should be kept in the wild. In cases where they are already in captivity - such as the 3 IFAW will move shortly - they should be kept in a permanent sanctuary that meets their behavioral and physiological needs such as Carolina Tiger Rescue and your support has allowed IFAW to make this new connection. Thank you.
PS: Stay tuned to http://ifaw.org/live as we’re going to attempt to bring you some of aspects of the efforts to move Bali, Titan and Java to their new homes live from San Antonio.