It’s been estimated that upwards of 10,000 big cats like tigers, lions and cougars are kept captive in the U.S. by private owners. The exact number is a mystery because few records are kept. What we do know is that these animals should never be kept as pets.

Most captive big cats are kept where they shouldn’t be: in backyards and roadside zoos. People are often not able to manage these wild animals once they’re fully grown. Consequently, the animals are poorly fed, and left to spend their entire lives in cages with barely enough room to move.  Not only is this inhumane, it also is a great threat to public safety.  Since 2003, IFAW has come to the rescue of over 150 big cats along with many other displaced, unwanted, and abused captive wildlife. In addition to responding to these urgent situations, IFAW works diligently with the U.S. big cat sanctuary community to support the life-time care of these animals once they are placed in qualified, reputable facilities.

We need a single, nationwide policy to protect cats and people.

Overwhelming bipartisan support for the Big Cat Public Safety Act

Polling numbers show clearly that this is a bill with wide support across both sides of the aisle:

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Check out IFAW’s big cat rescues

Check out IFAW’s big cat rescues

Protect baby tigers, lions and other wild animals


Ban public handling of big cats, bears, and primates

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