visiting a true sanctuary for big catsRead more
Seeking to raise awareness about the plight of captive big cats held in inhumane conditions, IFAW and the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA) have developed a new video titled "Tiger Queens." The piece is an in-depth discussion among incredible women who have dedicated their lives and livelihoods to operating legitimate, fully-accredited sanctuaries that provide lifetime care to rescued tigers, lions, leopards and other wild felids saved from cruel conditions. "Tiger Queens" allows viewers to listen in on a candid discussion about the extraordinary commitment required to lead a true sanctuary and the steps that we can all take to help combat the exploitation of U.S. big cats. This discussion highlights the problem with pop culture depictions of people handling captive big cats and glamorizing the exploitation of tigers and exotic cats.
We've all seen it on our social media feeds...photos of friends on vacation posing with wild animals. Videos of celebrities playing with cute cubs abound. All around the world, big cat breeders, dealers and exhibitors misleadingly refer to their facilities as “sanctuaries” and describe their mission as “rescue.” But this couldn't be farther from the reality. True sanctuaries, like those operated by the courageous Tiger Queens, do not allow public handling, breeding, or other forms of animal exploitation. If you want to support true sanctuaries and rescued animals, it's important to learn how to distinguish qualified sanctuaries from pseudo-sanctuaries. We've made a checklist to help.