IFAW rescues tigers from Texas

Monday, 8 November, 2010
Yarmouth Port, MA
IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare, www.ifaw.org) is moving three tigers from a closed sanctuary in San Antonio, Texas to Pittsboro, North Carolina. The tigers will be transported on a 36-foot rescue trailer and cover more than 1,300 miles to their new life-long home at the Carolina Tiger Rescue sanctuary.

Unfortunately, due to the economic downturn, WAO, the Wild Animal Orphanage decided to close their doors. Working together with the USDA, the Texas State Attorney General's Office Charitable Trust Division, and IFAW, the WAO Board signed a resolution to dissolve the sanctuary within sixty days by relocating their 300 animals to other facilities.

“IFAW is standing by to help the animals at WAO to find a secure long term future,” said Dr. Ian Robinson, IFAW Emergency Relief Program Director. “This unfortunate situation points to the larger issue of the exotic pet trade - wild animals belong in the wild.”

IFAW has been working on the ground at WAO feeding and caring for the animals during this transitional time. They are planning the moves of healthy animals to other viable sanctuaries across the country. The tiger move is a small part of the overall rescue effort.

“The volunteers and staff of Carolina Tiger Rescue are incredibly excited to meet our newest arrivals,” said Kathryn Bertok Curator of Animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue. “We look forward to offering these wonderful animals a grand life filled with lots of love and attention.”

Tigers are one of the most critically endangered species on our planet. 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. Some 5,000-10,000 tigers live in captivity in the U.S., but as few as 3,000 tigers remain in the wild.

Later this month, IFAW will join leaders from the 13 countries where wild tigers still live will gather in St. Petersburg, Russia to adopt a global tiger recovery plan that aims to double the number of wild tigers by 2022 and bring this critically-endangered species back from the brink of extinction.

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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