The Netflix documentary, Tiger King is keeping many people occupied while they shelter in place. Facilities like those featured in the show exploit the animals. Today's organization Lions Tigers and Bears does the opposite.
Established in 2002 by Founder and Director, Bobbi Brink, Lions Tigers and Bears is a "no kill, no breed, no contact animal rescue, sanctuary and educational facility" located on a 93 acre ranch outside of San Diego, California. The mission statement explains they are "dedicated to providing a safe haven to abused and abandoned exotic animals and to inspiring an educational forum to end the exotic animal trade." Watch this 5-min video to hear Bobbi talk about the organization's history and see the ranch and the animals.
You may be surprised to learn that wild animal trafficking ranks fourth in the world after drugs, weapons and humans and there are more tigers in the world kept as backyard pets than there are tigers in the wild. The Lions Tigers and Bears ranch provides a refuge for rescued animals to run, play, swim and live out the rest of their lives with dignity. Over 400 animals have been rescued since the group's inception and there are over 60 animals living in the sanctuary today. In addition to lions, tigers and bears there are mountain lions, leopards, bobcats and servals. You can meet the animals and get to know more about them at this link.
If Tiger King, or this post, has inspired you to take action in support of exotic animals you have several options. First, Lions Tigers and Bears released a statement about Tiger King with several recommendations including:
- Pledge to never take a selfie with, or handle, a wild animal of any age.
- Visit only those sanctuaries accredited or verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the American Sanctuary Association, and/or members of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance.
- Call your legislators and urge them to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would end the private ownership of big cats and this cycle of abuse.
What else can you do to support the tigers? It costs between $10,000 - $15,000 each year just to feed them so a donation is always welcome. You can also volunteer, shop for merch and, once we can freely travel again, you can pay a visit to the sanctuary. While we're on lockdown keep up with the latest news by liking the Lions Tigers and Bears Facebook page and following them on Twitter @LnsTgersandBrs.