Lynda Sugasa, executive director of the Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary, is having a hard time buying food to feed a variety of bigs cats that live at the sanctuary.

Normally, Sugasa can get donated meats for the animals, but as panic buying increases during coronavirus, she has less supply than normal.


“The shelves have been getting emptied out by panicked buying; we have no more donations. Our costs have gone up to pretty much $4,000 per month, which is a huge hike,” Sugasa told the Reno Gazette Journal.

Lions, tigers, and cougars depend on raw meat to survive. While Sugasa estimates a two-week supply on-site, once that runs out her costs will spike, “There is no substitute for their diets, they have to have a raw meat diet. That has created a huge emergency for us.”

Carcases aren’t an option for their staff because they lack butchers. Sugasa puts the health of the animals first and won’t accept roadkill or other unknown meats. She’s also worried about revenue with new rules in place about crowds and social distancing.

Mark Robison, a  consultant for Humane Network, is worried about the sanctuary. Many of the animals on site have been rescued from abusive facilities and now enjoy safe, happy shelters where they can run and play at full speed. Robison said, “There are so few places that have the space and expertise to allow these animals to be themselves. If one were to go away it is a huge hole in the safety net for … these exotic animals.”


You can donate to help Safe Haven Wildlife here.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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