Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla., is well-known for its amazing work with lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, bobcats, cougars, and more. The 55-acre sanctuary is home to over 100 of these feisty wild felines, many of whom were saved from a life of captivity where their intelligence was forgotten and proper care was disregarded.
For instance, lion Cameron, now known as the “Brad Pitt” of Big Cat Rescue, and companion, Zadu, a white female Siberian/Bengal hybrid, were rescued from a roadside zoo in New Hampshire. The zoo originally bought the two animals so that they could increase their visitor numbers and profits by having Cameron and Zadu make a “liger” — a breed, like Zadu’s, that does not naturally occur in the wild and suffers from genetic flaws.
At Big Cat Rescue, the couple still lives together, but now they romp around in freedom and have plenty of room to stretch, swim, and nap in their big enclosure.
While most of Big Cat Rescue’s residents come from situations like this, some may arrive from other sanctuaries, like tigers Amanda, Andrew, and Arthur did back in September 2011.
The trio once called San Antonio, Texas’ Wild Animal Orphanage their home, but the sanctuary fell on tough times when the economy slipped into a downward spiral, and the organization was forced to declare bankruptcy.
In order to secure the safe transfer of its 400-some residents, Wild Animal Orphanage enlisted the help of Big Cat Rescue and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) — which is how Amanda, Andrew, and Arthur found their way to a new home in Tampa.
These big cats, along with rescues Alex and Bella, are featured in the adorable new video below from Big Cat Rescue, showing them all “go wild” over their newest household addition: a “vacation” rotation.
The new 2.5 acre section on Big Cat Rescue’s property offers its residents a spacious enclosure to explore with a swimming pond, a den, climbing platforms, big cat toys, and plenty of trees for shade and scratching.
The $200,000 project recently secured its final funding and opened its doors to the sanctuary’s biggest residents. Another vacation rotation is in the works for Big Cat Rescue’s smaller breeds, so we’ll certainly be seeing the likes of leopards, lynxes, and cougars getting a little wild soon, too.
In the mean time, watch the sanctuary’s biggest felines as they jump, run, and explore every inch of their brand new vacation home!
Image source: Big Cat Rescue / LoveAnimals.org
so much better than the circus and zoos