The acclaimed Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota is set to welcome four new big cat residents, after a man in New York lost his four-year legal battle to retain custody of them. Although the man had taken care of the three tigers and one leopard as well as he could, and complied with all federal and NY state regulations, local zoning changes meant that he was faced with the choice of rehoming the animals or being sent to jail.

Tammy Thies, Executive Director of the sanctuary, said, “The cats are in great shape and have good temperaments. This isn’t often what we see with privately-owned big cats. We can tell the owner cared for his cats and their well-being.”

Regardless of how well he may have treated the animals, however, the fact remains that exotic cats do not make good pets. Without adequate space to roam or experience a semblance of the lives they would have had in the wild, the animals were becoming frustrated. One of them – eleven-year-old white tiger Calcutta – was obtained by her guardian from Ashville Game Farm in 2008, after she had scratched a four-year-old child across the forehead. The child required fourteen stitches.

This photograph shows Calcutta grabbing some light refreshment.


Now, however, Wildcat Sanctuary hopes to provide Calcutta and her friends – Logan, Caesar and Shadow – with 10,000 square foot habitats of their own, representing a fresh new start for each of them. The big cats’ transportation to their new home – a journey of approximately 1,400 miles – will be made a little easier through the assistance of Loving Friends Transport and Tigers in America.


“They will have new lives when they arrive at the sanctuary,” Thies added, “finally having the space they need to roam and live wild at heart. Since each cat lives independently, in reality, this four individual rescues all happening on the same day. It’s a huge undertaking!”


The Wildcat Sanctuary has now launched an appeal to raise funds for the rescue mission and provide the animals with high-quality care for the rest of their lives. You can donate to this appeal, or even symbolically adopt one of the cats, by clicking here.

In-text image source: Wildcat Sanctuary

Lead image source: Alias 0591/Flickr