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Features navigate down. Categories navigate down. Newsletters navigate down. The snow has been brought in from Mount Buller in a promotion for the Victorian ski resort. Credit: Lucas Dawson. Related Stories. US House passes border aid bill, Trump vows veto. In a world first, Facebook to give data on hate speech suspects to French courts. With cryptocurrency launch, Facebook sets its path toward becoming an independent nation. Latest Content. Europe's latest heat wave is part of a 'new normal'. People often ask if it is hard to start a sanctuary and it is not. After 15 years of being involved in exotic cat rescue I have seen the fallout from much of this hopeful thinking.
When people found out we had rescued the cats from the fur farm they started calling and asking us to take their lions, tigers, and leopards that they had foolishly bought as pets, when they were cute little cubs, but now did not want. By we had to turn away big cats that we did not have the finances to rescue for their year lives, and every other year that number was doubling. It was heartbreaking to have to be turning away a big cat almost every day.
A bill had stagnated for six years in Congress that would have stopped a lot of the problem, but it is hard to get lawmakers to hear a bill about protecting big cats when there are so many other issues vying for their time. We used every opportunity to inform our volunteers and visitors about the importance of the bill and in December the Captive Wildlife Safety Act passed. The Captive Wildlife Safety Act made it illegal to sell a big cat across state lines as a pet. There were a lot of parameters and the actual rules to enforce the law were not written by the U.
Fish and Wildlife Service until September , but the breeders saw the handwriting on the wall, and many stopped breeding.
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Coincidentally there have been record numbers of reported cougar sightings in areas where cougars have been extinct for years since the ban passed in By that number dropped to 72 and it continues to decline as seven more states have banned the private possession of big cats and many more are cracking down on an industry that has been largely left to run wild. Now, the number one reason for unwanted big cats is that they are used as props for edu-tainment, photo opportunities, and as a way to attract the public to zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, and con artists who assure the public that the cats have been bred to save the species from extinction.
None of these backyard breeders are involved in any real conservation efforts and there are no release programs for big cats because there is no appropriate habitat reserved for them.
A rescue brings in money up until the day the cat gets to the sanctuary. This lack of planning for the long term quickly reaches a tipping point. The animals already rescued begin to go without vet care and regular meals, and their cage space is filled with more and more big cats, often causing injuries and death. But there is no place for them to go. There is a solution and we are making that legislative agenda our highest priority.
The bill is named after the teenager who was mauled to death by a tiger while posing with the cat for a photo.
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The bill is HR and you can help make it the law at www. Carole Baskin is a fraud. Big Cat Rescue is a sham operation that purports to rescue exotic cats. She purchases exotic cats from breeders and breeds them herself while simultaneously supporting legislation to ban them for private ownership. Carole Baskin is an animal rights activist who has been caught in so many lies about where she got her cats that it takes a website in itself just to show the documentation, and she knows that she has been caught in those lies. Numerous complaints were made that she sold sick animals. Then she turns around and attacks her former customers.
And she kept the kittens in buckets. It is obvious that Holly is under the influence of the people she surrounds herself with and has no real understanding of what our mission is at Big Cat Rescue. Our opponents often claim that we want to be the biggest cat zoo and that to do so we have to run them all out of business, which flies in the face of common sense.
If we want to rescue more cats then we need people like them breeding, abusing and discarding so we can do that. The fact is, and it is stated over and over on our site, in our articles, in our videos, in our media interviews and every chance we get: We are working to put ourselves out of business. That day is coming and every day I am more encouraged as I see the shift occurring. It is only the comfort of knowing that one day exotic cats will no longer be confined to cages that enables me to withstand the slanderous accusations of those who have selfish reasons for never wanting the abuse to end.
The author of Rexano is a tiger owner who lives with a circus tiger tamer, who is one of the Fercos Brothers.
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Rexano is the acronym for Responsible Exotic Animal Owners, which is a contradiction in terms. Every year they try to get import and export permits to move tigers in and out of the US under the guise of needing them in the circus act. Every year we write to USFWS asking that they not issue the permits because it just makes it easier for people like them to move tigers in the illegal trade. The US is the second largest consumer of tiger parts.
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As a result Zuzana Kukol has made a career of trying to discredit us. The only exposure they can ever get for their barrage of half truths and misinformation, like the doctored documents they post, is by posting on legitimate sites like this one. They are forms created by USDA but unfortunately, the USDA does not require owners to send these in but rather relies entirely on the truthfulness of the operator to submit an annual count that only breaks down into the number of dogs, number of cats and number of exotic animals. I wish the USDA required reports as detailed as what rexano posts, but they do not.
USDA deletes all files over 3 years old and these documents are dated prior to Zuzana posts her edited version of the Bay News 9 story on her website and YouTube to try and discredit us. Chris Hawes at Bay News 9 had just run a story on our rezoning. She had tried to find someone who was against it, but all of our neighbors were for it, so she twisted and edited an interview with our next door neighbor to make it look like they were opposed. After the story ran our neighbors came to us and told us that she took what they had said, completely out of context, and pieced it together to make it look like they were opposed to us.
She cut it to just that one statement to make it look like she had caught me at something, when in fact I was able to show her that she had not. When we saved 56 lynx from being turned into coats, we paid for them, so does that mean they were not rescued? Despite her claim that we never disclosed on the web site that some of the cats were born there in the early years, we have always linked those cats stories to our own history and evolution.
We spoke with Jim Moore who was quoted in her story and he said he intended no harm to us and knew that we were not breeding on purpose after because he was there and saw that we were separating animals as quickly as funds would allow. She had interveiwed us prior to running the story and we showed her all of the abandoned hybrids we have had to take in and informed her of all of the reasons why it never works out for the pet or the people, but she ran the cutesy-exotic-on-the-couch story anyway. When Chris Hawes said that Vernon Yates and others we are trying to bar from breeding, selling and keeping tigers as pets had told her bad things about us, we invited Chris Hawes to look through all of our records to show the allegations to be false, but she chose instead to go with the story she had concocted with their help and did not indulge our request to show her the proof of our innocence.
There was nothing in the old records that we have not freely admitted all along on our web site and on our tours. This was not investigative reporting or she would have determined the same thing that everyone else did; we were wrongly accused. In just one year since her story ran we have been featured in the press, in a positive light, more than times! We have had more than positive stories done on us in just past few years.
I was thinking in the aftermath how sad it would be to be like these people who seek attention by saying bad things about good people. Every day I am surrounded by people who love me, who share my vision and who are all working together to make the world a better place. My life is full of joy. When you focus on bad things you attract bad things into your life.
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While many of our supporters, who saw the show that is being distributed widely by those who breed and sell dangerous animals as pets, have contacted the station asking that she be fired, we did not encourage that and have not asked that she be reprimanded. Until she experiences an awakening of how good life can be, if you focus on the positive, she condemns herself. You might note that it was one of the last stories she ever did for Bay News 9 and she is no longer appears to be working for any news provider in Florida.
This leaves little room for actual rescues. Did Ms Baskin realize the error of her ways…or was she purposely deleting evidence of fraud? They no longer have permission to use the seal.
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These are the facts…you be the judge. The rest of her writing is a diatribe trying to cover her rear end on facts that have been presented about her. Because she was only interested in selling exotic CATS. Then she could not have been a sanctuary prior to , right? If Baskin now freely admits that she was a breeder, why then would she be upset that these records have been exposed?
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Could it be that her many thousands of financial donors might not support these lies if they knew the truth? Shame, shame, shame. In Carole Lewis Baskin says she became a sanctuary to rescue cats and in she describes herself as a collector? Little Feather? Crackle the caracal has kittens? From a breeder? Don and Carole Lewis Baskin were collectors. Carole stated often that she wanted the largest collection of exotic cats in the world.
Don was adamant about not accepting contributions from individuals. Is that why her husband disappeared— after filing for a restraining order against her—-never to be heard from again? The plot thickens!
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