White Tiger and Lion
October 2, 2004 update:
The long awaited day had to wait even longer when Hurricane Jeanne roared into Big Cat Rescue. Cameron the male lion and Zabu the female White Tigress were supposed to be reunited on September 25, but the approaching hurricane deterred us from introducing them and then having to lock them in a den together for the storm. The following week was too muddy to move the transport cage. The week after that was looking just about as muddy, but thanks to a remarkably hot day, by the end of this Saturday it was dry enough to roll Zabu across the sanctuary grounds.
See the photos of the transport, reintroduction and first kiss by clicking on the photo> > > > > >
The new 3 acre cat-a-tat is nearly complete, but the funds to pay for it are not. The funding that was promised to care for these cats and provide their new home has not been forthcoming, but Big Cat Rescue has dipped into reserves to get these magnificent cats out of quarantine into their new 3 acre Cat-A-Tat with dual dens and pool.
The next step is a vasectomy for Cameron so that he and Zabu can finally be reunited without the risk of little white ligers being produced.
This lion and white tigress need your help!
Imagine the scene: A little roadside zoo and circus that makes its money by having cute little cubs on display, but the money is never enough. Many of the cages are corn cribs, meant for airing out corn, but frequently used as containers for big cats. They will live out their lives as the victims of boredom and suffering because people don’t know the real story.
As each cub grows up and is no longer profitable for petting and photo opportunities with passing tourists, it is crammed into a cage with more of its own kind. The breeding is continuous and the cycle of misery repeats year after year… and these are the lucky ones.
The ones who are not so lucky are the ones that are relegated to the basement. Generation after generation cats are bred and sold. After years and years of continued suffering and abuse one of the owners dies and some of the cats can finally be rescued.
Some claimed the cats were being sold. The volunteers were told that cats were being given away, but one pair had been held back. A male lion and a female white tiger had been raised together with the hopes of breeding them and creating white ligers. These would be very valuable to another circus or another road side zoo and might provide a means of supporting the zoo. These cats had lived together since they were cubs with just this very purpose in mind and now they were getting old enough to breed. They were separated last fall by the remaining owner, much to the distress of the lion, but there wasn’t money enough for birth control.
Male lions are often sold to canned hunts because they are not a protected species and there are no laws to prevent “sportsmen” from shooting them in a transport cage in order to hang their heads on the wall and to have lies to tell their drinking buddies about their bravado. Tigers are illegal to sell across state lines, but the black market for their pelts and parts, puts them in peril as the U.S. is the largest provider of tiger parts to the Asian “medicinal” trade. Being a white tiger meant that Zabu could have been bred to death or sold for her fur and bones.
(Photo is Zabu at Big Cat Rescue)
Back at the zoo, the money has run out, the food is getting more scarce and of lower quality. The cats are getting thinner and their coats becoming dull. No one wants these big cats. Many unaccredited zoos breed continuously to provide cubs to attract paying guests and have no where to dispose of last year’s cats. Most of the sanctuaries are full. There is nothing for a big cat to do in this situation but to circle endlessly waiting for that one chance at escape, even if it can only be
The owner agreed that the home in Florida would be the best thing for everyone involved. Once the cats are healthy enough and out of quarantine, the lion will have a vasectomy or the tigress will be put on birth control so that they can live together once again.
It costs BCR $465/month or $5,580/year to give one of these large cats the food, vitamins and health care they need. Accepting these two cats creates a significant financial burden of over $10,000/year.
To help support these beautiful cats you can:
Mail checks to: Big Cat Rescue 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
Donate over the phone by calling us at: 813-920-4130
Or on the web at by clicking HERE.
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP IN RESCUING THESE TWO WONDERFUL CATS!