October 19, 2023: Twenty eight years ago, we embarked on a life-changing journey here at Big Cat Rescue. Our very first tiger, named Shere Khan, arrived, marking the beginning of a powerful mission to rescue and provide sanctuary for tigers who had been exploited, neglected, or abused. Up until then our residents were mostly bobcats and lynx. Over the years, Big Cat Rescue has been a haven for 40 tigers, who came to us from distressing situations like circus acts, backyard breeding, and private ownership. With passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act last December private ownership is now outlawed and the faucets, of hundreds of cubs each year for cub petting schemes, has been permanently turned off.
As we turn the page to a new chapter, we want to update you, our cherished Big Cat Rescuers, on some important developments.
The Last Tigers Move to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
On September 28th, 2023, three of our tigers—Max, Simba, and Kimba—were safely relocated to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This week, we are moving the last of our tigers, Jasmine, Dutchess, and Aria, to join their friends at TCWR.
Bigger, Better, Happier
While our cages here ranged from 1,800 square feet to half an acre—with one extraordinary 2-acre space and a vacation rotation area of 2.5 acres—we are taking this opportunity to build even better homes for our tigers. We have invested $1.8 million to construct half-acre enclosures for each tiger at TCWR, and 2,000 sf cages for our smaller cats, making every day feel like a vacation for these majestic creatures.
Our Eternal Gratitude
We could not have come this far without the endless support from our staff, volunteer keepers, and especially you, our generous donors. Your contributions have made it possible to not only provide a great life for these exotic cats but also to lay the foundation for our future endeavors in wildcat conservation.
We are particularly grateful to TCWR and all the donors helping us in this crucial transition. This move will allow us to consolidate the overhead of two separate sanctuaries and sell our sanctuary land. We plan to use our existing reserves and the proceeds of the sale to fund our cats’ care at TCWR and to contribute to saving wildcats in their natural habitats.
Our vision has always been a world where all wild cats live free. As we bid farewell to the last of our sanctuary tigers, we are filled with hope and determination to continue our work, focusing on conserving wildcats in the wild, where they truly belong.
Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey. Together, we are all ONE in the mission to make the world a better place for these magnificent beings.