The New York Post Should Know Better Than to Promote Cub Exploitation
Dear Editor of the New York Post,
I was horrified to see that Debbie Little would use the New York Post as an outlet for advertising G.W. Exotics. I am sure that she just doesn't know any better, but the NY Post should. Please pass this on to her so that she can see what really goes on behind the scenes at pseudo sanctuaries that breed baby animals in order to lure in unwitting supporters. No real sanctuary breeds, nor do they allow contact between the animals and the public.
Googleing Sanctuary Standards will send you to:
where you can see that G.W. Exotics here will tell you even more
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
By DEBBIE LITTLE
April 29, 2008 --
I've always liked to walk on the wild side. I suppose that's how you explain why I spent a recent vacation in Oklahoma. Africa would have been better. (My husband wasn't interested.)
The venue didn't matter - the activity did. Past memorable trips have included swimming with dolphins and feeding giraffes. This time, I wanted something even more hands on.
Which is how I came across an exotic animal sanctuary/refuge in a small town two hours north of Dallas.
Called in entirety the G.W. Exotic Animals Memorial Park, it is home to 1,400 beasts (over 80 percent of them rescued). Among them: 182 big cats.
Without a real clear idea of what I was getting myself into, I booked passage to the middle of nowhere.
On my first day in Oklahoma, I arrived at the park at 9 a.m. sharp to be greeted by director Joe Schreibvogel.
Not wanting to appear lazy, I asked for a combination of the two. I was placed in the competent hands of Vic, who served as a personal guide during my stay. Vic was about to bottle-feed "the babies." I tagged along.
The babies turned out to be two 4½-week-old tigers and one 3½-week-old lion that had to be fed roughly every four hours.
Once he had me hooked, Vic announced that today was "Hay Day." All old cage straw would need to be replaced. Sounds easy enough, until you
consider that the park is 16 acres.
I'd like to think I helped, or at least didn't get in the way too much. The park policy is no one eats until all the animals eat, which on this hay day was 5 p.m. I was ready to scratch someone.
Day two started the same with bottle-feeding duty, but this day was more about spending time with some of my new favorite animals: a pair of 10-week-old taligers and a pack of wolf hybrids.
The taligers (liger mother-white-tiger father) came to the park as five day-olds. I spent several hours watching the cubs stalk each other, a wild deer outside their enclosure and me. (They are taught not to bite but they like to go for your sneakers if you're not paying attention.)
On my final day, I got to accompany Vic as he took Rick and Faith, a visiting couple from Illinois on their private tour. Included was a visit to the back breeding area not open to the public.
Visitors who fall in love with a particular animal may sponsor them; the people from Illinois, within minutes, became enamored with the 3 ½-week-old lion I'd fed on my first morning.
Sponsorships, which are essential to the fiscal health of the USDA-regulated park, is a simple process.
For $600 down and $100 a month thereafter, Rick and Faith were given the privilege of naming the little lion.
Since the cub had relieved herself on Faith during their playtime, it was decided its name would forever be Poopy. (An appropriate name since the couple owns a company that cleans septic systems.)
I immediately informed my husband that the next time we flew out, my intent would be to sponsor an animal myself - a wolf pup, I think.
Maybe it would have cost him less to take me to Africa.