What’s Up With Those Chains?

If you are a video viewer of Big Cat Rescue, you may notice green and yellow chains on posts throughout the sanctuary.

No, we haven't lost our minds and begun using a simple, plastic chain as a barricade between tigers and the public.  
All of our public barriers are still the same 6 ga. metal mesh fabric that our cages are made of, but we have created safety zones for our volunteers who work behind the barricades.  Our volunteer program is highly structured and volunteers cannot clean lion, tiger or leopard areas until they have been in intensive training with us for more than 2 years.  The problem was that we had a lot of lesser cats, like bobcats, who were positioned too close to great cats like tigers and that meant we had to have senior level keepers (Green Shirts) cleaning those bobcats and servals, when that could have been done by our intermediate keepers who are (Yellow Shirts and Red Shirts.)
The chains are color coded so that they separate the more dangerous cats from the less dangerous cats so that newer keepers do not wander too close to the dangerous cats that they have not been authorized to care for yet.  Because the chains are so brightly colored they are noticeable from the Tour Path and in our videos so we wanted to let our viewers know that these are increased safety measures.  The only way in to the cat care side of the sanctuary is through gates on the Tour Path that have warning signs which are also color coded so that our newer keepers do not accidentally enter an area that wouldn't be approved for their presence. 
Our volunteer Program for Keepers requires:
Green Shirt: 2 years experience, must pass all classes and evaluations, may clean and feed lions, tigers & leopards and all other cats
Yellow Shirt:  6 months experience, must pass all classes and evaluations, may clean and feed cougars and smaller cats
Red Shirt:  3 months experience in Partner program first, then may clean under direct supervision of Yellow or Green shirt, after passing classes and evaluations, the cats smaller than cougars.
(there is a lot more to it than the above, but that gives you the essence of the program)
The following is from our internal training site:
Now the cougars are safely separated from Red shirt Jungle cats by a Yellow chain.  

Simba and Nyla have been safely separated from Red shirt Bobcat by a Green chain.


Joseph & Sasha have been safely separated from Andi and Siera.


Jade & Armani have been safely separated from the Cougars and Indian Summer.


Cody & Missouri have been safely separated from Rusty and Sassy.


Cameron & Zabu have been safely separated from Nirvana and the "Crazy Bobs."


All of the gates that lead from the tour path to the cleaning areas are labeled by color.


Red shirts and Interns can go in through Red Authorized Purr-sonnel signs. 


You must be at Least Yellow shirt to go in through Yellow Authorized Purr-sonnell signs.


You must be at Lease Green shirt to go in through Green Authorized Purr-sonnel signs.


Thanks for keeping yourselves and our cats safe by staying on the side of the chains and signs that are appropriate for your shirt level.

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
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
Carole.Baskin@BigCatRescue.org
http://www.BigCatRescue.org

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