White tiger cubs visit Crystal Bay Casino
By Annie Flanzraich
Bonanza News Editor
For Information About White Tigers Please Visit: http://bigcatrescue.org/cats/wild/white_tigers.htm
Roaring for a cause
Snowman made a small roar of protest as Tiger Behaviorist Peter Renzo woke him from a short nap Saturday afternoon to play with the children and adults who came to visit the white tiger cub Saturday at the Crystal Bay Casino.
But as soon as he left his carrier, the 11-month-old cub began traipsing on the near-by donation box.
“Good, you’re learning to climb on things,” Renzo told the tiger.
Snowman and his fellow cub Crystal were on their second visit to the Crystal Bay Casino in August. They will make appearances 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 30 to help raise funds and awareness for the S.A.B.R.E. Foundation.
The Foundation hosts eight tigers in a 40-acre sanctuary near Silver Springs, Nev.
“They love it there, there are a lot of trees and no fleas or bugs,” Renzo said. “During the cooler months the temperature is perfect and during the warmer months we have a large insulated space to keep them cool.”
S.A.B.R.E stands for “Siberian’s Are Becoming Rapidly Extinct,” and is a nonprofit organization founded by Renzo to protect tigers in the United States. Renzo began interacting with tigers in 1970. He apprenticed to the late Ray McPeek, director of the Skylands Compound for exotic felines in New Jersey.
“When I first met him he asked if I wanted to see his cats,”Renzo said about his first tiger interaction. “He asked me if I was afraid and told me ‘you’re never going to feel the bite that kills you.’”
That was the beginning of Renzo’s 30 year career with large cats. Since, he has dedicated his time to taking care of the animals. Part of that commitment is the S.A.B.R.E. foundation. Recently the animals moved from a 5-acre parcel to the 40-acre one. But to keep that piece of land, Renzo said the organization needs to raise money to purchase it for $600,000.
“We’re going to need a heck of a lot more fundraising,” he said.
Renzo said the foundation is looking for help in many ways, from monetary donations from people volunteering to build cages or clean up after the animals.
Crystal and Snowman are just two of the tigers at the “Tiger Pavilion,” as Renzo calls it. Although the cubs are smaller now — weighing about 30 pounds — they will grow rapidly, Renzo said.
“They’re very active and they grow quickly,” Renzo said.
It’s free to visit the cubs for the next two Saturdays in August at the Crystal Bay Casino. However, Renzo emphasizes again that donations helps these animals and helps the foundation help more tigers.
“These animals are being hunted and can become extinct,” Renzo said, mentioning stories he’s heard about tiger hunting in other parts of the world.
According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, it was estimated that fewer than 5,000 tigers remained in the wild as of 2006.