Q&A: Big Cats in Captivity
Answers to the most common questions about big cats in captivity
Why can’t big cats bred in captivity be released into the wild?
No big cats bred in captivity in the U.S. have ever been, and cannot be, released into the wild. These cats simply are not equipped to survive in nature. Moreover, many big cats bred commercially in the U.S. are genetic hybrids, and some are intentionally inbred to produce rare color traits, such as white tigers. None of these cats have any conservation value.
How can I tell the difference between a “true” and a “pseudo” sanctuary?
True sanctuaries are 501(c)3 non-profit organizations that provide refuge and life-long care for abused, neglected, or unwanted big cats. They do not breed, buy, sell, or trade animals. True sanctuaries do not allow public contact with wild animals of any age. Membership in the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance and accreditation by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) are both signs that a facility is operating according to the highest animal care and safety standards.
What are white tigers and unusual cats like ligers or tigons?