The rescue and relocation of tigers Luna and Remington to an accredited sanctuary is a success story for the animals and for members of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA), which works to eliminate the private ownership and commercial exploitation of wild cats in the United States.
The tigers were used as props in wildlife “encounters” at Dade City Wild Things in Dade City, Florida, where they were forced to swim with paying customers. After filing suit against the facility in 2017, PETA fought to have four of Dade City Wild Things’ twenty-three tigers rehomed to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a BCSA member sanctuary located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Two of the tigers never made it to Turpentine Creek; they were killed after escaping their temporarily enclosures. The other nineteen tigers were illegally transferred to a facility in Oklahoma after the court ordered a site inspection of Dade City Wild Things.
More than two years later, Luna and Remington’s story has its happy ending. On Jan. 15, 2020, the rescue team from Turpentine Creek travelled to Florida and, with the help of fellow BCSA member Forest Animal Rescue from Silver Springs, Florida, they loaded the two tigers into their transport vehicle for the 18-hour drive to their new home in Arkansas.
“We are happy to report that Luna, age four, and Remington, age six, are settling into their forever home,” said Emily McCormack, Animal Curator at Turpentine Creek. “They have received veterinary care and are currently enjoying separate enclosures with plenty of space to roam and a comfortable den area. After Remington is neutered in the coming weeks, our staff hopes to reintroduce these young tigers, so they can spend the rest of their lives together in a larger and far more natural setting than where they spent the first years of their lives. They will now have proper nutrition, medical care, and enrichment opportunities that they never experienced before.”
BCSA Steering Committee Chair Noelle Almrud added, “The Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance is grateful for another rescue success story made possible by the collaborative efforts of its members. This demonstrates that by working together we can better the lives of wild cats in captivity, while working to eliminate the private ownership and commercial exploitation of these animals so that rescues like this are no longer needed.”
(For the full story as published in The Log Cabin Democrat, please click here.)