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Big Cats Are Finally in Home, Sweet Homes

Written by PETA | June 22, 2009

In March, we let you know that three lions and two tigers who had been held captive in Kansas in what was essentially a junkyard had been released and put into the care of authorities. In case you’ve repressed memories of what these animals were subjected to for years, here’s a reminder:


Prairie Cat Animal Refuge1


PETA first learned of the big cats’ plight in May 2008. After working on the case for nearly a year, we were finally able to secure their release from this decrepit prison. Because it would never be possible to release the animals into the wild, we immediately launched a search to find them suitable homes. The Detroit Zoo (a progressive zoo that accepts wildlife in need) stepped forward and offered to house all three lions, while the CPT Sanctuary in North Carolina gave the tigers a place to roam. The contrast with their former dilapidated cages is striking.


Check out Nitro resting under a tree in his new secluded, wooded enclosure.


After Nitro was moved into the sanctuary, staffers discovered that he may be partially blind. In order to help him adapt, they will add various scents and substrates to his enclosure to help him locate the boundaries of his new home.


After 30 days in quarantine, the lions have moved into their new habitats.


The lions now have space to roam around and a series of vertical rocks and ledges where they can hang out and survey the landscape. Even better, the Detroit Zoo recently announced plans to double the size of its enclosure, allowing the lions more expansive terrain and enabling the zoo to provide the animals with the psychological enrichment that they deserve.

Written by Liz Graffeo

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  • Gail Bradford says:

    I bought a parakeet from petco without knowing what wa going on with them. He with me is one healthy happy funny bird. I look at him now and wonder what he went through before coming to live with me. Now he has a lady friend that i got from an elderly man. They are so cool i don’t know what i would do without them. They get the best food treats and vitamins. They love easy listening music and if i don’t put it on they both remind me by sqwaking really loud. I tell them i’m sorry and ask if they are happy now. The male starts bobbing up and down. What they do they do naturally i do not intrude on them to do what i want. My bird’s names are Jack and Jill and i love them so much.

  • Kristy says:

    This is wonderful news …I can’t wait for the day to read the same story about all of the unfortunate animals who are a part of ” The Ringling Brothers”. Truly the saddest show on earth . Let’s keep working to close them down. All animals have THE RIGHT to be free and protected.

  • Mel says:

    Renee I understand PETA’s passion however I think you’re missing the point. For starters I said silly not insane stunts. Trust me NONE of your stunts I would deem insane an insane stunt would be climbing up the Sears Tower in a lettuce bikini and shouting “Meat is Murder.” One could get killed doing that. BTW this is NOT a suggestion to do it it is an example only. When PETA does these ridiculous protests people focus on the connotation that “PETA Protests extremePETA are fools.” This means they look at you as a group and not what the situation is about. The group also looks like they’re in it for themselves instead of the animals when they go parading around in lettuce bikinis or being half nude which again I’ve been surprised no citations for public indecency have ever happened. When you go around nude you draw attraction to yourself not the cause. Why do you think the Austrailan aircraft carrier did a saftey video in nothing but body paint? I think PETA seriously could be a good animal activist group however HOW you go around protesting really does in a way take away from the main cause and reason of your activism. If you don’t believe me read the blogs of people’s responses to your stories.

  • mel says:

    Jackie simply put true vegans do not exist unless you’re REALLY diligent. And no one can ever say unless they’ve NEVER gotten an immunization as well very unlikely that they’ve NEVER benefitted from animal testing. Plus there are medicines such as a flu vaccine that are made from EGGS. Then again PETA is seriously seen as a parody group and not a true advocacy group so really? I’m not worried. The ones who are naive are those who mock people.

  • Jackie says:

    Tamra I think that’s a great idea! I’d love to see Mel’s organizationwebsite where you can be vegan even if you eat fish eggs honey milk beef broth etc. because it’s just too expensive to be a “true vegan” and any one who kindly tries to correct her terminology is rewarded with a “um…I’m not stupid. I DO know what I’m talking about!”. I could see that all going over really well!

  • Marilyn C says:

    I am offened disappointed and outraged by my home state Michigan as we “cull” numerous animals. However I couldn’t be prouder of The Detroit Zoo for making such a huge positive difference in the lives of the Big Cats. The same zoo I proudly share that decided it was not in the best interest of elephants to continue to house them. Way to go Detroit Zoo!! Marilyn C.

  • Renee says:

    Just throwing it out there as so many people critique PETA’s “insane stunts” and “negative attention” which is better having horrible living enviroments for tortured animals or having a protest. So many people act like PETA is such a radical group but what about what we’re protesting against? People get angry when we make them aware of abuse and neglect but what about the about the abusers? Get angry at them not those who focus the attention on them. Think People..

  • Lizann says:

    Isn’t Detroit EXTREMELY cold for many months of the year?

  • Lynda walker says:

    I’m realizing now in my older wiser years that mankind is the most vicous among us. Then again it is some men who make me proud when reading these HAPPY ENDINGS! Wish we were all more like God’s Creatures…ANIMALS!

  • Irene H. Arm says:

    I feel soooo good hearing good news from your Organization for a change!smile It makes me wish we PETA me could rescue the inhabitants of roadside “zoos” that are so popular the animals are wellkept in most of them but they’re still caged up. One specific one I’d love for you to focus on whose tigers lions bears etc. are not only caged but bred as well is CAT TALES north of Spokane. Last time I was there the bears were unable to even stand up in their cages they hada run that connects the two to each other and a cage I wouldn’t even put my dog in. It’s sad that after rescuing those specific bears from the wild nobody cared to prepare them to return them there for reasons I can only imagine.I have asked the media TV local daily paper to look into it but they won’t touch this “local treasure”. Can YOU help PLEASE??

  • carole harris says:

    We and my family love you PETAnothing you do is too extreme to make people aware of the cruelty that exists toward living creatures. I have had multiple dogs and cats and an occasional rescued bird many times my husband and daughter are with me all the way! Carole

  • Kelsey says:

    BEAUTIFUL great work PETA!

  • Kris Shulfer says:

    they belong in the wild not in a cage or someones pet. they are almost extinct the wat humans are going.

  • Tamra says:

    They do Mel. In case you haven’t noticed PETA garners plenty of attention for animals. The only negative attention in this case is NO attention. It is about intentions in which PETA receives an A+++. Why do you stick around since you have such a lovehate relationship with PETA? Go find another org that suits your needs better. Better yet go start one yourself and see how many followers you get with your worldly and educated ideas. Now talk about a laughing stock!!!!!

  • mel says:

    I’m glad the lions and tigers are in a much safer place and in a zoo where they’re a. protected as they couldn’t be released back into the wild and b. have a location they have room to romp in. That said if you guys would focus more on this instead of some of your more silly stunts to attract attention I think you’d have more people look at you favorable instead of a laughing stock.

  • Lisa Atkinson says:

    What a wonderful ending just ashame they are not in the wild where they belong thats humans for you poaching greed and money.

  • dave says:

    Nice Job PETA!!! It’s great to hear there are some zoo’s out there who put the animals wellbeing in high respect. Thanks Detroit. thanks PETA.

  • Aneliese says:

    Good a happy ending to a story. Don’t get enough of those.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Plaudits for presenting this very uplifting and edifying story about a happy ending for some majestic and exotic great cats.

  • brianna says:

    all of this is just so wrong!! pets were mad eto love and cherish not to be physicly hurt in any kind of way. animals should be treated better in every way i love animals and i will keep donating till animals began to be saved nd rescued.. i love this website it is very understanding i dont eat meat because of animals. pleasee.. help donate thank you brianna