It’s been almost a year in the making, but three lions and two tigers in Kansas will soon be on their way to new homes after PETA pressured local authorities to act. We were first alerted to the big cats’ plight back in May 2008, when a passerby informed us that the animals were being kept in what essentially amounts to a junkyard. Behold, the “Prairie Cat Animal Refuge” in all its splendor:
In June, we sent a team of exotic-animal experts to assess the situation, and their reports were included in the local sheriff’s case, which recommended that charges be filed against the cats’ “owner” and that authorities take custody of the animals. Unfortunately, the case encountered reams of politically-charged red tape. Then, last month, a man “under the influence” who was working and staying at a so-called “hotel” on the property (it’s called the “Free Breakfast Inn”—infer what you will from that), wandered up to the cages and was promptly bitten by a lion. That incident, while not so good for the man (he was hospitalized for surgery on his arm), finally galvanized the authorities into action.
In the meantime, PETA was lining up homes for the animals to be taken to once they were given a clean bill of health: The Detroit Zoo (a progressive zoo that closed its elephant exhibit for humane reasons and has provided a home for numerous rescued exotic animals, including one of the Suarez polar bears) has agreed to take all three lions, and the tigers will go to Carnivore Preservation Trust, a sanctuary in North Carolina. The zoo is covering all expenses for testing and transporting the lions, while PETA is covering the cost of testing and transporting the tigers. That cost is estimated at $3,000. We’re hoping that the animals will be moved at the end of the month—we’ll keep you posted.
So there you have it—the latest installment of “Your PETA Dollars at Work.” Just doin’ our job, folks.
Written by Alisa Mullins