‘Samaritan’s Purse’ Nabs PETA Award for Helping With Rescue of Big Cats

CEO Franklin Graham Coordinated Efforts to Help Transport Lion and Tiger From Typhoon-Ravaged Roadside Zoo to Colorado Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
December 18, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Boone, N.C. – A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to Samaritan’s Purse, the Boone-based Evangelical charity led by Franklin Graham, in honor of the group’s assistance in transferring a lion and a tiger from the Pacific island of Saipan to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado.

Samaritan’s Purse airlifted more than 80 tons of relief supplies to Saipan in the aftermath of Typhoon Yutu. On the organization’s third relief flight, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. officials reportedly asked for the organization’s help in removing the big cats from a badly damaged roadside zoo. Video footage from Samaritan’s Purse shows Lambert, a male African lion, and Tasha, a Siberian tiger, traveling on the organization’s DC-8 aircraft to the Colorado sanctuary, where they’ll spend the rest of their lives in comfort.

“Like the good Samaritan the organization is named for, the kind people at Samaritan’s Purse lent a helping hand, flying these big cats to the U.S. and helping to give them a new lease on life in Colorado’s beautiful Wild Animal Sanctuary,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes this story will remind everyone that when animals are in trouble, it’s up to each of us to be a good Samaritan.”

The big cats’ rescue was also made possible by Tigers in America, an organization that coordinated the rescue and purchased desperately needed food and veterinary care for the animals, and by The Wild Animal Sanctuary, which rushed equipment and personnel to Saipan to manage the animals’ transport and will now provide them with lifelong care.

Samaritan’s Purse will receive a framed certificate from PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind