Lions and Tigers and Bears; Oh My! What were these people thinking?
Sprinkled throughout the U.S. are private non-profit sanctuarys for homeless exotic animals that for one reason or another people thought would make great pets. They found out wild animals are not easy to care for. They get big. (Imagine that.) They play a bit rougher than a ten pound domestic tabby.
So these folks needed a place to dump their unwanted lions, tigers and other exotics. These sanctuarys take in the exotics that the zoos can't take. Most are non-profit organizations that live off donations. Boyd, Texas has one of these sanctuarys.
To help make ends meet the International Exotic Feline Sanctuary in Boyd, Texas gives tours if you make an appointment with them. Sanctuary tours are not quite like zoo tours. A great deal of effort goes in to keeping the animals comfortable and not to agitate them with visitors. Young children are not allowed on tours, loud talking and getting close to the animals is prohibited.
While it's neat to see these animals up close and live, it's also a bit depressing to hear how some of them got there. One story that gets the over-indulgent parent award is about the black panther. The panther was given as a pet to a teenage boy. When the boy left home for college they simply shipped the panther off to the sanctuary with a nice donation.
Okay so I'm being a tad preachy here today. Please think before you bring home any pet. They aren't "things" they are committments.
Peace from the blog porch soapbox.
Updated: 6:35 AM GMT on April 25, 2009
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