On today’s episode, we are taking a look at wild cats who have found themselves in human hands. Lions, tigers, lynx, servals, and other species of wild cats can be targets for profiteers running roadside petting zoos or who are filling a demand for exotic pets. These extraordinary creatures might be bred for their cubs to create a photo opportunity at an unregulated zoo or they may be taken into homes with the expectation they can be domesticated. Neither of these environments allow them to live life as they are intended and many are neglected and abused. Some of the lucky ones find their way to a qualified sanctuary where they can live in conditions that allow them to more natural behaviour.
Today’s guest is Tammy Thies, founder and executive director of The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota. She has a fascinating story of moving from a career in advertising to running The Wildcat Sanctuary, a 40-acre home for over 100 captive wildcats. Animals are not bought, sold, bred or traded by the sanctuary. Each resident is given every opportunity to behave naturally in a wonderful, free-roaming environment and they receive the best vet care at the on-site animal hospital. The Wildcat Sanctuary also provides educational outreach seminars and helps lobby for legislative change to ban ownership of dangerous exotic animals as pets. Tammy shares with us the stories of some of the sanctuary’s residents, what life at the sanctuary is like, and offers suggestions for helping end the capture and exploitation of wildcats. To find out more about The Wildcat Sanctuary and how you can help support them in the great work they are doing, please visit their website https://wildcatsanctuary.org and check out their social media for video footage of some of their residents.
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