I recently visited Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, just south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The good folks there are doing some amazing things for big cats.
This guy is a Tiglon. He was caged his entire life before he arrived at TCWR. The problem with this hybrid, and with Ligers, is that they tend to have a lot of physical problems -- and he is no exception. He has bone cancer. But he'll live out the rest of his life in the comfort of an outdoor habitat.
The keepers told us that when the door to his cage opened and he stepped into his new habitat... he smiled. I don't know about you, but that really choked me up.
I understand that these animals are beautiful -- but I don't understand how anyone would be idiot enough to think they'd make good pets, and it infuriates me that so many of them are so easily disposed of when they get too big to handle.
They're gorgeous... and they belong in nature, not somebody's basement or back yard.
Many of the animals at TCWR are awaiting new habitats. TCWR is going on my donation list this year.
I'd love to go back for a PhotoWild session, or a stay at the bed and breakfast on site.