Wednesday, July 27, 2005

really big kitties

the hippie and i took denise and tristan to the carnivore preservation trust when they were here, and i still can't stop thinking about it. it was just AWESOME, very different from a zoo, and utterly educational. this place started out as a breeding facility for smaller cats who are keystone species in their ecosystems and were being killed off by humans and environmental losses. they have a lot of servals and caracals and ocelots as well as some non-cats--binturongs and kinkajous, left from this program. eventually, however, other groups started picking up the ball on protecting these species, so the CPT evolved into a rescue facility. now they still have small cats, but they also have quite a few jaguars, leopards, and tigers as well. this tiger is 10 months old and was rescued, along with her brother rajah, about 20 miles from my sister's house. they just found these 6-month old tiger cubs walking along a dirt road. can you imagine coming across something like that??! can you imagine your 5-year-old coming across something like that??? holy crap!

what kills me about all this is how many people think it's a good idea to have a big cat like this as a pet. and then when the cat gets too large to handle, they just turn it loose. one of the cats at this facility was found tied to a lamp post in downtown houston! WHAT are people THINKING? and i learned while we were there that this facility gets 8-10 requests for rescues every month--WAY more than they can take. and if no one can be found to take the rescued cats, then they are just euthanized. horrible. sometimes i like animals more than people.

oops--that was almost a rant there for a second...

anyway--if you live in north carolina or are traveling to this area, this place is totally worth checking out. i took that picture above while standing about 3 feet from kaela. how cool is that?


Meredith said...

How have I never known that this place existed???

Do the big kitties have enough room to roam around and run, or are they pretty cramped?

jackie said...

worry not--the kitties are really happy in their enclosures--they have really big spaces, which are fenced in. they play and run and literally frolic. plus many of them have bred in captivity, which is a definite indication of how happy they are. we should go next time you are home. :)