Big Cat Rescue finally responded to claims regarding one of their staff members committing what many people would view as animal abuse. In typical Big Cat Rescue fashion, they made excuses and tried shifting the attention away from themselves instead of actually addressing the problem at hand. Their lack of answers shouldn't come as a surprise for our readers.
Big Cat Rescue has been churning out daily update pages to keep their fans up to date on the day to day happenings of their roadside zoo operation. The latest edition contains a paragraph breifly mentioning the alleged abuse that occurred at their facility not too long ago.
On the aforementioned update page, Big Cat Rescue had this to say:
Who are these "animal abusers" claiming that an electric prod was used? Since the writer (presumably Carole Baskin) seems to be referring to our video, we can only assume they're calling their own fans animal abusers because our video featured comments from some of their followers that thought an electric prod was used to handle their tiger named Priya.
Big Cat Rescue begins their response by mentioning how "animal abusers" think an electric prod was used. They then immediately claim that a "twig" was actually used. Shortly after claiming a twig was used, they admit how they originally believed a back scratcher was used. How could there have been any confusion if they knew for sure that a twig was used? Does that mean they don't actually know what was used?
Anyone with half a brain can clearly recognize the sheer stupidity in what Big Cat Rescue wrote. The controversy isn't about the object they used. It's about the method they used to try forcing their tiger to leave a transport cage.
Big Cat Rescue posted their update page containing their response on their Facebook page. As usual, one of their devotees commented about how "animal abusers" are always lying and that Big Cat Rescue can do no wrong.
In a reply to the Facebook comment, Big Cat Rescue says poking a cat is abuse (emphasis added):
Did they not watch their own livestream? Is this the level of internal investigation we can come to expect from Big Cat Rescue regarding complaints of animal abuse? They claim Gale was rubbing Priya's leg with a twig, but we can clearly see her poking the tiger.
According to Big Cat Rescue's comment, poking a cat is abuse and anyone caught doing so will be escorted off of their property. So why hasn't that happened to Gale?
Don't get us wrong, we have nothing against Gale, but it's hypocritical for Big Cat Rescue to let animal abuse go unpunished at their own facility yet still bash other facilities for committing what they believe to be animal abuse.
Gale knew she was harassing the tiger because in the livestream she said, "This won't bother you if you get up out of your cage". Her statement can be found in this video: Tiger Abuse At Big Cat Rescue?
We're sure Big Cat Rescue's supporters will totally disregard everything we said which is why we asked a facility accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) about their method of coaxing a tiger out of a transport cage.
As an added bonus, we will also throw in the statements gathered by someone that took the liberty of asking two facilities accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the organization currently accrediting Big Cat Rescue.
The ZAA accredited facility we sent our inquiries to is called Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation. They gave us a rundown regarding their methods of getting a reluctant tiger to leave a transport cage:
The two GFAS accredited facilities a curious person asked are the Wildcat Sanctuary and In-Sync Exotics Rescue and Education Center.
When asked how they would get a tiger to leave a transport cage the Wildcat Sanctuary said:
When asked the same question, In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center said:
Not one of the facilities mentions having to use a "twig" to force the cats out of their transport cage. Are they doing something wrong?
Since Big Cat Rescue isn’t admonishing their staff member for violating their policies and committing animal abuse, does that mean it's alright to prod a tiger? After all, Big Cat Rescue seems to think they're the ideal example for how a facility should operate.
One of the policies in question states (emphasis added):
Before we end off we should mention that the prod shown in the video appears not to be straight due to the pixelation caused by Facebook and the FPS the phone was recording in. The screenshot below shows the object in question being held behind Gale's back.
Update: We had the chance to question Big Cat Rescue on Facebook about this incident. Whoever was running Big Cat Rescue's Facebook page at the time of our questioning admitted that they were wrong and referred to the object Gale used to poke Priya as a "tool". They said they were in a hurry to get the cats into their new cages. Click HERE to view the screenshot.