If you’re a big supporter of zoos then maybe you should reconsider supporting organizations whose fanatical ideology seeks to shut them all down. One such organization supporters of zoos should avoid like the plague is Big Cat Rescue, a roadside zoo located in Tampa, Florida.
On the surface, Big Cat Rescue claims to be a "sanctuary" for "abused" and "abandoned" exotic cats. There is nothing wrong with wanting to support an organization that "rescues" animals, however, people have got to draw the line when that organization starts pushing an extreme agenda based off of lies and misinformation.
One very important piece of information that is largely unknown about Big Cat Rescue is their 20 year plan. Their plan was published around 2006 on their website, but was quickly removed.
Using the Internet Archive, we're able to see the plan as it was first written. It's very detailed and has a step by step process of how they will ultimately close down all zoos. It also mentions indoctrinating children in their formative years through marketing as well as a television show they hoped to air on Animal Planet among other crazy ideas.
Below are a few quotes from their plan pertaining to how they will close down zoos (emphasis added):
Since the population of big cats in the wild are deemed a "lost cause", zoos are being closed down and prohibited from saving endangered big cats though their breeding programs, and the captive populations of big cats are dying out, it's reasonable to conclude that big cats would have gone extinct.
Even if there were a few remaining countries that still allowed big cats to be kept in captivity, they wouldn't have been safe for very long because Big Cat Rescue predicted that they would've had a large amount of supporters and be internationally known.
Don't be quick to dismiss this key piece of information due to how much time has elapsed since it was written. Big Cat Rescue's anti-zoo sentiment hasn't changed one bit as evidenced by some of their more recent ramblings.
On August 31st, 2018, Big Cat Rescue wrote an anti-zoo article in which they said, “In fact, we believe that the practice of keeping wild cats in cages is causing their extinction because as long as people can pay $10 bucks to see a cat in a cage they aren’t going to do the hard work of protecting habitat, where they might never see one.”
On a page published in the June of 2016, Big Cat Rescue says, "Breeding big cats has never resulted any anything good for the species. The accredited zoos have a couple hundred tigers (at most) in their Species Survival Plans, but none of those captive bred cats will ever go free or serve any conservation purpose. In fact, breeding them and calling it conservation, just confuses the public, who has a simple minded view that says, if tigers are dying out, then breeding more must be good."
We linked to an archived copy of that page due to Big Cat Rescue editing out all of their anti-zoo message after we posted about it. We assume Big Cat Rescue doesn't want their animal rights agenda known, due to the possibility of losing supporters who also support zoos.
On a page published in the October of 2016, they say, "Are zoos as bad as circuses? That’s a question people usually ask me, or some variation on it, such as, “Aren’t zoos better than circuses?” I’m always surprised that some people who absolutely hate the circus will try to justify zoos."
Further down their anti-circus and anti-zoo drivel they also say, "One of the most encouraging statements I’ve seen about the abandonment of archaic practices that enslave and torture wild animals was in 2016 when Buenos Aires announced they are closing down their 140-year-old zoo, arguing that keeping wild animals in captivity and on display is degrading."
With all the anti-zoo nonsense being spewed by Big Cat Rescue it shouldn't come as a surprise that they support some of the most notorious animal rights organizations such as The Humane Society for the United States (HSUS) and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA).
Last year Big Cat Rescue was yet again the Diamond Level Sponsor for the HSUS' conference called Taking Action For Animals (TAFA). For some reason the HSUS didn't post their sponsorship pricing brochure on their TAFA website this time around but we still have a very good idea as to how much Big Cat Rescue ended up paying.
The previous TAFA conference took place in 2014 and the cost for being the top sponsor at the time was $25,000. The cost prior to 2014 was $12,000 so we can only assume that in 2016 Big Cat Rescue paid $25,000 or possibly even more. We find it very odd that they're essentially giving money away to an organization busted for racketeering while begging donors for more money to care for their own cats.
When asked about the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Big Cat Rescue said, "One thing I have to say for PeTA is that they are relentless in their pursuit of animal abusers. I can always count on them to go after the bad guys and expose them for who they are. Any organization who is that effective will have people talking trash about them."
We're not surprised that Big Cat Rescue refers to the atrocities committed by PeTA that have been exposed by animal lovers as "trash talking". That's one of their go-to lines among many others that they always pull out when anybody points out a valid criticism against their organization. Furthermore, Big Cat Rescue went out of their way to create a page defending PETA on their website.
While all zoos being forced to shut down seems unlikely, we do feel as though it is a possibility. Feld Entertainment recently announced they will be shutting down The Greatest Show On Earth after a 146 year run. We believe Feld Entertainment and SeaWorld are perfect examples of how something can be loved and supported one moment and suddenly hated and slandered the next. Who knows how long it will be before the public will be led to turn against the very idea of zoos.
In the meantime, The Houston Zoo broke their attendance record for the ninth consecutive year by having 2.5-million visitors at their facility. Perhaps the millions of children and adults who still love seeing well-cared for exotic animals in facilities such as zoos will keep both the zoos and their animals from becoming extinct.