Friday, January 11, 2008

Tippi Hedren is not just for the birds

She's for the big cats!

Tippi Hedren is famous for her acting, but did you know that she started an sanctuary to help out exotic animals? The Shambala Preserve is eighty acres of refuge near the Mojave Desert, where orphaned and cast off big cats get a second chance at happy lives.

Some of these animals came from circuses or the movie industry, while others were owned by private citizens who subjected the cats to neglect and/or abuse. For example, Kara the black leopard was found in an unheated garage in Wyoming in the dead of winter, with no food or water. Her ears, paws, and tail were frostbitten.

Wild cat species are not suitable pets. Once that cute cub grows up and becomes a potentially lethal problem, many exotic cat owners dump them or neglect them. I wish sanctuaries like Shambala weren't necessary, but I am really glad that they and other big cat sanctuaries are available to respond to the need.

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