Safely Moving Dangerous Animals
September 13, 2017
With fires on the west coast, flooding in Texas and Florida, and earthquakes in Mexico, transporting animals to another location might become necessary at some facilities. Typically, most accredited zoos and sanctuaries do not move their animals unless necessary. Transporting animals can be very stressful for the animal and dangerous for the people moving them. When not done with the utmost care there is a risk of an animal escaping or getting injured.
If not done carefully, there is a risk of an animal escaping. That is exactly what happened on September 6, 2017, in Atlanta Georgia. Feld Entertainment, the company that owns Ringling Brothers, was transporting 15 big cats from Florida to Tenessee. The big cats, which are privately owned, were being transported to Tennessee so that they could be shipped to Germany to perform in a circus there since Ringling Brothers no longer use big cats in their shows. Reportedly, a female tiger, named Suzy, escaped sometime while the transport vehicle was stopped at a truck stop in Georgia during the night. The drivers did not know that Suzy had escaped until after they arrived at their destination and heard that there was a tiger killed in Georgia earlier that day.
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge no longer not takes animals off of property unless it is for a rescue or an emergency. In the past, we had to transport cats for veterinary care, but since we have completed our veterinary clinic on site, we no longer have to transport animals, which is safer and less stressful. There is always the risk that a natural disaster could make it necessary for our facility or other facilities to relocate animals and we all must be prepared for this possibility.
Transporting animals must be done as carefully and safely as possible. The team at Turpentine Creek works hard to make sure any time animals are moved that the process is done with the best interest of the animal in mind. We take every precaution to prevent any chance of escape or release of the animals in our care during transport. We utilize padlocks, tie wire and tow straps to secure caging, and video cameras to allow us to make sure our animals are safe and secure at all points during transportation. Our animals are checked on at every stop and given water. We check locks every time we stop and before we get back on the road. We also do our best to make the trip as comfortable as possible for the animals.
With so many animals at risk with all the current natural disasters occurring, Turpentine Creek has prepared our transport cages and rescue gear just in case we are called upon to assist with the relocation of any exotic animals put in danger by floods, fires, or earth quakes. We have double checked the integrity of our transport roll cages, checked our rescue supplies, and even ran a ‘rescue drill’ the other day to make sure we were ready for any call that might come in.
Turpentine Creek is always willing to help any big cat or rescue facilities in need due to a natural disaster.