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Action is Needed to Help Big Cats in Captivity

May 14, 2018

Many of us remember the incident that lead to 49 wild animals in Zanesville, Ohio being put down by authorities after having been set loose in town by their owner.  Tragically, 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, two grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon had to be killed when tranquilizer guns failed. It was especially heartbreaking to lose so many Bengal tigers, who are on the verge of extinction. These animals had been living in cramped filth; the ones lucky enough to be left in their cages were taken to a better life at the Columbus Zoo.

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN YOUR TOWN:  According to National Geographic, “… trading, selling, and breeding of exotics often crosses state lines and is difficult to regulate. It’s estimated that between 10-20,000 big cats are currently in private hands in the United States – more tigers than in the wild – but no one, not even the USDA, knows for sure how many. “

You CAN do something to solve this nationwide problem!

    • Become an advocate TODAY – click here to ask your Representative to vote for HR1818.  This important bill will regulate the exotic pet trade, force owners to register their pets and meet standards of care, and eventually put an end to this escalating threat to both animals and humans.
    • Donate $18.18 a month or make a one-time donation of $1,181 to TCWR! Click here to show you stand behind this important legislation – when it’s passed, sanctuaries must make room for thousands of animals who will need forever homes, medical care and proper food.

  • Can’t give right now? Hold your own FUNDRAISER! You will not only help raise money for the animals, you’ll increase awareness about Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge! Kids can invite their class, or entire school, or even their scout troop. Adults can involve service clubs, offices, businesses, or online businesses!  We are more than happy to help with ideas and to send backup materials to help make your event a success.  Just call: 479-253-5958.
  • Share positive stories about big cats and other wild animals, like those on the TCWR website, to Facebook and Twitter, link it to YouTube and email your friends!
  • When you see a post or article that is misleading or exploitive about an animal post your comments, be polite and try to educate them in a positive way. You can also start a petition drive at or create a Facebook page to draw attention to the situation at If you witness animal abuse, email the USDA at for Eastern U.S. or for Western U.S. They regulate and enforce the Animal Welfare Act. Be “the squeaky wheel” – the more they hear from you, the more likely they will send out inspectors to investigate!

Help us help them!

Blog Written By Stewardship Intern Sandra Ames

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