Tiger Queens at Turpentine Creek
What comes to mind when you hear “Tiger King”? Is it cub petting? Is it a comical dispute between tiger owner and tiger rescuer? During the Pandemic, there were millions of international eyes watching the dramatic show that captured the audience as it revealed a world and industry most knew nothing about.
TCWR Animal Curator Emily McCormack commented “The tiger king was an extremely missed opportunity when everyone in the world was watching to show the abuse and exploitation of big cats in the US. Instead, they sensationalized the characters in the documentary where they could have helped the trade come to a stop. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, but in turn the government did decide to step up and take action against the individuals in our country making a fortune from exploiting these animals. Most sanctuaries in the United States are run by women who are cleaning up the mess, saving big cats from the crisis and giving them a life of sanctuary”
This unfortunate missed opportunity sparked an idea among the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance members. Tiger Queens is a documentary that highlights the women in leadership running true big cat sanctuaries in the United States. The women take the stage to tell the truth and facts that Tiger King missed, and their panel discussion was properly featured on NBC News, The Washington Post and The Guardian.
Then in 2022, CNN’s Lisa Ling picked up the story and decided that it needed more coverage. She featured TCWR in an episode of This is Life with Lisa Ling titled “Tiger Queens”. You can learn more about the documentary on our website page, called Tiger Queens.
TCWR’s President Tanya Smith explained “The pandemic created a lot of time for many people to watch Tiger King. The sad thing is that it was a missed opportunity to share the abuse of cats bred for private ownership and roadside zoos. Eventually, they are unwanted animals, too big, and too dangerous. If the cats live until maturity they are put into a breeding population that continues this vicious cycle, they are bartered or sold to people who think they can handle a large carnivore or end up in roadside zoos often in inadequate facilities without a proper diet or veterinarian care.”