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Water Is Essential

To Fulfill Our Mission

July 9, 2019

Water is one of the most essential elements to our existence. Everyone knows the old survival axiom, “Three minutes without air, three days without water, three weeks without food.” W.H. Auden once highlighted the necessity of accessible H20 by stating, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water…” and Leonardo da Vinci called it the “driving force of all nature.” We would say that, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware of how vital water is to survival, but the fact is, even our rock-dwelling friends rely on this life-sustaining substance.

At the Refuge, where around 100 animals are housed at any given time, the topic of water remains pretty centralized in our day-to-day doings. (In case the entire first paragraph failed to give that away.) Habitats are cleaned daily, water dishes are cleaned and filled three times a day, and in the summer, pools are continuously being rinsed and refilled since many tigers take a multi-purpose approach of using them for both toilet time and playtime. The strain of distributing our water amongst our animal residents, the multitude of guests, and the team members who live on-site is part of why we have the dire need to update our well and water system.

After a hot summer morning of cleansing habitats, scrubbing food and water trays, as guests in our lodging suites shower, and as visitors use the restroom and rinse their hands before their tour, our water pressure is fairly dismal when it’s finally time to fill pools. Not only is this valuable time our animal care team could be devoted elsewhere, but it also hinders the amount of time our animal residents can enjoy their cooling enrichment. Our updated water system will allow for quicker filling in the summer and for the expedited sterilization of feeding utensils all year long.

An expanded hydration network also allows for the overall expansion of our property, which means we can construct more habitats for survivors of the Exotic Pet Trade. With anywhere from 7,000-10,000 tigers living in the U.S. and only 850 sheltered by accredited zoos and sanctuaries, there are thousands upon thousands suffering this very moment- and that’s just tigers! Lions, bears, cougars, bobcats, feline hybrids- the list of animals in desperate need of refuge continues. Our passion extends not only to our current animal residents, but also the future ones who are waiting to be touched by our mission.

Additionally, the expansion opens doors for widespread outreach. As you know, the new well and water system is the first step in the creation of our Visitor Education Center because it allows us to be flooded with more and more guests. Every dollar someone spends at our true sanctuary is a dollar that does not go to a circus, “scam-suary,” or roadside zoo. Every second someone spends observing our educational displays could be the very second that prompts them to take action against the Exotic Pet Trade. By drawing more visitors to an ethical tourism establishment, we are building a team of advocates (like you!) who will eventually wash away the Trade and the violent physical and emotional abuse animals experience at its hands.

Da Vinci was correct when he said water is the driving force of nature. What he didn’t mention is that you are the driving force of change. Our mission, your support, the creation of our new well and water system are all drops in the ocean that will end Exotic Pet Trade, and we are ready to make waves. We’ve raised over $30,000 towards our $150,000 goal. Your donation will help us continue our mission, and with a $40,000 matching donation up for grabs, your contribution to this project will go twice as far! Will you join us? Donate now at

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