Kallie the tiger was one of four big cats that was rescued from a defunct drive-thru roadside zoo in Oklahoma. We collaborated with the Oakland Zoo (CA) and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (AR) to save the sole remaining animals at the abandoned facility that was once opened to the public and offered cub petting and photo opportunities. The facility was cited and shut down by the USDA in 2008 after multiple safety and welfare violations. The roadside zoo and its owner were reported to have ties to "Joe Exotic," also known in the well-known Netflix series as "Tiger King."
All four big cats rescued were females and had been declawed—a cruel standard practice in the cub-petting industry—which these animals are victims of.The rescued animals included:
Members of each Rescue Team worked spent a long and grueling day working together to safely extract and transfer each big cat from their existing enclosures, which were dangerous habitats that were very difficult to access. The team conducted on-site animal evaluations, led by a licensed veterinarian, and then they were safely contained in their transfer cages for transport to their new homes.
Lions Tigers & Bears used our state-of-the-art, self-contained animal rescue hauler to transport three of the big cats to California. The team drove round the clock to make it to the Oakland Zoo over the weekend to offload two animals, and then they rolled into our sanctuary early on the morning of June 13th with Kallie in tow.
Kallie was approximately 8-12 years old when she was rescued and in addition to being declawed, she also suffers from metabolic bone disease and malnutrition. Kallie was housed alone in a dilapidated enclosure for many years and was extremely scared and timid when she was rescued.
Over time, as she became familiar with her new caring keepers, was fed a well-rounded diet, and had a habitat that was clean and fit for a tiger - Kallie is now loving life at our sanctuary. Her transformation is incredible and we are so grateful we can provide Kallie with a life of peace and dignity, a life she always deserved.