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Tiger King's Carole Baskin is closing down Big Cat Rescue!

Big Cat Rescue, the Hillsborough County sanctuary that became internationally famous as part of Netflix’s “Tiger King” documentary series is closing down!


Carole Baskin and her husband have revealed this week that they are closing down their Big Cat Rescue and merging their cat population with another rescue in Arkansas.


Carole who became the center of a global phenomenal thanks to her infamous battles with Tiger King Joe Exotic, has announced that Big Cat Rescue will send the majority of the big cats in its care to an Arkansas refuge.


Only a few will live out their days at Big Cat Rescue, which will eventually be sold.


Tiger Kings Carole Baskin closing down Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescue, owned by Carole Baskin, has entered into an agreement with Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs.


“For thirty years, the mission of Big Cat Rescue has been expressed as having three prongs: To give the best life we could to the cats in our care, to stop the abuse, and to avoid extinction of big cats in the wild,” the release said. “For those same thirty years, we have always said that our goal was to ‘put ourselves out of business,’ meaning that there would be no big cats in need of rescue and no need for the sanctuary to exist.”


The release pointed to a new federal law banning the private ownership of big cats and the practice of cub petting as part of the reason behind the move to the Natural State.


Tiger Kings Carole Baskin closing down Big Cat Rescue

“What this means, importantly, is that over the next decade, almost all of this privately held population of cats will pass away,” he wrote. “Within a few years after that, they will all be gone and there will be no more cats living in miserable conditions in backyards.”


Carol's husband commented on the operating costs of the Big Cat Rescue.


He said that they have 41 cats and it costs about $36,000 per cat, and as the Baskins get older, they did not see it as financially sound to keep operating until the last cat passed away.

“It is hard to imagine funding levels holding up well enough to cover the overhead as the number of cats dwindled,” the release said. “So, we would incur substantial losses. Even if funding levels did hold up, it would be difficult in good conscience to spend that much per captive cat when the funds are so needed for projects to keep the cats from going extinct in the wild, the third prong of our mission.


Big Cat Rescue and Carole came into the national spotlight in 2020 when “Tiger King” first went public. Since then, both have been in the spotlight, which allowed them to highlight their efforts and work on the Big Cat Public Safety Act.


The new home for Baskins big cats, Turpentine Creek sits on 450 rural acres and is about seven times the size of Big Cat Rescue.


One tiger and five bobcats will remain at Big Cat Rescue for the rest of their lives. When those cats passed, the Baskins said they would sell the Tampa area property.


Construction on the new enclosures at Turpentine Creek has begun and is expected to take six months, with some of Baskin's big cats moving as soon as July 2023


Tiger Kings Carole Baskin closing down Big Cat Rescue

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