Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary: An Update on the Big Cats’ Whereabouts
Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary is a non-profit animal sanctuary located in Springfield, Missouri. It is a safe haven for big cats and allows them to live out their lives in a natural, comfortable environment. Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary is home to several species of big cats such as tigers, lions, and leopards.
A Brief History of Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary
Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary was founded by Joe Schreibvogel in 1999. Joe had always been passionate about big cats from a young age and had a dream of creating a sanctuary where these magnificent animals would be safe from the dangers of the wild. Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary has come a long way since its inception, and today, it is one of the most well-known and respected sanctuaries in the country.
The Residents of Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary
The sanctuary is home to 28 big cats, including 15 tigers, six lions, three leopards, and four cougars. All of these cats have come to the sanctuary for different reasons, but they all share one common thread – they were all in need of a safe haven.
One of the most famous residents of Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary is Tony, a white tiger. Tony was rescued from a roadside attraction in Louisiana in 2000. Before coming to the sanctuary, Tony lived in a 6-foot-by-12-foot cage on concrete for the first five years of his life. His rescue and subsequent relocation to Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary have given him a second chance at life.
Another notable resident of the sanctuary is Tasha, a Bengal tiger. Tasha was found on the side of the road in Arkansas with severe injuries to her leg. She was taken to a local veterinary hospital, where her leg had to be amputated. Tasha was then brought to Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary, where she receives around-the-clock care and lives comfortably.
The Unique Features of Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary
One of the unique features of Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary is that the cats are free to roam in large enclosures that mimic their natural habitats. The enclosures are filled with trees, pools, and other features that provide the cats with a comfortable and safe environment.
The sanctuary also includes a training and education center, which serves as an educational resource for school groups, tour groups, and other organizations. The center provides visitors with up-close encounters with the big cats, allowing them to observe them in their natural habitats and learn about their unique features and behaviors. The center also provides training for zookeepers and other animal professionals, who are interested in learning about big cat care.
Challenges Facing Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary
Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary is funded entirely by donations, and its mission is to provide a safe haven for big cats and promote conservation efforts. The sanctuary is committed to providing the best possible care for its residents, and it relies on the generosity of the public to help fund its operations.
In recent years, the sanctuary has faced some challenges, including changes in leadership and financial difficulties. However, with the help of dedicated staff and volunteers, the sanctuary has remained open and continues to provide a safe haven for its residents.
One of the significant changes in leadership at the sanctuary happened in 2018 when Joe Schreibvogel was convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to prison. Jeff and Lauren Lowe, who had previously owned their own big cat sanctuary, took over operations at Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary.
While the Lowe’s brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the sanctuary, they too faced some challenges. In 2020, it was announced that the sanctuary would be closing due to financial difficulties. However, this announcement was met with an outpouring of support from the public, who were determined to keep the sanctuary open.
The Importance of Protecting Big Cats
One of the most significant challenges facing Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary and other big cat sanctuaries is the ongoing issue of big cat ownership in the United States. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that does not have federal laws regulating the ownership of big cats. This means that the cats are often kept in substandard conditions, and when the owners tire of them, they are often abandoned or sent to roadside attractions.
Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary is a shining beacon of hope in the fight to protect big cats from cruelty and neglect. By providing a safe haven for these magnificent animals, the sanctuary is not only improving their lives but is also raising awareness about the dangers of big cat ownership and promoting conservation efforts.
Joe’s Tiger Sanctuary is a testament to the power of dedication and compassion. The sanctuary’s staff and volunteers are committed to providing the best possible care for its residents, and its mission is to promote conservation efforts and protect big cats from cruelty and neglect. While the sanctuary faces its share of challenges, it remains a beacon of hope and a reminder that it is up to all of us to protect these magnificent creatures for generations to come.