You may already know tigers are endangered, but you may not have realized that captive tigers and other big cats are facing a different crisis in captivity. Due to poor regulations nobody truly knows how many tigers are in captivity, but there are estimated 5,000-10,000 big cats in captivity in the US. These numbers stagger over the wild population, estimated at 3,200.
In short terms, the big cat crisis is the overpopulation of big cats living in captivity. Captivity includes zoos, sanctuaries, pets, roadside zoos, cub petting operations, and circuses. Many times big cats are living in poor conditions or being abused for entertainment and profit. Since numerous cats are in need of being rescued, it puts a huge burden on true sanctuaries logistically and financially.
31 sanctuaries were interviewed for a survey by IFAW to find out opinions related to big cat private ownership. According to the survey it would cost $55 million for these sanctuaries to double the amount of rescued cats they could take in. Rescuing is not the answer. A ban on private ownership is desperately needed to protect big cats from ending up in back yards and being used for profit.
You can help end the big cat crisis by supporting the Big Cat and Public Safety Act. This legislation will ban the private possession of big cats across the United States. By ending the private possession of big cats, we will help keep the public safe (no more tigers in neighborhoods), prevent big cat abuse, and lessen the burden on sanctuaries to have to rescue so many big cats in need.