My job as a tiger caretaker is not just a job, but a passion. On the outside it seems that sanctuary workers clean up tiger poop, clean stalls and yards, fund raise, and even dabble in social media. My job is so much more.
My job is to provide the cats that we have rescued the best life possible but also let them act as ambassadors for education and prevention. By educating the public about the plight of tigers in the wild and captivity, we are ensuring tigers have a brighter future.
This may seem like a simple goal. There are so many more obstacles than meets the eye with saving tigers from the cruelty of humans and saving their habitat. Day after day we see big cats that need homes or how much more habitat has been lost to deforestation. In all honesty my Facebook news feed is over run with posts about tiger news. Sure there are happy stories but there are still too many stories with unhappy endings.
When you have dedicated your life to saving these animals, the big picture may be daunting at times. You try your hardest to help others understand why they must help, but yet not enough is done. Sometimes you wonder if it’s worth putting your all into something that seems hopeless.
But it’s not hopeless. Many of you may have heard the “Starfish story” about the boy throwing beached star fish back into the sea. To an observer the task seems futile. He’ll never save all the beached star fish. The boy responds to a doubtful onlooker as he tosses another star fish into the sea, “it made a difference to that one.”
In the fight to save tigers across the globe, I must remember that I am making a difference. To the tigers I feed every day, I am helping. As daunting as the fight to save tigers may seem, I must remember “it made a difference to that one.” It’s when I remember this story that I become fired up and feel the passion burning again to do something, anything I can to help.
So when you donate a penny or $100, sign a petition, educate someone else, you are making a difference. Do not give up hope, we can give animals a voice.