Tampa sanctuary takes in big cats

Several exotic cats have been moved from a S.D. center after allegations of neglect.

Seven animals saved from a "controversial sanctuary" are getting used to their new homes here in Florida.

A leopard, two cougars, and four bobcats were brought to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, where vets are keeping a close eye on them.

The seven exotic cats were removed from a place called Spirit of the Hills in South Dakota two weeks ago after a tiger living there escaped and bit the sanctuary director.

The tiger was shot and killed.

Inspectors removed more than a dozen exotic animals from the sanctuary and revoked its license.

That's where Tampa's Big Cat Rescue comes in, the local sanctuary worked last minute to provide a safe place for its new animals.

“We really had to scramble to move some cats around and get some of these enclosures ready for these cats,” says Susan Bass, director of public relations at Big Cat Rescue.

With just a week's notice, Big Cat Rescue prepared to care for seven more exotic cats even building dens last minute for the cougars.

“We didn't know if they were boys or girls. We didn't know how old they were,” says Bass.

While employees here at Big Cat Rescue will never know what these cats have been through, they're happy this will be there forever home.

Some of the other exotic animals seized were taken to sanctuaries in Colorado and Arizona.


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