On Wednesday, in a small town southeast of Jackson, Mississippi, a team of experienced wildlife rescuers from the Humane Society of the United States, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, and Carolina Tiger Rescue gathered to rescue eleven exotic animals from the Collins Zoo. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife served a search and seizure warrant on the unaccredited roadside facility, paving the way for the seizure of three tigers, three cougars, two leopards, two wolf-hybrids and one Macaque monkey for violations of state permit requirements. When responders entered the property they found the animals housed in small pens with little space and no enrichment. The animals were underweight and suffering from a variety of medical ailments.
HSUS is coordinating temporary placement of the animals at qualified sanctuaries until a judge determines the custody of the animals. Twenty-seven criminal charges have been filed against Gustave and Betty White, owners of the Collins Exotic Zoo.
The three rescued tigers and the two wolf hybrids will be cared for at HSUS’ Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, a world-renowned 1,300 acre animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas, that is home to more than 1,200 domestic and exotic animals. All the animals who live at the Ranch were rescued – from slaughterhouses, biomedical research laboratories, trophy hunting ranches, circuses, roadside zoos, exotic pet dealers, and other life-threatening situations.
Normally only open to the public twice a year, this Saturday, January 28th, Black Beauty Ranch will open its doors for potential Texas Humane Legislation Network volunteers. Many of the animals at the Ranch were rescued as a result of stronger laws passed in Texas and other states. So the Texas Humane Legislation Network and HSUS decided to team up to let potential volunteers see first-hand how legislation can directly impact animals, exotic and otherwise. If you want to make a difference in the lives of Texas animals, THLN can help you do that. At the meeting, you’ll learn more about upcoming events, hear about THLN’s successes during the 2011 legislative session, learn how to be a citizen lobbyist for animal protection, and find out how fun and easy it is to volunteer with your regional THLN Chapter. And with a little luck, you’ll get a sneak peak at the three tigers and two wolf-hybrids who arrived on Wednesday.
Note: We should have video from Mississippi and more photos from Black Beauty Ranch soon. HSUS is having some technical difficulties with their official online photo and video portal.
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