Animal sanctuary that houses ‘Tiger King’ cats uses team effort to rescue other felines

Local News

ALBION, Ind. (WANE) – The animal sanctuary that received four animals that once lived in a park connected to the Netflix series Tiger King, has welcomed other big cats from across the country. Black Pine Animal Sanctuary has become the final home for tigers and lions after a ‘team effort’ is made by the staff there.

Nearly 70 animals were taken from an Oklahoma animal park run by Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe. While Black Pine has been unable to share details about the four animals that were moved to Albion, WANE 15 was able to learn more about the process of housing big cats at the sanctuary.

“It’s an exhilarating process, but it’s a little stressful,” Executive Director Letrecia Nichols told WANE 15. “We have to make sure that we’ve calculated everything – that we have the space to quarantine them, enough staffing to accommodate their needs, that we have the right vet care in place. We have to look at all of the angles when we’re undertaking something of that scale. It is oftentimes has a lot of time constraints around it. It has to be done very very quickly, so everybody has to come together as a team to be able to make the decision and figure out a plan to move forward.”

According to Nichols of the animal sanctuary, Black Pine doesn’t seek out animals. The animals that are moved to Albion are typically surrendered or confiscated by law enforcement. Some lions and tigers at Black Pine arrived after other sanctuaries were closed.

“It’s been a tremendous experience,” Nichols said. “I’ve not always known what to expect, but when we are able to do a large rescue, there’s nothing else like it.”

Black Pine operates with the help of donations and admissions. The animal sanctuary has switched to guided tours. You can register to visit here:

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