Big cat rescue is in need of a new home - FOX 35 News Orlando

Big cat rescue is in need of a new home

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They don't sound like your household tabby cat, and caring for them takes a lot more than a litter pan too.  Raj, for example, eats dozens of pounds of raw meat each week, but he hasn't always had a life like this.

"He was in a situation where he'd been abandoned in someone's backyard," said Dr. Simba Wiltz with Central Florida Animal Reserve (CFAR). "He was very emaciated, but has very slowly been able to get back his vim, vigor, and vitality and has turned in to a really beautiful cat."

Dr. Wiltz is the chair of CFAR, which is a home to more than forty previously abandoned or neglected lions, tigers and other creatures.

"There's not a very good safety net for big cats in this country. They are not native to the United State, which means, if they don't have homes, they have no one."

Now, their home has just twelve months to relocate.  That's because Brevard County leaders say the big cat sanctuary is just too close to a neighboring subdivision.

"We are dedicated to being with them for the rest of their lives. If a year goes by, and we still haven't made ends meet, we're going to keep trying, keep working with the government," said Wiltz.  "I think society would have a real problem with saying these cats are all going to be destroyed, simply they wouldn't stand up and do what was right."

CFAR already owns a rural plot of wilderness in Osceola County.  The trouble is, they still need to raise $425,000 thousand dollars of a total of half-a-million, to build these kitties new cages.

"We do have funding to start," said Wiltz.  "We don't have funding to finish."

One of the biggest goals of the new facility is to get animals out of small cages and move them in to larger cages where they will have a lot more room to move around.

As the clock ticks, volunteers at CFAR don't want to see these cats face more turmoil in lives, which are already filled with scars.

"When people don't have options, sometimes the worst option is the only one they've got, which is why we've got to succeed in this," Wiltz said.

If you'd like to find out how you may be able to help the Central Florida Animal Reserve, visit their website at


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