Wild Facts About Cats
Some interesting things we learned about the big cats were:
- Some are born white. This makes it harder for them to hide from their prey and from predators.
- All cats can spray to mark their territories, but pet cats usually don't. We almost got sprayed by one. He lifted his tail and turned his back to us. We all yelled and backed away!
- Some tigers can leap more than 30 feet! Our guide turned her back to the fence and one tiger slowly stalked and pounced! That really surprised us! The tiger was just playing because it was a trained tiger who used to be in the movies.
- Baby tigers are sure cute, but they are not good pets. At the end of our tour, our guide surprised us by letting us pet a baby tiger and take pictures with it. It climbed onto one of my friends and began sucking on her shirt!
It costs a lot of money to take care of big cats. Just look at the chart my dad and I made. A large size cat, like a tiger, takes about $8,000 a year to feed and care for. A medium size one, like a leopard costs about $6000 per year; and a small cat, like a bobcat, costs about $4,000 per year. My friends and I only raised about $60.
Even though we didn't raise enough to feed one tiger for a year, we still helped. Samadi, one of the big tigers at Serenity Springs can eat about 50 pounds of meat in one week! If you look at this chart, you can see that within three weeks, he's up to 150 pounds and the line would go on, and on, and on, and . . . yikes!
It can cost close to one dollar per pound of meat, so we were able to feed a tiger Samadi's size for at least one whole week, so that's pretty good! The cats need a lot of help from people. They are losing their homes; they still get hunted, and some people think they make good pets, but then they start to get too big to care for, so they end up in shelters like this one. We also need shelters because we use wild cats for movies and even magic shows. When the cats get too old to perform, they have to be taken care of. If you would like to donate to the big cats of Serenity Springs Wildlife Center, you can click on their link below. There are lots of other wild animal shelters though that also need money.