Wildlife In Need In Indiana Under Investigation By USDA
You may have heard of the wildly popular "Tiger Playtime" but recent allegations will have you questioning if it's worth making the trip.
*Please note, the article where the allegations are talked about is 10 months old, but it is circulating the internet again. I'm actively working to find an updated version as to what happened after these complaints were filed, but these thoughts are still important for me to share*
Wildlife in Need is located in Charlestown Indiana, right outside of Louisville. They're well known for having a big presence online because of the popularity of their tiger playtime where people come from all over to hang out and have the chance to snuggle on and play with baby tigers.
According to their Facebook page, Wildlife in Need describe themselves as:
We provide rehabilitation & release for indigenous wildlife; and a safe harbor to an array of exotic & endangered species while educating our community.
In the past the USDA has filed complaints against them, and they've had issues with PETA, but most recently, allegations brought up against them are more disturbing.
According the the USDA, Wildlife in Need is currently facing over 100 violations in their most recent complaint, including allegations about the death of a leopard beaten to death with a baseball bat. You can see the owner of Wildlife in Need's full interview and statement on these allegations from WHAS 11 by clicking below.
Personally, I have many friends who have gone to Wildlife In Need and done the Tiger Playtime and while they all have fond memories, I do hope this opens their eyes to a bigger problem. My personal belief is these are wild animals, they are not here for us to play with or for photo ops. They are living breathing beings. I'm all for wildlife conservation, and sanctuaries, as well as for zoos. I believe these places and the research they do and the awareness they raise is great for the animals. However, there is a right way to conduct business with these animals, and a wrong way. While baby tigers are the cutest things, and I want to snuggle them just as badly as you do, they're still wild animals, and should be respected as such.
As well as the allegations against Wildlife in Need about the euthanization of the leopard, the owner does say in his interview that he is not required to have a vet on staff for euthanasia. While I understand that, and I am completely aware that animals at times for the safety of everyone do have to be put down. But there is a right way and a wrong way to do that. If you truly respect and care for the animal in question, you would make sure they were euthanized with dignity and respect.
Only time will tell what happens to Wildlife in Need, regarding this situation, but I do hope this will help people to do research before spending money on something that involves animals.
If you really want to help wild animals, considering donating to either of these great organizations! World Wildlife Fund, or even a great local place like Wesselman's Nature Society!
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