Wild Capture Awareness



Wild Capture Awareness Campaign

Exotic Cats:
The exotic cat in the U.S. is not endangered.  They breed easily.  It is a huge business in the U.S., on a par with illegal drugs.    You can purchase them at swap meets, from news ads, on the internet, or from exotic feline clubs for whatever amount you are foolish enough to pay.  Many are purchased to end up in a canned (contained) hunt to be killed, with a weapon of choice; a guaranteed trophy for a head on the wall or a rug on the floor. Lions and Tigers are now also being bred for human consumption and their meat is for sale through the internet. The large number of these animals kept captive in the U.S. has become a national crisis.  Across the U.S. more than an estimated 5,000 large cats are kept in USDA licensed facilities, and as many as another 10,000 are in private hands.  It is unknown how many small wild cats, such as lynx, bobcats, and servals are held in captivity. 

The permitting, licensing and regulating of these wild exotic felines is not uniform across the U.S. and in some states it is more difficult to obtain a license for your dog than to purchase a lion or tiger for your backyard.  It is therefore impossible to arrive at an accurate number of these dangerous animals purchased as pets, and yet the breeding continues.

Within the past 5 years, big cats have been responsible for over 32 known fatal attacks on people, and 574 known injuries. Big cats, driven by their natural instincts are a danger to the public. Smaller wild cats can also be a danger, as they can inflict serious injuries.

Legitimate and reputable animal sanctuaries, which never breed, buy, sell, trade or use commercially, are struggling to take in the hundreds of wild cats who are dumped, seized, abandoned or abused every year.  In California, the Shambala Preserve which was founded by Tippi Hedren, supports 70 big cats, which is small by comparison to many sanctuaries. 

Tippi Hedren co-authored the Captive Wildlife Safety Act in 2003, which Congress unanimously passed in effort to stop the interstate trafficking of exotic cats for personal possession, yet Circuses are exempt. State wildlife agencies and the USDA admit that there are not enough investigators to properly visit and inspect the thousands of facilities that house these animals. Facilities are still allowed to breed big cats and sell them within certain states and with the serious shortage of State and Federal wildlife inspectors, sales on the black market are out of control.

Public education is vital for the safety and welfare of exotic cats and people. Stringent laws enforcing the ban on breeding the exotic feline to be sold as pets and for entertainment purposes must be passed. Concerned citizens and members of the public can support the ban of breeding these wild cats in the US by urging their state representatives to co- sponsor a federal Ban on breeding exotic cats for personal possession.





The Roar Foundation BNR


Born to Be Wild


Animal Law Coalition





Wild Capture Awareness

"Trapped for Life"


Tippi Hedren


The mission of the Wild Capture Awareness Campaign is to raise awareness and support for exotic wildlife, develop and provide educational resources to the public that promote the protection of exotics from cruelty, capture, trade and exploitation, and facilitate the rescue and provision of lifelong refuge through WFLF’s Back to the Wild Sanctuary for exotic animals in need.


(1) Raise awareness and support for the ongoing needs of exotic wild animals

(2) Raise awareness for exotic wildlife through a focused look at the gruesome trade of exotic pets in the US

(3) Develop and provide educational resources to the public as to why exotic animals, wild animals and most certainly apex predators should not be kept as pets

(4) Develop and provide educational resources to the public about the wildlife trade as related to wild capture

(5) Provide resources about existing and pending laws that regulate the capture, trade and ownership of exotics/ wild animals

(6) Model laws for banning pet ownership of exotics/ wild animals

(7) Promote the preservation and protection of exotic wildlife from the exploitation and wild capture.
(8) Facilitate the rescue and provide lifelong sanctuary for exotic wildlife in need

(9) Highlight qualified shelters, facilities and sanctuaries trying to help these animals

(10) Work with federal and state authorities on regulations and enforcement issues




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