Reflections from 2017 and Moving Forward into 2018
There are roughly 2330 tigers living in the United States, located in zoos, preserves, and sanctuaries according to the Feline Conservation Federation’s 2016 National Wild Cat Census, we are home to 28 of them. Big cats are defined as species of the genus panthera, which include tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, cougars, ligers, and tigons. Tigers For Tomorrow is a forever home for over 41 big cats here in Alabama. Through our placed based educational programs we teach students not only about animal behavior but the importance and responsibility of caring for animals and how to keep animals happy while living in captivity thru physical, emotional and intellectual enrichment.
We have had a very exciting year! Early in the spring we finished our Untamed Walkway, which provides a 410 foot long concreate ADA accessible path down into the preserve, while also allowing a grand view of our Big Cat Playground. Our Big Cat Playground also showcased early in the spring. This playground provides physical and intellectual enrichment opportunities in a 2 plus acre untamed natural setting for our cats, bears, and wolves to be rotated through.
The animal residents here at Tigers For Tomorrow are not only happy, but are healthy. Each animal is on a special diet, along with daily supplements, which are very costly. Diets and supplement are designated for each individual animal based on their needs. Because of our exceptional care and supplement regiment many of our animals are living very long lives and are entering their senior years. We feel it is our responsibility to look towards the future and plan for their care.
Tigers For Tomorrow is a 501-c-3 nonprofit, last stop wild animal preserve and environmental education center. All the animals that come to live with us remain here for the rest of their lives. It is our responsibility to care for them and give them love, dignity, and respect regardless of their behavior or health. Tigers For Tomorrow also provides a top notch environmental educational experience to all who visit the preserve.
With the world changing and the disturbing explosion in human population growth, we are beginning to lose animal species at an alarming rate. The Living Planet Index, prepared by the Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London, found that animal population had dropped 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, mainly due from poaching, habitat loss, and pollution. One hundred years ago there were over 100,000 tigers in the wild, now there are less than 3400. Scientist predict that two-thirds of wild animal populations will become extinct in the next 20 years, this includes Tigers and Lions. This is the very reason that Tigers For Tomorrow feels that instead of telling sad stories of our resident’s past, we place a huge emphasis on educating our public on the importance of conservation and preservation. Our animal residents here at the preserve enjoy acting as ambassadors for their species, by helping showcase predatory animal behaviors and instincts, while demonstrating the importance cross species relationships and the study of anthrozoology.
Currently we are working to finish a few projects at the preserve. We have started working on the Untamed Mountain Wellness Center. Once finished, the Wellness Center will be a fully working veterinarian clinic, and indoor/outdoor quarantine for our animals. This will be very beneficial, especially for our senior animals. By adding an onsite veterinary clinic to the preserve, we are able to provide a stress free, familiar environment for minor procedures and senior care.
Our second project that we are working on is our Bear Essentials project. 2017 Giving Tuesday we launched the Bear Essentials project to raise enough money to fund getting all the bears at the preserve to the Big Cat Playground. At the moment we do not have a large enough transport to be able to move our largest bear, a grizzly bear named Yonah. So, before we can let all our bears romp around the playground, we need to get them a bigger ride, by getting a bear transport. Secondly, we will need to make sure the playground is “bear friendly”. We will be adding “bear friendly” additions to the fence line to ensure the safety of all the bears.
In closing looking back on 2017 it was a very good year with many accomplishments! But now we must make plans to keep moving forward. We are grateful to those donors who were so generous this past year.
We are now asking for your support to help us provide a healthy and happy life for all our animals at Tigers For Tomorrow. Your charitable tax-deductible contribution brings to life our shared aspirations, whether through new experiences for our animals, expanding our facility to provide a more enjoyable environmental education experience to the public, or funding for The Untamed Mountain Wellness Center. As a thank you to our donors, anyone that donates $250 or more will be invited to the Big Bear BBQ in the spring for up to 4 guests, when we introduce our grizzly bear Yonah into the Big Cat Playground.
You can make a donation today by writing a check to Tigers For Tomorrow or by donating here.