Turpentine Creek rescues two white tigers from Florida

Monday, February 10, 2020
Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge staff transport their newest animal residents: Remington and Luna, who came to Eureka Springs all the way from Florida.
Photo courtesy of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Two white tigers have found their forever home at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) after a nearly 3-year legal battle to get them to safety.

White tigers Luna and Remington were originally held captive by Dade City’s Wild Things (DCWT) in Florida, where they were forced to participate in DCWT’s “swim-with-the-tigers” and cub-encounter programs.

In 2016, PETA filed a lawsuit against DCWT alleging the exploitative organization federally violated the Endangered Species Act by prematurely separating tiger cubs from their mothers, and warehousing them in small cages. In July 2017, DCWT illegally transferred all tigers out of their facility to avoid PETA’s court-ordered site inspection.

Luna and Remington, as well as two other tigers, Rory and Raja, were scheduled to come to TCWR once the legal battle concluded. Tragically, before they could be rescued, Rory and Raja escaped their enclosures at the facility where they were being illegally held and were subsequently shot and killed.

After years of waiting, Luna and Remington were officially granted their freedom in the third week of January 2019. TCWR team members deployed to Florida where they found Luna and Remington in small 10X20 cages. The team reported having trouble loading an anxious Remington, who had to be sedated, but said Luna was highly responsive to their efforts to lure her into a transport cage.

The new animal residents at TCWR are settling into the place that is giving them sanctuary forever. Remington is said to be still displaying mild anxiety but showed significant interest in exploring the enrichment in his spacious, grassy habitat. Luna’s laid-back personality is said to still be holding true; she loves playing in leaf piles and scratching logs and has already figured out that her dinner is served at the same time and place every day.

After Remington is neutered –– as a sanctuary certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, TCWR does not breed animals –– he and Luna will be observed to see if introducing the pair into one shared habitat is a healthy option. In the meantime, the public is invited to meet Luna and Remington by taking a guided tour of TCWR, where the two can be found in their habitat along the tour loop.

TCWR would like to thank the other organizations that made Luna and Remington’s new life at the refuge possible, including PETA and staff and volunteers at Forest Animal Rescue. TCWR is asking the public to consider making a donation to further support the costs of caring for their newest animal residents at www.tcwr.org/donate.

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