|New Bill May End Public Access to Exotic Carnivores|
BOONE COUNTY - A Boone County big cat sanctuary lets the public see what it takes to raise a tiger.
Dale Tolentino says he loves Hermara the tiger, but says taking care of her is a lot of work.
"The majority of the animals here are all rescue animals we took them because they needed a place to live." said Tolentino.
Hermara is eight months old and weighs 80 pounds. She needs 15 pounds of meat every day and a lot of attention and new toys.
Tolentino and his wife Debbie are sharing the experience of running an animal sanctuary. They're holding an open day on September 20th. Their address is 6000 Creasy Springs Road, in Boone County. Entry is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10.
But a new bill may end public access to these big carnivores. House Bill 426 will go before the Missouri State House in the next session. It proposes to force owners of big carnivores, like Hermara, to get a permit and prove $250,000 of liability insurance, in case their animals escape and hurt somebody.
Missouri is one of only nine states where you can own a tiger without a permit.
Tammy Hickman volunteers at animal sanctuary. "A lot of people think they would make a great pet, you know, and they don't because there's so much money and so much energy that goes into these big animals, you can't just take it into the vet." said Hickman.
Dale Tolintino and his volunteers say if the new bill passes they will still be able to keep the animal sanctuary open.
They say they have plenty of land, insurance and dedication to the animals.
Published: Monday, August 31, 2009 at 8:43 PM
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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