At Bhagavan Antle’s animal preserve, T.G.I.G.E.R.S. near Myrtle Beach, the trusted relationship the handlers have with the exotic animals can be seen and felt by the audience. This makes them perfect for live shows or personal appearance. Because Dr. Antle and his trainers have hand raised these animals they are cooperative and safe which saves valuable production time and money. People often think it is dangerous to get so close to wild animals like these, but the handlers here at T.I.G.E.R.S. have been with these animals since they were cubs and have developed a special friendship based on love and respect. In fact, Dr. Antle and his partner Kheira have actually delivered many of the cubs in the enclosure with the mothers because of their special relationships.
In the news, a Senator from Ohio is trying to save such preserves:
By Kathy Thompson, (Zanesville, Ohio) Times Recorder
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – "Ohio state Sen. Troy Balderson’s proposal to regulate exotic animals in the state is not ready to be introduced this week.
Balderson, a Republican from Zanesville, Ohio, sent a letter to fellow senators last week, asking them to support his bill. He planned to introduce it Tuesday.
Balderson hopes his legislation will help save places such as the American Primate Education Sanctuary, or APES, a not-for-profit preserve in Blacklick, Ohio.
Pam White, the sanctuary’s owner, gave Balderson a tour Saturday because she wanted to show how her preserve differs from Terry Thompson’s farm, where 56 exotic animals were released by Thompson in October before he killed himself.
Six animals owned by Thompson survived and were taken to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, then placed under quarantine for testing. One, a spotted leopard, was euthanized last week after it was hit with a door while being moved between cages and suffered a spinal cord injury.
The aftermath of the October incident, which including Muskingum County (Ohio) Sheriff’s deputies killing 48 of the animals, is what sparked Gov. John Kasich to form the task force that recommended a complete ban on exotic animal ownership by 2014 unless owners had proper licenses and followed extremely stringent requirements.
The task force was in response to the public outcry over the incident, which garnered national and international media attention. Kasich demanded legislation written so a ban on future ownership of wild animals such as the ones Thompson owned and freed — lions, tigers, monkeys, wolves and bears — would be enforced as soon as possible.
But Balderson thinks legislation can be drafted that protects the public, yet allows for a less-stringent ban. He said his legislation is one that uses common sense, which will keep the public and animals safe."
TV personality Jack Hanna says he’s shocked Ohio lawmakers haven’t yet passed a bill to regulate exotic animals, and he’s asking what it will take to get it accomplished.
Dr. Antle and the staff at T.I.G.E.R.S. hope that the public will gain a new understanding and awareness of these and other endangered species. And hopefully help save them and the wild places that they live before they are lost to this world forever. Enjoy this quote by naturalist William Beebe,
"When the last individual of a race of living beings breaths no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again."
For more information on the Myrtle Beach Attraction T.I.G.E.R.S.(The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) and the R.S.F. (Rare Species Fund), visit http://www.myrtlebeachsafari.com.