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Lions, Tigers, Lemurs…Oh My!

Informational exploration of C.A.R.E

Photo+courtesy+of+Lily+Kelsey
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Lions, Tigers, Lemurs…Oh My!

Photo courtesy of Lily Kelsey

Photo courtesy of Lily Kelsey

Photo courtesy of Lily Kelsey

Photo courtesy of Lily Kelsey

Taryn Holmes, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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The Center for Animal Research and Education, better known as C.A.R.E, resides in Bridgeport, Tex. From tantalizing tigers to lovable lions and learned lemurs to beautiful bobcats, C.A.R.E provides safety for a wide variety of animals. Their mission: ​to provide a safe, permanent and loving home to exotic animals in need.

Although C.A.R.E mainly cares for big cats, their facilities and hearts remain open to any exotic animal in need of a home. Currently, the facility provides a home for tigers, mountain lions, African lions, cougars, bobcats, black and spotted leopards as well as ring-tailed lemurs, llamas and a coati. Many of these animals arrive at C.A.R.E in pain or simply distrustful towards people. After years of work and care, relationships with the animals and their handlers continue to grow. According to C.A.R.E’s official mission statement: ​C.A.R.E focuses on excellence in physical and emotional care, advocating animal welfare through education, and conducting minimally invasive research that will improve living conditions for captive animal populations world-wide.

A common misconception related to the raising of wild animals implies that raising an animal from birth domesticates it and makes it a suitable pet. However, an animal’s instincts still affect that animal’s actions, even when raised in captivity. Many animals in captivity eventually

grow used to human contact and even become affectionate towards certain people, but their wild side still remains. Because of this misconception, people who attempt to raise a wild animal within their house face disappointment, and more often than not, wish to get rid of it. For a while, exotic animals turned pets filled most of the facility, however a decrease of exotic pet owners leads to C.A.R.E receiving animals through different methods. Now, C.A.R.E mainly provides a place for zoos and other rescue facilities like C.A.R.E to send animals when the facilities run out of room or close down.

This causes exotic animal facilities, such as C.A.R.E, to constantly require volunteers, expansion and funding. The facility offers plentiful volunteer opportunities for anyone over the age of 18 and they appreciate the financial support from sponsors and donors. Despite C.A.R.E operating as a non-profit organization, they hold an annual fall festival as a fundraiser to gain financial support for the animals. On November 3, 4, 10 and 11, invitations extend to families and children of all ages for tours around the facility, watching the animals and enjoying the fall themed festivities. Links to buying tickets reside on the official C.A.R.E website,https://www.carerescuetexas.com/​.

In a special opportunity for elementary through high school art students, C.A.R.E asks for them to donate their artwork featuring the animals at C.A.R.E. Funds received from the auctioned artwork go towards supporting C.A.R.E and all the animals within the facilities. Aspiring artists gain the chance to showcase their work while earning funds for animal needs.

Traveling long distances to see exotic animals no longer needs to exist in the areas in and around Wise County. Now, the chance to observe these animals lies within reach. Some people

visit to enjoy looking at the animals and others to give support to the unique facility. Founded by people who truly care, C.A.R.E deserves recognition and praise in every way.

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