Carole Baskin, Founder, Big Cat Rescue

In a return appearance to “Talking Animals,” Carole Baskin–founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats–provides an overview of the sanctuary in 2012 (marking 20 years of rescuing big cats). Baskin lionsShe describes some of the 100+ cats and other animals living there, and the circumstances under which they arrived at Big Cat Rescue. Baskin also addresses how people may visit the sanctuary, which is confined to guided tours on a route that sidesteps the animals whose history and temperament preclude exposure to the public–but noting that they’ve seen tremendous education value in conducting these tours, including spurring visitors to call their local legislators (from a phone at Big Cat Rescue) immediately after completing the tour. She also outlines some of Big Cat Rescue’s legislative efforts–including pending bills that would end the private possession and breeding of big cats in the U.S.–and participation in a Big Cat Coalition, involving a three-prong strategy that seeks to end the captive trade in big cats. She also fielded a phone call from Joe Schreibvogel, aka “Joe Exotic,” who owns G.W. Exotic Animal Park, a zoo of sorts in Oklahoma City and is also considered perhaps the country’s largest breeder of tiger cubs–and therefore chief supplier to “pay-to-play” operations by which people can pet and have their pictures taken with big cat cubs in malls and elsewhere; Schreibvogel and Baskin occupy completely opposite ends of the philosophical continuum regarding big cat issues. (www.BigCatRescue.org, www.facebook.com/BigCatRescue)

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COMEDY CORNER: Louis CK’s “Lions” (portion) (buy.louisck.net)

MUSIC: The Soft Boys’ “Lions And Tigers,” Van Morrison’s “The Lion This Time,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Jefferson Starship’s “Ride The Tiger”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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