By Heather Francis
Nestled in the Pasco County side of Spring Hill lies a serene sanctuary where tigers, cougars and leopards can live out the rest of their days in peace and proper care.
Many of the animal residents of the Wildlife Survival Sanctuary in Spring Hill came from other facilities that fell on financial hard times. Others were rescued from breeders and private owners from the exotic pet trade.
Many people who desire exotic animals, such as big cats, are misguided into thinking that they can make good pets. Some are not aware of the complex dietary needs or the adequate housing and environment, mental stimulation and enrichment needed to care for these animals from the wild. Therefore, many of these animals from the exotic pet trade live out their lives in sub-standard, unsanitary conditions. And often times these animals are euthanized when their owners no longer can care for them and cannot find a home for them.
Enter Spring Hill resident Jim Moore.
"I started working with exotics about 16 years ago because I saw how exploited they were, even by the people who were supposed to be helping them. So I felt compelled to do more. I've always been a sucker for the underdog," said Moore.
In 2000, Moore founded the Spring Hill sanctuary to rescue and provide a safe, caring environment for big cats and other animals from the exotic pet trade.
Moore's vision also includes educating the public about the plight of these animals.
"Our outreach to the public is two-fold, to raise support for the sanctuary and awareness to their plight," Moore said. More....