We start with some great news: Big Cat Rescue is shutting down because its services will no longer be needed.
Of course there are still plenty of tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, pumas, lynx and cheetahs in the non-profit sanctuary’s care, but the passing of the Big Cat Public Safety Act has finally put an end to the cruel, abusive and absurd practice of keeping big cats as pets.
The animals will be moved to Turpentine Creek, an accredited animal sanctuary in Arkansas. Big Cat Rescue will continue to fund their care and will sell its existing land in Florida as it transitions to programs to prevent the extinction of big cat species, almost all of whom are critically endangered.
“We have always said that our goal was to ‘put ourselves out of business,’ meaning that there would be no big cats in need of rescue and no need for the sanctuary to exist,” Big Cat Rescue wrote in a memo released this week. “Supporting our cats in larger enclosures at Turpentine Creek, at much lower cost per cat than we incur by continuing to operate Big Cat Rescue, will free up resources to let us do much more to save big cats in the wild.”
The Big Cat Public Safety Act has not only made it illegal to own tigers and other wild cats as pets, it also puts an end to the cub-petting business used by roadside zoos, in which cubs are taken from their mothers as infants so the roadside zoos can charge customers to pet the cubs and pose for photographs with them. While big cat “pet owners” are grandfathered in, many have been rescued and there will be no more pets after the current group dies out.
Influencer Hasbulla says people “are attacking me for nothing” over video in which he abuses cat
Hasbulla, the Russian influencer whose videos have been viewed more than 10 billion times on TikTok, says people are making a big deal over “nothing” in response to a video showing him abusing his cat.
The 3’4″ social media “star” is known for frequently talking about “acting like a man” and in addition to being an enthusiastic supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine (he’s called Putin “a lion” on several occasions), he holds typical Russian views on the way men are “supposed” to act.
Hasbulla said he was merely disciplining his cat for “misbehaving.”
“Those brothers who think that I was beating the cat, pulled the ear, this and that. I pulled the ear gently,” Hasbulla said in a video accompanying a Twitter post. “I know that people are waiting for the moment, if I write something wrong, to just attack me like this. Like, ‘you do this, you do that’. She was misbehaving and I just pulled the ear and that’s it. I love my cat more than you. If I didn’t love the cat, I wouldn’t have it at home. My most lovely animal is a cat. And when she disobeyed, I scolded her a little. And you are attacking me for nothing.”
Of course anyone with common sense knows cats are not capable of “misbehaving” because they have no concept of what behaving means by human standards, and Hasbulla is being dishonest when he claims he was “gently” disciplining the cat.
In the video, which the Russian voluntarily uploaded, he’s seen grabbing the terrified cat by her ear and yanking violently. The cat runs from him and retreats to a cardboard box where she tries to soothe herself, but Hasbulla follows, scolding her in his native language and hitting her several times on her head and body.
Unfortunately there is little concern for animal rights in Hasbulla’s country, so it’s very unlikely he’ll run afoul of any Russian laws, and even less likely that an animal welfare organization will confiscate the abused feline.