An animal charity from Ashford has come under fire from Carole Baskin, the star of Tiger King, following the birth of a rare black female Jaguar.
The sanctuary shared the news about the cub with adoring fans on social media and online, however one famous cat lover was less than impressed.
Carole Baskin, star of the compelling Netflix documentary Tiger King hit out at the sanctuary labelling them as ‘shameful’.
The 59-year-old from Texas said the media coverage saying the cat was now ‘a prisoner for life’
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The newest member of the big cat family was welcomed on April 6 when mum Keira gave birth to the little cub (who remains nameless)
Carole wrote on Facebook: “It’s shameful that Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent, England is breeding and thus obviously NOT a sanctuary.”
“Despite me talking to reporters at People many times in the past and saying “sanctuaries don’t breed” until I am blue in the face”
“This bit of deception makes the mainstream news…and the world is so caught up in the cuteness they aren’t thinking about the fact that this cat is now a prisoner for life.”
Less than 24 hours on from the post, which has been shared more than 150 times, The Big Cat Sanctuary has responded.
A statement said they were proud of their facility as well as ‘being a breeding centre of excellence’
‘It’s vital to conserve this species’
“In the case of our most recent cub, wild jaguars are considered ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN Red List due to deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, animal-human conflict and poaching.
“It is vital to conserve this species within captivity. The IUCN Red List categorises wildlife species dependent on their threat of extinction.”
“We have already raised thousands since announcing the birth to help fund jaguar conservation projects with our partners in Costa Rica.
“We also thought you may be interested to know that cats who are identified as part of the breeding programmes do not technically belong to us, we are merely custodians of these individuals.
“They are placed with us as a trusted facility to provide the best possible life in captivity as well as supporting the accredited international breeding programmes.
“Welfare, breeding, education and conservation are the pillars that uphold The Big Cat Sanctuary. Our keepers provide excellent welfare so that our cats are mentally and physically stimulated in order to replicate as wild behaviour as possible.
“Ensuring our cats receive excellent care, a varied diet and different sources of enrichment, whilst maintaining a peaceful environment and not compromising the tranquillity of the cats within the sanctuary. With this awareness and education, we can help prevent endangered cats from slipping into extinction.
It appears The Big Cat Sanctuary are willing to put differences aside though, having invited Carole Baskin to the sanctuary to ‘learn more about our wonderful cats’