We have tried to cover the most frequently asked questions – though we get many others. Use the comment box to ask your relevant questions and we will try to answer them for you as we have time.
A: These animals come from various locations around the United States. Some are rescued from the private sector, while others come to Cat Tales from exchanges with other zoological centers and rescue facilities. Occasionally some big cats are born at Cat Tales to assist in repopulating other qualified zoos while keeping the captive species gene pool healthy. None of these animals are taken by us, directly from the wild.
A: Typically, this is not possible as most animals must learn their survival skills from their parents within the first few months or years of life. Many of our rescued animals were without parents capable of teaching them these skills. We have, however, been successful in reintroducing some locally native animals back into the wild habitat – including birds and bobcats.
A: Most big cats eat 2 – 4% of their body weight per day, while growing cubs eat 5%. That equals a lot of pounds of food! What do tigers eat?
A: In general, our larger cats are fed five days a week, with two fasting days in order to help simulate what diet and the work put on their digestive track they would experience in the wild. On average, one out of ten hunts in the wild are successful. Leaving it very rare for animals to eat every single day. Leaving them with two fasting days allows their digestion to mimic how it would function in the wild, keeping them healthier over all. Our small cats and canines are fed 6-7 days a week depending on season, species, and animal’s age and health. Black bears are fed every day.
A: Because our cats are so at peace, happy, and relaxed, it’s very rare to see them pacing within their home. However, on the rare moments that you may catch one pacing, the reason is very likely that they’re tuned into something. This could be feeding time, or it could be as subtle to us as bright clothing, perfume, or even a running child. In these situations, their pacing is nothing to be concerned by, and usually the big cat will settle down after a little bit.
A: We pride ourselves on encouraging the personal growth and interaction of every animal in both physical and mental ways. As such, we provide them with a variety of specialized toys like swings, platforms, and giant toys. We also introduce physical objects such as cardboard, boxes, and paper bags. We also spray special scents that they like. With each changing season comes special treats in the form of enrichment as well! Summer heralds’ balls of pure ice with food or blood frozen in the center, while we gift them with staff carved pumpkins during Halloween, and Christmas comes with presents wrapped in safe gift wrapping for them to ‘open up.’
A: Very rarely will we breed the animals in our care. Formally, we will only do so if another highly reputable facility requests our assistance in providing new genetics to their pool or expanding their own animal family for educational purposes regarding endangered species. We absolutely, under no circumstances do not sell the animals. Any animals that are given to another institution are donated, with the receiving facility covering the costs of transportation.
A: While big cats do not undergo hibernation, their constant sleep to avoid the heat of summer is about as close as they can get! Because of the weight and heat of their coats, big cats both in facilities and the wild are known to spend many of their hours sleeping during the hot summer hours. This leaves them the cooler nights to become more active without any concerns of overheating beneath the sun.
A: No. Currently, receiving government money and grants is a very detailed and delicate process. Lacking any grant writers on staff, we have chosen to focus all of our attention upon the animals and their well being.
A: As mentioned above, usually professional grant writers navigate the tough and complicated world of applying for and receiving grants. Currently we do not have one on staff, and so we have not attempted to approach the process without one to help.
A: We absolutely are! Anything that is built at the zoo is open and available for all members of the public.
A: Yes. We comply with all ADA laws regarding service animals. Please refer to our policies and procedures for complete information regarding bringing a companion or service animal to the zoo and contact us if you have any further questions regarding your own personal visit.
A: Absolutely we offer discounted admissions. As mentioned in the admissions, when groups of 12 or more call ahead for reservations they receive discounts. Active-duty military, police and fire fighters are free, as well as handicapped guests. Each year we also donate tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of admissions to charities and nonprofit organizations to provide the chance for those who could not usually visit our zoo the option.