FAIR BLUFF, NC (WBTW) – A planned big cat sanctuary near Horry County has gained the support of Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue who recently became a household name following the release of Tiger King on Netflix.
In a Facebook post, Baskin discusses an upcoming event in hopes of raising money to bring a big cat sanctuary to Fair Bluff, NC. Fair Bluff is a short drive from Nichols and Lake View.
The event, set for June 18, 2021 in Greensboro, NC, will have a large impact on big cats in captivity, raise awareness for the Big Cat Public Safety Act and help to bring the sanctuary to Columbus County, NC, according to the post from Shizzy’s Wild-Cat Rescue.
In early December, the U.S. House passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act. The legislation, among other things, would prohibit public contact with big cats, like tigers.
The bill “revises requirements governing the trade of big cats (i.e., species of lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, or cougar or any hybrid of such species). Specifically, it revises restrictions on the possession and exhibition of big cats, including to restrict direct contact between the public and big cats.”
The bill gained momentum after the release of Tiger King, which also featured Mahamayavi Bhagavan “Doc” Antle of Myrtle Beach Safari. The Safari is known for allowing members of the public and celebrities to hold and take photos with tiger cubs.
When News13 reached out for a comment, a spokesperson with the Safari refused to say what impact this bill would have on the business, if passed.
The spokesperson did, however, say the main concern with the legislation is that it could mean many facilities would have to not only follow existing rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but also the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which could mean conflicting rules.
The bill now moves on to the Senate.
You can read the full bill here.
Count on News13 for updates.