Lions & Tigers & Bears

…and leopards and canines.  Meet Pat Craig, former math teacher and proprietor of the 320-acre Wild Animal Shelter in Keenesburg, Colorado.  Pat shares the property with 13 dogs, 5 cats, 3 parrots… (deep breath) three packs of wolves, 66 black bears, 13 grizzly bears, two prides of lions, 70 tigers, 14 mountain lions, five leopards, eight bobcats, five coati mundi, five lynx, three foxes and a coyote.

Tigers at Pat Craig's farm (WSJ Image)

He quit his teaching job in 1994 to devote more time to the menagerie – all cast-offs from circuses, zoos, Hollywood sets, and families that learned wild animals weren’t so fun in the living room after all.  Soon thereafter, his wife left him.  He nearly went bankrupt in 2006, but new donors and revitalized marketing kept the whole mess afloat somehow.  Now, Bolivia has banned all animals from circus acts.  So 25 circus lions were packed on a plane and flown to Craig’s property.

The Bolivian lions' new home (WSJ image)

UK-based Animal Defenders International, who pushed hard for the Bolivian law, is launching similar campaigns in other countries.  In ten years, every captive-bred carnivore might be Craig’s responsibility.  Read the whole story at WSJ, and more at BBC.

Lions at Pat Craig's farm (WSJ Image)

This entry was published on February 17, 2011 at 12:25 and is filed under Get Inspired, Look, Read, World. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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