Big Cats Rescued from Appalling Conditions in Texas, Brought to NJ - NBC New York

Big Cats Rescued from Appalling Conditions in Texas, Brought to NJ



    Lions, cougars and tigers were rescued from poor conditions on a private compound in Texas and brought to Popcorn Park Zoo in New Jersey. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011)

    Seven lions, tigers and cougars have found a new home at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Forked River, N.J. after being rescued from a private home in Texas a few days ago.

    The zoo director, John Bergmann, said the big cats were not treated well and had been living in 12-foot square stalls their whole lives. The animals were rescued after their owner died suddenly a few weeks ago.

    The stalls were housed inside a horse barn. The animals' waste was piled on the floor, which appeared to have not been cleaned in the years the animals were housed there.

    They were given water, but the drinking tubs were a fetid green color with objects floating on the water surface.

    Bergman said it was clear the water tubs had never been cleaned.

    "People are terrible, people can be heartless," said Janine Mustillo, of Monroe, N.J., who was visiting Popcorn Park on Tuesday.

    Bergmann said the big cats were rescued by In-Sync Exotics from the Poetry, Texas compound.

    He said all are doing better, although one tiger still shows clear signs of fear of humans.

    "They're gonna stay here and be comfortable the rest of their lives," Bergmann said.

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