One of the stars of the Netflix documentary “Tiger King” weighs in on two exotic African cats who escaped to northern Alabama.
In a Facebook post, animal rights activist Carole Baskin called on people to file a complaint with the US Department of Agriculture against 256 Exotics, a Huntsville-based pet store. Her comments came after store owner Lacey Herring reported two African Servals escaped from a barn on her property. As of Thursday morning, the cats had not been recaptured.
“Ask the USDA to cite this facility and seize the exotic cats to send them to legitimate sanctuaries that do not buy, breed, sell or allow public contact with wild animals,” Baskin wrote. before listing Herring’s name and the store’s USDA number.
Herring declined to comment on Baskin’s statements
Baskin added that she believes Alabama’s exotic animal laws should change.
“Alabama’s only regulation is whether the animal is a dog or a cat, and if it can contract rabies, it must be vaccinated against rabies with an approved rabies vaccine.” Baskin told WHNT. “Well, there is no approved rabies vaccine for any of the exotic cat species. They have only been tested on domestic cats and dogs.
“It’s not that these animals belong in cages,” added Baskin. “It’s just that it’s not legal to release them because they’re not from the United States. They are from Africa and since these cats were born in the United States, they cannot be released to Africa… they are stuck in a cage for the rest of their lives. But at least if they go to a legitimate sanctuary, you don’t add to the problem like they are in these breeding facilities. “
Baskin is the founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, an exotic cat sanctuary in Florida.
The animals remain free
Herring reported the two African Servals missing earlier this week, claiming they escaped from a barn on Winchester Road in Huntsville. Herring said AL.com animals are tracked and are believed to be always near the store.
Servals can grow to 2 feet tall and weigh up to 40 pounds. Cats typically have small heads, large ears, and a yellow coat with black spots and stripes. Alabama is one of the 18 states where you can own an African Serval without a license.
Anyone who sees the animals is asked to call the Madison County Sheriff’s Department or Animal Control.