Why This Animal “Rescue” Was Stopped (And How To Spot A Real Sanctuary)

In July, the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation in Mexico City, which claims to operate as an animal shelter, was shut down by authorities. Over 200 animals have been moved to credible zoos and sanctuaries.

Complaints of animal cruelty have been sent to Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum’s office by former employees and animal rights activists. Both submitted video proof emaciated animals and poor conditions, which Profepa, Mexico’s environmental protection agency, used as the reason for a raid.

Among the animals discovered were around 200 big cats, including lions, tigers, jaguars and pumas, as well as primates, dogs and more. The Association of Zoos, Breeders and Aquariums of Mexico (AZCARM) led the relocation efforts.

In the past, the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation has hosted many celebrity visitors, including Paris Hilton, The Kardashians and Katy Perry. All posed for selfies with animals. It has also received donations from high-profile figures, including Formula 1 champion and avid vegan Lewis Hamilton.

However, owner Eduardo Serio says that since the start of the pandemic, donations have dropped by 70%, leaving him struggling to make ends meet. This claim was contradicted by a former employee who said the universal“The money came in and it wasn’t used for the animals. Their tails were torn off due to hunger.

Video footage shows dangerously thin animals with tails, ears and other external body parts missing, leading to claims they were eaten out of desperation.

Eduardo Serio claims his innocence

Serio says the images of the animals he was responsible for caring for were taken out of context. In an interview with Televisionhe said: “In general, our little beasts suffered a little from the [pandemic] crisis because they are a bit thinner.

“But when the Profepa showed up, the animals were between 90 and 95 percent of their weight. Those [in the videos], which look terrifying, were animals we were trying to save. They were taken out of context. »

Serio went on to claim that tails were lost due to necessary amputations after game fights resulted in loss of feeling.

Ernesto Zazueta, president of AZCARM, demands that Serio be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, calling him a “pseudo-animalist”.

“This man, as well as the owners of other [disingenuous] foundations for the defense of animal rights, which have become very famous and rich thanks to lies and deception. They are not wildlife specialists. They are only very good at profiting from animals, and when they achieve their economic goals and feed their huge egos, they just forget about them and let them die,” he said. Mexico Daily News.

When is an animal sanctuary not a true sanctuary?

Since the closure of the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation, legal notices have been put up throughout the site informing the public of allegations of animal abuse. A secondary offense of operating a sanctuary without a permit is also listed.

It is possible to identify a legitimate animal rescue sanctuary before visiting. PETA lists a number of key markers to monitor, including how animals are housed and their space. You should also check the enrichment activities included and the size of the overall “sanctuary”.

Other things to be wary of are the opportunities to hold exotic animals and how animals are acquired by sanctuaries. They should be housed as part of a rehabilitation operation, not bought or traded, and certainly not bred. There should also be a no-killing policy in place. Finally, accreditations are a good indicator that a sanctuary was founded on ethical principles, with animal welfare at its core.

Animals that are housed in a true sanctuary should appear well cared for, peaceful, and have enough space to freely interact with human visitors as they wish. They should not be presented as attractions or expected to occur. These are indicators of a zoo or other private enterprises.