Working to Improve Wildlife Legislation
The RSF works regularly policy with makers in Washington D.C. to help shape the course of wildlife legislation and conservation policies. The RSF has met with ambassadors and dignitaries from around the world, illustrated the importance of wildlife ambassadors to legislators and even testified before a Congressional subcomittee about the virtues of the Multi-National Species Semi-Postal Stamp Act which has now raised millions of dollars for wildlife conservation.
The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.) is a unique fifty-acre wildlife preserve in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Founded in 1982, the Preserve and its Satellite Preservation Stations have received upwards of forty million guest who have had the unique and transformative experience of up-close encounters with some of the world’s most beautiful and endangered animals.
The Preserve houses more than 100 rare and endangered animals and is, in the words of one guest,
a zoo times a zillion(Charlotte Observer).
Participants in daily tours are inspired by the opportunity to caress the soft fur of a lynx, smell the sweet aroma of a binturong, and witness the heart-pounding chase of tigers running at 45 miles per hour. During these encounters guest connect with wildlife in a manner not available at any other facility.
Many have become active in conservation efforts as a result of these experiences. They leave with images that only a few privileged photographers and explorers on safari have captured after years of travel: a tiger or cheetah running at full speed or swimming across a clear pool, great apes sliding through a jungle canopy, an elephant just a breath away.
Each year revenues generated by the Preserve have gone to Rare Species Fund approved wildlife programs around the world.
At Jungle Island, Miami’s premiere family attraction, RSF has built a state-of-the-art home for some of the world’s rarest animals: a white lion, two royal white tigers, and two snow tigers. Throughout the year, other big cats make their appearance including black panthers, lynx, spotted leopards, cougars, and the world’s biggest cat: the liger. Guests enjoy up-close encounters with other rare animals including orangutans, chimpanzees, binturongs, gibbons, and capuchin monkeys.
Tale of the Tiger
For the past thirty years, the RSF program
Tale of the Tiger in Carver Massachusetts, has entertained and educated millions of visitors. A favorite among the many rare animals is Hercules the liger: 900 pounds, 12 feet tall, and holder of the Guinness Book of World Records as Earth’s biggest cat. The offspring of a male lion and a female tiger, Hercules is the result of a phenomenon known as hybrid vigor. When
two species mate, explains Bhagavan Antle,
the offspring gains the best qualities of both parents.
Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation
The RSF has been working heavily with the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation and its founder Dr. Jim Sanderson. Funding from the RSF, along with direct participation, is helping the SWCCF to save the smaller species of wild felines, most of which are often overlooked by the conservation community. The RSF is currently one of the single largest financial supporters of the work being done by SWCCF.
Elephants of Africa Rescue Society
RSF is a supporter of Elephants of Africa Rescue Society (EARS), a non-profit organization that protects safe habitats for wild African animals and their captive cousins. EARS elephants participate in noninvasive studies that expand the elephant population database and improve captive breeding of this beloved and greatly endangered species.