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Lions, tigers, oh my! Cats find footing, new home at CARE

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, October 6, 2018
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New Digs

NEW DIGS – The Center for Animal Research and Education in Bridgeport received five new big cats recently. The facility received three tigers, a lioness, and a Siberian lynx. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Five exotic cats from Florida landed on their feet in a new home at the Center for Animal Research and Education in Bridgeport over the past two weeks.

Three tigers, a Siberian lynx and a lioness all lived in an exotic animal facility and traveling zoo before the owners shut down their business.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The cats needed a home, and after a tough week at CARE where the facility had to put down three cats due to advanced age, Heidi Krahn, founder and executive director of CARE, said everything fell into place.

“The day after I called the vet, I got the call from Florida,” Krahn said. “It was just meant to be.”

The circle of life moved the five cats to their new home, where they’ll receive top notch care from the staff.

Of the tigers, the additions include Munchkin, a 2-year-old golden tabby Tiger with strawberry-blonde fur; Princess, a 2-year-old white tigress; and Wren a 6-year-old tigress.

Also, the facility added some distinct pointy ears with the addition of Malika, a 2-year-old Siberian lynx.

Lastly, the lion population at the center got a bump with the addition of Kiara, ‘the most comfortable and confident’ cat of the group. Kiara, 14, is currently being hand fed specially cut meat by the staff due to her dental condition.

It’s part of the process when taking in new animals, Krahn said.

“The transition can be stressful,” she said. “But we work to make it as comfortable for them as possible. Every cat is different, and it all depends on their needs.”

For Kiara, the focus is on getting her weight up to get her healthy and hardy before dental surgery. For Princess, it’s getting her calm and easing her into her new home. For Munchkin, it’s finding him the right friends.

“It’s a labor of love,” Krahn said.

To meet the Bridgeport big cats and welcome them to their new home, take a tour of the facility.

CARE hosts tours of their collection of cats and lemurs every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. A suggested donation of $20 is recommended to help maintain the facility that’s been giving cats and other animals homes since 2003.

Cat Nap

CAT NAP – Cassie the mountain lion, an internet sensation and CARE Bridgeport resident, welcomed five new neighbors, including three tigers, a lioness and a Siberian lynx. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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