Hello kids! My name is Jakey and I’m a Bengal Tiger. I live in a safe place for big cats called the Center for Animal Research and Education, or CARE for short. CARE is in Bridgeport, Texas. My 50 best friends and I are very happy to live here! My best friends are African Lions and Leopards with spots and some almost all black. There are white Tigers and orange Tigers, just like me. I like Arctic the Snow Leopard and my friends the Cougars.
The best thing about living at CARE is all the people who love us sooooo much. They are people who bring us food, water, and medicine when we are sick. They clean up after us when we are messy and make sure we do not get into trouble, and they even buy us lots of toys. Our “CARE Family” is probably like your family. These people work very hard to make sure we have everything we need to make us happy, and they don’t even get paid. They are called volunteers. They take care of us only because they love us. We love them and trust them with our lives.
Some people ask us if we would like to live in the wild. Even though none of us ever lived there before, we heard it is the greatest. Our “CARE Family” explained to us that there is nowhere to live in the wild anymore. The Big Cats who still live in the wild really live in big parks. If they wander too close to people, the people often kill the wild cats. Food and water are sometimes hard to find. I think it would be best for me and my friends to stay at CARE. It sounds kinda scary out there.
My CARE Family works very hard to raise more money to help more cats. We feel really bad for all of the big cats who do not have a home like CARE, but it costs a lot of money to take care of cats like us. If my family could rescue all of the cats that do not have a good home, they would! Some cats live in small homes that are dangerous. Some Big Cats do not eat very good and are very skinny and hungry, and some have been hurt by bad people. Some of my CARE Family lived in some of these places before they came to CARE. They said it was very bad and they were so sad back then.
Big Cats need a home that is special. We cannot just live anywhere. We need room to stretch our legs and jump up high! Sometimes people think they can keep animals like me as a pet, like a dog or a cat, but we are very different. Even when we are little, we can be dangerous to people. People have very soft skin. Our teeth and claws are very sharp. We can hurt people even when we are trying to be nice. We are also what they call a “wild animal.” We don’t have rules and cannot be trained like regular pets. We need to have special homes so we don’t hurt ourselves or people. Our special home is CARE.
Maybe you think kids can’t help us Big Cats, but the great thing is you can! You can be a “CARE Hero” or a “CARE Superhero.” You or your school can raise money for me and my friends at CARE. When you send your donations to CARE, you will get special surprises in the mail from me! Besides making a big difference at CARE, you will learn how good it feels when you help others! Please help me help my CARE Family. Together we can come one step closer in making sure no Big Cat ever has to live a bad life again.
Thank you for listening to my story.