Hey all you cool cats and kittens — it’s Carole Baskin. I’m here to address all the questions you might have about me, my life, and my new docu-series on discovery , Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight.
This AMA is now closed. Thanks for all your grrrreat questions!
Hi there Reddit, it’s Carole Baskin. Last year, I was thrust into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Now, I’m giving you a look at the real me and the dangerous work I do to protect big cats from abusers. Stream my new discovery+ docu-series, Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight, for an unfiltered look at how we expose the cub petting exploiters and roadside zoos we feel are mistreating animals. Watch here: links.discoveryplus.com/carolebaskinscagefight
Don loved to fly and was looking to buy ultralights and experimental planes. I believe Don crashed a small experimental plane or ultralight into the Gulf for a number of reasons. He wasn't licensed to fly, yet did all the time. He couldn't file a flight plan and had to take off from closed airports to evade detection. He had to fly under 200 feet to stay off the radar which means he would typically fly out over the Gulf because the air is smoother there, whereas over land there are up and down drafts that will crash you at the height. Since phone records indicated he was planning to go to Texas, and his van was found at a small private airstrip and we have never found Don or wreckage, I think this was the most likely scenario. I talk about all of this in my online diary at SaveTheCats.org
Thank you for taking the time and not avoiding this question.
What is the next law you would like to see passed in big cat protection?
Also, your balls are huge for this AMA. Like, massive. Well done.
Cats and balls kind of go together.
Who are the Joe Exotic’s we don’t hear about?
Kevin "doc" Antle, Mario Tabraue, Marc McCarthy, Lori Ensign-Scroggins, Gregg Woody... the list is pretty long, but I plan to make them all household names, right before they lose all of their animals and the right to ever exploit another one.
Let’s say I wanted to feed someone to a tiger, how should I go about doing that ? Any tips or advice for me ?
We feed our tigers beef, chicken, turkey, rat and rabbits and they are purr-snickety! It's extremely difficult to get a tiger or any big cat to eat something that isn't common for them.
Ever think you might pay employees a living wage? You clearly have enough money to do just that. Especially after your blow up on Netflix.
Edit: didn't expect this to blow up. Thanks for the rewards. To the mad people: you guys are mean. This question was never meant to be answered (Which she actually did LOL)
Our staff are paid salaries that are typical or better for the field but all of our animal care has always been done by volunteers who have to complete 50 classes over a 2 year period before they can work with the bigger cats. They volunteer because they want to make a difference with their lives. It's a great way to do good and feel better about yourself. I highly recommend it.
What's the best and worst things that have happened to you as a result of Tiger King?
The best thing to come of the show was that people saw how cubs are bred, ripped from their mothers, abused, and then discarded by the time they are 3 or 4 months old. Most people didn't know how common the practice was or that hundreds of cubs were born for such a cruel life. The worst thing to come from the show is that it weaponized every person who believed the false narrative without doing any research to know they were lied to.
Do you have any smaller cats at home you keep or just wild big cats?
I have two feral cats at home who were unadoptable. Pearlie and Mae. They don't like to be touched, but neither do I so it's all good.
How is Big Cat Rescue different from the other tiger sanctuaries featured on Tiger King?
There were no real sanctuaries in Tiger King other than Big Cat Rescue. They were roadside zoos and there is a philosophical difference between zoos and sanctuaries. Zoos buy, breed, sell and in the TK examples did cub petting and promoted private ownership of big cats. Legitimate sanctuaries do not buy, breed, sell, allow contact nor take cats off site for exhibit.
Overall how do you feel about Tiger King? One the one hand I imagine it damaged a reputation but on the other it gave you a huge audience to spread your message. Was it worth it?
If everyone were saying the things about you that people are saying here, would you have considered that to have benefitted you in any way? When people watch Carole Baskin's Cage Fight on discovery+ they will see who I really am and have always been.
How many times a day to you say, "Hey, you cool cats and kittens!"?
I always say it once a day as I launch our daily Big Cat Briefing on YouTube, but I also end up saying it in just about every interview, which can be a few times a day. I have a facemask with that saying on it, so anyone who sees me reads it.
Thanks for all your grrrreat questions! You can join us on social media everywhere as BigCatRescue and get the rest of them answered if I didn't get to yours today. I hope you will watch Carole Baskin's Cage Fight on discovery+ to learn about who I really am and what I really do. You can stream now here at links.discoveryplus.com/carolebaskinscagefight
Thanks for doing this AMA.
What sort of legislation would you like to see passed to combat the mistreatment of “big cats?”
Our pending bill, The Big Cat Public Safety Act is before federal Congress now and we expect it to pass this session as it has 241 bipartisan Representatives and 41 Senators who have signed on. That's already a majority in the House so all we need is a hearing and we can end cub handling and phase out private ownership of big cats across the country, once and for all. You can help at BigCatAct.com
How has both Tiger King and the pandemic affected the running of Big Cat Rescue, and can these effects be felt still now?
We closed our gates on 3/15/2020 due to COVID and TK came out on 3/20/2020 so we have been closed to tours since then. That means a one million dollar reduction in our revenue which meant we had to let go half of our staff and stop doing a lot of the educational work off site that we had been able to do before. I don't see that changing any time soon due to the variants that are killing cats in zoos and sanctuaries around the world.
How many animal print items do you own?
I lost count somewhere around 1999.
What’s the most important thing that you’ve done for the preservation of big cats?
In 2003 we were able, along with a coalition of animal protection groups to pass a federal bill called the Captive Wildlife Safety Act which made it illegal to sell big cats across state lines as pets. The year it passed we had to turn away 312 big cats, and every other year that number was doubling, but after it passed the number dropped to 165 and has continued to drop with the passage of state bans on private ownership of big cats.
What's the docu-series about?
Carole Baskin's Cage Fight is the real story of the work we have been doing at Big Cat Rescue to end the practice of breeding big cats for life in cages. It's the reason the animal abusers hate me and lie about me. They want to silence me so that YOU won't know the abuse behind their trade. CBCF shows you behind the scenes what we are up against and the truth about cub petting and exploitation. You will come along with me and find the evidence as if you were in the trenches, right beside me. It's real. It's authentic, and you can see it: links.discoveryplus.com/carolebaskinscagefight
Do you make your own flower headpieces?
I have made some of them, I've bought some of them, and people now make and send them to me, so that's been nice. It's a Haku Lei which in indigenous cultures means a celebration of life. Every day we should celebrate this amazing planet and do our part to protect it.
As someone interested in this type of field, I am curious, how did you get into this field? What brought you to it?
My life's mission was to save domestic cats and kittens from dying in shelters due to overpopulation. I've done bobcat rescue, rehab and release since I was 17 so when I saw a bobcat being sold to a taxidermist, I said, "Not on my watch!" I never dreamed it would take 30 years to end the practice of breeding cubs, and make exploiting and discarding them illegal, but here we are. Finally we are close and I hope you will help when you see what you can do in Carole Baskin's Cage Fight on discovery+
What do you think of there being more tigers in captivity than in the wild?
200 years of caging big cats brought us to this sad reality. We need a new plan. None of the cats in cages will ever go free so what we should be doing is protecting habitat and saving the planet while we still have time. I have a detailed plan for that at BigCatRescue.org/earth
Do you enjoy true crime?
I love a good mystery. I just wish the main one in my life had been solved by now.
What's been the saddest rescue you've done? What current animals are in your rescue at the moment?
The saddest situations are the ones that revolve around cruelly breeding cubs, passing them around like toys and then killing or discarding them, because they are still suffering. Aria Tiger's story is typical and you can learn more about her at BigCatRescue.org/aria
If people want the truth, it's out there and I'm happy to point them in the right direction. You can find out what my work has really been about and continues to be about in Carole Baskin's Cage Fight on discovery+
What do you think happened to your missing husband?
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