Big cats made a lot of headlines during the pandemic with the popularity of Tiger King, but did you know that there is a place in Indiana where big cats like those in the Netflix series go to live out the rest of their lives?

A Permanent Home

Located on 260 acres in Central Indiana is a big cat rescue that provides a permanent home to exotic felines. The Exotic Feline Rescue Center, located in Center Point, Indiana cares for large, exotic cats that have been neglected, abused, or abandoned, giving the cats a safe place to live out their days. The rescue has a team of employees and volunteers who provide daily care for these animals.

Photo by Mike Marrah on Unsplash

The Cats in Their Care

According to its website, the Exotic Feline Rescue Center is home to 90 large and exotic cats including Aileen and Chief - a brother and sister pair of tigers that have been with the rescue since Christmas Eve of 2018. The rescue is home to tigers, lions, bobcats, cougars, leopards, servals, and more. There are only a small number of sanctuaries in the United States that provide the services and care that are given at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.

The EFRC has rescued cats from 24 different states (including two whom people were trying to smuggle out of the country but got caught) from all kinds of different stories: people who owned them illegally, lost their licenses, could no longer care for them, maybe the serval was walking down The Strip in the middle of Las Vegas, if you can think of a story, we probably have an example.

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No Public Contact

Unlike what you may have seen on television with other cat rescues, the Exotic Feline Rescue Center does not allow public contact with the animals in their care. So don't expect to do any petting when you visit. They do, however, offer guided tours of their facilities to educate the public about the cats.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Take a Tour

The Exotic Feline Rescue Center has taken in cats from 24 different states and they provide day-to-day care including feeding, veterinary care, social enrichment, and more. The facility offers tours daily. Your guided walk through the sanctuary will give you the opportunity to learn more about these beautiful creatures. Tours last about an hour and the cost is just $10 per adult and $5 per child.

Photo by Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

Get Involved

Want to do more than just take a tour? How about volunteering? While volunteers do not get to have direct access to the animals, there are a number of different volunteer opportunities available that help with the care of these animals. If you prefer to give in other ways, you can sponsor a cat with a $50 donation - and you'll even get a photo of your sponsored cat! There are other options as well including becoming a "member," "adopting" a cat (you don't actually get to take the cat home but it does come with some pretty cool perks!), or you can make a one-time or monthly monetary donation.

Getting There

The Exotic Feline Rescue Center is located at 2221 E. Ashboro Road in
Center Point, Indiana. From Evansville, it's just over a 2-hour drive north along I-69, and from Indianapolis, just an hour southwest.

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