First Look at the “Tiger King” Rescue Cats in Sandstone

SANDSTONE, Minn. — For the first time, Tiger King rescue cats at the Wildcat Sanctuary are shown to the media.

A popular television series caught national attention when it exposed owners of a big-cat breeding operation.

After the series aired, Tiger King Park was shut down. Many rescue sites stepped-up and took in the cats, including the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone.

The sanctuary rescued four Tiger King cats in May of 2021. They were unable to share photos of the cats with the public because they were considered evidence in the on-going court case.

Now, for the first time authorities have granted the facility permission to show the cats on social media.

“So many people watched the Tiger King saga unfold on Netflix during Covid, but what a lot of people didn’t realize was how much abuse and neglect was going on behind the scenes,” said Founder of the Wildcat Sanctuary, Tammy Thies.

69 cats of various types were seized from the park and brought to rescue sites across the nation.

The four in Sandstone include: Thor Jr. the tiger, white lions Aurora and Alana, and Alyssa part lion and part tiger, otherwise known as a liliger.

Thies said, her staff worked hard to rebuild the animals mental, emotional, and physical health.

“Alissa the liliger who you’re seeing with belly up in the air, is relaxed as can be in her habitat. She was mentally shut-down, she was aggressive on the day of the pickup, she was roaring and really upset. When we brought her here she just stared into space we couldn’t get her to blink, we couldn’t get her to engage with people.”

Along with the Tiger King rescues, there are over a hundred other cats on the property.

According to Thies, many of them cannot be shown on camera, as they are also in the midst of court cases due to allegations of cruelty and neglect by owners.

Wildcat Sanctuaries across the nation are fighting for a new law to be passed, prohibiting people from using big cats for personal profit.

“This Tiger King case really underscores the need for the Big Cat Public Safety Act. That is a federal bill that would limit public contact with big cats, especially cubs. It would really regulate who can breed and have these animals. So really, our Minnesota zoo’s and credited facilities would still be able to operate as they are,” said Thies.

BCPS law has been years in the making. As of now, the bill has been passed by the house and now its in the senate.

The Wildcat Sanctuary relies on donations and sponsors to fund their rescue efforts. The sanctuary is not open to the general public.

However, you can click here to see photos of the cats and get more information.

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