Carole Baskin: People ‘will be outraged’ by conditions exotic animals face
Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin says she hopes a new documentary of the largely unregulated exotic animals trade will move people to action.
“I think when people see this film, they will be outraged,” Baskin said at the Thursday night Washington premiere of “The Conservation Game,” which follows retired police officer Tim Harrison and a group of conservationists as they investigate the issue.
Harrison and his colleagues found that animals are often passed from zoos or enclosed facilities to media and private appearances, often in unsanitary and confined environments.
Baskin, who became a household name as one of the key figures in last year’s Netflix true-crime series “Tiger King,” appears in the new film with her husband Howard Baskin as they work with Harrison to lobby Congress to pass stricter laws on the big cat trade.
“The places that we have rescued cats from are some of the most deplorable hellholes you can imagine,” she said during a “Conservation Game” panel discussion, moderated by The Hill editor-at-large Steve Clemons.
Michael Webber, who directed the film, said that there is a disconnect between the way Americans see exotic animals on TV and the harsh day-to-day life they face.
“That’s what really drove me to take on this film,” Webber said.
Also at the event was Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), who is spearheading legislation in Congress that the conservationists support. The bill, the Big Cat Public Safety Act, has passed the House and now awaits action in the Senate.
Webber also said that he hopes the documentary will move people to help change the way exotic animals are treated.
“We’re making a pretty damning claim about something,” he said.