For crews at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, it’s just another day at work .
“It’s perfect weather for tigers,” Joe Taft said.
Joe Taft and his crew get to work every morning feeding more than 200 exotic cats spread out on more than 110 acres of land.
And the day begins at 8 a.m.
“During the winter everybody eats more and you can tell you aren’t seeing any skinny cats out here anyway,” Taft said.
It takes 5 people and more than 7 hours to get everyone fed.
In one day more than 3 thousand pounds of meat are distributed and their hay changed.
“Over the course of the year we go through many of hundreds of bales of straw,” Taft said. “And I can’t even tell you how many buckets.”
Unlike house cats that need heat to survive, these cats thrive in the winter.
But for the crew, bundling up and being prepared is key.
“Everybody has to carry a little propane torch because the locks freeze up,” Taft said. “We have a lot of snow that has to be plowed every time it snows. But we have to do those kind of things, because if you can’t get to the cages then you can’t take care of the animals.”
And if you are brave enough to endure the cold, you’re in for a treat.
“A lot of people don’t think if they come out here this time of year they aren’t going to see anything but that’s not true,” Taft said. “I mean this is really the best time to see a tiger.”
It takes a lot of meat to keep the cats fed so the center is always looking for meat to give to their animals. If you have any cow, horse, deer or poultry and would like to get rid of, as long as it’s fresh and you bring it to the center ,they will take it.
If you would like to visit the center they will be closed on New Years Day but will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.