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Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary's tigers are in trouble

Jonah the tiger arrives at Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo credit: Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary.

The next Tiger King Park is springing up in West Bend, Wisconsin, and the public is so blinded by the allure of tiger cubs that no one is taking the time to understand what’s happening.

In early 2021, Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary bred their two tigers. The female tiger, Ginger, is a white tiger. All white tigers are inbred and are known to have genetic issues. Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary’s male tiger, Goliath, reportedly has serious medical issues and also should not be bred.

In March 2021, Ginger gave birth to two stillborn cubs, unfortunately a common occurrence when breeding inbred animals. Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary immediately began attempting to breed Goliath and Ginger again. Despite multiple breeding attempts over the next year, no cubs were born. During this time, Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary repeatedly posted that Goliath’s medical condition was getting worse to the point that he’s having a difficult time walking.

In May 2021, Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary obtained two female tiger cubs from Animal Haven Zoo in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, and announced the cubs would be future mates for Goliath. Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary did not have a separate enclosure for the cubs because they wrongly believed the cubs could immediately be put in the same enclosure as their two adult tigers. When it became apparent that they couldn’t just shove the two cubs in with the adult tigers, the cubs were banished to a small chain link kennel entirely on concrete until Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary finally built the cubs their own enclosure several months later.

In April 2022, Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary became so desperate for tiger cubs that they purchased an adult male tiger named Jonah from a roadside zoo to breed with Ginger. The roadside zoo they obtained Jonah from is so bad that they refuse to identify it but they claim Jonah came from a place where he never even had the opportunity to feel grass underneath his feet.

Here’s the kicker: Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary thought (wrongly–again) that they could just stick Jonah in with their two existing adult tigers. They had no backup plan in place for an enclosure if the tigers didn’t get along. They quickly realized that Jonah and their existing tiger Goliath do not get along. Their solution? They’re now rotating Goliath and Jonah into the enclosure with Ginger, so for 12 hours a day one adult tiger is stuck in the same decrepit chain link kennel on concrete as the tiger cubs from Animal Haven Zoo last year.

Jonah and Goliath do not get along. Video credit: Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary.

For the foreseeable future, Goliath, who has “back, hip and leg health issues” that have him “moving in slow motion” will be spending 50% of his life entirely on concrete, which could exacerbate his health problems. Jonah, who has lived his entire life on concrete, will continue to be banished to concrete for 50% of his life. Any cubs produced by Jonah and Ginger will never see freedom and will spend the rest of their lives in a cage on exhibit for no other reason than to bring in money for roadside zoo owners David and Lana Fechter.

The Fechters breed and sell exotic animals and they regularly purchase animals from other shady roadside zoos. Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary is far from a sanctuary and we have serious concerns that this roadside zoo’s unethical activities are going to lead to a terrible tragedy.


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