Many people know Carole Baskin from the Netflix docuseries Tiger King. Now, she’s competing in season 29 of Dancing With the Stars. No matter what Baskin gets involved with, she’s always working toward her goal of stopping the abuse of big cats. Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with Baskin over the phone and learned something interesting about Baskin, big cats, and her honeymoon.
Carole Baskin wants to end the abuse of big cats
Tiger King turned Baskin into a celebrity overnight. Thanks to the documentary, Baskin said people still calls her to express their hatred.
“Most of the people who call and wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me how much they hate me after watching Tiger King hate me [because] we have tigers in cages,” Baskin explained to Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “[These callers also hate] that we’re against breeding when the tiger is so close to extinction.”
Many people believe tigers bred in captivity might seem like a good idea — it’s adding to the tiger population, right? In reality, captive breeding is actually hurting the tiger population.
“Captive-bred tigers end up being discarded as soon as they aren’t money-making cubs,” Baskin explained. “Those cats end up in the illegal trade for their parts, which then stimulates more demand.”
Baskin’s mission has always been to spread awareness and educate people on exactly what Big Cat Rescue does. She’s hoping her appearance on Dancing With the Stars will help her do that.
Carole Baskin is leveraging her time on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ to help save big cats
“What I’m most hoping [my participation on] Dancing with the Stars will do is give me a platform for sending people to our website where [they] can contact Congress,” Baskin said.
Baskin plans to urge DWTS viewers to visit BigCatAct.com. There, they can enter their information and be connected to state representatives. Baskin says requesting their support of the Big Cat Act is as easy as following a prompt.
Each week she’s on Dancing With the Stars, fans can expect to learn more about Big Cat Rescue and the Big Cat Act. Saving these animals has been Baskin’s goal for many years. It’s all part of her 25-year plan.
Carole Baskin wrote a 25-year plan to save big cats on her honeymoon
“When my husband and I were on our honeymoon, I wrote a 25-year plan for ending the abuse of big cats,” Baskin said.
“The one thing on my plan that we just aren’t anywhere close to ending is keeping big cats in zoos,” she continued. “If you’re going to say you can’t have a cat in a cage, then what [is] an alternative if [zoos] need to make money?”
Baskin’s answer is computer-generated tigers in a virtual reality game.
“The concept of the game is that you go into this tiger reserve and a tracker meets up with you [and teaches] you how to track a tiger in the wild,” Baskin explained. “As you go through [the game,] it’s educating you on what the cat’s life is like in the wild [versus] what it’s like in captivity.”
Baskin’s virtual reality game will educate players on why captive breeding is negatively impacting the tiger population. Big Cat Rescue partnered with SpringboardVR to make the game a reality. It is available exclusively through the SpringboardVR Marketplace to Location-Based Entertainment venues around the world.
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