Rescuer Gives Up Dozens of Tigers as Her Health Declines


A woman in Mountainburg is forced to say goodbye to some of her beloved animals as age prevents her from caring for them to her high standards.

“They’re extremely intelligent, beautiful like a charismatic mega-vertebrae is what they are,” said Betty Young, founder of the Riverglen Tiger Shelter.

Young lives in Mountainburg with her cats, chickens, donkeys, leopards, jaguars and 30 tigers.

In recent years, caring for the wild animals has begun to take its toll on her.

“I’m getting old,” Young said. “I’m not dead, but I’m getting old and I’m pretty crippled, and I can’t really feel like I can care for them properly the way that I want them to be.”

Young began caring for the tigers in the late 1980s, but today at 72-years-old, she says she just can’t keep up with the physical demands it takes to care for such large animals.

“We’re talking about a lot of weight ‘cause they eat quite a bit, especially in the winter time,” she said. “It’s not like opening a little tin of 9 Lives cat food.”

Young has turned to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Rescue in Eureka Springs for help.

Earlier this week the rescue organization relieved Young of many of her tigers. She hopes the organization will be able to take more of her tigers, but currently they are not equipped to care for more.

“We’re going to need a couple of $100,000, at least, to get all these cats relocated, their enclosures built, gasoline and everything from here to Eureka Springs,” Young said. “It’s an expensive venture.”

People wishing to help the tigers can donate money to Turpentine Creek so additional facilities can be built to accommodate the rest of her tigers, Young said.

The relocated tigers joined other tigers, bears, lions and many more animals Turpentine Creek has rescued.

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