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About Tiger Haven

The Tiger Haven Story

Roane County in rural East Tennessee is where you will find the tiger, lion, leopard, puma, snow leopard, jaguar and clouded leopard. In this unlikely setting you can hear the lions roaring their territorial songs at dusk, watch the tigers playing in the morning sun, and sometimes see cubs curled up asleep in their mother's gentle paws. Take a walk around the wooded enclosures and look closely. You may see a tiger's eyes peering at you above a rock, 

her ears flattened sideways like airplane wings so she won't be seen. Pretend you don't see her (usually you won't), and, in the time it takes to blink your eye, she will suddenly appear beside you at the fence. But only in play as she chuffs her friendly greetings to you. 

Where did these majestic cats, the largest of all land predators, come from? And why Some were confiscated by authorities either because they were mistreated and abused, or because their owners could no longer take care of them. 

Some are retired circus performers, some are surplus from zoos. Many were awaiting execution because they 

couldn't stay where they were, and there was no other place to go. 

There is a tale  behind each cat (pun intended), but they all have a home now-with large, shady enclosures and pools for summertime playing, and where they can play with their friends, both feline and human.

In 1988, Tiger Haven founder Mary Lynn Haven volunteered for a special project at the Knoxville Zoo - to hand raise and human-imprint two Bengal tiger cubs, one white and one standard.

Mary Lynn went to the zoo every day for several months. She was bitten, scratched and bruised, but before long the cubs were walking on a leash and behaving themselves.

The cubs, Burma and Ravi, grew quickly, and the zoo decided they would no longer allow humans to interact with them for safety reasons

Later, there was another opportunity to raise a tiger cub, this time in her home. Although she had no intention of keeping the cub, a female tiger, she later became a part of the family.

So she moved to the country and built a house and large enclosure for her baby, India - a Bengal tigress

A couple of years later a young couple brought a lion cub and wanted her to take him. They had made a mistake in purchasing the cub and did not have a proper facility to keep it, nor the experience to take care of it. Oh well, it's just as easy to take care of two as one.

The lion cub 'Dandy Lion' was very malnourished and 

dehydrated when he arrived, so he was fed a good diet. Soon he was a healthy lion cub  and was getting into as much trouble as normal lion cubs do.

One cat leads to another, and in response to the overwhelming need for a suitable home for so many cats, there are now 200 big cats of different species living at Tiger Haven.

All endangered in the wild. Most were endangered here in this country, as they would have been euthanized (a pretty word for "killed") had they not come here.

Our purpose is to provide a permanent home in a peaceful environment so that these magnificent beings can live out their lives free from abuse and hunger.

When a cat comes to Tiger Haven we guarantee that it has a home for life.



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