What It's Really Like to Work For The 'Tiger King's' Carole Baskin

On reddit, a former volunteer revealed their experience at Big Cat Rescue, the nonprofit animal sanctuary run by activist Carole Baskin. Private zoo operator Joe Exotic repeatedly picked public fights with Baskin and the BCR in the Netflix docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

Four days ago, user Cat_Intern posted their experiences with Baskin on the TigerKing reddit page. Back in 2015, the reddit user spent 12 weeks at the sanctuary as an intern. Do not expect the former volunteer to badmouth or gossip about Baskin. The majority of the Reddit post is about the living conditions at the BCR and how the animals were treated there.

The BCR is a real nonprofit organization registered with the state of Florida. The sanctuary was not a business model that would make money and pay its employees. The volunteers had paying jobs outside of BCR or were still attending high school. Interns lived in off-site houses provided by BCR and were given a weekly $50 stipend to buy groceries.

"The people who signed up for the internship program were either looking for experience working with animals or were looking to dedicate time to what they believed to be a good cause," mentioned Cat_Intern. "None of us felt tricked or cheated, because we all understood that we were volunteering at a non-profit."

This writer was surprised to find out that none of the volunteers were allowed physical contact with the caged animals. No one was allowed to touch or cuddle with the animals, as if they were pets. Volunteers were asked to leave if they broke this cardinal rule.

tiger king carole baskin
Carole Baskin has written a post on the Big Cat Rescue site that refutes some of the claims made in 'Tiger King' Netflix

The former volunteer described in gruesome detail how feeding time was spent. Rabbits, rats, and chicks were given to the meat-eating animals. The dead rabbits were stored in freezers until the day before they were fed to the animals.

Cat_Intern added, "It's important to note that all of these rabbits rats and chicks arrive dead. They come in a freezer truck, and sometimes have some blood frozen to their fur. It's a bit sad, but it's a sanctuary for carnivorous animals."

In rare cases, some animals were eventually able to be return back to the wild. The goal was for the animals to have very little interaction with humans. Unfortunately, the tigers were de-clawed, which is how they lost their hunting skills.

"The main issue is that these cats have been around people too long and either don't have the skills needed to survive, or they now associate people with food, " said Cat_Intern. "Almost any cat bred in captivity is going to spend its life in captivity, unfortunately."

Last year on Indeed, another former intern described being at BCR, "You definitely can learn a lot there and is a great opportunity, if you are willing to put in a lot of hard work and long hours. Overall, I would do it again for sure. I still miss the cats!"

Two years ago, a former intern argued, "It doesn't take a genius to figure out they're using you to maintain the sanctuary, without having to pay you."