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Archive for the ‘tigers’ tag

February 9th, 2012 at 5:00 am

Single Vision, Inc. Saves Tigers

Most pet owners love their animals, but Carl Bovard is passionate about his, and has turned that passion into a mission he calls Single Vision. A terrible accident left Bovard with sight in only one eye. As he recovered, he came to see he had a vision that he should work to save the animals of the world. Since that time, Bovard has spent every waking moment learning about, working with, and caring for animals.

In 2005, he adopted two baby tigers born with vision problems that needed extra care, and he built a facility in Melrose, Florida, to house them. Bovard said he built Single Vision in memory of his grandfather, who owned a farm and who taught him to love and respect all animals.

As owner and founder of Single Vision, Inc., Carl does it all, with the help of some volunteers. In addition to the two original tigers, Single Vision is now home to nine other big cats and about 30 animals in all. Some of the other animals include: a bobcat, mountain lion, coatimundi, tarantulas and snakes. Many of the animals have come to Single Vision through Florida Fish and Wildlife confiscations.

In addition to providing sanctuary for the big cats and other animals that need a home, education is Carl’s true goal.

“We conduct private tours by appointment,” he said, “and sometimes visit school and library programs. We teach about habitat, range, physical characteristics, and status in the wild.” Big cats, especially tigers, are highly endangered, with only about 3,200 animals left in the wild.

“Three of the eight subspecies of tigers have gone completely extinct,” said Dilyn Jackson, who has been a volunteer with Single Vision for about five years. “Education is the key to their survival, and parents of young children will play a huge role in how the next generation cares for these animals and their environment. It’s the children of today who will decide the fate of our world tomorrow.”

Well-maintained facilities, such as Single Vision and reputable zoos, are important for preserving dwindling big cat populations. “Science has shown that you need a captive population of at least 250 animals within a subspecies to provide adequate breeding stock to bring a population back to the wild,” said Dilyn. It’s no easy feat to house and feed large tigers, which eat up to 30 pounds of raw meat a day.

The state of Florida has strict regulations for keeping exotic animals, and it’s a big part of Bovard’s job to keep up with the changing rules. “Our facility is unique in that we provide huge enclosures for our big cats to run and play, far exceeding the 10’ x 24’ enclosure required by law (for two big cats),” said Carl. “We provide daily exercise sessions to keep them healthy. More importantly, we build relationships with each of our animals.”

The next time you and your family are in Florida, contact Single Vision to make an appointment for a guided tour. Carl conducts the tours personally every day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (except the one day a week when he leaves to get food for the animals). Find out more about the facility and how you can help the Single Vision mission by visiting their website or Facebook page.

“I love being with the animals,” said Bovard. “I’m in it for life.”

Related Picture Books

Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins
A Tiger Grows Up by Anastasia Suen

Susan Bearman also writes at Two Kinds of PeopleMike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds and The Animal Store Blogas well as being a regular contributor to The Chicago Moms and Technorati.

 

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