How to Help Wild Cats in Phoenix, Arizona

Wild cats need our attention and as much as our little feline family members do. As they are losing their habitat, as they fall prey to unscrupulous humans who hunt them to extinction, or try to turn them into pets or means for entertainment, they can't survive and thrive without our help.
Phoenix has a few organizations that help wild cats. Get involved with one, or a few, to make a difference.

Support The Phoenix Zoo

Help big cats by supporting the Phoenix Zoo, a leader in the local and global conservation program. When it comes to the animals in their care, the zoo strives to enhance their lives beyond the basics by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase their natural, healthy behavior.
The Phoenix Zoo is home to a few big cats, mountain lions, ocelots, cheetahs, African lions, jaguars, Sumatran tigers. You can help your favorite big cat by sponsoring it. Other ways to help is volunteering or donating.

Volunteer at the Wildlife World Zoo

The Wildlife World Zoo has volunteer opportunities, although you won't be able to care directly for the large cats. However, they benefit indirectly from your time there, since you take jobs that their keepers would have to do otherwise, leaving them more time for their care. You can help as well by becoming a member, visiting or donating.
The Wildlife Zoo is home to cheetahs, jaguars (both spotted and black), leopards, lions, tigers, ocelots, and two white tigers.

Get Involved at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

The best way to really make a difference is to get involved in helping The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, a place that rescues and rehabilitates injured, displaced or orphaned wildlife. Most of the rescued animals return to the wild once they have been rehabilitated. Those which, for different reasons, would not survive in the wild, become permanent residents at the rescue center, where they are well cared for and live in a nice environment.

A few wild cats are part of the Conservation Center's permanent residents, from mountain lions to bobcats, to a jaguar. Most of them have been rescued after being orphaned and taken as pets. Though related to our cuddly cats, they do not make good pets, and very often, even well-meaning people forget this, and end up injuring them by not being able to care for them properly. To help them, you can "adopt" one of your favorite cats, by paying a fee towards their care. Other ways to get involved is volunteering or donating to the center.

Emese Fromm is a freelance writer and translator, who shares her household with two Oriental shorthair cats.