The Preserve

Frequently Asked Questions

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The Animals

The PreservE


Tigers & Ligers

"There is a noble but ill-informed idea that big cats and other endangered species should not be kept in captivity at all but should be allowed to live in the wild. Where is the wild? It’s gone.”

Jim Fowler, Zoologist, Former host of "Wild Kingdom" Tweet

Why keep animals in captivity? Shouldn’t they roam free?

THERE IS A WIDESPREAD MISIMPRESSION that there still exists expansive areas of wilderness where wildlife can run and be free. While there are territories in North America which could still accommodate wildlife, many of the endangered species we think of (tigers, rhinos, and great apes) live only in third world countries like Africa and Asia, where the human population has taken over almost all viable habitats. Sadly, what we think of as “the wild” no longer exists.

Clear-cutting of forests and the explosive human population growth over the past century has diminished the size of wildlife habitats. At this point in our history, many species are unlikely to survive without human assistance. Zoos play an important role in preserving the genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species. Due to habitat loss and poaching, some animals have become completely extinct in the wild and exist only in zoos. Some animals that were extinct in the wild a decade ago, like the scimitar-horned antelope, have been successfully returned to their native ecosystems because of captive breeding of animals in private preserves.

While there have been a number of conservation victories, much of the world’s most recognized and beloved animals are rapidly approaching extinction. The need for carefully run private preserves has never been greater. Wild tigers and most other big cats could become extinct by 2050 without our help.

Click here to learn more about the need for housing wildlife.

Who regulates the Myrtle Beach Safari?

WE HAVE BEEN LICENSED SINCE 1982. Myrtle Beach Safari is licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (ISDA). In order to maintain our federal license, the Safari provides programs of veterinary care and maintains transparent records of the health, safety, and enrichment for all the animals. The Myrtle Beach Safari has regular unannounced USDA inspections throughout the year and is subject to the same federal oversight as all the nation’s zoos. All births, deaths, acquisitions, and disbursals of all wildlife are meticulously recorded by inspectors.

Has the Safari ever been charged with violations?

THE MYRTLE BEACH SAFARI has never been charged with a USDA violation of any kind. This is an often-misunderstood topic. During regular unannounced inspections, USDA inspectors may make recommendations to improve facility and husbandry practices. These are only recommendations which the permit holder may adopt if appropriate and can be disputed if inappropriate. This is part of the cooperation process between the federal government and license holders. It provides a record of topics discussed and recommendations the inspector has made. Detractors, often unfamiliar with USDA process and paperwork, misinterpret “recommendations” by inspectors as “violations”.