Meet Armani Leopard And The Lesson We Learned

Armani is a gorgeous female leopard who arrived at Big Cat Rescue as a young cub in the early days of the sanctuary, in the 90s before the philosophy of the sanctuary evolved to make us the leading advocates against private ownership of big cats, taking them out on a leash and using them in commercials. She was seen in commercials for Venus swimwear and appeared in a fashion photo for Glamour magazine and for People magazine. Back then we thought we were reaching more people by taking her out in public on a leash. We perceived our actions as being educational because we spoke about the plight of the cats. There are still people known as handlers or trainers who today take cats out on a leash and claim it is educational and promotes conservation. But this simply is not true. When handlers have a cat on a leash while they tell people they should not have one as a pet the message they really convey is that you should not have one unless you’re special like the handler and it is natural for people to want to be special. So this encourages people to own these wild animals instead of discouraging them. Armani showed us and we truly learned our lesson that our perception of our role and hers was very wrong. Armani knows that to change the man you must change his perception of himself. These cats deserve to be in the wild. They don’t wanna be on leashes forced to be on display for others enjoyment. You can help. Whenever you see a cat being held on a leash as a pet or for educational purposes you have the opportunity to educate those around you. You might not be able to convince the handler but one observer might hear your plight and you can stop the abuse before they become a part of the problem. Never be afraid or ashamed to speak up and be a voice for these animals. You never know who might be listening. Armani now spends her days lying upon her platform in her beautiful cat- a-tat in the shade of her trees. She inspires us every day but she has taught us many lessons over the years and this is the most important one. She taught us how to respect and care for these animals. She is finally at peace. Want to intern, volunteer, donate or simply learn about us an mission? Visit Big Cat Rescue. org today. [Music] EDITED-MB-DQ

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