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Volunteers caring for 39 tigers at a shuttered Colton, Calif., tiger rescue facility will get some much needed shade thanks to a local RV dealership, according to the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif.
RV Expo of Colton lent a vehicle to help shelter some of the 400 volunteers who have fed the tigers and cleaned cages in the hot sun since May, said Tammye Dunn, community projects manager for the city of Colton.
“I am completely floored over this donation. I cannot thank RV Expo and the city of Colton enough for the support of this operation,” said Chuck Traisi, a wildlife sanctuary operator.
Traisi is running the operation for Tiger Rescue in Colton since its former operator, John Weinhart, was charged with numerous counts of animal abuse and cruelty at his home and at the Agua Mansa Road facility.
Volunteers are caring for the animals until they can be placed elsewhere. In July, 12 leopards, two African lions and one mountain lion were transferred to other sanctuaries under the supervision of wildlife officials.
Volunteers chipped in to buy tarps to shade the tigers, Traisi said. But only two pieces of torn tarp were left to shelter the volunteers while they were on break.
“Volunteers are out in the direct sun all day long,” Traisi said. “We’ve rigged up a ripped-up tarp for whatever shade we can get and it doesn’t provide much shade.”
Plans are in place for the transfer of the remaining animals, “but it’s not going to be for a while,” Traisi said.
The RV will be available to volunteers until their work is done, Dunn said.