The year 2020 was a challenge for everyone, but there was one documentary released at the time that gave us all something else to focus on, at least for a short while. When Netflix's Tiger King hit TV screens, I told myself I would never watch it because it looked utterly ridiculous. Well, upon running out of things to do in isolation, I decided to give it a try, and yes, it was even more ridiculous than I could have imagined. That said, I was glued to the screen for all eight episodes.

The documentary follows the stories of several sketchy animal caretakers, namely Joe Exotic, and tells their tales in explicit detail. When watching this documentary, I was concerned about how it would make people view legit rescue centers with staff who truly care about the animals. Luckily, I feel the documentary brought a sense of urgency to the exotic feline issue and the need to find wholesome homes for these creatures. Here in Indiana, there is one such entity dedicated to not only caring for these animals but also telling their story.

The Exotic Feline Rescue Center (EFRC) is located in Center Point, Indiana, and houses a number of big cats. These feline residents were rescued from 26 different states after being abused, unwanted, or neglected. EFRC notes that they do not sell, breed, or give away any of the big cats but rather provide them with a safe home to live out the remainder of their lives. Established in the early 1990s, the non-profit notes on their website that they've grown from just three exotic animals to now over 100 cats and foxes, representing over ten different species. Additionally, the property itself has grown from its original 15 acres to over 200 acres.

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EFRC hosts several walking tours throughout the day designed to teach Hoosiers about the animals in their care. Guests, however, are not permitted to touch, pet, or physically interact with the big cats, which is likely a good thing for both them and the guests. I will definitely be looking at making the trip in the near future, as it sounds like a stellar experience. Plus, all the money raised goes directly back to the sanctuary, so it really is a win-win situation all around.

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SEE: 15 Animals You Cannot Own in Evansville

I got the idea for this after seeing an article by Michelle Heart with our Townsquare Media sister-station, 107.9 Lite-FM in Boise, Idaho. She had discovered several animals residents in that city can't own based on city codes she found online which got me thinking about whether Evansville had any regulations that were similar. Obviously, they did or this article wouldn't exist. Chapter 14, Article 3, section 42 and 43 spell out a lengthy list of exotic animals you can get in trouble owning if local officials find out. You can see the entire list on the city's website. These are the 15 I found to be the most interesting.

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