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Big Cat Enthusiast Owns Six Tigers And Two Lions

September 3, 2019


COMM: Big cat enthusiast Carl Bovard wakes up every morning to wrestle with the eight
big cats in his backyard. COMM: But living with such wild animals isn’t without its risks. CARL: Death would be the worst outcome. Instinctually they just know to go for the vitals. I never
give them a free shot at my neck. COMM: Nine years ago Carl set up Single Vision, an educational non-profit organisation at
his home in Florida. CARL: I think having these cats in captivity and being able to show them off, it gives
people a chance to get a passion and an appreciation for these animals. So I think it’s essential
we have them in captivity to create that passion in people. COMM: His biggest animal is seven hundred pound Siberian tiger Samson, which towers
above him at over nine and a half feet tall. CARL: There’s just not many tigers bigger than this one. COMM: Each week Carl buys a massive fifteen hundred pounds of meat, and the cats can devour
200lbs in a night. CARL: Now here is where the relationship with me and the cats does change, you can see he’s
showing possessiveness. And I can’t go up and grab that food away from him now or even
a piece of it. You can see. And he’s vocalising, he’s telling me and I’m not gonna push that
line. COMM: Despite their killer instinct Kyle goes out of his way to play rough with his huge
beasts. CARL: When they’re young and they’re adolescents they play really rough with each other in
the wild. That’s how they learn the skills necessary to become efficient hunters and
we don’t deny them that here. COMM: But his hands-on approach comes with its own dangers. CARL: I had a leopard kind of bite me in the nose a few years ago, had my nose sewed back together.
Injuries just are part of the job. CARL: Big cats may have a fearsome reputation but Carl is never short of people who want
to see what they can do. COMM: Including volunteer Kia Spitzner. KIA: In my friends group yeah I’m definitely the crazy one, they call me the crazy cat
lady, something I love. I’ve never been nervous. COMM: And the cats have even been socialised to the point where they can live and play
together. CARL: Here we have a tiger and a lion together and in the wild they would never encounter
each other. COMM: Carl’s no stranger to the controversy surrounding breeding big cats in captivity. CARL: People that would say it’s cruel to keep large cats in captivity, most of the
people that say that say they should all be in the wild. My question back to them is where
is the wild these days? We have over seven billion people on the planet, they are destroying
the habitat where these guys live? COMM: But his injuries and massive workload have never stopped his love for big cats, and his Single Vision dream to educate people about the beautiful beasts. CARL: I don’t do this because it’s safe, I guess I get that rush of adrenaline just
from being around them and working with them and I can’t imagine doing anything else!

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