This last weekend, we had my Dad and his wife visiting from California. When Papa and Gran come to visit, we love to take them to all of the fun local spots. One of their favorite places to see (and a place we take all of our visitors) is the big cat sanctuary at In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center.
Located in Wylie, TX, In-Sync Exotics is worth visiting if you’re local to Dallas (it’s about a 45 minute drive from downtown). But even if you’re NOT in Dallas – or Texas, for that matter – it’s still a fabulous organization worth knowing about and supporting.
Most of the animals (big cats – lions, tigers, cheetahs, cougars, etc.) are rescues. As in, people actually had these animals in their homes and then realized, “Hey! Tigers are dangerous! I can’t have one of these for a pet!” and then had nowhere to send them, because…most of us are not capable of caring for a full-grown tiger. The sad reality is that people breed and sell exotic animals AS PETS. And then the big cats suffer. In-Sync Exotics is full (so full – not exactly sure, but I think they have around 30 big cats) of animals bred for selfish reasons and then left without a place to go.
The first time I visited In-Sync, I was sad. You are able to get within just a few feet of these animals, and once you’re up close and personal with a lion, you realize how huge and regal they really are – it’s not the same as seeing them on National Geographic, or even at the zoo. Seeing these animals in cages – and knowing they are there because of ignorant people – made me incredibly sad. Of course, this is the best option for these cats and they are incredibly well-cared for and loved – but it’s still sad.
DON’T BREED TIGERS FOR PETS, PEOPLE!
At In-Sync, you’ll see first-hand the effort that goes into caring for these cats. Every time I have visited, there’s been a full crew of volunteers cleaning cages and working around the property.
Jack loves to watch a show on PBS called The Wild Kratt’s. It’s all about wild animals, and they have an episode on Servals. So basically there are no words to explain how excited Jack was to see Servals in real life.
Each animal has its story up for you to read so you can learn about how they came to be at In-Sync.
A memorial honors the memory of all the animals who have passed on from In-Sync Exotics, and tells their stories, too. And I’ll just say it one more time, because, really. DON’T BREED TIGERS FOR PETS, PEOPLE.
If you’re in the Dallas area and want to plan your visit, you can find out hours, directions, and ticket prices here. And if you’re not in Dallas, but you’re interested in this place or big cats in general, you can sign up for the newsletter (my Dad gets the newsletter and is more up-to-date on the In-Sync Exotics activities and animals than I am, and I live nearby!).
The facility is small, but there’s lots to look at. We spent about an hour-and-a-half visiting. No strollers allowed, so if you have a little one bring a baby carrier (and trust me, you won’t want a stroller…the ground is uneven and rocky).