SYLMAR (CBSLA) – A group of tigers and cougars who once lived at the shuttering Wildlife Waystation in Sylmar took a cross country trip to their new home in Indiana this week.
The animals were driven 45 hours to their new digs at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point, Ind.
Once they adjust to their new surroundings, they’ll be able to roam freely within the refuge.
“We think it’s important they be given a chance to have a happy, healthy life,” Exotic Feline Rescue Center Owner Joe Taft said.
They are among approximately 400 wild animals — including wolves and chimpanzees — that are being relocated after the Wildlife Waystation announced last month it was permanently closing following 43 years of rescuing, rehabilitating and housing animals.
The Wildlife Waystation was damaged during the 2017 Creek Fire, and then again earlier this year it sustained flood damage during the slew of storms which hit the region. Officials said they could not afford to make the necessary fixes necessary to meet California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) standards in order to maintain their operating permits.
CDFW has since been working with animal welfare groups to find the animals new homes.