Big cat rescue?

I’m currently in veterinary medicine school and I’m going to specialize in exotic animals such as big cats. My husband is studying to be a neurosurgeon, and our plan is to move to either Texas or Africa and start a small, 10 acre sanctuary for big cats such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs. Cheetah’s are almost entirely illegal to own in the US so if we decided to live in Texas, we wouldn’t be able to rescue any. But our other option is Botswana, Africa. The only reason we would move there is IF there is a possibility of rescuing injured/abandoned wild cheetahs in hopes of release, or rescuing pet cheetahs from incapable owners. I know that it is legal to own Cheetahs in Africa but I am not sure which countries. So that is my question, which countries in Africa is it legal to own Cheetahs? I’d also like to state that these animals would not be pets, I would adopt them in hopes of changing their lives for the better. I don’t support exotic pet trade


Fascinating that you are in Vet School and your husband is in Med School and you can't do your own research. Please - I live in Texas. Don't move here for any reason.


If you're really in veterinary school and your husband is in medical school, how do you plan on paying off your student loans and open up this "ten acre sanctuary?" Good luck. You're going to need it.

Pascal the Gambler

You're probably going to want to look into the massive amounts of red tape you'll have to wade through to get permits to do this, no matter where it is.


Sure, so what are you going to live on to pay for this dream? Where is the money coming from to feed and care for these animals. Would you get a licence Would anywhere in Africa let you move there permanently?





paul h

South Africa is one country where you can legally own cheetahs with a permit...not sure about others. You would need to inquire with them. We have a couple of big cat sanctuaries here in Wisconsin that may be able to help with information of how to go about setting up your own preserve...or other preserves that may need your skillsets. "In South Africa, three animals in the cat family, namely, the cheetah, lion, and leopard, are categorized by the national biodiversity law as “vulnerable species.” As a result, their possession in private homes is restricted and permits are required. An African sanctuary that offers hands on experience for a fee...may be worth trying out and getting some info from them. Wisconsin sites... My cousin in northern Minnesota runs a rescue center for cats, dogs , horses, etc,, and recently took a trip to Africa for a 2 week safari after dealing with cancer issues for some years.


..........and neither of you have been taught to research or even search online......... ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Nekkid Truth!

Sorry but it seems oddly specific that you want to focus on cheetahs... There is not much need for neurosurgeons in Africa, FYI... Its mostly a poor country... Your husband may be able to do a lot of volunteer work as a Dr. I cant fathom that hed rack up all of those student loans just to be cool with some notion of moving to africa so you can specifically rescue cheetahs. We do have a need for functioning big cat sanctuaries here in the US.. Places to house the displaced animals that previously were pets.. And to educate the public as to why these animals do not make good pets. Fyi, being "illegal" doesnt prevent people from owning them. But if you have the proper license to run a sanctuary for big cats,you should be able to house cheetahs.


If you're in vet school, I'm a pink and purple unicorn with a rainbow mane and tail.