Out of Africa


People ask us all the time if “Out of Africa” is a good place.  It appears to be well funded so the facilities look decent, but the real issue is why do places like this exist?  They usually say it is to protect wildlife, but their actions seem to show that protecting animals is the least of their concerns.

This letter came to Big Cat Rescue in 2011:

“I can say, as a former employee of Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Arizona, this is the answer I got when asking “friends” (I thought) of mine to respond to the letters you were asking people to sign and send to Ohio peoples. These “friends” are Dean Powell (Dingo) and Ashton Powell. Dean is the son of Prayrie Harrison, wife of Dean Harrison, owner of Out of Africa. Dingo is “2nd” in comand of the park below Dean and Prayrie (considered 1 unit of command by Dean).

I am suggesting we boycott places that support private breeding of exotic animals. Not to mention their veterinary care of the animals is often questionable. None of the animals are vaccinated to say only 1 aspect of it.

Thought you all might want to see the letter I sent to Dingo. Seems we are going round about the Ohio issue. I asked him and Ashton to send letters re: better regulation of private breeders/owners of exotic animals. His reply was I am uneducated in what I am supporting. His position is we need private breeders because Out of Africa needs to obtain kittens from time to time and by regulating them, it would be a detriment to Out of Africa.


Hi Dean,
…    In regards to your opinion on regulating private ownership/breeding of exotic animals. This does extend much further than just big cats. There are genets, binterongs, apes/chimps, etc. being captive bred by private owners for the pet trade as well. I don’t agree with eliminating it altogether, however, people have proven themselves countless times to be stupid, money driven, and without conscience. If the government would stay involved, know an accurate count of all exotic animals in captivity through licensing or microchipping, etc.
As long as facilities that are breeding record with the USDA exactly how many/what type of babies are born and where they go. The facilities breeding and where they go should have to be USDA inspected and approved facilities. The keeping of cats or any exotics for public display/interaction/ such as Big Cat Rescue Entertainment, whoever they are, who are currently renting space at the Chicago mall, needs to be outlawed.
The animals ARE abused and kept in unsanitary conditions. This has been proven repeatedly by USDA fines and inspections.
There is a traveling circus in northern AZ right now that is allowing public photos with adult black bears. They too have been fined repeatedly for cruelty by the government, yet are still allowed to exist. This is what needs to change.
You saying because Out of Africa needs 2-4 kittens of various species approx every 2-4 years on average, that it should be o.k. for private breeders to continue. That seems a little selfish and also money driven, as the operators of the Chicago mall. As long as the money comes in huh?
What about the hundreds of tigers,lions, servals, leopards, and bears that are bred each year by the SAME breeders you would deal with that are euthanized. When they are more than 4-5months old, cubs are often killed because the public can no longer pose for pics with them. Tigers and bears are still the top 2 most euthanized exotic animals in the U.S. There is no place for them, sanctuaries are full. Zoos can’t use a half breed or an animal without proper genetic lines.
So in order for Out of Africa to be able to have 4 cubs every couple of years you’re saying it’s o.k. that the other hundred + are killed. That makes Out of Africa a serious contributer to the problem.”
As you can see from this exchange there are self centered, money driven reasons why places like Out of Africa and other roadside zoos and pseudo sanctuaries refuse to help with legislation to stop big cat abuse.