How the DREAM of an Educational Tiger Park Came True
Cedar Cove Feline Conservation Park is a dream come true on many levels. The ceremonial ribbon cutting was held on August 27, 2000. The tiger park opened for public tours a week later, over Labor Day weekend. The grand opening was a long time coming!
A lot of perseverance & support
Cedar Cove is the culmination of William Pottorff’s long-held vision to educate the public about the large cats of the world and the need to protect the many species endangered in the wild. The park also is a community dream. With minimal financial resources, the park opened because civic organizations, businessmen, Scouts, school leaders, students and hundreds of volunteers pitched in to help. Continued dedication, strong support and generosity have been required, provided and appreciated.
It took several years for the plans of Cedar Cove, located at K-68 Highway just east of Louisburg, Kansas, to come together. There were several false starts before the George Criswell family donated 11 acres of land to Cedar Cove in early 1997. The site afforded the tiger park enough land for a 3-acre lake, a nice picnic area and a secluded 3-acre facility with its state-of-the-art animal enclosures, an exercise area the size of a football field and an education building. The tigers and cougars were moved to the site in October, 1997. However, a tremendous amount of work remained to be done before the park’s construction was complete – three years later.
The necessary USDA Exhibit License was obtained in February, 1999. The safety of the public and the park’s felines will remain paramount. It wasn’t until late 1999, that the park was allowed to open to the public. But with many finishing touches still required, mostly in and around the education building, public access remained very limited until the ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 27, 2000. Ribbon cutters included the mayor, a county commissioner and superintendents of two school districts. The very next day, Cedar Cove was approved as an institutional member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers.
Pottorff & Staff make it Possible
Cedar Cove Feline Conservation Park has been possible only because of the dedication and perseverance of the Pottorff family and the broad public support of the park. The park has been created without any government funding or grant money. Pottorff works full-time at the park with the help of volunteer staff without pay. With about 200 volunteers involved, all of the labor involved in the park’s construction has been free. Many construction materials have also been donated.
Ongoing expense items that must be paid are monthly mortgage payments and large annual insurance premiums. Other expenses include veterinary services, nutrition, cleaning supplies, utilities, gasoline and ongoing facility improvements and maintenance.
YOU can help us make it possible!! Cedar Cove is an IRS-approved nonprofit corporation, a 501(c) (3). Donations of cash and materials are tax-deductible.