Ray Thunderhawk is founder of Thunderhawk Big Cat Rescue.Ray was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and grew-up in a traditional Lakota home.He
has always believed all beings have a unique bond to each other.With 30 years caring for large & "exotic" animals, Ray
sees that our fates are profoundly connected (humankind & large animals).Today Ray is nationally regarded as a large animal consultant.He
experience with his
staff of volunteers and interns.He
has dedicated his
life to the preservation of the "great" cats (tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars).
In the photograph above, the tiger with Ray
Gleska is considered the cornerstone of tigers at Thunderhawk Big Cat Rescue
.At a few weeks old, Ray
rescued Gleska from being starved to death.Gleska was born in a Missouri tiger mill that sold tigers for canned hunts to become mounted trophies/rugs.Gleska's vision was impaired and the owners thought feeding Gleska was a waste of food.In Ray's care, Gleska made history as the first big cat in the world to have successful cataract surgery.Gleska looks to Ray
has been a guest on "Ask the Vet" a national TV show.
has been written up in local and national magazines and papers: "Independent Native Journal
" mid July 2002, and "The Philadelphia Enquirer" August 1999 are two.