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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Faircloth

Filmmaker to Help Non-profit Saturday and Sunday

Tim Harrison is a policeman, firefighter, and paramedic in Dayton, Ohio, but he is no ordinary man. He rescues wild animals all over the United States.

Tim Harrison

"You don't have to go to Africa to see a lion. You don't have to go to India to see a tiger. You don't have to Tipan to see a deadly snake," said Harrison in an interview. "All you have to do is look in any city in the U.S.A. They are right here, right now."

Harrison will be visiting Shizzy’s Wildcat Rescue Saturday and Sunday. The Fair Bluff sanctuary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping exotic animals held in captivity. The group has had several volunteer days over the last year and a half to help build a safe haven for wildcats and apex predators rescued from private ownership, breeders, circuses and other poor conditions. Harrison will be working beside volunteers at Shizzy’s as they raise fences and construct habitats.

Harrison teamed up with filmmaker Michael Webber to document his experiences with these foreign creatures and talk about why the obsession with bringing home them is not a good idea.

The outcome of his work resulted in the two award-winning documentaries, The Elephant in the Living Room and The Conservation Game.

He also joined up with other first responders to advocate for these animals, and they put together a non-profit called Outreach for Animals in 2001. Harrison is the executive director of the foundation.

Their mission is to educate young people to respect wildlife and its natural habitat. Over the years, they have reached millions of people through all forms of media and outreach programs. They focus on educating the public on behaving properly around wildlife by bringing a greater understanding of animals through a national presence with lectures, programs, educational materials, and experience. They act as goodwill ambassador and liaison between humans and animals, and they are a for-impact organization that saves, transforms, and changes the lives of the creatures they come in contact with.

The team has produced educational wildlife videos that tell the truth about exotics around the world, and the organization presents engaging lectures to schools, libraries, nature centers, public, and private events.

Harrison will be at Shizzy's Wildcat Rescue Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The group will also host a community meet and greet on April 15.

The Fair Bluff site will be the home of lions, tigers, snow leopards, cougars, ocelots, servals, bobcats, caracals, wolves, bears, and other apex predators for them to live out the rest of their lives in a comfortable and safe natural habitat. Some conditions the animals have lived in are so severe that many of them have never even touched grass, or even walked around anywhere other than in a cage.

North Carolina is one of the four states in the U.S. that has no laws governing the keep of exotic animals.

To volunteer this weekend, call Rhonda Billeaud at 910.840.1886. Volunteers must be 18 years old or older to work with tools and ladders. No experience is necessary, and groups are welcome.

To find out more about Harrison and the Outreach for Animals organization, visit Outreach for Animals. All materials, gatherings, and educational programs by the outreach are made possible solely by donations from the public.

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