Large cat habitat to be built in Pigeon Forge

Published: Jul. 10, 2013 at 5:45 PM EDT
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Large cats will soon have a new home in Pigeon Forge with a new Tiger habitat planned to be built.

Fee Headrick Entertainment plans to build a Tiger Habitat behind the Smoky Mountain Opry in the next few months.

The habitat will feature rescued animals that have been abandoned or in abusive situations and can't return to the wild. Some of the animals will star in some of the company's entertainment shows.

"There's a great opportunity for us to educate our visitors right here to the needs of these endangered species," said Jim Hedrick, Owner.

Corky Miller, Handler for many of the animals seen in Fee/Hedrick entertainment shows says thousands of animals are taken out of their natural habitats legally and illegally. She says many owners don't realize how much food the animals will eat or how big they'll get.

"It'll be an indoor air conditioned huge facility with 24 hour security," said Miller. "It'll be nice when I don't have to move them through town and back. "

Miller says she believes the habitat will provide a more stable environment for the animals. She said the habitat will feature waterfalls and caves just like they'd experience in their natural environments.

Hedrick said plans for the facility are about 97% complete.