A runner passes by a cage of tigers during last year's Run Through The Jungle 5K.
Run as fast as you can to steer clear of the lions, tigers and pumas. Big cats will be watching your every move as you dart beside, around and between them (in their cages) at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.
People from across the country have the opportunity to help rescued big cats simply by running or walking during the second annual Run Through The Jungle 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, May 13.
"This race is unique for some obvious reasons." Race Director Gary Anderson said in a press release.
Participant entry fees will go straight to the rescue center, which will in turn go toward medical care, food and shelter for the big cats.
"Last year we had 250 participants for a first-year race on a rainy day, in a rural location. Somehow, we had people from 38 cities find their way to Center Point. I completely underestimated the appeal of these amazing cats," Anderson said.
"More importantly, it was our best fundraiser last year, raising just over $3,000 for the care of our animals. But to put that in perspective, that will only fund care of our (nearly) 200 felines for three days," Jean Herrberg, assistant director of the rescue center, said.
During a tour of the center, visitors can hear each animal's surprising and unique story. Some find it hard to believe a few of the animals survived.
Parking and registration will be at the Center Point park. A shuttle will take runners and walkers to the center. The registration fee is $22.
Runners and walkers will get a T-shirt, tour of the center, refreshments and live music by Craig Brenner. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the race starts at 10:30.
Trophies will be awarded to overall male and female first place runners. Medals for male and female runners in each age group that place first, second and third, will be presented.
Walkers will receive awards for first and second overall males and females and for each age group.
The center is open for tours Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.