The federal government is out with new regulations that are proving very costly for a local animal sanctuary.
LOCUST GROVE, Ga. -- The federal government is out with new regulations that are proving very costly for Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary.
The nonprofit, which relies entirely on donations, is facing a financial crisis after learning the USDA will require Noah's Ark to raise its current eight-foot fencing to 16 feet by October.
If the animal sanctuary doesn't comply, it will have to move all the exotic cats to smaller enclosures and break up one if the most popular exhibits, called "BLT."
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Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary is the only place in the world where a lion, tiger and bear are being raised together in the same habitat.
The trio, known as "BLT," was rescued from an Atlanta drug dealer.
"They've lived together quite nicely for 12 years and are depressed if you remove them from each other," said Kandi Allen. "It just works. They've figure out a way to make this work, and it's beautiful."
Friends of Noah's Ark have launched a fundraising effort called "Keep the Boat Afloat" to raise $50,000 to help meet the new federal requirements.
They've already raised more than $44,000 through the website Crowdrise, and they have a chance to win another $75,000 through a contest on the site called #StartARyot.
That contest ends September 24.
The USDA deadline is in October.
The total cost for the new fencing is estimated to be as much as $489,000.