Netflix's original Tiger King has been all the rage since it came out a few weeks ago. Social media is being flooded with memes, conspiracy theories, and photos about the docuseries and personalities involved, but the internet isn't the only place seeing an influx of attention. Big Cat Rescue in Tampa recently took down some of their signs and told us why over the weekend.
All of the signs leading to the entrance on Easy Street were either covered up or taken down completely, Narcity was able to confirm as of Saturday at 3:06 p.m.
"We have a lot of trespassers right now since we are closed for COVID-19," a spokesperson for the sanctuary told Narcity on Sunday.
Narcity also confirmed there were many cars turning onto Easy Street then promptly turning around at the closed entry gate, though their intentions are unknown.
The sanctuary has not been open to the public for over a week. Hillsborough County has been under a "safer-at-home order" since March 27, and all non-essential businesses are closed to the public.
In addition to the closure, the sanctuary's spokesperson said that Easy Street is no longer the main access point.
"That is no longer our entrance since that hotel was built — we have a different entrance."
Narcity was unable to locate another entry point with a sign out front as of Saturday.
A search of the hashtag #bigcatrescue on Instagram will return an array of evidence that the rescue's signs had become a tourist attraction, especially after the release of the docuseries.
As for a before-and-after comparison, the area pictured above, identifiable by the yellow shopping cart, has had the sign removed.
And it appears that this sign was covered up.
As evident in the below photo, the "Next Signal" portion is still legible.
The sign on the Easy Street main entrance gate seems to have also disappeared — replaced with a property under surveillance warning instead.
The rescue and owner, Carole Baskin, are at the height of Tiger King meme culture right now, which may have something to do with the influx of photo-posing visitors.
The rescue has released an official statement about their feelings of the docuseries, calling it as "salacious and sensational as possible."
Narcity asked Big Cat Rescue if the signs will be put back up, and their response was, "The future is unknown to us all at this time."
A "Storm Big Cat Rescue" protest is still scheduled to be held at the location this July.