Texas ‘Tiger Whisperer’ Tames Big Cats

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BOYD, TX -- When he says "Nobody does what I do," he's not kidding. Louis Dorfman is the animal behaviorist at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Boyd, Texas and he's one of a kind.

"I've worked with over 100 tigers," he said. "And over 50 lions over 60 years."

Yeah, he's something of a "tiger whisperer," alright. And when he works with these big cats, he does it face-to-face. In the cage with them. Jeez! Doesn't he know those animals are dangerous?!

"Not to me," Dorfman said with a chuckle. "They have rules. They live by their rules of conduct a lot better than humans do. They don't have secondary agendas, hidden agendas... I'm probably the safest I am anywhere in the world, in with a lion or a tiger."

Dorfman's feline friends aren't the only animals here, either. There are also bears, and you guessed it, he hangs out with them too.  Oh, and a pair of wolves -- the only ones of their kind in Texas.

The behaviorist told NewsFix, "I've always just felt that animals deserve all the dignity and respect that humans do."

That's why he developed his "emotional enrichment program" - his method for gaining the animals' trust and keeping them happy.

"We've already developed this relationship where they just get real secure and comfortable," he said.

The treatment is already working for Nala, the young tigress that was found wandering the streets of suburban Houston last month.

"It's a good lesson for everybody to learn," Dorfman said. "And the way people should interact, not only with humans but animals."

That's a lesson that goes way beyond this exotic animal sanctuary in Boyd.