It’s nearing the end of summer, but certainly not the end of our battle for the welfare of the cats. Preventing cruelty, educating the public, as well as preserving the cats’ quality of life, are on-going challenges. But, we are fit for the tasks. We have progress to report to you in many ways from the rehab and release of a bobcat and crucial legislation, to the lighter side about our Fall gala event, the Fur Ball.
Carole Baskin, Founder
A Little Faith Completes the Journey
Many of you have been eagerly anticipating the day we could bring you this news about the successful rehab and release of Faith the bobcat. You may remember when Faith first arrived at Big Cat Rescue, she was estimated to be about 4-6 weeks old. She was emaciated, dehydrated, and extremely weak. The very night that she came to the rescue the decision had to be made as to whether she should be raised to live a life in captivity or to be released back into the wild. Everything that rescuers did from this moment forward would affect either of these options. This was a very tough choice. On the one hand she would be raised to be trusting of humans so that her life in captivity would be one of tolerance, on the other hand she would be raised to be wild, with bare minimum human contact so that she could be released back into her natural habitat when she proved ready. The former was an easier path, but would ultimately end up with another sad bobcat in a cage for 20 years, the latter would be a challenge and the end result was not a guarantee.
Let us share her dramatic story with you of how we affected her fate. In the end however, it is she who changed us forever.
For full details, read on…
Lots of Ocelots
Well, that is what we would love to tell you…that there are lots of ocelots. But, hunters have long pursued the ocelot for their exquisite pelts. Farms, ranches and suburban sprawl have eaten away their habitat to almost nothing. Today, fewer than 100 ocelots roam free among the thorny scrublands of south Texas, with a similar number barely hanging on in Mexico.
America’s little leopard is making its last stand. Environmental Defense has launched an ambitious and creative plan to bring them back from the brink. Your help today can help rescue the critically endangered ocelot.
Enter the Safe Harbor program. Safe Harbor is a smart, collaborative approach pioneered by Environmental Defense that brings together the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with farmers, ranchers and other private landowners. In exchange for setting aside some acreage for ocelot habitat, landowners receive assurances that their other lands will not be subject to additional government regulation. You can be a part of this compassionate work by showing your support below at the link.
Fur Ball “Roaring Twenties” Means Chocolate, Wine, Costumes and More
Chocolate, chocolate everywhere. Did we get your attention? Hopefully we got your taste buds ready for the treat that is in store for you. John Datin, of Chocolate Cascades has upped his generous Fur Ball donation of chocolate. He has added a third fountain which will increase his donation from 40 pounds of chocolate to 120 pounds of dark, milk and white chocolate! We are looking forward to this decadent array of indulgence. And what will go better with chocolate than the generous donation of Papio wines.
We’d also like to give special recognition to several other businesses that have been critical to this event’s success. We’d like to direct you to one of our supporters for costumes for the event. La France will be able to outfit you just perfectly for the 20’s theme. Cox Radio is giving us 200 + radio spots which is so integral to our spreading the word. Thanks also to our pro bono ad agency, Teasdale Worldwide, for enlisting the Tampa Tribune in giving us 26,000 in ads. 2 sponsors at 10k each, one at 5k and one at 2500 have also surfaced. We are very grateful for this out-pouring of support. Remember, there are sponsorships currently available for tables and more. You can reserve your tickets now. You will not want to miss this event!
Gateway to the Sanctuary
They say first impressions say so much. If that is true, then we are glad our newest addition tells a tale of how much we value the appearance of our sanctuary and the safety and well-being of our big cats and guests. It also speaks to the fact that we have the dedicated support of generous donors like you. You see, the 8 feet of wrought iron at a 15k price tag was raised from our appeal to you over the “Catter-Wall” project, and has funded a stunning new entrance gate. We have struggled for years with a flimsy, slow, and unreliable chain link fence as our entry way. Now, we have a strong, secure, and beautiful gate. We also plan to beautify the entrance by erecting two gorgeous lion statues that were donated to us. We still need a builder to set our stone lions on pillars just outside the gate and sponsorship of the gate is available. Please help us with these remaining projects by spreading the word.
see the new addition…
Bay News 9 Covers Big Cat Laws
You may have seen our recent coverage on Bay News 9 on the need for legislation concerning the big cats. It highlights the latest critical issue. In December of 2003, a bill passed the House and Senate unanimously and became the Captive Wild Animal Safety Act that was meant to ban the sale of big cats across state lines as pets. As a result, the number of abandoned big cats that was doubling every year and had reached more than 300 such cats by 2003, dropped to 160 unwanted pets the following year. We were encouraged by the decrease. But, there was a problem. The law had a technical flaw that made it impossible to enforce. Now, this current bill, S. 1415, repairs that technical flaw so that the law can be enforced. However, the challenge is getting the legislators attention again and sealing the deal.Please help us by voicing your concern ASAP.
Friends in High Places
You’ve heard of the catbird’s seat? Well, we may have just attained it, so to speak. Big Cat Rescue’s founder, Carole Baskin, was elected to serve on Humane USA’s board of directors. The Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle and the President of The Fund for Animals, Mike Markarian, who are founding members of the Humane USA Political Action Campaign, nominated Carole Baskin to the board of directors and she was unanimously elected on August 9, 2005.
Formed in late 1999, Humane USA is the nation’s first major political action committee devoted to the task of electing humane-minded candidates to public office at the federal and state levels. Since launching its operations – the Congress passed many new laws to protect animals. Humane USA can be the decisive factor in pushing these bills and amendments toward passage. Now the Tampa Bay area has a voice in the national issues. Read more about this determined organization and how we are a part.
Read more about this…
At the 2004 Fur Ball, with the help of Jay Goulde of the Outdoor Arts Foundation and the financial support of Jaguar of Tampa, Big Cat Rescue held an art contest. Well known area artists submitted pieces that were based on our cats. The winner was the striking fused glass piece entitled “Shere Power”, pictured here, by Lisa Vogt. It is based on our biggest tiger, Shere Khan.
Subsequently the piece became the subject of a three page article entitled “The Making of Shere Power” in the Feb/Mar issue of Glass Craftsman magazine. Then, the piece won an international award.
The magnificent glass piece was turned into a poster for Big Cat Rescue with the wonderful help of Mr. Warner and his talented design staff at his web design company, www.TheDogAteMyDesigns.com . The poster is on sale in our gift shop and online for only $5 and makes a wonderful gift.