Welcome to longer days with more daylight and time to enjoy the pretty Spring weather. Make a point of coming out to see us and take a tour before the heat of the summer sets in. In the meantime, we have much to report to you in this month’s AdvoCat. Enjoy.
Carole Baskin, Founder
Nini Namesake in Way Kambas Park
Thanks to Brian’s vision and the help of all of you who donated, our dear tiger frined Nini, who recently passed away, can live on in the wild through her name sake who lives in Way Kambas Park.
What a majestic sight she is. She is pictured here as photographed by remote camera living freely in her natural habitat on Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra. 100% of money raised by this organization www.tigertrust.org finances tiger monitoring, habitat preservation, community development, anti poaching patrols, park ranger training and the purchase of essential field equipment. In our last e-mail to you, we mentioned that you can honor Nini by donating to adopt this wild tiger. We mistakenly gave a faulty web link to you. We apologize. Still many of you found a way to donate and we raised $120. Forgive us but we wanted to update you and give many of you a chance to reach the link. Again, any funds over and above the $400 needed will go to the care of our own tigers. Thank you for your generosity.
Check out Nini’s Namesake…
The Jaguar Project in Guyana, South America
The country of Guyana, famously rich in bio-diversity, is one of the least populated tropical countries in the world with a population of only 850,000 inhabitants. With only three percent of its 80,000 square miles inhabited, Guyana has been one of the top exporters of wild parrots in the world and remains active in trapping parrots, wild cats, primates, reptiles, sea turtles and various other land and sea animals.
Marc Johnson met up with Howard and Carole Baskin at the Taking Action For Animals Conference in Washington, DC in 2005 and told them about an exciting new endeavor he was working on in Guyana, South America. He relayed a story about how a Jaguar had come into the camp one night and sparked the interest of these Big Cat Rescuers. Marc’s goal is to set up 12 of these Eco Tourism camps so that all of this critical and richly diverse region can be preserved.
Jamie Veronica, President of Big Cat Rescue was intrigued and compelled to participate. Her mission was to check out the viability of this program and see if Big Cat Rescue could do something to help save the native Jaguar, Jaguarundi, Margay, Ocelot, Tigrina and others. She went to great lengths to become a part of the program in order to bring us all the action points that we have to tell you about.
Project Guyana enables us to take the first steps towards protecting and preserving Guyana’s native wildlife by offering a more financially attractive and culturally desirable alternative – Eco-Tourism. Through the development of this viable eco-tourism project entire Amerindian communities can benefit from the income derived from hosting visitors, and the Eco-tourism will create sustainable employment opportunities for the indigenous people of Guyana. We are highly hopeful about the future of this program. Learn more below.
Read More Here …
Did you hear about the zoning decision?
At the final hearing on our rezoning request yesterday, the County Commissioners UNANIMOUSLY approved our request. This give us a second access to our property and allows us to house more interns, start a program to become part of a veterinary college curriculum, and to move forward on our plans for an education building. Because our request had not gotten a positive recommendation from the County Staff, our ability to show the support of the community was critical. We are so grateful to the 1600+ supporters who sent letters and emails of support, and especially grateful to the 50+ people who spent almost a full day at the hearing yesterday waiting for our case to be heard. Your support has resulted in a decision that over time will save many cats from abuse or abandonment. On behalf of the cats, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Help Stop the Trade in Exotic Cats
There is less than a month left in the Florida legislative session to get a bill passed that would stop the breeding, sale, trade and exploitation of exotic cats. It is called the Python Bill, but it needs to be expanded to include all dangerous wildlife. While we have 40,000 supporters, only a few of you have a Senator on the Committee that will hear this bill. Less than 1% of the people we contact will do anything legislatively for the animals and that is why your voice is so important in getting this passed! Click the link below and enter your zip code to see if you can be one of the crucial voices needed to help the cats.
Jungle Cat Rescue
The voice on the other end was shaky, female and began, “I got your number from the answering machine, and I’m sorry to call so late, but I have called everyone I can think of and Fish and Game said they would send someone yesterday, but they never did, and the trapper said he will just euthanize the cat, and the cat is scared, and I am afraid he is going to die, and if I let him loose someone is going to shoot him. It’s a big cat. I think it might be a Florida Panther. It weighs 90 pounds, is three feet long, had VERY big teeth and his paws are as big as my hands. I caught him in my garage. He just fills up the entire trap…”
This is typical of the calls we get and stories we hear and are involved with. Once again, someone has bred or bought and exotic cat and it has escaped. This one is fortunate in the sense that we were able to help it. Or is it fortunate? It will now spend 20 years in a cage due to the owner’s ill-conceived plans. Read on for more insight on this story and why we implore you to help us turn legislators’ pens towards signing new bills to stop this problem.
The Ice Hasn’t Melted in Florida yet
You’ve heard of man made snow? Well, we create something similar in the form of enrichment “popsicles” for our cats. Yes, popsicles, but not grape and cherry. Read on to find out our recipe for success. Enrichment is any method meant to engage and stimulate a captive animal in its contained enviromment for the hope of offering quality of life. Our enrichment program has advanced from once a week per cat to twice to three times per week per cat. 57 of our 142 cats are now in the operant conditioning program. Thank you for your donations because it’s supporters like you that make this kind of enrichment possible.
See Big Cats Having Fun …
Celebrate Earth Day
As written by the World Wildlife Federation “Since the first Earth Day in 1970 people around the world have sought to celebrate the planet through a variety of individual and community activities. But Earth Day is about more than observing the beauty and vitality of nature; it is also about renewing your commitment to saving our living planet.”
We agree, and are constantly striving to do our part by holding to our mission of maintaining our integrity as an “educational sanctuary.” Our mission is to help the cats in need, but also help solve the problem that causes them to need a sanctuary. There are many ways to do this and many worthy causes to do it through. Thank you for choosing Big Cat Rescue as one of your primary ways of showing support for our natural world.
We’d like to offer you an opportunity to purchase an Earth Day t-shirt at the link below. All proceeds benefit Big Cat Rescue. Thank you!
Feline Fun Fact
Have you ever seen a cat testing the size of an opening by careful measurement with the head and its whiskers? Cats can generally squeeze their bodies through any space
they can get their heads through. They are so flexible and able to do this because of a very interesting anatomical difference from other animals. Cats lack a true collarbone.