hear big cats



Female tiger

DOB 1996

Rescued 5/18/07  Died 10/11/13


Bella is very quite and reserved. She spent her first few days in her new enclosure in her den. She had never had a den before, so the dark secluded area was quite appealing. Bella was spayed shortly after her arrival, so that she and TJ can live together again. They were a breeding pair at Savage Kingdom. Bella has turned around since her arrival and is quickly becoming a favorite among volunteers and guests alike.


Tributes to Bella 


hear big catsSavage Kingdom Rescue: TJ, Bella, Modnic and Trucha


A hundred times or more a year Big Cat Rescue is contacted by someone trying to unload a tiger, lion, bobcat, serval or some other exotic cat who has outlived his usefulness. In most cases the people calling are those who have used the animals to support themselves, or to make themselves more popular, and now the cat no longer serves their needs. Then the cat has to go.


Big Cat Rescue can only take in a limited number of big cats each year because each cat is a 10-20 year commitment. Most of the cases do not meet Big Cat Rescue’s criteria for accepting a cat as they will not assist these irresponsible owners in continuing to breed and use animals by being a dumping ground for last year’s babies.


This case at Savage Kingdom was different. Robert Baudy was world renown for producing what are commonly referred to as “throw away tigers” because they are so often lame and cross eyed from the inbreeding that goes into producing the white tigers that will fetch a big price.


When USDA finally shut down the 84 year olds’ breeding activities in August of 2006 an era of abuse came much closer to an end. A friend of Baudy’s had managed to place all but four tigers by May 14, 2007. If she could not find a home for these last four tigers she was going to have them euthanized on May 18th because she could no longer afford the time and resources needed to care for the cats.


TJ, Bella, Modnic, and Trucha were the last four cats that needed a home and Big Cat Rescue stepped in to provide one. On May 18th, 2007, Rescuers transported the four to their new home at BCR. They now have spacious grassy enclosures with shrubs and trees, large mountain dens, and pools to cool off in.



Bella starred in Fatal Attractions 2011 as a stand in for the tiger who was killed after mauling a worker at Savage Kingdom.

See some of the deleted scenes Fatal Attractions – Tigers Unleashed, about TJ and Bella tigers:

In August 2013 Bella was diagnosed with cancer.  It is already spread throughout her blood system, so we wanted to give her some sense of freedom before being freed from her earthly body.  On August 14th she trotted through the connected tiger tunnels out to the Vacation Rotation enclosure.  The pictures say the rest.

Bella-Tiger-2013 Bella-Tiger-2013 Bella-Tiger-2013 Bella-Tiger-2013 Bella-Tiger-2013 Bella-Tiger-2013


  1. So sad to hear of her passing but glad she was able to luve out the rest of her days in peace and happiness.. thanks BCR!

  2. I'm very sorry to hear of Bella's passing…but take some comfort in knowing you rescued her, TJ, Modnic, and Trucha from a horrific situation and they found peace, love, care and respect at Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL Run Free Bella…

  3. Great work Big Cat Rescue! You have so much love for her and the other tigers. I'm sorry to read about her cancer. She looks so relaxed for a sick cat. She beautiful and must know she's loved with her turn around to everyone. God bless you!

  4. The enclosure is magnificent! Such a happy ending to her story. You're all doing a great job down there at BCR!

  5. thank you for all you do to help these animals. it is sad how people do not respect the lives of these great cats.

  6. Enjoy Pretty Girl & Thank You BCR for ensuring the cats in your care always receive the best of everything.

  7. I'm so glad she is able to enjoy the great outdoors. It looks like she so happy exploring <3

  8. So glad her last days will be in a perfect place.

  9. I'm so grateful to big Cat Rescue for saving Bella, if only for a little while, and showing her love for what little time she has left. She is so beautiful.

  10. She looks like she's literally having the time of her life. Thank you BCR for getting her in there in time for her to really enjoy it. <3

  11. There should be federal guidelines who should have big cats. Some states do have common sense to let any individual have big cats, and the big cats pay with their lives.

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