Advocat 2016 07

Advocat 2016 07

Meet Spirit Feather

Give to Big Cat RescueJuly 20, 2016: Another 2am success story! When this little bobcat was separated from her mom, and found in the middle of the road, good samaritans turned her in at a clinic in the middle of the state. Who are you going to call at 10:30 pm when you have a bobcat in a box taped shut? Big Cat Rescue, of course.

We get so many calls to help orphans like Spirit Feather and adults who have been injured that we don’t have enough rehab space.  We are undertaking a massive construction project right now that will give us room for eight bobcats in rehab at once.  Thanks to a wonderful donor the first $100,000 that is donated will be matched by them, dollar for dollar. That doubles your ability to help bobcats like Spirit Feather! 

Find out more, how she got her name, and see her live web cam by clicking below:

Spirit Feather

Cat Nip Alternative Study

Research Director Lauren Buckingham took some time to work with Sebastiaan Bol, a scientist from California, in a catnip alternative study with some of our Big Cats.

JoJo Caraval 2016 Happy Face

Sebastiaan initially began his study to see if house cats who didn’t like catnip would enjoy other plant materials. Everyone who has seen a cat rolling around with an overwhelming feeling of joyful excitement will understand that it is rather sad for those who don’t like catnip to miss out. About 1 out of every 3 cats does not respond to catnip, most likely because the smell doesn’t trigger anything for him or her.

Bobcats Really Love Silver Vine

Silver Vine is a plant that is believed to have similar effects to catnip however is not well known in the USA, not even among feline veterinarians. With his study Sebastian was able to conclude that many domestic cats who do not respond to catnip loved silver vine and his results are due to be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal later this year.

Bobcats Love Silver Vine
In the early 60’s Dr Todd at Harvard University showed that Big Cats love catnip too. Almost all of the leopards and lions used in the study showed behaviors such as rolling over, rubbing their heads, chin and cheeks on the plant material, however tigers showed no interest. That finding lead to the wondering if the tiger would perhaps enjoy silver vine, as was the case with so many domestic felines. Unfortunately after a few days of study it was concluded that the tiger in addition to disliking catnip, also had a strong dislike to Silver Vine, with many not simply ignoring it but moving away in disgust. In addition we also decided to offer the Silver Vine to other species at the Sanctuary to see if they had the same response to the tigers.  Enjoy the pictures that show their reaction was the complete opposite and we may have found a new enrichment smell for the small cats. The data collected by Sebastiaan and Lauren will also be submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed scientific journal later this year.

Online Exclusives for our AdvoCat Readers

Online Exclusives

These conversation starters can only be purchased online in our store at

Big Cat Calls

Fantastic News! As of last week we have now surpassed 5000 calls, this congressional session, from our tour guests in support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act. That’s 5000 people who took the time and made it their priority at the end of the tour, to call their representatives and senators, here at the sanctuary. That number of calls is a huge contribution to making a difference in our fight to end suffering for so many Big Cats and the Trade. Thank you to all our followers and supporters, this is all possible because of YOU!

If you haven’t made that call yet, please go to to send an email AND make a quick call too!

12 Grrreat New Videos Since Last Month

You Tube Big Cats July 2016

National Sheriff’s Association Resolution in Favor of the Big Cat Public Safety Act

In 2011 Muskingum County Sheriff Matthew J. Lutz and his deputies came face to face with a nightmare: a private owner of exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio had opened the cages of his 56 tigers, lions, cougars, bears and wolves and let them loose. Recognizing that the animals were a serious public safety risk as dusk approached, deputies had no choice but to shoot most of the animals before they could scatter into the night and threaten lives.

Law enforcement should never have to be put in that scenario. We don’t ever want this to happen again, which is why we are working with Sheriff Lutz and the National Sheriffs’ Association to spread awareness and gain support for the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Last month Big Cat Rescuers, Jennifer Leon and Chuck & Trundy Stairs, attended the National Sheriffs’ Association’s annual conference in Minneapolis with this message: tigers, lions and other exotic cats kept in people’s homes, backyards, and roadside zoos pose a serious and completely unnecessary risk to public safety, law enforcement, and first responders.

The National Sheriffs’ Association has been very welcoming of our message, recently publishing our article about big cats and public safety in their July/August issue of Sheriff & Deputy magazine and passing a Resolution in support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

We are grateful to the National Sheriffs’ Association and look forward to building relationships with Sheriff departments across the country. To learn more visit


Snapchat, Twitter and Nonstop Knight Fans


Help Big Cat Rescue win a $10,000 donation from @flaregames by downloading game app Nonstop Knight — downloadable for free on iOS and Android devices — and VOTE for Snapchat star Audrey Spencer (@Cakes1toDough1) in the Nonstop Knight in-game poll!

Audrey has selected Big Cat Rescue as her charity of choice, but she is competing with 3 other charities –the charity with the most votes will win the $10,000.

HOW TO VOTE: Download the Nonstop Knight app AppleAndroid. Open the app and look for a notification message popping up. Click on the link to enter a quickfire poll, which includes campaign videos and snap art from the celebs (the snap cat art shown here is by Audrey!!). Then VOTE FOR AUDREY @Cakes1toDough1

Voting ends at midnight PDT on Tuesday August 2.

Suggested Twitter Posts:

Help BCR win a $10k donation from @flaregames by downloading game app Nonstop Knight and voting for @Cakes1todough1 in their in-game poll!

You can also look for and retweet posts about Big Cat Rescue from @Cakes1toDough1 AND @flaregames from now until midnight PDT Aug. 2, 2016


Take Action button

Ask a Florida law firm to stop exploiting a white tiger!

Big Cat Rescue has learned that a large, multi-office law firm throughout Florida called Trial Pros is exploiting a white tiger in their television commercial as well as on their website and their Facebook page.

One of the firm’s lawyers, Piercy Stakelum, is seen posing with a large adult white tiger with a chain around its neck while a handler looks on. It appears Trial Pros rented the tiger for the photo shoot.

Big Cat Rescue has reached out twice to Stakelum at Trial Pros and explained that it’s NOT okay for businesses to exploit a big cat as a marketing ploy and for PR shock value. We also explained that white tigers are the unnatural result of a double recessive gene that happens through inbreeding. White tigers can suffer numerous physical defects such as crossed eyes, spine and kidney problems and cleft palates.

We have received no response from Trial Pros.

So now we need YOU to take action and let the lawyers at Trial Pros know that big cat lovers do not want to see businesses exploit big cats as marketing props. Ask Trial Pros to remove all images and photos of this white tiger from their website and social media sites and to stop airing their television commercial featuring the tiger.

Take action here:

In this video you can see how unsafe the handling was, and how frustrated the tiger was at being forced to stay in position.

Tell USDA There is NO Age or Species of Wild Cat that Should Be Used as a Prop

It’s appalling to read some of the comments because the people who do take the time to speak up in these public comment sessions are the bad guys who use cubs to make money. One guy named Pawley, who has 40 years of working with major zoos suggested that any kind of cub can be used until they get their baby teeth and then they should be euthanized. He is the kind of person that USDA will think represents the norm if they do not hear from us.

USDA needs to know that people who actually work with big cats do not think they should be used as pay to play props. It’s one of the most important things you can do to protect big cats, so please go to and hit the Comment Now button to tell USDA in your own words that you are opposed to using cubs of any age for public handling. It is important that you use your own words because they heavily discount “form” emails.

Go to or

Protecting Florida’s Wildlife

You would think that the Florida Wildlife Commission would be a board of people who are committed to protecting Florida’s wildlife, but instead the members are all hunters, “sportsmen” or developers.  Now that Charles W. Roberts III’s term is about to expire, please ask the governor to select someone who actually shares your values for protecting wildlife and the environment.

Laura Nirenberg from the Center for Wildlife Ethics is a much better person for the job. She has extensive experience in the field of non-violent wildlife management. Laura also served on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Fish & Wildlife’s “Nuisance” Wildlife Subcommittee where she worked to promulgate regulations prohibiting the most egregious abuses prevalent in the wildlife control industry including drowning and the use of nail polish remover as an injected poison.

In 2006, Ms. Nirenberg won the Purdue University 22nd Hyde Park Speech forum with her presentation entitled, “Misplaced Priorities,” which challenged the Indiana General Assembly’s political posturing and hypocrisy related to its support of a constitutional amendment for the right to hunt.

Tell Governor Rick Scott: Replace FWC Commissioner Charles Roberts with Laura Nirenberg instead.  FL residents only, please edit and send this quick email:

If you are not from Florida, but really want to let Gov. Scott hear from you, use this email address:


Cast from Wizard of Oz Visit Big Cat Rescue

Aaron Fried and family plus a group of cast members from The Wizard of OZ came out to tour BigCatRescue.  Aaron is friends with Dr Justin Boorstein’s  family back home.  They came in Friday July 15th and had an extended 2 hour tour.  Aaron was really excited to meet our lions since he plays the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz. Cameron came over but Joseph was too busy napping.

Wizard Of Oz Cast 2016

Do You Have Cheetahs or Jaguars?

This is one of the top ten questions people ask.  Find out more at:

International Tiger Day 2016

Help us celebrate International Tiger Day. Find out when and how at:

The Quarterly Big Cat Times

Our printed, quarterly magazine costs us about 43 cents to print and mail, per copy, so we can’t mail it to everyone in our database. You can download the digital version here though:

Sad Goodbyes to Cats We’ve Loved

So many of our cats are in their late teens and early twenties that we are dealing with many age related vet issues and having to say goodbye to cats we’ve loved for decades.  We don’t post all of our videos on our primary channel at so to get more of a glimpse into the behind the scenes of Big Cat Rescue, be sure to subscribe to DailyBigCat too.

Daily Big Cat You Tube 2016

We post live feeds on almost every day, but save the better ones here

AdvoCat 2016 06

AdvoCat 2016 06

Good News!  Good News!

Thor the Bobcat is released back to the wild.  Thor had been hit in the head by a car and survived nearly overwhelming odds against him.  See the video of this most unusual release at:

Grrrreat New Videos

There have been 13 grrrreat new videos posted since the last AdvoCat.  Check them out!

YouTube Videos Big Cat Rescue

7 Most Common Questions

Below are questions we hear many times every day.  They are the most common questions that people ask. Please check out the links to get the complete answer to each question.

1. Do You Have Babies?  No legitimate sanctuary will have babies.  Cub pimps will use them until they are nearly full grown for pay to play schemes; then they are dumped.  If you see a facility that often has babies, then you know they are part of the problem, not the solution.  Find out more at:

2.  Can I Pet Them? No legitimate facility will let you or anyone else pet exotic cats.  They won’t post pictures of themselves doing it either.  It’s dangerous, rude and is the number one reason for so much abuse.  Find out more at:

3.  Why Can’t They Go Free?  Our goal is a world where all wild cats live free, but until we are able to stop the captive breeding of wild cats, here is more info on why cats born in cages can never go free:

4.  Who Else Can I Donate To?  Because people know and trust us they often ask us to vet their other donation options.  This page gives you far more detail on how to make those important decsions:

5.  Don’t They Need a Friend? Cats are solitary by nature.  Find out why they are happier to have their own space at:

6.  Do You Have Cheetahs or Jaguars?  No page on this yet, but the short answer is that these cats almost never end up in need of rescue. Cheetah are so inbred and fare so poorly in captivity that they never end up in need of rescue.  Zoos have to rely primarily on importing them from the wild to keep them in cages.  Jaguars are very rarely found in captivity and due to their power and intelligence are almost never kept as pets, so they don’t end up in need of rescue.  We know places that have bought both cheetah and jaguars, and called it a rescue, but Big Cat Rescue hasn’t bought animals to rescue them since we learned better in the 1990s.

7.  What Would You Do in a Hurricane or in case of an Escape?  Find out how Big Cat Rescue prepares for the worst and works to keep the cats and surrounding community safe:

Tiger Temple News

The last two months have ushered in a new era for big cat protection.  In the April AdvoCat we shared excellent news about USDA and USFWS cracking down on the tiger trade and the exploitation of cubs for pay to play schemes.  USDA also continues its investigation into some of the U.S. tiger mills, T.I.G.E.R.S. and GW Zoo.  And then on May 31, 2016, the Thai government seized 147 tigers, 40 dead cubs and truckloads of tiger skins, teeth, and other tiger products, from the Tiger Temple.  Animal protection groups have been trying to stop the abuse at the Tiger Temple for more than 15 years, but it wasn’t until the temple was exposed for black market trading that the front facing cub / tiger petting scheme was ended.

Find out how Thai NGOs asked their government to allow tiger experts to help

Top Shocking Incidents of Big Cat Exploitation

We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and contact one or more of the offenders below to politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. If you learn of exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact Susan Bass at

Nelsons Wildlife Safari Lynx KittenNo. 1 The City of Ferndale, Michigan has hired Nelson’s Wildlife Safari to bring exotic cats and other animals to its summer camp during “Creature Feature” week July 11-15. The website for Nelson’s Wildlife Safari shows tiger cubs, lynx and African servals being handled. Please contact the Mayor of Ferndale and the Ferndale Dept. of Recreation and let them know that exotic cats and children at summer camp do NOT mix. Seeing exotic cats used as entertainment is NOT educational for children and sends the wrong message that it’s okay to use wild animals however humans want. Ask them to CANCEL the exploitation of exotic cats at summer camp!

Director                            Jill Manchik              

Recreation Supervisor     Sarah Distelrath      

Mayor:                             Dave Coulter           

Mayor Pro Tem:               Melanie Piana         


No. 2 This picture is just one of the white tigers kept at the Houston Downtown Aquarium in Texas. Yes, an AQUARIUM is exploiting tigers! A supporter tells us they live inside these tiny cement-floored cages and NEVER see the light of day. We believe this is absolutely abuse of these tigers!

It’s tragic that it is legal to keep white tigers in tiny cages for the public’s amusement just because it is legal. It certainly is not right!

Houston Downtown Aquarium White Tiger Abuse

The Houston Downtown Aquarium is owned and operated by the Landry’s restaurant conglomerate, which is run by President and CEO Tilman J. Fertitta. In 2005 Fertitta applied for an exotic animal ordinance with the Houston City Council to bring the tigers to the aquarium. Fertitta also owns and keeps tigers at the Denver Aquarium.

Keep that in mind the next time you are thinking about dining at a Landry’s Inc. restaurant or visiting one of their casinos. Here is a list of Landry’s Inc. restaurants to avoid:

Contact Landry’s Inc. at 713-850-1010 and ask for President and CEO Tilman J. Fertitta.



No. 3 Please send a polite email to help this Macon GA Telegraph reporter understand that big cat lovers do NOT want to see majestic tigers exploited as circus props by the notorious Bengal Tiger Encounter show. You can also leave a comment in the article’s comment section.Bengal Tiger Encounter

Email Caitlyn Stroh at

And while you’re at it, please send a second email to the President of the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival asking him to never have the exploitative tiger show back again at the festival.

Email Jake Ferro at

International Tiger Day 2016

Help us celebrate International Tiger Day.  Find out when and how at:

Want a Career that Makes a Difference?

Check out this free class at to see if you have what it takes to be a Big Cat Rescuer.

Final Report on Teisha Tiger

One of our favorite photos of Teisha Tiger enjoying her pool is at the top of this page.  Our hearts are still aching for this very special tiger.  Find out what we did to alliviate her suffering at:

Goodbye to Bengali Tiger

Bengali was the first to arrive and the last to leave in a 16 year saga of 13 tigers and a leopard who came from the circus to spend their retirement in paradise.

The Quarterly Big Cat Times

Our printed, quarterly magazine costs us about 43 cents to print and mail, per copy, so we can’t mail it to everyone in our database.  You can download the digital version here though:

Give Day Results

The final results of the Give Day Tampa Bay fundraising event held on May 3, 2016 are finally in! Thank you all for your incredible support of our sanctuary and our cats — and for your patience during the lengthy technical glitches the organizer’s website experienced.  We are thrilled to announce that Big Cat Rescue raised $268,478 from 398 donors during the 24-hour event! PLUS we won the $5000 prize for most donations and a $1000 prize for most donations during one of the hours of the contest!  We are humbled and grateful to have such awesome supporters! THANK YOU!


AdvoCat 2016 04b

AdvoCat 2016 04b

There has been so much happening for the cats that we had to break the monthly AdvoCat Newsletter in two.  This is Part B.  Here was Part A:

Welcome Hoover Tiger

Hoover was rescued from the Peruvian circus by Animal Defenders International when they secured a ban on using wild animals in circus acts. Watch his journey to Big Cat Rescue.  Learn more here: and check out tees and totes to support him at:


Mother’s Day

Nav_HolidayMothersDayMother’s Day is May 8, 2016 and we have lots of gifts that will show her you care and that you know she loves cats.  Check shipping times to be sure your gift will arrive in time or check out downloads that you can print on demand.  See all the great gift selections at:

Thor Bobcat Update

On Sunday Thor will be returned to his rightful place in the wild.  Be sure that you are a fan of ours on and that you have your settings to include us first in the posts you see, so that you don’t miss the LIVE broadcast of his release.  Meanwhile, you can read Thor’s miraculous story here: and you can help fund bobcat rescue, rehab and release by purchasing Thor themed tees, totes, and more here:

Teisha Tiger Needs MRI

After much debate we are going to take Teisha in for an MRI on Monday.  We have been worried that the trip might kill her, but she’s just not improving enough for us to believe that she’s comfortable, so we are going to have the MRI done and see if there is any surgery that might restore her ability to walk better.  Updates will be at

Boston Marathon Big Cat Style

Everyone at the sanctuary would like to extend ROARING Big Cat kudos to Advocat’s Miki Y. and her running partner Yung Hae C. in recognition of their amazing accomplishment in having run and successfully completed the Boston Marathon in support of the magnificent creatures that call Big Cat Rescue home!  Read more:


Action Alert Jungle Habitat Zoo

Jungle Habitat Zoo, a traveling exhibitor that exploits a variety of exotic animals including big cats, is joining forces with the notorious owner of Nosey the elephant to operate a permanent roadside wild animal petting zoo in Kissimmee, Florida.  Find out more about this animal exploitation: and an easy way to stop it:

Give Day Tampa Bay is May 3


On May 3 the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will hold its third annual Give Day contest where nonprofits compete to see who can have the most donors and donations that day. There are also prizes for the most donations in a particular hour of the day.

Thanks to so many of our supporters who participated, last year Big Cat Rescue won $30,000, more than any other nonprofit!  Of that $30,000, $10,000 was a prize for the most donations to an animal nonprofit sponsored by Caspers Company pictured here presenting their check.

Helping us win this prize money to support the cats is a great way to leverage your donation dollar.

On May 3 donations are accepted online by credit card for the contest.  The minimum donation is $25.

If you prefer to donate by check, the check is still made out to Big Cat Rescue but must be dated May 3 and have “Give Day” in the memo section.  We need to submit it the day before Give Day, i.e. on Monday, May 2, so need to have it in hand, or at least a scanned copy of it, by that day.  If you mail checks, please send them to:

Howard Baskin
Big Cat Rescue
12802 Easy Street
Tampa, FL 33625-3702

If you are contemplating a donation this year, Give Day is a great time to do it. Please mark May 3, 2016 on your calendar, or sign up here and we will remind you, and help us win again this year!

The Quarterly Big Cat Times

Our printed, quarterly magazine costs us about 43 cents to print and mail, per copy, so we can’t mail it to everyone in our database.  You can download the digital version here though:


2016 Animal Lover Dream Vacation Winner

Every year we pull from the hat one of our supporters who has signed up for the Animal Lover’s Dream Vacation.  This year’s winner was Mia Voss and she’s bringing her friend Courtney Smith Kramer, since the vacation is for two people.  This could turn out to be as big a deal for our cats as it is for the winners, as they have a huge audience who will be following their adventures here.  Watch for a lot of Snap Chatting, Live Facebook Feeds, Twitter posts and more while they are here.  Find out more here:


Apple NewsBig Cat Rescue IS the News

When Apple came out with their own news app, Big Cat Rescue was one of the first to provide a feed of all our new posts.

More great wins to announce since the last AdvoCat Newsletter:

4/21/16  The N.H. Fish and Game Department on Wednesday withdrew its proposal to re-establish a bobcat hunting season. In a 9-1 vote at the Statehouse on April 1, the legislative committee objected on the grounds that a bobcat season would violate the federal endangered species act and that the proposal was not in the financial best interest of the public.  The money Fish and Game would have made from selling all 50 bobcat permits in its proposal totaled $5,000, while the cost to implement the hunting season was estimated to be between $15,000 and $20,000 per year.

Geoffrey Jones, chairman of the Stoddard Conservation Commission, said following the bobcat season proposal was an eye-opening experience for him in terms of how Fish and Game operates.  “As we’ve all found out, people are pretty upset, and they’re not only upset about opening a season on a species that’s still in recovery, but I think people are upset about the process,” he said.  Jones said he didn’t think the Fish and Game commission ever listened to people’s concerns.

Fish and Game received approximately 6,000 comments, with just about 250 in favor of the season, but voted to hunt bobcats anyway.  Changes need to be made in how the department runs to represent the interests of all people, according to Jones. “We’re so relieved that New Hampshire’s bobcats and lynx are safe from hunters and trappers,” Collette Adkins, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney and biologist, said. “At public expense, these bobcat seasons would have benefited only the few who’d like to kill these beautiful animals for sport or ship their pelts overseas to China for profit. The state heard loud and clear that people value these cats in the wild and don’t want to see them cruelly trapped or shot.

4/20/16 Florida is still working on changing their rules, but sent this letter to licensees:

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has determined that newborn and infant nondomestic cats four weeks (28 days) of age or younger (neonate or neonatal) have special handling and husbandry needs. Please see the attached letter and Tech Note from APHIS regarding these requirements.  Any question you have in regards to these new guidelines may be addressed to USDA’s office in Raleigh, North Carolina at 919-855-7100, or in Fort Collins, Colorado at 970-494-7478.

USDA Tech Note- Neonatal Nondomestic Felines.pdf

USDA Letter – Neaonatal Nondomestic Felines.pdf

4/20/16  After the successful launch of The Jungle Book, Disney points to their policy of not using captive wild animals for their movies.  “We’re not allowed to actually shoot exotic animals that are kept in captivity for movies. You can do cats and dogs, but you can’t do anything like a tiger or an elephant … you can never get them in a trained environment,” Rob Legato, a veteran visual effects artist who worked on Jungle Book, told a crowd at a panel during the National Association of Broadcast conference.  The aforementioned policy outlines that Disney productions are, in general, not allowed to use exotic live animals outside of a zoo, sanctuary habitat or natural environment. It applies pretty much across the board — television or film productions, photo shoots, any media broadcast, special events — with only occasional exceptions, providing the said animal is not an ape or other large primate.


4/17/16 Jim Kellogg resigns from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, protesting the appointment of non hunters to the commission, and stated “I’m not willing to accept the changing world,” he said. “The animal rights people who don’t favor hunting and fishing have more horsepower than they did before.”  The shift away from having a board that is only comprised of hunters, when less than 1% of CA’s population are hunters, started under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appointed commissioners who supported efforts to protect marine life off the California coast.

4/16/16  The California Fish and Game Commission denied a proposal by the California Trappers Association to repeal the bobcat trapping ban that was put in place last year. The commissioners* stayed firm in their decision to support the hard-fought bobcat trapping ban.


Earth Day News

Hope you’re well! One Green Planet launched the Food Monster App, which marks the ever-growing trend toward planet-friendly plant-based food!  The Food Monster App hit the Apple App Store on Earth Day, April 22, 2016.

More than ever, people are waking up to the fact that animal agriculture is at the heart of our current environmental crisis. This destructive industry is not only responsible for the more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector, but it uses 23 percent of the world’s freshwater resources and covers over 50 percent of arable land.

Not to mention, is also the leading driver of deforestation and habitat loss which has pushed countless endangered species on to the brink of extinction.

While this might sound daunting, by choosing plant-based foods, instead, people have the incredible ability to halve their carbon footprints and giving species a fighting chance – and with the help of the Food Monster App, it doesn’t mean giving anything up.

The Food Monster App features a whopping 5,000+ vegan recipes with 500+ search options and 10+ new recipes added daily.  We’re talking hearty burgers, cheesecakes, decadent desserts, and more! Featuring incredible multi-image, 3D-touch enabled HD photos, vegan never looked this good!

Get it here:


More Than One Way to Go Green

Big Cat Rescue is proud to choose clean energy with Arcadia Power. We encourage everyone to support an environmentally friendly lifestyle by doing the same at home, and Arcadia Power is even offering all Big Cat Rescue supporters a $20 account credit plus a donation to Big Cat Rescue‘s efforts! It’s so easy to sign up. It only takes a couple minutes from start to finish, and you don’t have to switch utilities or install anything. All you have to do is link up your utility account to their clean energy platform, and they purchase clean energy on your behalf from the same renewable energy markets Google, Whole Foods, and other progressive companies have had access to for years. In 3 minutes your home or apartment’s electricity usage can be covered by 100% clean, renewable energy. Check it out here:

AdvoCat 2016 04

AdvoCat 2016 04

The Best Week for Big Cats in Decades!

This week has been epic for big cats, thanks to all of YOU who have roared out to protect wild cats and their cubs.

4/3/2016 USDA cracks down on abuse of cubs under the age of four weeks.  In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars or leopards.  Read more.

4/5/2016 USFWS announced that they are rescinding the generic tiger loophole. Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USFWS since at least 2007 to rescind this loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers.  Read more.

Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USDA since the 90’s and USFWS since at least 2007 to end cub handling and rescind the generic tiger loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. According to their Q&A it sounds like the USFWS may still rubber stamp activities that really don’t help tiger conservation, but it’s a step.  USDA only banned the contact with cubs under four weeks, but that is a step too.

So What’s Next?

Regulations can’t work, because USDA and USFWS don’t have the resources nor apparently the will to enforce the weak rules they have, so that is why we need an all out ban on the private possession of big cats.  You can help get that done at


Don’t Forget Your Favorite Mom

Nav_HolidayMothersDayThese gifts have been hand selected by our online Gift Shop manager to bring you the best gifts for Mom, and in time for her special day if you order now. Shop for Mom and Save Big Cats Too!


To Celebrate Mother’s Day Will You Help Us “Mother” Our Foster Kittens?

Did you know that Big Cat Rescue fosters domestic kittens until they are old enough to be adopted? In the last 3 years our interns and volunteers have mothered literally hundreds of foster kittens! See some of the little cuties and find out more at


Big Cat Rescue’s In Situ Conservation Work 2016

dOnce a month, a volunteer or intern is selected for outstanding service to the cats.  Big Cat Rescue rewards them by making a $1,000 donation to conservation projects in their honor.  So far this year Big Cat Rescue has donated to the following projects to save wild cats in the wild.

Big Cat Rescue donated $5,000 to The Corbett Foundation, a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organization solely committed to the conservation of wildlife. They work towards a harmonious coexistence between human beings and wildlife across some of the most important wildlife habitats in India, namely Corbett Tiger Reserve, Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve and around the Greater Rann of Kutch.

Caracal Photos Elijah&RoseIn February 2016, BCR donated $2,000 to assist the Urban Caracal Project. The Cape Peninsula is a biodiversity hotspot that has lost almost all of its large mammals such as cape lions, leopards and brown hyenas. Caracals as a result may play a major role in maintaining the ecosystem as they are the largest remaining predator in the area.

In March 2016 BCR donated funds to assist the Black Footed Cat Working Group, with one of the longest running small cat projects that has been in process for over 23 years, conserving the Black Footed Cat population in South Africa. More than 60 cats have been caught and collared over 100 times and what is known today about the species has been found during this field study.

Big Cat Rescue donated $1,000 to the first-ever study on the ecology and behavior of the Sand Cat in Morocco.  Learn more about these projects at

Ultrasound Match

We are thrilled to announce a fantastic matching funds opportunity to help Big Cat Rescue purchase a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine so that we can continue to provide the best veterinary care possible.

While our x-ray machine is critical for examining bone structure it has limited capacity for evaluating organs. An ultrasound machine is more suited for examining soft tissue. Currently our vet team relies on a physical exam, blood work and x-rays to determine the cause of a cat’s illness.  If the cause is not readily apparent using these tools, they must perform an invasive exploratory surgery.

Ultrasound Zabu Tiger

It is critically important that the person operating the ultrasound machine be trained and have extensive experience reading sonograms. If we purchased a standard ultrasound machine, we would have to incur the logistical issues and cost of bringing in an expert technician each time we needed to use it. This is not practical because in many cases we would not know if we were going to need to do an ultrasound until after we take x-rays.  If we did need to do it, we would have to do it immediately while the cat was sedated and would not have time to arrange for a technician.

The specialized machine we need solves this problem in an ingenious way. It has a camera mounted to it and an Internet connection to a board certified technician who will guide our vet via camera to make sure they get the best possible sonogram images and will aid in correctly reading the images.

The specialized one we need for our cats costs $50,000. The great news is that the Reitzel Foundation has stepped up and pledged a dollar-for-dollar match up to $25,000! So your much needed and greatly appreciated donation toward our ultrasound machine for the cats will go twice as far! Thank you for continuing to support our cats and our sanctuary. This ultrasound machine will make a world of difference in the lives of our precious cats.

If you would like to contribute to the matching fund, please donate here.  Thanks!

Thor Update

Thor Eye ImprovementThor, the bobcat who was hit in the head by a car, and lived to tell about it, has been healing in the onsite cat hospital.  The last two items to check off his list are to be sure that the injured eye won’t be a hazard for him and to see him get back into hunting condition.  His last eye check by veterinary ophthalmologist, Tammy Miller, indicates that the eye is doing well, even if not visual and you can log in and watch him daily on the Bobcat Rehab webcam provided by at

Hamburger Mary’s Event

It was a gaudy night of fun and bingo last week that raised $1,100.00 for the cats!



The notorious Robert Engesser and his traveling roadside zoo Jungle Safari are RIGHT NOW exploiting a tiger cub by charging the public to pose for photos with the cub. Adult tigers as well as many other animals are in tiny cages in the parking lot of the Ozark Shopping Center in Ozark, Alabama. Plus, Dothan’s ABC news station WDHN News aired a “news” piece about the deplorable zoo and gushed about how wonderful it was to have wild animals in a parking lot!

Engesser claims the exhibit is an “educational zoo.” This shopping center is owned and operated by the City of Ozark under the auspices of the Ozark City Council. It’s time to let WDHN as well as the Mayor of Ozark and City Council members know that cub petting is not “educational” or “humane,” and that by supporting it, they’re supporting animal abuse and the wildlife trade.

Abuse Engessor Jungle SafariEmail Billy Blackwell Mayor of Ozark at and

Email the Ozark City Council members at

Email WDHN News Director Stephen Crews at

Post comments on WDNH News’ Facebook page here (but don’t be surprised if they remove your comments):


Have you always wanted a career in wild animal care or management?

Zoo College is modeled after the Keeper Training offered at Big Cat Rescue.  It is the only online, virtual training center, where you can test your skills against real life animal care challenges.  The lessons you will learn have been tested and improved over more than 20 years in dealing with some of the most dangerous and majestic carnivores on the planet.

Before now, the only way to get this extensive zookeeper training was to volunteer or intern at Big Cat Rescue, in Tampa, FL.  Minimum time requirements for onsite training range from four hours a week to 16 hours per week.  Due to the danger involved in caring for lions, tigers, ligers, leopards and other wild cats, it takes two years of training to achieve proficiency, so it would mean years of commitment for you to progress through that experience.

With Zoo College you can pace yourself and test your knowledge, using all of the same teaching guides, videos and methods, before making such a huge commitment of time or finances for a biology degree that won’t give you any real sense of what it means to care for wild animals in a zoo or sanctuary setting.

Because we are still in Beta and working out the bugs, we are offering the course for only $9 per month.  Check it out at Zoo College


Want a career in wild animal care? Check out


Zoo College Ad

Dreaming of a career with wild cats?  Check out

AdvoCat 2016 03b

AdvoCat 2016 03b

There is so much news we had to break it into two AdvoCat newsletters this month!  Read part 1.  Here is part 2:


Hoover Tiger will arrive in April to his forever home at Big Cat Rescue!

Hoover in circus cage up jpg


We are very excited to let everyone know that Big Cat Rescue will soon be the forever home for a former circus tiger named Hoover from Peru!! We can’t wait for Hoover to arrive in April!

Hoover is eleven years old and was owned by Circo Africano, a circus in northwestern Peru, where for many years he was forced to perform in circus acts and live and travel in a tiny, barren cage.

In April of 2015 Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Peruvian wildlife officials seized Hoover from the circus. ADI contacted Big Cat Rescue about becoming Hoover’s forever home and we quickly agreed. However, the process of importing a tiger into the U.S. turned out to be a year long process and we finally received the green light from USFWS just last week.

ADI had been on track to remove Hoover and another tiger from the Peruvian circus in a nationwide law enforcement operation in 2014, but the circus went underground. Hoover’s road to freedom finally began when, after months of searching, a member of the public tipped off ADI’s team to the location of the illegal wild animal circus. A dramatic rescue ensued.

Sadly, Hoover is the sole survivor of between six and 12 tigers that were kept by Circo Africano in Peru. He arrived at ADI’s rescue center frightened, sick and emaciated. But after months of intensive veterinary care, rehabilitation and exercise, Hoover has recovered and is ready to start the next chapter of his life in America at Big Cat Rescue.

Big Cat Rescue is forever grateful that ADI rescued Hoover and will be transporting him to our sanctuary. Hoover will be flown to his new home at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa and is expected to arrive in mid April.

Hoover’s days will now be spent relaxing in the sunshine, lounging up on his platforms and cooling off in Big Cat Rescue’s lake. He will reside in a huge enclosure with lots of trees, foliage and shade. He will literally be a world away from the abuse he suffered most of his life.

Can we count on you to help us fund Hoover’s ongoing care at Big Cat Rescue? It costs us about $10,000 per year for food and veterinary care for a tiger. It’s because of wonderful donors like YOU that we can continue to rescue and provide a permanent home for exotic cats like Hoover!  Thank you!

Donate to big cats



Zabu Tiger and Thor Bobcat Get Ultrasound

Ultrasound Zabu Tiger

Oncura Partners provided a test run on their UltraSound machine during Zabu and Thor’s dental procedures.

Fantastic matching funds opportunity to help Big Cat Rescue purchase a state-of-the-art sonogram machine for our cats!

We are thrilled to finally have our on-site Windsong Memorial Hospital operational. Our vets are now able to take x-rays and perform lifesaving surgeries and procedures on our cats, most of whom are elderly or arrive at our sanctuary with significant medical needs.

But we are missing a crucial piece of diagnostic equipment: a sonogram machine.

While our x-ray machine is wonderful, there are many things our vets can’t see and diagnose with x-rays alone. Currently, if x-rays don’t tell our vets what is wrong, they have to do invasive exploratory surgery on our cats. A sonogram machine would allow us to “look inside” and see what’s going on with a cat in a much less invasive way. For example, if the sonogram showed a mass on a tiger, our vet could first do a simple needle biopsy and have it tested.

It is also critically important that the person operating the sonogram machine be trained and have extensive experience reading sonograms. The specialized machine we need has a camera mounted to it and an Internet connection to a board certified vet who will guide our vet via camera to make sure they get the best possible sonogram images and correctly read the images.

But sonogram machines are very expensive. The one we need for our cats costs $50,000. The great news is that once again the Share Foundation (formerly Reitzel Foundation) has stepped up and pledged a dollar-for-dollar match up to $25,000!

So your much needed and greatly appreciated donation toward our sonogram machine for the cats will go twice as far! Thank you for continuing to support our cats and our sanctuary. This sonogram will make a world of difference in the lives of our precious cats. Go to to donate


Big Cat Rescue Surpasses 2 Million Fans on Facebook

On March 18, 2016 Big Cat Rescue surpassed Two Million Fans on Facebook.

To celebrate we had hourly, random winners selected on Facebook all day to win $25 gift certificates to use in our store at


Solar Coin and Arcadia Power

Maybe you didn’t wear green on St. Patrick’s day, but you could go green instead. Big Cat Rescue first went green in 2012 with the installation of solar power, and then upped the game in 2015 by going completely off the grid with Arcadia Power. Now we are participating in Solar Coin to create a new world exchange where clean energy becomes the currency. Find out how you can go green too at

Big Cat Rescue is proud to choose clean energy with Arcadia Power. We encourage everyone to support an environmentally friendly lifestyle by doing the same at home, and Arcadia Power is even offering all Big Cat Rescue supporters a $20 account credit plus a donation to Big Cat Rescue’s efforts! It’s so easy to sign up. It only takes a couple minutes from start to finish, and you don’t have to switch utilities or install anything. All you have to do is link up your utility account to their clean energy platform, and they purchase clean energy on your behalf from the same renewable energy markets Google, Whole Foods, and other progressive companies have had access to for years. In 3 minutes your home or apartment’s electricity usage can be covered by 100% clean, renewable energy. Sign up here:



Then join Big Cat Rescue at Hamburger Mary’s in Tampa (Ybor City location) for Bingo to benefit the cats!! We’ve done this a few times in the past and it is always a blast and usually sells out! Several folks from Big Cat Rescue will be there too, so please say hello.

Come in costume, come in drag, come in your funniest safari gear, wear your cat ears…you name it to have a roaring good time. Seating is limited to the first 200 guests, so please RSVP at 813 241-MARY (813 241-6279) for Sunday, April 3 at 7PM.

No cover charge. All you pay for is your drinks, food and bingo cards, which are 10 cards of 3 for $10. Lots of great prizes and fun! See video from one of our past events at Hamburger Mary’s:


Check Out These Videos Since the Last AdvoCat

Shirts that Save Big Cats


The purchase of any of these shirts, or anything else on the site, helps us provide lifetime care for exotic cats.


Please SHARE!

Sharing this newsletter on your social sites helps us reach more people so we can save more cats!

AdvoCat 2016 03

AdvoCat 2016 03

Speak Up to Protect This Baby Tiger

Larry Wallach from New York has been exploiting tiger cubs and charging the public to hold them for over a decade. In 2012, USDA filed a complaint against Larry Wallachfor a litany of animal welfare violations, including failure to provide vet care to the cats and stressing out his tiger cubs with the constant cub handling.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 12.10.09 PMHe was set up at the Cacklebery Campground in New Smyrna Beach, FL with 2 young tiger cubs but when they started hearing from YOU they asked him to leave. Now they say he is setting up on Main Street. Can anyone tell us who owns that property so we can let them know that the public hates cub abuse?

He’s preying upon the hundreds of thousands of visitors in the area for Bike Week. Florida Fish & Wildlife sent an investigator but unfortunately said what he’s doing is legal. But we know you agree with us that just because it’s legal does NOT make it right.

How can someone like Wallach with a long list of USDA violations dating back to 2008 STILL BE OPERATING AND EXPLOITING CUBS? How can USDA and the Florida Wildlife Commission look at the raw, oozing sore on the cub’s nose, from frantically dragging his face back and forth across the cage wire, and not treat it as a violation of the Endangered Species Act?  It’s heartbreaking. But we CAN end this abuse with the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act.


Take action here:

We also need YOU to let the campground know that tiger cubs DO NOT belong at campgrounds being exploited for profit in these cub petting schemes. Please keep your comments professional.

Post on Cacklebery’s Facebook page at

Tiger Cub Abuse

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Right now our volunteers are handing out St Patrick’s Day enrichment to the cats.  You just know there is going to be a great video coming out soon.

Cameron Zabu St Patricks white tiger lion

Since we will be going to a bi-monthly mewsletter, some of the items on this page aren’t ready yet, but you can get the pounce on the ones that are ready for your enjoyment:

Amazing Bobcats Use Tools to Escape

I apologize for the grainy video, but it was taken by remote cameras in the middle of the night, thanks to our partnership with  This is the most amazing video of bobcats using tools to escape! Check it out! This is Mr and Mrs Claws and they were separated to keep them from fighting over food, but after dark they try to foil their captors. Learn more about them at

Have You Voted for Big Cat Rescue to Win $50,000?

Zabu Drink Wine TigersMarch 12 is the last day you can vote to help us win $50,000 in the Valspar Golf Tournament.  You can only vote once, so if you did THANK YOU!!!  If you haven’t, time is about up.  We plan to use the contest prize to jump start the funding of a huge, new bobcat rehab facility.  Find out how to vote at

Got a Grrrreat Recipe to Share?

RecipeSubmit YOUR recipes to be part of a new cookbook called “Cooking, Big Cat Style” to enter drawings for some pawsome participation prizes.

The new cookbook will have not only recipes and kitchen tips but also photos and stories of the big cats at Big Cat Rescue. YOU are invited to share recipes for people food, pet treats, pet food, and crafts like finger paint and play dough, too.

Big Cat Dentist

Zabu TagDr. Wade Gingerich from the Pet Dental Center in Miami, are coming to work on Thor the rehab bobcat and Zabu the white tiger.  Our amazing vets usually donate their time, but there are a lot of other costs involved in providing the top notch medical care we give.

If you would like to help fund these procedures please donate here: or get this luggage tag to help fund the work for Zabu.


Catch Up on Videos Since the Last AdvoCat

Do Big Cats Like Boxes Part 2


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