Spirit Feather

Spirit Feather

Meet the 2 lb Rehab Rescue Bobcat named Spirit Feather

July 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.

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One look at that defiant little face and you know you are going to have your hands full!

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Despite her tiny size Spirit Feather inspires her new name with her ferocity.  Feather was a tribute to our blessed Little Feather, but this little bobcat showed us that Spirit just had to be part of her new name.

Spirit-Feather-Rehab-Bobcat

Dr. Justin Boorstein, DVM and Jamie Veronica Boorstein, have their hands full while trying to do a SNAP test and give the first set of kitten shots to Spirit Feather.  Even though handling her is difficult, it’s exactly what we want for her.  She needs to see humans as the enemy if she is going to survive in the wild one day.

Watch her LIVE at https://video.nest.com/live/2zgUFP

Find out more about our bobcat rehab and release program here: http://bigcatrescue.org/bobcat-rehab/

Help fund bigger, better and more rehab facilities to enable us to help more bobcats get back to the wild, where they belong.

Give to Big Cat Rescue

 

The Claws

The Claws

Ms. Claws Still in Rehab

Ms. Claws has not grown like she should and has been too small to take on the kind of prey she needs to survive.  We are giving her more time in rehab to put on some size (she’s fat, but tiny) and to hone her skills.

Watch her LIVE in the Bobcat Rehab area: http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release

Mr. Claws Has Been Set Free

Mr. Claws has done a great job of healing and preparing for life in the wild, so he was returned to the same county where he was found and set free.

You can help us rescue, rehab and release bobcats, like Mr. Claws with the purchase of this fun, new tee called, My Bobcat’s in Rehab.

Mr Claws Bobcat Rehab Tee

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Claws

Having been rescued from Christmas, Florida, we just couldn’t resist the timely names.  Help make their holiday wishes come true by supporting their rehab and release back to the wild.

We wish they could talk, because it would take a lot of the guesswork out of their care.  Based on the injuries and and reports by Carol Hardee, the rehabber who was the first on the scene for both kittens, here is how it probably happened.

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See the video at the bottom of the page to understand why they were separated.  The webcam footage is black and white and grainy because it was captured after dark using IR cameras.

September 2015 Mrs Claws:

Only a few weeks old, and not barely 3 pounds, she was being shaken to the core.  She could barely breathe due to the crushing jaws that had snatched her from her den.  Being shaken wildly, she could barely think, much less scream out for her mother, to return and save her.  The tiny bobcat was flung into the air, and hitting the ground rolled a few feet, but before she could gather her balance to run, she was snatched up again.  She was being carried away by some monster that was having fun playing with her, like she was a toy, but she was bleeding and this “toy” wasn’t going to last long.

With every last bit of strength, and every thing she learned from being raised by one of the most fierce of all felines, she bit and clawed back.  She aimed for the eyes and the sensitive nose, since that’s all she could reach from her vantage point of being held in the mouth of this creature.  With a yelp her freedom had been secured.  She didn’t know if it would be for a moment, or for good.  She had to find her mother as soon as possible.  She was just too young to be dealing with this terror on her own.

She called and called, but she’d been carried too far away.  Her mother couldn’t find her and she was too small and too badly injured to find her way back to the nest.  But Carol Hardee, of the Wildlife Rehab Center, found her and began treating her life threatening wounds.

BobcatRehabMrsClaws

The kitten doubled in size, but was reaching an age when she would need to be transferred to a rehab center that could teach her to hunt.  A mother will spend a year and a half, or more, teaching her kittens how to hunt, how to stay away from people and how to survive in a tough world.  This kitten was about ready to make that move, to a new stage of training, when Mr. Claws arrived on the scene.

November 5 2015 Mr Claws

He had found a warm spot under the hood of a car to hide until dark.  He’d gotten too far out of the woods for his own good, and now there were kids running wild in the YMCA parking lot, so he figured he would just wait it out.  The one thing his mother hadn’t taught him about being a bobcat, is that you should never go near cars, even if they are sitting still and being silent.

When the owner returned, the slam of the door almost gave him enough notice, but not quite.  The key turned in the ignition and a ton of metal gears, belts and a fan roared to life.  The fan both cut him to the bone in one leg, while snapping another leg bone in two.  He was flipped out to the pavement beneath.  As the owner of the car backed out of the parking space, he saw the young bobcat trying desperately to pull himself to safety with his front paws.

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Not knowing what to do, the auto driver called the police.  They called the Florida Wildlife Commission and between them managed to capture the broken little bobcat in a box.

BobcatRehabMrClaws

Again, the closest rehabber was Carol Hardee, of the Wildlife Rehab Center, who does her life saving work from a ranch in the woods, on Reindeer Lane in Christmas, Florida.

Due to family matters she was not able to get the bobcat X-rayed, but could see that he was not recovering properly and it really was time for the little female to start to learn to hunt.  Carol Hardee called Carole Baskin, of Big Cat Rescue to see if we could take both bobcats and finish their rehab and release.

Jamie Veronica made the 5 hour round trip, ending at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, where Mr. Claws was rushed into X-ray.  Jamie’s husband, Dr. Boorstein, had enlisted the help of Dr. Bard and tech, Jamie Gibbs, and the four of them worked on saving Mr. Claws leg for the next 4 hours.

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There was no handling this wild child, so he had to be sedated.

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The vets were able to get a good look at his face, noting a slight ulceration to the eye, and some broken and missing teeth. The gash was cleaned and sewed up.  His tail had been separated in the spinal column, but no outer damage was visible.  It could have happened in the accident, or someone may have grabbed him by the tail trying to save him.  The tail may be dead and might have to be amputated later.

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The damage to the back leg bone is obvious, but what is less obvious is that the pelvis is cracked and uneven.  This may heal or may need further surgery.  Dr. Boorstein is consulting with orthopedic specialist, Dr. Callum Hay.

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Humane Society of Tampa Bay vet tech, Jamie Gibbs, prepares Mr. Claws for surgery.

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Dr. Justin Boorstein and Dr. Bard working to save Mr. Claws leg.

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Pins in the bone to hold it together under the skin.  You can’t put a cast on a wild cat.  They will chew it or their leg off.

We can’t know for certain what happened to either of these kittens before they arrived here, but one thing we do know for certain is that we will always be here to help wild cats like them, as long as you are by our side.

We Sure Hope They Kiss and Make Up Before Valentine’s Day

More Photos of Mr and Mrs Claws

Mr. and Mrs. Claws are in our onsite West Boensch Cat Hospital temporarily.  Soon we hope to send them to a far larger outdoor space where they can begin to get ready for life in the wild.  At this writing we have 6 bobcats in rehab and desperately need to build a larger rehab area to accommodate this growing need.

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Mr Claws on the way to Big Cat Rescue

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Mrs Claws on the way to Big Cat Rescue

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Kricket Serval

Kricket Serval

hear big catsKricket

Female Serval
DOB 4/1/2001
Rescued 3/11/2011

 

Kricket the serval was born in 2001 and had been kept as a pet, but when her owners divorced, the wife decided that she didn’t have time for Kricket and began looking for a home for her.

We agreed to rescue Kricket and began preparing an enclosure for her with lots of places to hide and fun things to explore, she’d just spent the last ten years living indoors so we wanted to make her adjustment to life outside as stress free and enjoyable as possible.

Her owner was willing to contract with us to never possess another exotic cat, Kricket was then shipped from Virginia to Florida via Delta Dash.

We were at the airport to pick her up and Joseph the lion gave Kricket a roaring welcome to the sanctuary when she arrived!

Exotic cats kept as pets are often fed improper diets resulting in serious health problems.  Her former owner, a vegan, insisted that Kricket chose a predominantly vegetarian diet, but we’ve never known a cat to do so.

The former owner said the deformities that Kricket suffers from were from injuries and not diet related.

She insisted that Kricket preferred broccoli to animals, but here Kricket loves the variety of raw meat.

Whatever Kricket’s diet was it’s obviously taken a toll on the little serval, her back and rear legs show signs of stunted development and her tail is unusually curled, which is most likely the result of her past injuries, inbreeding that is common in the pet trade and her insufficient diet.  Some of Kricket’s bone deformities have improved since she has been on an improved diet.

Watch more about Kricket and a few of her new serval friends who were rescued the same year.

 

 

Sponsor Kricket http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

 

 

JoJo

JoJo

JoJo

Male DOB 1/1/03
Rescued 9/1/13
Caravel (Caracal / Serval Hybrid)

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Meet Jo Jo the Caracal Serval Hybrid

 

JoJo the Caracal / Serval Hybrid

hear big cats

I first met JoJo the Caracal / Serval hybrid at the South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in 2005 after a hurricane had taken down the perimeter fencing and dumped piles of deadfall on the cages.

JoJo hybrid 2012 Big Hiss

The owner, Dirk Neugebohm, had ended up in the hospital with a heart attack from trying to clean the mess up by himself.

 

He wrote from what he thought was his deathbed back then to anyone and everyone he could think of asking for help; and asking for help was not something that came easily to this hard working German.

Bird Caged Cats

What we found, when Howard and I visited, was a man who was way in over his head.  Donations were almost non existent, the cages were old, dilapidated, small and concrete floored.  The freezer had been damaged and he had lost his food supply, so we sent food and volunteers to help him clean up and rebuild.

The tiger back then was Sinbad, who lived in what is commonly used for housing parrots.  An oval corn crib cage with a metal roof.  Sinbad died recently after a snake bite, leaving Krishna, pictured, as the only remaining tiger.

Krishna Tiger

 

We had a donor and a sanctuary (Safe Haven in NV) that were willing to take Krishna, but we were told that the Florida Wildlife Commission had found someone less than 6 miles away to take him.

Dirk managed to keep his sanctuary afloat, if just barely, for the next 8 years, but a couple days ago one of his volunteers, Vickie Saez, who we had been helping for the past couple of years with infrastructure and social networking, contacted us to say that Dirk was dying of brain cancer in the hospital and that she had convinced him to let the animals go to other homes.   She said the Florida Wildlife Commission had arranged for most of the homes, but that Dirk was very happy that we could take JoJo.  Our sweet Caracal, Rose, had died July 31st and her cage was empty.

We were told that all of the other cats had new homes waiting, except for Nola the cougar, but she was very ill.  We offered to pay a vet to do blood work on her to make sure that she was not contagious.  We were concerned because she had a history of some very contagious diseases, which had left her severely debilitated.  What concerned us was that her caretaker said she looked bloated.

A vet had arrived to help with the transfer of two leopards to a place in Jupiter.  He sedated Nola to see what was wrong.

We are told that he palpitated three melon sized tumors in her abdomen and that with every touch of her belly she exuded foamy blood from her nose and anus.  He was sure that there was no hope for her and humanely euthanized her.

Nola cougar 2011

This photo was Nola back in 2011.  While we were sad that we would not be able to give Nola a new home here at Big Cat Rescue we are glad that she is not suffering any more.

 

JoJo at Big Cat Rescue

 

JoJo has arrived at Big Cat Rescue and settled in nicely.  It is quite possibly his first time to walk on the soft earth.

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His cage has been a small (maybe 60 square feet) of concrete and chain link for at least 8 years and probably longer.  He is thought to be about 10 years old.  Sometimes breeders hybridize exotic cats because there are no laws on the books that regulate them, but in Florida, the inspectors say, “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck; it’s a duck.”

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JoJo now has 1,200 square feet of earth, bushes, trees and grass.

JoJo hybrid Grass Hide

He really likes the grass.  Are you hearing the Beetles lyric, “JoJo left his home in Homestead-Miami looking for some Florida grass?”

JoJo hybrid GrassClose Up

His diet has only been chicken necks for as far back as anyone can remember.  I think he is really going to like the menu at Big Cat Rescue.  You can help make rescues like this possible and help feed all of the cats at:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

 See More About JoJo:

JoJo the Caravel is up on his platform in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on May 1, 2014 – http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-may-2-2014/

Get the Meet JoJo iBook in iTunes

Meet another Caravel at the Wildcat Sanctuary

 

2016 July

 

 

 

Nikita

Nikita

hear big catsNikita

Lioness

DOB 2/3/01

Rescue 11/30/01

Nikita was found chained to the wall in a crack house during a drug bust in Tennessee. Because she had been confined to a concrete floor, she had huge swellings on her elbows that took months to heal.  She was so thin that you could carry her under one arm.  She would only eat white rabbits, so she had a plethora of nutritional issues to deal with as well.

The authorities took her to the Nashville Zoo at Grasmere, but she had been declawed and could not live with the zoo’s other lions.  They had to find a new home for her, so we received the call. Big Cat Rescue agreed to take Nikita in, as well as three other Bobcats who all arrived on 11/30/01.

Nikita has flourished under our care.  She has grown into a tall, lanky, healthy lioness.  She’s extremely playful and loves to roll on her back and grab her paws or try to do somersaults whenever she has visitors stopping by to talk with her.   Though we wish she had the freedom she deserves, we’re so happy that she survived her earlier ordeals to enjoy the blissful days we try to provide for her here.

Sponsor Nikita http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

Watch Nikita Lion LIVE on explore.org

LIVE lion web cam

Here is a list of pages on our site that you can find more information, photos, and videos of Nikita Lion.

See Chris & Gale setting up Piñatas for Cameron and Nikita the lions and Zabu the white tiger in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on April 25, 2014 – http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-april-25-2014/

Pumpkin time for Nikita Lion: http://bigcatrescue.org/pumpkin-time-for-nikita-she-seems-pretty-happy-about-it-lion-pumpkin-halloween-funny/

Nikita Lioness seized in drug raid! http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-seized-in-drug-raid/ and http://bigcatrescue.org/000news/Advocat/2012-2.pdf

Nikita Lioness all grown up: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-24-lion-cage-grand-opening/

The walls start to go up on a new play yard for Nikita: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-aug-21-2/

Nikita the lioness loves her new view and can’t wait for room addition: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-jan-29-army-strong/

The last couple wall go up: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-12-iphone-5-announced/3/

Watch Nikita the Lion explore her new enclosure! http://bigcatrescue.org/new-lion-home/

Photos of Gayle talking to Nikita Lion: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-talk-like-a-pirate-day/

I wonder what Nikita is thinking while she watches the volunteers and Interns working? http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-14/

LION VS Big Yellow Ball = Lion Wins! Watch our goofy lioness Nikita take on her new yellow boomer ball! Enrichment is an important part of our cats lives at the sanctuary they will never be free and wild, so we have to keep their minds stimulated with new toys and enrichment, ensuring the best quality life in captivity. http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-vs-big-yellow-ball/

Another photo of Nikita: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-6-2/

Watch as our tigers and lions have fun destroying whole watermelons! http://bigcatrescue.org/tag/lions/page/25/

We didn’t think Nikita Lion would ever feel comfortable going into a confined space like one of our feeding lockouts, but she looks pretty content. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-16/

RNC visits Big Cat Rescue Lioness Nikita: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-aug-29-2/4/

See photos – Dr Justin used a bent spoon to dislodge a stick that had gotten stuck across the roof of Nikita Lioness’ mouth. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-5-2/

Nikita Lion and her yellow ball

Nikita Lion and her yellow ball

 

 

Nikita Lion "I Haz Feets"

Nikita Lion “I Haz Feets”

 

Meet the rest of our exotic wild cats.

Thurston

Thurston

hear big catsThurston AKA Mr. Howell

Male bobcat
Appx. 1/1/2008
Rescued 5/5/13

 

Mr. Howell is approximately five years old and was Lovey’s mate. He is declawed on all four paws and his left ear is folded over most likely the result of a past injury.

 

The two of them shared a cramped cage about 5’x13′. Their only shelter was a small plastic dog house that they managed to cram themselves into to escape the cold weather. The also had a tiny child’s play table to perch on.

Mr. Howell was not neutered and it is most likely that Lovey has not been spayed as their previous owner was a breeder. So the two of them were separated upon their arrival at Big Cat Rescue until they could be neutered and spayed.

Mr. Howell has a strange coat pattern and coloring, and had almost no fur on arrival, so it was believed that he may be some sort of bobcat wildcat hybrid, but now that he is healthy and fully furred he looks like a pure bobcat.

Mr. Howell loves his large rock cave and spends most of his time on top of this mountain observing his surroundings. Mr. Howell also loves spice bag enrichment! Big Cat Rescuers were in awe to see his reaction to the first enrichment he has probably ever received. Mr. Howell rolled around on the ground, rubbing his face on the bag, and pawing at the fun new toy.

 

Sponsor Mr Howell/Thurston Bobcat here:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

 

 

Read more about the rescue and see photos and videos http://bigcatrescue.org/most-daring-rescue-ever/

See More About Thurston, AKA Mr. Howell

Thurston and Lovey Bobcats cuddle up in their tree house in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on May 1, 2014 – http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-may-2-2014/