TJ

TJ

hear big catsTJ

Male Siberian/Bengal Tiger Hybrid

DOB 1999

 

Tiger TJ splashing in pondTJ was the youngest of four tigers who were rescued in 2007 from a breeding facility in Center Hill Florida called Savage Kingdom.  He is quite playful and loves to crash through all of the high grasses in his enclosure. TJ has a particular fascination with water and will splash in and out of his pools or the pond, when he is on vacation in the Vacation Rotation enclosure.  He seems to delight in the way the light moves on the surface of splashing water.

Savage Kingdom was run by an ex circus performer named Robert Baudy who had been famous for his big cat act in the 1950’s.  He boasted that the way you trained a big cat was to chain them to the wall and beat them without mercy until they learned that no matter how much they tried to retaliate, they could never succeed.  Once they were broken they were safe to use in performances.

Times have changed, and so has public opinion about how to treat animals, but tiger taming hasn’t changed.  Cats are routinely beaten, deprived of food and deprived of space in order to make them perform on cue.  Tiger trainers have figured out that no one will pay to see an abused animal, so they make a big show of giving the cats kisses, pats on the head and treats, and tell the public that they only train using love, respect and positive reinforcement.  It is a lie.

rp_TigerTJsinging.jpgWe do positive reinforcement and clicker training to get our cats to do things like lay down, show us their paws, etc. to make it easier for us to deal with their medical needs.  At Big Cat Rescue the cats have the choice of doing the interaction with us and our vets, and if they don’t want to do it, they can walk away.

 

If the “show must go on” then you can bet the cats were abused behind the scenes to make them reliable performers on stage.  Please never pay to see big cats perform.

You can help feed TJ Tiger here:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

 

 

 

 

Savage Kingdom Rescue: TJ, Bella, Modnic and Trucha

 

 

hear big catsA 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.

Fatal Attractions – Tigers Unleashed, about TJ and Bella tigers: http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/fatal-attractions/videos/tigers-rescued-deleted-scene.htm

 See More About TJ, th Tiger:

Enjoy TJ tiger getting a Piñata in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on April 25, 2014 – http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-april-25-2014/

 

Hoover

Hoover

Watch Hoover LIVE 24/7

http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-vacation-rotation

At this link you will see TJ Tiger in the lakefront cage to the left and Hoover to the right of the brown fence through the water.

Here is some great footage of him from the above webcam:

THE SAD STORY OF HOOVER THE CIRCUS TIGER HAS A FAIRYTALE ENDING…

Hoover Tiger arrived at Big Cat Rescue on Saturday, April 23rd, which was his 12th Birthday!!

Fairy Tales HooverHome

Thank you TroySovich.com for this graphic

#HooverHome

We are very excited to let everyone know that Big Cat Rescue is the forever home for a former circus tiger named Hoover from Peru!! Hoover arrived on his 12th birthday, Saturday, April 23, 2016 to a huge party in his honor!

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.

See National Geographic’s article on Hoover:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160421-tiger-hoover-circus-rescue/

See USA Today’s article on Hoover’s rescue: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2016/04/22/rescued-circus-tiger-hoover-miami-airport/83379482/

See Fox 13’s piece on the Hoover Tiger:  http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/130966764-story

See Bay News 9 article: http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2016/4/23/big_cat_rescue_welco.html

Read Tampa Tribune article about Hoover:  http://www.tbo.com/news/breaking-news/hoover-the-tiger-finds-forever-home-in-tampa-20160423/

Hoover is an 12 year old tiger who 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.

 

Hoover Tee ShirtSadly, 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 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 Cat Rescue

Read South Florida Reporter:  http://southfloridareporter.com/circus-tiger-rescued-peru-animal-defenders-international-arriving-mia/

See Examiner article about Hoover Tiger:  http://www.examiner.com/article/abused-tiger-retiring-to-florida-sanctuary-after-south-american-circus-rescue

Read Mother Nature Network’s article about Hoover:  http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/abused-circus-tiger-gets-happy-ending

See WOKC’s piece on Hoover:  http://www.wokc.com/?p=30038 and here:  http://www.wokc.com/?p=29959

Read Miami Airport’s announcement about Hoover the Tiger:  http://www.miami-airport.com/hoovermia.asp

See Don411’s post:  http://don411.com/former-circus-tiger-rescued-in-peru-by-animal-defenders-international-arriving-at-mia-and-being-transported-to-his-forever-home-at-big-cat-rescue/#.Vxy8e6MrI8Y

Read Wold Animal News:  http://www.worldanimalnews.com/content.php?content_ID=771

Patch in California wrote about Hoover: http://patch.com/california/westhollywood/abused-tiger-retiring-florida-sanctuary-after-south-american-circus-rescue

Read the Democratic Underground:  http://www.democraticunderground.com/110849605

Local Channel 10 did a story on Hoover:  http://www.local10.com/news/tiger-rescued-from-peru-circus-to-arrive-in-miami-on-earth-day

I Iz Cat did a blog post about Hoover’s arrival:  http://www.iizcat.com/post/3543/Lifetime-abused-circus-tiger-gets-his-fairy-tale-ending

True Viral News ran with Hoover’s story: http://trueviralnews.com/?p=74357

2015 article by ADI about Hoover’s rescue:  http://www.ad-international.org/animal_rescues/go.php?id=3927&ssi=24

Hoover flies into Miami International Airport (MIA) this evening and will arrive to a hero’s welcome! Join Big Cat Rescue in thanking everyone at MIA for welcoming Hoover with this 78-foot sign over the entrance to the airport!!

Hoover Home MIA Jumbo Tron700

#HooverHome @IflyMIA

Miami International Airport (MIA) arranged for elementary school children in the Miami area to write letters and create drawings welcoming Hoover tiger to his new Florida home at Big Cat Rescue!  #HooverHome  @IflyMIA

Kids Letters Welcome HooverHome

More about Hoover’s rescue in Peru below.

 

Hoover at the ADI Rescue Center in Peru

HooverADIRescueCenter1 HooverADIRescueCenter2 HooverFBFreedomSongADI

Hoover Tiger’s New Home at Big Cat Rescue

Hoover Tiger Lakeside

Note to the Press.  You can download the high res version of the above video by clicking Vimeo above, right and selecting the download icon on the page.  Feel free to cut the video into your own footage of Hoover’s arrival so that you can show your audience Hoover’s new world through his own perspective.

HooverTigersNewHomeDenPlatformSide HooverTigersNewHomeLake HooverTigersNewHomeLakeside HooverTigersNewHomePlatform HooverTigersNewHomeSwamp HooverTigersNewHomeWoods

HooverMensTeeBrown Hoover Tee Shirt

Donate now to help feed Hoover at https://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=9319

And more press on Hoover Tiger:

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

Clay Center Dispatch – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
He was flown into the Miami airport Friday night and taken to Big Cat Rescue Saturday. The 12-year-old tiger will enjoy a very spacious enclosure with lots of shady trees and grass. He’ll also have access to a spring-fed lake for swimming. Hoover’s 

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

Hastings Tribune – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
He was flown into the Miami airport Friday night and taken to Big Cat Rescue Saturday. The 12-year-old tiger will enjoy a very spacious enclosure with lots of shady trees and grass. He’ll also have access to a spring-fed lake for swimming. Hoover’s 

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

Bryan-College Station Eagle – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
He was flown into the Miami airport Friday night and taken to Big Cat Rescue Saturday. The 12-year-old tiger will enjoy a very spacious enclosure with lots of shady trees and grass. He’ll also have access to a spring-fed lake for swimming. Hoover’s 

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog) – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
MIAMI (AP) — A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa. AnimalDefenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. The animal rescue group says the cat was sick and …

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

TCPalm – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
MIAMI (AP) – A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa. Animal Defenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. The animal rescue group says the cat was sick and …

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

NewsOK.com – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
MIAMI (AP) — A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa. AnimalDefenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. The animal rescue group says the cat was sick and …

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

wflx – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
MIAMI (AP) – A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa. Animal Defenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. The animal rescue group says the cat was sick and …

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

NBC2 News – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
MIAMI (AP) – A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa. Animal Defenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. The animal rescue group says the cat was sick and …

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

News965 – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa. Animal Defenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. The animal rescue group says the catwas sick and emaciated and …

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

Palm Beach Post – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
He was flown into the Miami airport Friday night and taken to Big Cat Rescue Saturday. The 12-year-old tiger will enjoy a very spacious enclosure with lots of shady trees and grass. He’ll also have access to a spring-fed lake for swimming. Hoover’s 

Rescued circus tiger from Peru gets new life at sanctuary

Washington Times – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
MIAMI (AP) – A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa. Animal Defenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. The animal rescue group says the cat was sick and …

A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa

The Republic – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
He was flown into the Miami airport Friday night and taken to Big Cat Rescue Saturday. The 12-year-old tiger will enjoy a very spacious enclosure with lots of shady trees and grass. He’ll also have access to a spring-fed lake for swimming. Hoover’s 

A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa

Greenfield Daily Reporter – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
Animal Defenders International seized Hoover last year to enforce Peru’s ban on wild animals in circuses. Theanimal rescue group says the cat was sick and emaciated and lived at a temporary rescue facility in Lima where he was rehabilitated for the 

A circus tiger from Peru is heading to his new home at a rescue facility in Tampa

Daily Journal – ‎Apr 23, 2016‎
He was flown into the Miami airport Friday night and taken to Big Cat Rescue Saturday. The 12-year-old tiger will enjoy a very spacious enclosure with lots of shady trees and grass. He’ll also have access to a spring-fed lake for swimming. Hoover’s 
Teisha

Teisha

Final Report on Teisha Tiger

Teisha TigerMy hands were shaking, all the way up my arms and vibrating my torso.  It was the emotional tension of what was going to happen next and the physical tension of holding the Y pole in such a way to ensure that the vet wouldn’t take a bite to her face and making sure that the touch against Teisha’s neck was only feather light.  She had been sedated twenty minutes earlier and appeared to be completely unconscious but you just never know when a big cat will wake with no warning or if some muscle spasm might cause them to chomp at the air. Usually this was Jamie’s roll, but she was inbound on a flight from St. Kitts, where she and Dr. Justin Boorstein, her husband and our other volunteer vet, had been lecturing to the 200 vet students there.  Gale is much more experienced as a vet tech, and was assisting by holding off a vein to cause it to bulge enough so that Dr. Wynn could inject the pink liquid that would ease Teisha to whatever comes next.

The needle was thin, so I could see Dr. Wynn successfully struggling against the thick fluid.  She was trying desperately to make this last moment that Teisha had on this planet one that was filled with peace and a feeling of being surrounded by souls who loved her.  As usual, when cats are sedated, I was breathing in rhythm with her and watching every heart beat, in its tiniest movement of her thick fur and whiskers.  If you have ever had to euthanize a beloved pet, or sat by the bedside of a loved one who was dying, you know that mere seconds feel like an eternity.  A wash of memories flooded over me.

Years ago when Ohio finally outlawed the private possession of lions, tigers and other big cats, in the wake of the Zanesville massacre, there were a couple of loud mouths who vowed they would never comply with the law.  The reasons they gave, in the ensuing legal battles, was that there was no where for their cats to go.  I always assume these big cat breeders and exploiters are lying, but give them the benefit of the doubt and contact them to let them know that there are accredited sanctuaries who will make sure the cats will find permanent homes.  I contacted Stapleton but he didn’t return my emails or posts to his social pages.

When the Ohio Department of Agriculture enforced the law in 2015 I let them know that we and other sanctuaries, who are accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, were standing by and willing to help.  Having dealt with us before, ODA knew that we were the best equipped to deal with the health issues they were seeing in one of Stapleton’s five tigers.  At the time of confiscation they noticed that she did not stand, even when darted.  When they asked if she was suffering some sort of disability, it’s reported that her owner casually said that she couldn’t walk because her cage mates beat her up all the time.

Once back at the state holding facility they treated her for deep punctures to her neck and back that appeared to have been from the other tigers biting her.  They noticed that she couldn’t walk and would lay in her own waste.  Because their temporary enclosures were cement floored, ODA asked if we would take her.  They knew that we have soft earthen floors, an amazing vet team, an abundance of professional animal care givers and the funding provided by our donors that would give Teisha every chance at recovery.  On October 21, 2015 our rescue team set out on the 15 hour drive to bring Teisha Tiger to Florida.

It’s been seven months, but it feels like it was yesterday that our team rolled Teisha out of the transport trailer and up to the side of the area that would be her new home. It took Teisha 3 hours to stand up and make it down the ramp we built from her rolling cage, which was only about 20 inches off the ground, to the deep soft sand of her 1200 square foot home.  She was exhausted from the ride and 60 pounds overweight, from getting a lousy diet and no exercise, for who knows how long.  Our first goal was to bring her weight down and see if that would enable her to walk.

Teisha TAs the pounds came off Teisha was able to go from dragging her back legs to actually standing on them and taking a few steps.  As she got stronger she was able to pull herself into and out of her pool and delighted everyone with her antics.  She would hold her breath and try to catch the little fish and would blow bubbles out her nose.  I remember Teisha getting her first Halloween pumpkin.  I loved seeing her enjoy a life, free from the abuse that had surely been inflicted on her by people and cage mates in that tiny, barren cage she lived in her 13 years prior.  All was seeming to progress well, albeit slowly for her, but then she began to relapse.  She walked less and less and by the end of April had begun to drag her back legs.

We had done X-rays that showed a narrowing of the spine, but couldn’t find a veterinarian who could do such delicate work without the benefit of an MRI.  On May 2, 2016 we found a vet who said she could do the surgery, and wanted the MRI to be done at her local facility in Gainesville.  We had reached the end of our ability to help Teisha.  As much as we hated the idea of loading her up for the 2.5 hour trip to the University of Florida’s Large Animal Hospital, we knew it was her only chance.  I never expected her to return from that trip as the stress of the MRI and surgery, either one, could be the end of her.

What the MRI showed was that there were 15 places along her back that had bulging discs and defects pinching her spinal cord.  The vet said they were so bad and had been going on for so long that there was nothing she could do surgically.  We thought that would be the end of it, but she encouraged us by suggesting that treating her with steroids could reduce the inflammation enough to give her relief and make it possible for her to walk again.

Teisha seemed game to try so we gave it our best.  She was a champ; always taking her meds (no easy feat as cats are notoriously hard to pill) and eating well.  Her keepers tried to use feeding time as physical therapy time to get her on her feet and maybe take a step or two so that her muscles wouldn’t atrophy.  Like before, she had a modest gain, but then relapsed again.  On May 24, 2016 she nearly choked to death because she couldn’t keep herself upright while eating.  Once she fell on her side, she could barely breathe well enough to cough the little square of meat back up.  We had to cut her food into tiny, tiny pieces to keep that from happening again.

On Friday she made her last tumbling, dragging walk from the side of her enclosure where she and the cat next door would chat, to the pool area lakeside.  Teisha laid there in the misting breeze of her fan, and looked out over the lake. She continued to eat and took her meds but her body was failing and she could no longer walk. When we saw that she was unable to get our of her own waste, we called the vet to come assess her condition.  Dr. Wynn was torn between knowing that euthanasia was the humane thing to do and the concern that Dr. Boorstein, who had been tending to Teisha during most of this, might feel that he should be here; but he was on a plane somewhere east of Cuba.  Teisha couldn’t bathe herself and flies were gathering.  I didn’t want even one more fly to land on this precious tiger.  I told her Dr. Justin would be fine with our decision to end the suffering.

So here we were.  It’s one of those awful decisions that has to be made because an animal just can’t go another hour or another day, but it fell on Memorial Day.  Like Simba Tiger, all those years ago on Thanksgiving, a holiday just makes the situation worse because you are sure to re live it every year on that day.  As hard as it was for everyone involved here, we all loved Teisha too much to make her wait.

Her breathing stopped, and I found myself holding my breath, until I realized that it was her last.  Dr. Wynn checked her heart with the stethoscope, but I could see there was no more gentle thumping beneath the fur.  Teisha was gone and the only thing that kept me from breaking down and sobbing over her lifeless body was the anger I felt at a society that allowed her abuse.  Teisha’s passing furthers my resolve to end the private possession of big cats.  No tiger should ever be bred to be used as an ego prop and then relegated to a nasty backyard cage to be denied everything that makes tigers the regal, untouchable creatures they were designed to be.

Take Action buttonIf Teisha’s story touched your heart, please call your legislator today and ask them to champion the BigCatAct.com  Don’t let her suffering have all been in vain.

Tributes to Teisha Tiger:  https://sites.google.com/site/bigcattributes/home/teisha-tiger

Below was the rescue story and updates on Teisha

Big Cat Rescuers Have Rescued a 13-Year-Old Tiger Named Teisha from Ohio…


DONATE HERE TO HELP US CONTINUE TO RESCUE CATS LIKE TEISHA

On Monday, October 5, 2015, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office took possession of 5 tigers from Mike Stapleton, owner of Paws & Claws Animal Sanctuary near Columbus.

Stapleton has been battling state officials to keep his tigers ever since Ohio legislators enacted an exotic animal law that went into effect almost two years ago. Authorities arrived prepared to seize Stapleton’s cats after he had vowed to never give up his cats, but in the end Stapleton peacefully surrendered his cats. All 5 cats will be placed in approved sanctuaries outside of Ohio.

Teisha TigerWhen we learned that Teisha – a 13-year-old tiger, in such bad shape that she was unable to walk, and didn’t move even during the chaos and darting when authorities took possession of her two weeks ago – we immediately offered to bring Teisha to Big Cat Rescue where we can provide her with the best possible medical and dental care and nutrition.

It is our understanding that Stapleton told people on the scene Teisha had been injured by the other tigers in the cage, who constantly picked on her. It’s doubtful that a vet ever examined Teisha before ODA rescued her.  The ODA vets treated her for deep puncture wounds, and heavy parasite loads upon arrival.

Four Big Cat Rescuers left Tampa on Wednesday, October 21, for the 15-hour drive up to Ohio with our transport carrier. They drove straight through and met with Ohio authorities this morning and took possession of Teisha. They are now en route back to Tampa with their precious cargo.

Until we get Teisha to Big Cat Rescue on Friday, and our vets can examine her at our Windsong Memorial Hospital, we are not sure what her exact condition is and how serious her injuries are.

We do know that for the first week after she was rescued by ODA, she did not stand and just peed and defecated while laying down. The ODA vets put her on pain medication and she has begun getting up and walking a little bit. It’s heartbreaking to speculate how long Teisha has been in pain but not receiving any medication while owned by Stapleton.

ODA also told us Teisha may have some bad teeth, which is sadly very common for cats who are pulled from their mothers at birth to be used as photo props and fed an improper diet. When big cats lack calcium, they pull it from their bones before pulling it from their own teeth. This is nature’s way as tigers would not be able to survive if they can’t chew. So that means tigers like Teisha who have bad teeth also suffer from very fragile bones. This may be why she can’t walk.

We will post updates about Teisha and her prognosis as we can. It is only because of our amazing donors like YOU that Big Cat Rescue can save these cats! THANK YOU for your continuing support of our work and our sanctuary!

DONATE HERE TO HELP US CONTINUE TO RESCUE CATS LIKE TEISHA


Rescue Photos

 

See all of the photos of Teisha the tiger as we get them here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153390842851919.1073741904.595786918&type=1&l=33a4b86167

#bigcatrescue @bigcatrescue #truth

Update 5/30/16

Even with the steroid therapy, recommended after seeing the results of her MRI, Teisha Tiger continued to worsen.  On May 24 she nearly choked to death because she wasn’t mobile enough to cough up small chunk of meat.  We began cutting her food into even smaller pieces, and feeding her on a stick to make it easier on her, but on Friday, the 27th she took her last walk.  She walked out to her pool, where she could lay in the misting breeze of her fan, and look out over the lake.  She continued to eat and took her meds but her body was failing and she could no longer walk.  When we saw that she was unable to get our of her own waste, we called the vet to come ease her to the other side. Her transition was peaceful and her suffering has ended, but we will miss her gentle spirit.

Take Action buttonDon’t let Teisha’s suffering be in vain. You should know that whenever someone poses with a cub for a photo, or pays to see cubs on display, that they have contributed to this sort of suffering that goes on behind closed gates all around the world.  

Update 5/5/16

This video clip is 3 days after Teisha’s MRI.

Tiesha Tiger has had mobility issues since she was rescued from Ohio in October of 2015.  These could have been caused from inbreeding, poor nutrition due to being pulled from her mother to be a plaything, injuries from being passed around, and from being beaten up by her cage mates when she was no longer a cute cub. When she first arrived she was too heavy and unhealthy to sedate, so we put her on a diet to get her a little bit leaner so we could sedate her.

The x-rays showed she had arthritis all along her spine. She was put on medication to help with inflammation and pain. Still, her condition worsened, so we decided to take her to the University of Florida for a full exam.

There she had an MRI which showed she had several bulging discs putting pressure all along her spine especially in her neck.  The specialist said that surgery was not an option because of the number of areas that would have to be repaired, however they did think that steroids would help her greatly.  The vet said that Teisha has been in this condition for many years.

Since her return those who have seen her may have noticed that she is a lot worse than when she left.  She can barely move her back legs and she cannot stand up and walk on her own.  This can be a result of being sedated and manipulated for the exam and MRI.

If you think about if any of you have had a hurt back in the past know that if you move a certain way it will hurt so you either brace yourself or move a different way.  Being sedated Tiesha may have been moved in ways that put pressure on her spine increasing Inflammation or worst-case furthering the damage to her spinal cord.  It could take several days for the inflammation to go down and for her to go back to normal for her.  In the meantime we have her on the new medication which can take up to two weeks to show their full effects.

Our vets will be watching her closely over the next few days and observing her quality-of-life.  We may be trying K-laser therapy as well.  If it seems that she is not going to improve we will have to make the decision to let her go.

 

Update 5/2/2016

There’s just something about Teisha.  I fell in love with her at first glance and she’s had a similar effect on just about everyone she has met.  You see in her such a playful peaceful spirit, despite having been treated so badly by humans and her own kind.  Cats hate diets as much as people do; maybe more, because eating is the highlight in their day.  It’s been especially hard to restrict her food, and bring her down to a weight that her pinched spine can support, because she looks at you with those enormous golden eyes, that plead, “Just one more, please?”

Most places feed fat scraps to their cats because they can get it for free, but the result is cats that are morbidly obese, like Teisha and her cage mates all were. Even without the spinal injuries, it would have been very hard for her bones and back to carry so much weight, so she had to lose some weight.  From Oct till April she’s gone from looking like a beached whale (361 lbs) to looking like a fit tiger (326 lbs), but her ability to get around has only improved slightly.  Even with those improvements she has bad days where all she can do is drag her back end.  Since her arrival our vets have been in consultation with specialists from all over trying to find someone who could do the delicate spinal surgery if an MRI shows that could improve her condition.

Thanks to wonderful donors we were able to do the X-rays on site, in our own Windsong Memorial Hospital, and we see a narrowing of the spine that could be the culprit.  It’s just impossible to tell if that would be operable without an MRI, so this morning, after weeks of arrangements were finalized, Teisha Tiger is on her way to the University of Florida’s state of the art, large animal veterinary hospital.  Because the MRI takes so long, and keeping a big cat sedated is such a dangerous proposition for the cat, they will probably do the MRI today and then, if they think she is operable, will do the operation tomorrow.  Our President, Jamie Veronica, and her husband and vet, Dr. Justin Boorstein will stay with her in Gainesville.

Teisha’s prognosis is not good.  I tearfully said “goodbye” to her as we shut the trailer doors, because I don’t expect to see her again.  Everything about this is hard for her.  The trip is long and miserable, even though she has A/C, C02 monitors and CCTV.  Sedation is extremely dangerous in big cats and that alone can kill them.  Our vets know what they are doing, but UF probably will insist that only their vets be in charge, and they probably don’t treat as many tigers as our vets do.  Spinal surgery, if that is the option they choose, has all of its own risks, that are further complicated by the sedation for such a long, tedious process.  Then there is that long ride home, after just having had surgery.  It’s all a rotten hand that Teisha has been dealt, but if we can give her a good quality of life in the end, it will be worth it.  And it will be worth the $6,000 that UF said it might cost us.

Give to Big Cat Rescue

Donating to our general food fund helps us cover the daily costs of caring for so many big cats so that we can afford to give Teisha the medical care that could save her life.

 

Video Update on Teisha 10 25 15

 


WHY Change Name from Keisha to Teisha?

We always try to keep a cat’s name, but at Big Cat Rescue we have protocols that demand every Keeper post observations to a database that shares the info with the CEO, President, Ops Mgr, maintenance crew and the Vets if it is a medical related post. Each cat has to have a unique name in the database.

We have had cats with the same name before, like Cleo Cougar, Cleo Serval and Cleo Bobcat, but we already had a Keisha Tiger. Calling the new cat Teisha Tiger makes sure that her observations records are unique to her and sounds similar enough to her that we hope she will just pass it off as a regional accent.

Cats are masters at hiding symptoms when they are ill. Daily observations are crucially important to managing health. That observations database is vital part of the daily care so a unique name is a must.

Teisha is an Arabic name that means Alive and Well, which is our goal for her.


October 25, 2015 Teisha got her first perfume tube and she certainly enjoyed sinking her claws and teeth into it.

New rescue tiger, Teisha, enjoyed her first perfume tube.


 


UPDATE: When we first saw how crippled she was, we thought we would have to sedate her, yet again, to do Xrays and maybe an MRI, but on the same pain management drugs that our other arthritic cats are on, she’s doing great, so we will just watch her closely and see how she does as she loses all of that excess weight.


VIDEO – Join the crew on the road trip to pick up Teisha and see how she is doing now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPhX5t18zSQ


Early November 2015 – Teisha’s 1st Pumpkin at Big Cat Rescue.

Teisha T


November 8, 2015 – Teisha Tiger is settling in nicely. She is beginning to look forward to her enrichment goodies and is learning which keepers clean and which keepers bring treats and what time breakfast is etc.

Teisha Tiger is settling in nicely. She is beginning to look forward to her enrichment goodies and is learning which keepers clean and which keepers bring treats and what time breakfast is etc.


November 12th, 2015 – Teisha mastered getting in and out of her pool yesterday.  Today, she has been in and out a few times. HAPPY TIGER

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Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmaVJ-qdawk


 

 

Cameron

Cameron

hear big catsCameron the Lion

DOB 10/1/00

Rescued 5/3/04

 

lion Cameron

Cameron the lion and Zabu the white tiger are Big Cat Rescue’s odd couple. They were both born at a run down roadside zoo in 2000 and were rescued in 2004.

At the New Hampshire zoo, Cameron had been raised with Zabu, the white tigress, with the hopes of cross breeding them and selling the resulting liger cubs.

People often hybridize lions and tigers because they are either trying to create a novelty that people will pay to come see or trying to avoid the law. Until recently, some state’s laws did not recognize a 500-pound cross between a lion and tiger to be either. Therefore, people would buy them and claim that laws against owning a lion or tiger did not apply to them. We were told that prior to Cameron’s rescue he had lost over 200 lbs. It was up to us to help turn his life around.

Since Cameron and Zabu were true companions, we had to do whatever we could to make a long life together possible for them. The first step was to build a very large enclosure fit for the two energetic big cats.

Next we spayed Zabu so they would not breed and produce any more cats for life in cages.

Over the years Cameron became more and more possessive of Zabu and would not allow keepers near the enclosure to clean or feed. Because Cameron’s behaviors were testosterone driven we had only two choices; separate him from Zabu forever or neuter him. The decision was easy, Cameron was neutered.

Several months later he lost his mane as a result. It does not seem to bother him though. Cameron’s mood has mellowed dramatically and he seems much more comfortable in the hot Florida summers without the extra 15 pounds of fur around his neck. He has even become much more playful since he no longer worries about everything that is going on around his enclosure. His favorite toy is a big yellow ring which he bats and pushes around his enclosure in the early morning and late afternoon. While it was sad to see Cameron lose his mane, it was completely worth it so that he could continue to live with his best friend Zabu.

 

Cameron Lion Mane   

While Cameron tries to sleep most of the day away (as lions do in the wild), Zabu is extremely energetic and is always pestering him to play. She’ll often give up on him and just run and jump and play with her big red Planet Ball. Of course, that’s after she’s tired of playfully stalking her keepers or trying to spray the groups of visitors that stop by everyday.

 

 

Here are some more pages you can find information, photos, videos, and stories about Cameron:

 

Spring 2014: “What’s Up With Cameron’s Mane?” Why is Cameron losing his gorgeous mane? http://bigcatrescue.org/advocat-2014-04/

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/

See photos of Cameron and Zabu heading to their cool den on a hot day, kissing behind their big red ball, and playing with toys by their pond.   http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-may-31/

See the video: Lion + White Tiger = Cameron and Zabu! http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-white-tiger-cameron-zabu/

The rest of the world has “Brangelina” Big Cat Rescue has “CAMBU” !! Cameron the male African Lion and Zabu the female white tiger love each other very much and love “playtime” where they can be very goofy big cats! http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-and-tiger-playtime-at-big-cat-rescue/

Read about working with big cats. http://bigcatrescue.org/work-with-big-cats/

Enrichment is a very important part of the cats’ day.  See Cameron and Zabu attacking a giraffe for Enrichment. http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-tiger-vs-giraffe/

Here are more Enrichment videos.  We would like to invite you to share these videos with your friends and family. http://bigcatrescue.org/tag/enrichment/page/7/

Hearing a lion’s call is one of the most powerful sounds of nature; “Cameron” belts one out in this short clip. http://bigcatrescue.org/roar-a-roar-from-bcrs-male-lion-is-a-powerful-sound/

See a video entitled “If A Lion and Tiger Got Into a Fight, Who Would Win?” http://bigcatrescue.org/if-a-lion-and-tiger-got-into-a-fight-who-would-win/

On this link you will find a video of some of the cats. You will also see volunteers hauling dirt and Cameron and Zabu enjoying their vacation at Big Cat Rescue. http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-jan-30-2014/

Zabu the white tiger takes Cameron’s pumpkin and puts in the water. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-oct-17/

See the video, “Lion and Tiger, Backyard Blitz”. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-big-cat-rescue-nov-8-2013/

After being separated for quarantine and ‘getting fixed’ Cameron and Zabu are reunited. http://bigcatrescue.org/white-tiger-and-lion-november-4-2004-update-2/ and http://bigcatrescue.org/white-tiger-and-lion/

Join is on Facebook to see new photos of the cats every day. http://www.facebook.com/bigcatrescue

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

 

The Claws

The Claws

Mr. Claws Set to Go Free

Mr. Claws has done a great job of healing and preparing for life in the wild, so in the next few days he will be 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.

Donate to big cats

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

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.

BobcatRehabMrClaws_0020

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.

BobcatRehabMrClawsBobcatRehabMrClaws

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

BobcatRehabMrClaws

BobcatRehabMrClawsBobcatRehabMrClaws

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.

BobcatRehabMrClaws BobcatRehabMrClaws_0037

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.

BobcatRehabMrClaws

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

BobcatRehabMrClaws BobcatRehabMrClaws

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

BobcatRehabMrClaws BobcatRehabMrClaws

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.

Donate to big cats

Mr Claws on the way to Big Cat Rescue

BobcatRehabMrClaws

Mrs Claws on the way to Big Cat Rescue

BobcatRehabMrsClaws BobcatRehabMrsClaws BobcatRehabMrsClawsBobcatRehabMrsClaws

Honeybees

Honeybees

What’s All the Buzz at Big Cat Rescue?

Honey Bees!

Vernon Stairs

A few years ago Vernon Stairs was using the weed whacker back in the heavy brush behind Cameron the Lion and Zabu the White Tiger’s cage when he accidentally stepped into a fallen bee’s nest.  The hundreds of stings he endured would have killed most people and certainly would have killed our cats.  You can imagine our trepidation when we discovered three HUGE hives on the sanctuary grounds!

beesWe were really torn between wanting to insure the safety of our cats and our workers and being aware of the fact that honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate, due primarily to the use of pesticides.

According to Einstein, if the bee disappears then man only has four years left to live.

Mary Barbara Jean StairsBarbara Stairs got busy (dare I say, like a bee?) to find someone who could rescue and relocate the bees. She followed a lot of leads that led no where before being funneled through the University of South Florida and out to some previous students who just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE BEES!

Bryan and Erica started a honey bee rescue and honey product Facebook group called Urban Buzz.  They are just getting started, but have a lot of knowledge about bees and a strong desire to preserve the important role they serve in nature.  You can see how expertly they relocated the bees from our trees to their hives in the video below:

We wanted to help them get their new business off the ground and set up a website for them at https://urbanbuzzbees.wordpress.com/

Be sure to watch the site for the addition of raw honey, and awesome honey bee products like lip balm, beeswax candles, bee tees and more.