Now at Big Cat Rescue March 31 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue March 31 2014




They call themselves conservationists. But all they conserve are their sordid commercial interests and their sick hunting culture.

Spreading out like a deadly cancer from their HQ at Safari Club International, these insidious weapons of mass destruction infect the vulnerable third world conservation structures in Africa.

The strategy of all Big Business is to seize control of their own regulatory authorities, and Big Hunting is no exception. Using stalking horses like WWF, they take over and paralyse conservation authorities in Africa, perverting conservation policies to their own brutal ends.

This evil cult – for that is what it is when stripped of its propaganda whitewash – already controls the Internation Conservation organisations like CITES and IUCN. Let’s see how:



CITES lists all big cats as Appendix I – except lions, who can be freely hunted under Appendix II. Why are lions excluded from Appendix 1 protection, when everyone knows that their numbers have declined by about 80% in the last five decades and that lions are clearly headed for regional extinction?

Answer: because the hunting industry lobbies, campaigns and threatens when necessary , to keep lions huntable.

Compare lions with jaguars. There are twice as many jaguars in central American jungles as there are lions in the whole of Africa.

Logically, lions should be listed as Appendix I, and jaguars left huntable under Appendix II.

But U.S. hunters have no interest in jaguars. Who wants to suffer the discomfort of struggling through foetid jungles, being bitten by leeches and mosquitos, in order to hunt jaguars? No one, it seems. So Big Hunting is quite happy to see jaguars placed on Appendix I.

Lions are a different commercial proposition altogether. Every US hunter wants to enjoy the pampered luxury of 5 star lodges in the healthy African savannah. So lions will go extinct because as long as there is a lion left to kill in Africa, Big Hunting will keep lions from being listed as Appendix I.

To hell with the numbers and to hell with conservation.



This is the organisation that has contributed so significantly to the decline of wild lions by adopting the hunting industry’s policy of sustainable use. This made real conservation – i.e. the preservation of natural funcioning eco-systems, irrelevant.

And when the EU was considering whether to require import permits for, inter alia, lion trophies, Dr. Rosie Cooney and the whole IUCN sustainable use gang lobbied furiously to prevent it, arguing that this would “inconvenience” the hunting industry.



Tanzanian lions are being hammered by US trophy hunters. When Dr. Luke Hunter of Panthera published research showed that the trophy hunting of lions was adversely impacting the survival of lions in Tanzania, his research permit was suddenly withdrawn. Similarly when Dr. Bernard Kissui was due to give his presentation to the Tourism Authority of Tanzania at Arusha recently, he let it be known that his talk would also refer to the damage being done to wild lions by trophy hunting. Shortly before he was due to talk, he received a threatening phone call, and felt nervous enough to delete all reference to trophy hunting out of his presentation.

Big Hunting brooks no interference!



Having wiped out wildlife populations in S.A. the hunting industry now claims credit for getting tens of thousands of farmers to stop producing food for the nation and turn to game farming in order to creat a ghastly parody of conservation – wildlife as alternative livestock. They kill off the wildlife, then bring back the lost numbers by taking the ‘wild’ out of wildlife – and have the gall to describe their obscene substitute as ‘conservation.’

For example, look at the TOPS (Threatened or Protected Species) regulations in SA. Unbelievably, hunting organisations are granted self-government. They can themselves: –


‘define criteria for the hunting of listed threatened or protected species in accordance with the fair chase principle;’


It means that the hunting clubs are free to regulate themselves, to decide for themselves what is ethical. And their committee decision have the force of law. The very industry which has so ill-treated wild animals has been given the power to decide how wild animals should be treated. Like giving paedophiles the right to decide what they can do to children.


The Protection Racket.


To protect the huntiing fraternity, SA government structures are a mouthpiece for hunting propaganda. They’ll tell you ‘canned hunting is illegal.’ They lie.

They’ll tell you that tame lion hunts “take the pressure off wild lion populations” and that if canned lion hunting were banned there would be an increase in wild lions being killed.

They lie. Actually the opposite holds true. Lion farming causes an increase in the poaching of wild lions.

Whistleblowers have come forward in Botswana to relate how, using 4 x 4 vehicles, they have chased down wild lion prides to the point of exhaustion, shot the pride adult lions, and captured the cubs for sale to unscrupulous S.A. lion farmers. The captured cubs are smuggled across S.Africa’s porous borders. Lion farmers need a constant supply of wild lions to prevent in-breeding and captivity depression in their lion stocks.

Besides, CITES scientists realized long ago that allowing captive breeding of predators for their body parts would cause an increase in the poaching of wild animals. That is why CITES decision 14.69 bans tiger farming for their body parts. So, if tiger farming is banned because it would cause the extinction of wild tigers, surely lion farming should be banned for the same reason?

Seven Lions and Cubs in Africa

Lion bone trade.


South Africa officially issued permits for the export of 1,300 dead lions from South Africa to China, Lao PDR and Viet Nam in just 5 years from 2008 to 2012 inclusive.

The SA lion skeleton is sold for US$ 1500 to a Laotian syndicate, who sells it on.

In Vietnam a 15 kg skeleton of a lion is mixed with approx. 6 kgs of turtle shell, deer antler and monkey bone and then the boiled down in large pots over a three day period.

This yields approx. 6-7 kg of tiger cake, which is worth US$60,000 – $70,000 in Vietnam.

To promote canned hunting, SA government conservation officials give permits to lion farmers to export lion bones to known wildlife crime syndicates in Asia. They seem blind to the threat of extinction to wild lions caused by the lion bone trade.

Unfortunately for lions, the Asian traditional medicine practitioners regard the bones of wild lions as being more “potent” than those of captive – bred ones. So the law of unintended consequences will apply here: as the existing lion bone trade (a spin-off from canned lion hunting) allows more and more Asians to become invested in the growing trade, so the demand for wild lion bones will grow. Prepare for a poaching frenzy of wild lions every bit as egregious as the existing slaughter of rhino.

So, US Fish and Wildlife, what will you do? The case for raising the status of lions to endangered is overwhelming. Do you have the courage to break the stranglehold of the hunting bullies? If you do not, then lions will go extinct in Africa.

Chris Mercer

Campaign Against Canned Hunting.

March 31st 2014


Carole’s note:  We are still calculating the cost of our March for Lions event, but have sent $7,000 so far from the proceeds to Chris Mercer to continue his campaign against lion hunting.

March for Lions

March for Lions

Tampa March for Lions is a Roaring Success


The Tampa March for Lions may have just seemed like one heck of a party, but thanks to everyone who came and fundraised for the event, we were able to net $10,000 and we wanted to spend it on ways to help lions outside our gates. The movers and shakers behind the Global March for Lions were Chris and Bev Mercer of Any time we need the truth on what is happening in Africa regarding lions, we always turn to Chris and Bev. They have been the leading force against lion hunting and pay to play schemes that pimp out lion cubs, only to sell them into canned hunts as easy targets. They would never ask for help, but this event made it possible for us to contribute $7,000. to their continued efforts to ban lion hunting. Chris said this is the equivalent of a small fortune in his world and that he will put it to good use in protecting lions.

We were impressed with Nat Geo’s Cause an Uproar campaign and donated $1,000. to their project. This will build two bomas to help protect lions from being killed for harming livestock.

We have long been impressed by Animal Defenders International because they are a small organization that has been winning huge victories for animals. What really brought them up on our radar was the amazing work they have done in the past few years to ban circus acts that use wild animals in 20 + countries. If you saw Blackfish and thought, “big cats need a movie like that,” then you have to see Lion Ark. We saw it and were so enamored that we sent $1,100. to help with their efforts to free all big cats from circuses.

Before the March for Lions even began we sent the early money we raised, in the amount of $900. to Walking for Lions to be a major sponsor for the cycling event from Kenya to Botswana to raise awareness of the plight of lions. So, thanks to your generosity we are raising awareness, supporting boots on the ground, giving locals a way to live with lions, rescuing lions from circuses and letting everyone know that when you pay to play with a cub, the cub is always the one who pays with his loss of life and liberty.


See what 570 lion lovers look like when they come together to march for lions.

Want more?

See the photos from the Tampa March for Lions here:

We sent this letter to Chris and Bev Mercer ,of the Campaign Against Canned Hunting, who have been our most trusted resource on all things involving African cats:

By all accounts, the 2014 Global March for Lions was a huge success!

We had over 570 people show up for the march, plus 60 or more of our own volunteers to manage it. We were sold out at 500, and let 70 more squeak in, but had to turn away scores of people, so I think we could double the size of the event next year.

We had news coverage on Fox, NBC and TBO.

We had some major organizations fundraising for us, including the Girl Scouts, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Invest Financial Corporation and C1 Bank, so that was a lot of exposure inside their organizations as well.

We grossed over $17,000 so I’m guessing the net will be about half that, as a lot of that figure was in tee shirt sales, and the sale of plushy lions.

Big Cat Rescue was a $1000.00 sponsor of this event to raise awareness about lions from Botswana to Kenya this weekend:

I’d like to see how we can help this young man save lions:

Do you know if his work, or work like it, can be funded by us?

We would like to help finance the building of bomas to protect lions from retribution killing.

AND last, but certainly not least, I want to know how we can help you with your campaign against canned hunting. YOU guys are the boots on the ground and know where our proceeds from our Tampa March for Lions can be spent to do the most good.

In addition to the above, we had 108 supporters call their lawmakers in support of the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act.  Annette was able to compose half an hour of supporters talking on camera to their lawmakers asking them to protect lions and other big cats by co sponsoring the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act.  We haven’t counted the written letters, petitions nor the post cards filled out and colored by children yet, but there were lines to do it all day, so it should be impressive.

This event has sold out!



This is a global event (15 countries and 62 cities with over 250 organizers of lion marches) to raise awareness about:

Cub handling, posing with cubs for photos, petting cubs and why that is always abuse

Walking with lions (walking lions on leashes and letting people walk out into groups of sub adult lions, so the lions get used to people walking up within shooting distance)

Canned hunting (where lions are shot for a fee in cages)

Lion meat issues (all of these are connected)

560 registrants will “march” through Big Cat Rescue to meet our lions and other wild cats and will take action to save lions by paw-sing at the end to be taped asking their lawmakers to “march the Big Cat & Public Safety Protection Act through Congress.” For more information about this bill go to:

This event is to help people understand the link between paying to play with a cub in this country and lions being slaughtered for their fur, bones and meat, here and in the wild.

Web PDQThere will be a food truck rally at the sanctuary where you can buy great food and drinks from vendors such as PDQ, Disco Donuts, Tasty Stacy, Yogurtology, Burger Culture & The Cheesery and Health Freakz Cafe.


Have fun in the photo booth with silly props and a commemorative photo strip!

The Humane Society of TampaBay will have their mobile adoption office and cats who are looking for the purr-fect homes.

Karen Lynch will be signing copies of her children’s tale Finn McCool, the Magic Leprechaun Cat 

Test your skills at Dunk the Poacher, or use your raffle tickets to play for great prizes, and even enter our Front Flip game to win an iPad mini.

Two first edition coloring books for the kids are all about lions and there will be a coloring contest with grrreat prizes.

This event has sold out!

The event will start at Citrus Park Crossings, the new office building on Citrus Park Lane. From Citrus Park Blvd. (the street the mall is on) turn south at the light that is by the Veteran’s Expressway just East of McDonald’s. Participants should arrive there, NOT at the sanctuary, as the food trucks and fun things to do will be set up in our parking lot.



Roar of Thanks to our Sponsors









Volunteer, Desmond Fowles, whipped up this rendition of The Lions Weep Tonight


Global Event page:

Tee shirts will be available at the event and free to those who raise $25. or more. Here is the tee shirt logo:

March For Lions Tee Shirt

Tee shirt logo for Big Cat Rescue’s March for Lions designed by Jamie Veronica Boorstein


Kids!  Come as a Lion Cub!


Download, print, cut out and wear this cute little lion cub mask.

Lion Cub Mask


CLICK HERE for more free kids goodies:

  • Make a Lion Cookie Box
  • Make a Lion Bracelet
  • Maze Game
  • Word Scramble Game
  • Match Cats’ Names to Their Species
  • Kids’ Lion Stationery
  • Telling Time Worksheets


Global March For Lions Promo

How is cub petting connected to lions being killed in the wild?

There are at least two primary ways that paying to pet a cub results in that cub growing up to be shot in a cage and slaughtered as a trophy, or for his or her bones, fur or meat.

1.  In Africa there are many “parks” that offer the opportunity to bottle feed, or pose with lion cubs.  Some will offer “walk with lions” where you walk among juvenile lions so that they get used to the idea of people walking right up to them to shoot them.  They always tell you that it is for conservation and that the cubs are orphaned or rejected by their mothers, but it’s a lie.  That is just what they know you want to hear so that you can feel good about touching a wild animal that would never let you do so if they had a choice in the matter.



NONE of these parks are actually doing anything for conservation.  The cubs are sent to canned hunts, which are fenced in areas where people pay to shoot lions as trophies.

2.  In America there are many zoos and pseudo sanctuaries that offer the opportunity to bottle feed, or pose with lion cubs.  They always tell you that it is for preservation of the species and that the cubs are orphaned or rejected by their mothers, but it’s a lie.  That is just what they know you want to hear so that you can feel good about touching a wild animal that would never let you do so if they had a choice in the matter.

USDA guidelines only allow that contact between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks, so every month a new litter has to be produced for the public to use as photo, petting and ego props.  We estimate that 200 lion, tiger and liger cubs are bred each year and hawked to the public as orphaned, rejected or needing human bonding.

When they are no longer lucrative money makers, they quickly grow to 300-500 lbs and begin costing thousands of dollars a year to feed and house so they are given away to ill prepared, pet owners, or sold to brokers, who sell them to exotic meat markets in the U.S.

In Africa there are limited permits issued to kill lions and other wild cats.  They are killed in the wild and on game farms in cages, but the hunting companies don’t want to limit themselves to the export permits that they have obtained legally, so they sell the same permit over and over.  The problem for them is that they can only export one carcass per permit, so when someone comes from the U.S. to pay $50,000 to shoot a lion, they let them do so, because there is no one on site monitoring how many times lions are killed, but when it comes time for the “hunter” to get his trophy, the African hunting outfitter calls a broker in the U.S. and orders up one of those excess lion cubs from last year’s pay to play schemes to be killed and forwarded on to the “hunter.”

Don’t pay to see, touch or pose with baby lions, baby tigers or baby ligers.  If you do, their blood is on your hands.

Save the Lions while you still have time to roar!

Now at Big Cat Rescue March 22 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue March 22 2014

West Virginia Bans Private Possession of Wild Animals!


Gov. Tomblin has signed a bill into law to prohibit the private possession of dangerous wild animals. Introduced by Del. Randy Swartzmiller (D-1), HB 4393 passed the House by a vote of 72 to 23, and the Senate by a 22 to 11 vote. The bill creates a Dangerous Wild Animal Board, whose members will determine which animals to include under the law. The Humane Society of the United States, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Fund for Animal Welfare praise Gov. Tomblin’s decision.

Summer Wyatt, West Virginia state director for The HSUS, issued the following statement: “There’s no good reason for private citizens to keep dangerous wild animals as pets on their property and thankfully that day has come to an end. We are grateful to Governor Tomblin and the legislature for standing firm on this issue, and working to protect animal welfare and public safety. West Virginia now joins the majority of states across the country in taking decisive action on this issue.”

With Gov. Tomblin’s signature, there remain only five states with little to no restrictions on the private possession of dangerous wild animals—Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

Ginger the serval

Ginger the Serval

No Animals Harmed

New from visionary director Darren Aronofsky comes “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe. The film is inspired by the epic story of courage, sacrifice, and hope, and is an exercise in humane filmmaking, as no live animals were used during production.

For the making of this film, Aronofsky — a recipient of The HSUS’s Humane Filmmaker Award — opted to use all computer-generated imagery to create the animals on Noah’s Ark, instead of using captive exotics. As public concern for captive animals grows, The HSUS applauds the filmmakers behind “Noah” for using new technology to tell this legendary story.

Don’t miss your chance to see animal-friendly filmmaking at its best on the big screen. “Noah” opens nationwide in theaters and IMAX screens on March 28. Watch the trailer and get tickets

Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO

Now at Big Cat Rescue Feb 18 2014

Maryland: Ban Dangerous Wild Animals at Roadside Zoos

Roadside Zoos

A recent report on three of Maryland’s roadside zoos—Catoctin Zoo, Plumpton Park Zoo, and Tri-State Zoo—uncovered serious animal welfare and public safety concerns. Now, Maryland lawmakers are considering legislation (SB 827/HB 1124) to address those concerns by prohibiting unaccredited roadside zoos from keeping especially dangerous wild animals.

Maryland generally prohibits the private possession of certain dangerous wild animals, including big cats, bears, and primates. Unfortunately, the law currently allows many exotic pet owners and unqualified facilities to continue to keep, breed, and acquire these species by obtaining a USDA license.

USDA licensed facilities in Maryland have a long history of violations of the Animal Welfare Act—related to attacks, escapes, and inadequate veterinary care—yet despite these federal citations, they continue to operate. Our analysis found tigers living in deteriorating empty swimming pools, primates living in crowded or isolated conditions without adequate environmental enrichment, bears exhibiting neurotic behaviors, and dangerous and outdated cages. Read the full report here»

Please make a brief, polite phone call to your state legislators and ask them to strengthen Maryland’s laws regarding dangerous wild animals in captivity by supporting SB 827/HB 1124. Look up your legislator’s phone number here. You can say, “I recently read about the conditions at three of Maryland’s roadside zoos and am concerned that these zoos are allowed to keep dangerous wild animals. Please support SB 827/HB 1124 which will limit the possession of these animals to qualified professionals.”

After making your phone call (please do not skip that crucial step!), fill in and submit the form below to send a follow-up message. Be sure to edit your message so it’s short, snappy, and compelling.

Take Action!


Now at Big Cat Rescue Feb 8 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue Feb 8 2014

Changing Laws to Protect Paws:

Big Cat Rescue, and The Paw Project

Interview with Carole Baskin on Animal Voices


The Pill Game


ThePillGameDarrylBollingerI’ve only started to read The Pill Game by Darryl Bollinger, the author of The Medicine Game and A Case of Revenge, but I can already tell that Big Cat Rescue fans are going to love the way he was able to weave in their favorite sanctuary and some of their favorite cats by name.  I first heard from Darryl last summer and then he followed up last month with this letter:

My name is Darryl Bollinger, and I am a Florida author with two published novels. I am currently President of the Tallahassee Writers Association and have been named a finalist for the 2013 Royal Palm Literary Award, Suspense/Thriller category.

My next novel is set in the Tampa Bay area and prominently mentions Big Cat Rescue, which is portrayed in a clearly positive way and based on publicly available information. In March of this year, while in the area doing research for the book, I visited Big Cat Rescue and had a lovely, private tour with Phyl. Your mission is impressive, and I would like to do what I can to help.

I plan to acknowledge Big Cat Rescue in conjunction with the book release this fall. If you are interested, I would be willing to provide you copies of the book on a consignment basis for sale in your gift shop and do a book signing or book launch event on site.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you so much for what you do with these wonderful creatures, and I hope to be of service.



When you buy a copy of Darryl’s book via Big Cat Rescue’s Amazon Smile link here, we get a donation from Amazon at no additional cost to you!

Darryl will be doing a book signing at the sanctuary on March 22 from 10-3 so buy your copy now and bring to the sanctuary for him to sign it.


Photo Blog

So much has been going on that I can hardly find time to write.  These photos of our beautiful exotic cats and volunteers will give you some idea of all that is going on.

Bobcats MaryAnn and Max


MaryAnn getting ready for the big introduction to Max the Bobcat



Cody the Cougar Goes to the Vet for Arthritis







Big Cat Rescue is a finalist in Clearwater Chamber’s Non Profit of the Year





Family Dinner Strategic Meeting


Note the egg beater pointer


Leopards Simba and Nyla Re-Introduced After 15 Years




Nikita Lioness on a Feeding Tour


Nairobi Serval Goes to the Vet for Weird Neck Arching


Another Day in Paradise at Big Cat Rescue


Volunteers Clean Hospital Cages



There is always so much going on at Big Cat Rescue!












Now at Big Cat Rescue Jan 23 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue Jan 23 2014


Lion Ark Nominated

Lion Ark Movie

Lion Ark nominated for 45th NAACP Image Award,

“Outstanding International Motion Picture” category

Lion Ark has been nominated by America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, the NAACP, in their Outstanding International Motion Picture category for the 45th NAACP Image Awards.

The prestigious Image Awards by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) celebrates “the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.”

Others up for awards this year in different categories include Beyoncé, John Legend, Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Forest Whitaker.

It is a huge honor to be nominated for the award.

Lion Ark is a film about respect for people and animals. It is an empowering film that shows that people can make a difference and how animal protection is a vital part of the fabric of social justice.

In addition to Lion Ark the other five nominees in the Outstanding International Motion Picture category are: War Witch; Call Me Kuchu; La Playa D.C.; High Tech, Low Life.

Members of the NAACP have until February 14th to vote for the nominated movies for the Image Awards, with the award ceremony taking place on February 21st and 22nd. The glittering awards ceremony in Los Angeles has, in the past, been hosted by luminaries such as Denzel Washington, Diana Ross, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Whitney Houston.

Find out where you can see Lion Ark:


URGENT APPEAL! The animals have been saved from Bolivia’s circuses, now help free the animals in Peru! Animal Defenders International is preparing to assist the government with enforcement of the law and will be rescuing the animals, just like in Lion Ark. Help bring the animals to sanctuary. Please click here to donate today.


Thank you for helping the animals.


Tim Phillips

Director, Lion Ark

ADI Films


2013 Humane Scorecard


The annual report breaks down how federal lawmakers around the country have rated on critical animal protection issues. The Humane Scorecard is an easy way to track the performance of your elected officials, and I hope that you’ll take a moment to check it out.

The 113th Congress, in terms of general lawmaking, has been known for inaction and partisan gridlock. Only 65 laws were passed in 2013 — fewer than any single session of Congress in modern history. Yet, despite the general dysfunction in Washington, we made real progress on key animal protection issues.

View the 2013 Humane Scorecard to see how your lawmakers rank in animal protection.


On Craig’s List Today

Earth And Wellness


Help us with fund raising for Big Cat Rescue and also help any other animal rescues you know of that could use some extra money. While you are helping us with fund raising you are also helping yourself. Double your Income, working from home. BETTER THAN A JOB. Our company competes with Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive and Johnson and Johnson. Animal friendly/kid friendly products but no product sales. Make an extra $3000-$5000 a month with no risk. Call us at 208-875-8884 so we can talk. No resumes needed. Not an onsite job. Hiring Organization: Earth and Animal Wellness, LLC