Take the Tiger Selfie Challenge!

You remember the Ice Bucket Challenge, don’t you?  It was a crazy, popular way to raise awareness about  Lou Gherig’s Disease, that started in 2014 and has already raised more than 100,000 million dollars for ALS research.  Just yesterday Boston Mayor Marty Walsh took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge—and challenged Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to do the same. A full year later this form of public activism is still grabbing headlines.

Tiger Selfie Ad PhoneWhat if the cats had such a successful campaign to raise awareness about the suffering they endure for tiger selfies, lion selfies and liger selfies?

You KNOW we could end the pay to play schemes, once and for all, if everyone knew that posing with tiger cubs was Cruel NOT Cool!

The Tiger Selfie Challenge is a lot easier than the Ice Bucket Challenge.  (Cats wouldn’t want any part of dumping ice water on anyone)  All you have to do is buy the .99 cent Tiger Selfie App, snap some selfies, pick from an array of tiger photos in the app and post it to social sites.  The image you post tells your viewers why posing with real cubs is so cruel.  You aren’t asking your friends to donate huge sums of money; just to buy the app and share their own tiger selfie images to raise awareness.

The app developer has committed to donating half of the money to tiger sanctuaries to make sure the tigers have safe places to go once the world figures out that they should never support any organization that allows cub handling.

Cecil LionThe big cats need YOUR help in promoting the Tiger Selfie Challenge.  If Cecil the Lion touched your heart, then the Tiger Selfie Challenge is something you can do, right now, to end the abuse.  LionAid reports that 99% of the lions shot as trophies in S. Africa were born in cages.  The cubs are pimped out there, just like is done at tiger breeding mills in the U.S., and then when they get too big to use for the pay to play schemes they are turned out into a fenced area to be shot by trophy hunters.

The lions, tigers and ligers that are born in the U.S. tiger mills just disappear off the radar each year.  It is suspected that they end up being killed for their skins, bones, and teeth as well, but it is a network of criminals who operate with very little over sight.

YOU can end the abuse by taking the Tiger Selfie Challenge today and sharing it with everyone you know.  People love to share photos of themselves and the tiger overlays in the app make an image that they will want to share.

Think how easy it will be to pass the Big Cats and Public Safety Act this year if everyone in Congress has heard of, and maybe even taken, the Tiger Selfie Challenge!  This is an easy and fun action that you can take, right now, to make a difference!

Buy Tiger Selfie App


Be sure to use the hashtag #TigerSelfie so we can see your power in reaching the masses with this educational app.

Sorry, this is only available on iPhone, but visit to let the developer know that you want it for Android.

Below is an example of how your tiger selfie can look.  In social streams, such as Facebook and Instagram the graphic changes from your image to the tiger cub handling message automatically, but on a web page you would have to click the play symbol.






Digital Books

Big Cat Rescue has begun publishing iBooks for iPad on iTunes and on Amazon for the Kindle.  Some of them are free.  All of them have photos of the cats who call Big Cat Rescue home.  We hope you enjoy this new venture and will share the books, and this link, with your family and friends.  We will continue to add more books to this collection throughout 2014.  Any feedback from you on this new project would be greatly appreciated.

Featured Book: Big Cat Care, How To Start A Sanctuary

Big Cat Care Book CoverBig Cat Rescue has evolved since its inception in 1992. By 1997 we had seen enough of the abuse and abandonment caused by the pet trade that we had previously engaged in to know that there was no reason to breed exotic animals for lives in cages. As a result we increased our efforts through spaying, neutering and cage building to ensure that we would no longer be a part of the problem. As we have continued to learn about the causes of so much suffering we have become active in stopping the exotic pet trade through education and legislation.

This book is provided for those running a sanctuary who want to learn from our experience, or for those who have already made the mistake of supporting the pet trade so that the animal in your care does not suffer even more after being ripped from his mother. With more than 30 years experience, with every sort of exotic cat, I can assure you that there is nothing you can do to raise up an exotic cat to be a house pet.  It just isn’t possible.  No matter how young you neuter or spay the cats, both male and female, ALWAYS spray when they become adults.

The suggestions in this book are for those who are starting sanctuaries so that you don’t become another one of the 98% who kill their exotic animals in the first two years due to a lack of knowledge.

Purchase the iBook for iPad from iTunes


FREE Big Cat Books:



The Bobcats of Big Cat Rescue

Meet the bobcats that call Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida home.  Read their rescue stories and learn about their personalities.  Learn about bobcats in general as well as other bobcat related subjects.  Enjoy dozens of color photographs and videos.

iPad version  |  PDF version  Small 60.3 mb / Large 97.8 mb  |  Amazon Kindle version


cover170x170_BigCatAttacks Big Cat Attacks

The book is a partial listing (741) of incidents in the U.S. involving captive exotic cats since 1990.  The U.S. incidents have resulted in the deaths of 23 humans, 16 adults and 5 children, the additional mauling of 252 more adults and children, 266 escapes, the killing of 146 big cats, and 133 confiscations. There have also been 248 big cat incidents outside the U.S. that have resulted in the deaths of 85 humans and the mauling of 134 humans by captive big cats.  These figures only represent the headlines that Big Cat Rescue has been able to track.  Because there is no reporting agency that keeps such records the actual numbers are certainly much higher.

iPad version   |  PDF Version  Large 11.2 MB / Small 5.38 MB  |  Amazon Kindle Version


The Lions of Big Cat Rescue, Picture Book

Learn about lions and meet the lions who call Big Cat Rescue home.  Enjoy over seventy (70) lion photos.  Because of the large number of photos the PDF is being offered in a large size and a small size.

iPad Version  |  Download the PDF  Large 32.7 MB / Small 7.5 MB  | Amazon Kindle Version


cover170x170-MeetJoJo Meet JoJo, Wildcat Hybrid Gets a New Home

JoJo is a wild cat hybrid who has come to live at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.  His previous enclosure was small with a concrete floor. We were told his diet had always been simply chicken necks. At Big Cat Rescue he enjoys a big enclosure with no concrete. He loves the high quality fresh meat diet he now gets.   Read JoJo’s story, see photos and learn about Caracal lynx, African Servals and hybrids.

iPad version  |  PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle version


cover170x170-Sand Cat The Elusive Sand Cat

This book has big full color photos of  Canyon and Genie, the little wild Sand Cat who call Big Cat Rescue home.  You will also find interesting information about this wild cat species.   Children will enjoy this book because of all the big photos. Parents will enjoy this book because of the educational value.

iPad Verion on iTunes   |   PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle Version



The Black Footed Cat, a.k.a. The Ant Hill Tiger

See large, color photographs of the Black Footed cat.  Black Footed cats can be quite fierce and for that they are often called “Ant Hill Tigers”.  Something that is different about black-footed cat is that they are poor climbers.  They are not interested in tree branches. The reason for that is their stocky bodies and short tails make tree-climbing awkward. The black-footed cat is perhaps the smallest species of wild cat in Africa, black-footed cats average only 2.4 lb. to 4.2 lb. when fully grown.  As with many other animals the females are usually smaller than the males.

iPad version  |   PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle Version


cover170x170-Shaq Shaquille, Shattered Dreams

What does a black leopard dream of?  Shaquille’s life was nightmare until he came to spend his last years at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.
Shaq arrived at Big Cat Rescue on 3/4/96. He is retired from a nightclub act in Las Vegas.  He arrived with a cougar whose face and head had been so severely beaten that she arrived with an infection in her brain from the open wounds and has since died.  We were told that Shaq’s former owner beat him to the point that the skull around his eyes has been so badly damaged that the eyelids roll in, causing his eyes to tear a lot.  Perhaps they are tears for all of his kindred spirits who are still made to perform for man’s entertainment.

iPad version  |  PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle version


cover170x170-WhoIsBCR  Who Is Big Cat Rescue?

Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. We are home to over 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts. Our dual mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care and educate the public about the plight of these majestic animals, both in captivity and in the wild, to end abuse and avoid extinction. Learn all about Big Cat Rescue’s history, mission, and evolution.

iPad version  |  PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle version


cover170x170-TigrinaOrOncilla Tigrina or Oncilla

The Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), also known as the little spotted cat, tigrillo, or tiger cat, is a small spotted cat native to montane and tropical rain forests of Central and South America. It is active during the night and in twilight, but has also been recorded during the day.
Learn more about this little wild cat.

iPad version  |  PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle version



 Black Panthers, Fact or Myth

Do they really exist? If so, what are they? Learn about the Leopard, Jaguar, Mountain Lion, and Jaguarundi. Enjoy color photographs of the above mentioned species.

iPad version  |  PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle version



FREE Big Cat Picture Books


cover170x170-PictureBkChinaDollPumpkin China Doll Loves Her Pumpkin

China Doll is a tiger that lives at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.  She loves pumpkins and watermelons so much that she dives in the lake to get them.  She races through her jungle carrying them.  She pounces on them and attacks them, too. See MANY full color, full screen, close-up photos of China Doll and her funny pumpkin antics.  Learn about what Enrichment is and why it is so important.

iPad version  |  PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle version



Other Non-Big Cat Rescue Books that Promote Big Cat Rescue’s Mission

The Blood of the Tiger by J.A. Mills

blood-of-the-tiger-mills“What an extraordinary, must-read book for anyone interested in international wildlife policy! From her seat at the center of it all, J.A. Mills has pulled back the curtain on the global effort to save the tiger and in doing so has given the world a primer for any effort to save the world’s iconic species: tigers, elephants, rhinos, whales, and more. Endangered species need accountability. Blood of the Tiger makes those who got us here accountable.”

—Bryan Christy, director of Special Investigations at National Geographic, author of The Lizard King

If you love Big Cat Rescue you will love the chapter Judy Mills devoted to our work in this heart thumping, non fiction, thriller.

The Pill Game

The Pill Game Darryl BollingerBig 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.

Mango Glades

Walker and his bobtail cat, Mango Bob, are at it again. Traveling across Florida in their motorhome, enjoying a laid-back lifestyle while trying to stay out of trouble. In Mango Glades, our man Walker has been asked by a lady friend to drive Doctor Joy, the local veterinarian, to the Oasis Ranger Station in the Everglades. Should be an easy trip, just down and back. But this is Florida and things rarely go as planned, especially for Walker and Mango Bob. As it turns out, Doctor Joy has plans for Walker and they involve a lot more than just a drive into the Everglades. With Mango Glades, you get to ride along on another fun romp in the Mango Bob series, one you won’t want to miss! by Bill H. Myers Buy it on Amazon.


cover170x170-WhatDoUC What Do You See?   I See a Lion, a Tiger, and a Monkey

Willy Wizard sends your child off on a reading adventure to see a lion, a monkey, and a tiger.   Bright colorful cartoon graphics and big color photos or real lions and tigers. Children will learn about:  The colors green, red, blue and purple. They will learn about lions, tigers, and sharing.  They will learn that reading is fun and funny.  They will enjoy the rhyming and humor.  You might even get a chuckle or two while reading this to younger children.

iPad version  |  PDF version  | Amazon Kindle version


cover600x600-AfricanWildDog The African Wild Dog

Enjoy a lot of bright colorful photos of African Wild Dogs while you learn about this fascinating African predator. The African Wild Dog is considered a Threatened Species. If you are doing research for a school paper this book would be an excellent resource for you. If you just like dogs and want to see some photos of an interesting looking wild dog you will enjoy this book, too. You can also learn about other species and places by tapping on a word.

iPad version  |  PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle version



Working With Wild Horses, Tips & Basics

Saving Them From Slaughter

By Nancy Kerson Adopting a Wild Horse is a wonderful and sometimes challenging adventure. The intention of this booklet is to help you make the most of your experience and to be successful in your endeavor. My hope in creating this booklet is that I can share with you some of the things that I have learned that have helped me, and which I hope will help you. This book covers the basics on how to choose your horse, how to gentle your horse, how to train your horse the basics. It teaches you to “speak horse”. We share our experiences and introduce you to our Mustangs. (50% of this iBook’s Sales go to Big Cat Rescue’s iBooks Project)

iPad version  |  PDF version  |  Amazon Kindle version


Friends for Florida Favors Big Cat Rescue

On June 7, 2008 the Ed Department enjoyed hosting a visit from the Friends for Florida.  Emily, Nick, Jordan, Jeremy & Cameron requested a tour to see our cats, and present a donation. Todd Mark, the group advisor said that this group started when his son was asking important questions about the wrongs he would see around him and what he could do to help.  So with Todd’s help Jordan gathered a group of friends and started doing fundraising while researching worthy recipients locally. These young people are learning firsthand how they can make a difference.

On the tour these kids had a lot of questions that reflected a high level of knowledge about wildlife and an exceptional understanding of many of the issues at hand.  After the tour they presented us with a $200.00 donation, thank you very much!

Mr. Mark later reported that “The Friends for Florida members mentioned it as one of their favorite places to visit for this past school year.”  The feeling was certainly mutual as it was truly our pleasure to have the Friends for Florida visit with us, and choose us a beneficiary of their efforts.


2008-Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School Philanthropy Project Benefits Big Cat Rescue


The Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School of Palo Alto, California has an inspiring program and some amazing students. Seventh graders presented $57,000 to 46 charities at their annual Avodah L’Olam (work for the world) ceremony. Students raised funds through a variety of activities and then voted to determine the final allocation to the various organizations.
Big Cat Rescue was truly fortunate to be chosen by Ms. Parker Levinson for this project. Through this year-long curriculum, Parker utilized interviewing, researching and critical thinking skills; analyzed financial statements, and communicated her findings through persuasive essay writing and presentations. Parker and her mom visited us on a whirlwind overnight trip from California as part of her research. Parker’s extensive efforts resulted in a gift of $1,116.46 to Big Cat Rescue and raised awareness of our sanctuary and our cause in her community. The allocations were announced at the Celebration of Tzedakah (Hebrew for performing acts of justice) on May 29th, 2008.

In addition to her school project, this remarkable 13 year old asked friends and family to donate to Big Cat Rescue in lieu of personal gifts for her Bat Mitzvah. She and her mom again made the trip to Florida for Parker to attend Camp Big Cat 2008 for the week of June 23-26, as she is seen here delivering her school donation in person.

Thank you to Parker Levinson and family, and the Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School for this impressive gift to benefit Big Cat Rescue. We have been fortunate to receive not only a monetary gift, but the gift of a friendship with Parker and her community.

June 2006

AdmiralFarragutThe Earth Force Club of Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg is advised by Mr. Michael Andrusis . His students are dedicated to helping preserve the natural surroundings we all enjoy. Since his class attended a field trip here in October they decided we would be a good choice for their donation. The students raised funds by each raising twenty dollars to purchase a concrete block for a “Memory Lane” walking path. They would then paint their favorite memory of the school year with the school colors on their block. This is Mr. Andrusis and class as they set the first stepping stone in the fundraiser for Big Cat Rescue. His Lower Division students raised $732.53 for the cats. Mr. Denny Mitchell attended their assembly to accept the donation.

IndependentDaySchoolIndependent Day School of Tampa has a tradition of donating to Big Cat Rescue for several years now. They chose BCR because their class is called the “Cool Cats”. Many classes at IDS choose a charity to be involved with as a way to give back to the community. After they heard about our organization, it was a natural fit!
The students started by learning all about big cats. They then began a business called the “Cool Cats Safari Store”. The children took out a loan from the school to buy supplies for the store. Next, they advertised by performing commercials and making posters for other classes. Finally they staffed the store as sales clerks and cashiers. They accounted for their revenue, paid back their loan and realized a terrific profit! It’s a real life learning experience that the students love. This year ten percent of the profits were donated to the Hurricane Relief Fund. Big Cat Rescue received a donation of $1125.78, plus some smaller change given to the Cougar Cubs Donation bucket! Wow, those Cool Cats are really cool!

May 2006

We have two supporters we’d like you to know about. They’ve inspired us by their generous spirits.

Dana Clements, a 3rd grade teacher at Westchase Elementary created a fundraiser with her class and Mrs. West’s AGP classes participated. They sold freezer pops. They made over $400.00. The students each made a poster to be displayed around the school. A group of students were responsible for one color freeze pop. They had to tally each pop sold to determine the most popular color sold. Blue one! Way to go kids and thank you teachers!

Sara VarsamesSara, a student at Berkeley Preparatory School decided that in lieu of birthday presents, she would collect donations for Big Cat Rescue. She visited our sanctuary with her class and loved it. She told us “I wanted to try and help the big cats who were abused or mistreated.” She spread the word by putting her desire on her invitations to take donations instead of gifts. She raised $500. Her supportive dad also contributed ($250) to help her raise the total $775 total. Thank you for your generous gift. Good job Sara! The cats thank you.

L to R  Makenzie Kent, Sara Varsames, Makayla Kent, and Grace Varsames.