Big Cat Fences

Big Cat Fences

Building Fences to Protect Big Cats

The Corbett Foundation is a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organization solely committed to the conservation of wildlife. They work towards a harmonious coexistence between human beings and wildlife across some of the most important wildlife habitats in India, namely Corbett Tiger Reserve, Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve and around the Greater Rann of Kutch. Local Communities and wildlife share natural ecosystems and this often raises conflict, so the health and wellbeing of these communities are often directly linked to their willingness to participate in wildlife conservation efforts. The Corbett foundation has implemented its programs in over 400 villages in the last decade.

tiger falls in well

One specific area the Corbett foundation is working on is the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. Open farm wells, dug by villagers, in the buffer zone of the Reserve, are proving to be a deathtrap for wild animals, with several cases having been reported of animals, including tigers and leopards, drowning by accidentally falling into the open wells. Currently around 2500 of these open farm wells exist, many in the core zone of the Tiger Reserve. The Corbett Foundation with the support of Exodus Travels Ltd UK, has initiated a project to install chain-link fencing around such open farm wells to prevent any further accidental drowning. In the first phase of the project, 200 fences have already been built around wells closest to the core of the reserve.

In March 2016, Big Cat Rescue donated $5,000 to assist with this initiative. The cost of one fence is 7500 Indian Rupees so approximately $111, meaning from the $5000 donated, between 40-45 fences can be built.

You can read more about the other great work done by Corbett Foundation here: http://www.corbettfoundation.org/what-we-do.php#wildlife-conservation

Building Fences to Save Big Cats with Corbett

Part of the problem in protecting big cats in range states is that they usually don’t even know what kind of animal they are.  This is a leopard in a well, not a tiger, but our fences would prohibit this from happening.

This is a lion, not a tiger, but you get the idea:

Find out more about in situ work being done by Big Cat Rescue at:  http://bigcatrescue.org/insitu

See more pictures of tigers, leopards and lions who have fallen in wells.

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Larry Wallach Exploiting Cubs

Larry Wallach Exploiting Cubs

This is Larry Wallach from New York.

 

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

He was set up at the Cacklebery Campground in New Smyrna Beach, FL with 2 young tiger cubs but after hearing from 1,495 of you, they asked him to leave!

They say he’s moved off their property and setting up shop on Main Street.  We are trying to find out the owner of the property, so we can let them know that animal lovers hate this sort of abuse.

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

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

TAKE ACTION!

Take action here:  http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17851

 

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Jumanji Leopard and Bongo Serval Surgeries

Jumanji Leopard and Bongo Serval Surgeries

Jumanji Leopard and Bongo Serval Surgeries

Jumanji Heart Necklace

Purchase this Jumanji Black Leopard pendant to help with his care

It’s Valentine’s Day and my heart is restless with worry.  Tomorrow Jumanji, a 20 year old black leopard and Bongo, a nearly 25 year old serval, will have to be sedated for treatment.  Since a lot of our cats are over the age of 20, and these species usually don’t live past 10-12 elsewhere, there is always this low level tension tugging at our hearts.  We are always watchful for any sign that one of our precious cats is on the decline.

Nature demands survival of the fittest, so cats don’t show their illness, unless they are so sick they just can’t hide it any more.  In the wild they would become prey if they didn’t maintain the facade of being the biggest, baddest element in the brush. Even in captivity, they are stoic in their pain and masters of illusion.  It usually is something they can’t hide that first gives them away.

Jumanji has had a growth on his face for a while that has concerned us, but sedation is such a dangerous thing for exotic cats, that we have just watched it closely for changes and figured we will get a biopsy of it, or remove it, if he ever had anything else going on that would call for sedation.

Yesterday, (Feb. 13) he left a broken tooth on his feeding platter.  My first thought was that he was expecting the tooth fairy, but realized that he must have broken it off while chewing on a bone.  He’s always had great teeth, so this was un expected and worrisome enough, considering the exposed root, that we decided to sedate him Monday, Feb. 15.

Serval kitten plushy toy

Purchase this cute serval kitten plushy toy to help provide care to Bongo

No sooner had we made arrangements with the vet, Dr. Justin Boorstein, who is seeing his dentist that same morning, that a radio call came in that Bongo had a swelling on his face, and didn’t want to eat.  In more than 20 years of caring for Bongo Serval, I don’t remember anyone ever reporting that he didn’t want to eat.

Jamie Veronica went to take a look at him, and all indications are that he’s got a bad tooth too.  “Dr Boorstein; could you make that two patients for dental work, Monday?”

I kid you not, it wasn’t 15 minutes later before there was a radio call saying that Zouletta Serval was doing that weird-serval-neck-arching-thing.  We are baffled at this odd phenomenon that only affects servals and seems to be related to a change in the weather.  When it’s cold outside one day and then really nice the next day, the arching seems to happen on the nice day.  We’ve discussed the condition with experts in serval care across the country and have tried just about everything imaginable, but can’t tell that anything, other than continued warm weather, fixes it.

“Dr Boorstein; could you make that three patients for Monday?”

If you picture those horses that are trained to step high and arch their necks, that is what it looks like.  There are variations on it where the cat’s forehead seems to be glued to the ground.  Those cases get brought inside immediately.  The cats are usually very wobbly in their gait and will fall over. It doesn’t usually affect their appetite though.

We were trying to decide if Zouletta should go into the West Boensch Cat Hospital for a few days, but by the afternoon she was feeling a lot better and thankfully, today, shows no sign of affliction.  I’m crossing my fingers that it stays that way for her.  Thor Bobcat really doesn’t want neighbors in the hospital and two cats in surgery are about all I can stand.

I don’t know what time Jumanji and Bongo will be coming into surgery, but you can watch it LIVE at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-windsong-memorial-cat-hospital  There is a discussion board at the bottom of that page where we can do Q and A with you, but the microphones are great, so you will be able to hear the vets and they often will speak directly to the camera to keep you informed.

As always, your gifts are tax deductible and much appreciated.

Big cats gotta eat!

Give to Big Cat Rescue

 

 

LaWanna Mitchell

LaWanna Mitchell

LaWanna Mitchell

WEBMISTRESS

LaWanna MitchellI had spent a couple years traveling various zoos and learning how to make web sites and website goodies, just looking for a way to make a difference for animals;  tumbling around trying to find my ‘place in the sun’, my purpose in life.  then in July 2004 I found Big Cat Rescue’s web site and offered to make games for them.  Carole sent me some photos and the fun began. That progressed into being blessed with getting actually visit Big Cat Rescue for eight heavenly days taking photos in September 2004.  If a turning point in life can be pinpointed, that trip was exactly that for me.  My life changed forever right then and there.

After visiting Big Cat Rescue it was quite clear to me that this place was it unlike any other animal facility.  I had finally finally found the animal place I wanted to devote my life to thus no longer needed to travel around looking for my place in life.  More trips to take photos of the cats at Big Cat Rescue followed in 2005 & 2006.   During those visits I became completely hooked for life.  For me, building web site goodies for Big Cat Rescue is like breathing itself.  If I couldn’t be a part of Big Cat Rescue and part of working toward the goals of their mission, I think my breath would actually stop.  I LOVE Big Cat Rescue with my whole heart and my whole being and firmly believe in their mission and goals.

Now, I take great delight in spending my days using those photos to create goodies for their newest website ChatBigCats.com.  I really enjoy doing tabling events and doing little classroom presentations on saving endangered species by saving their wild habitats.  Big Cat Rescue participates in many habitat preservation projects and getting to share those with kids whose minds and hearts are open and full of wonder for wild animals is a truly joyous thing.  Currently, there are three passions that rage like wild fires in my heart and working with Big cat Rescue allows me to help make a difference in these three areas.  #1 Raising awareness for the need for new laws to keep big cats out of backyards and roadside ‘wannabe’ zoos #2 Raising awareness for saving wild habitats and last but not certainly not least #3 Educating the public on the real truth about white tigers.

Working with Big Cat Rescue is the highlight, the joy, and the purpose of my life.  Not to go without mention, working with Big Cat Rescue is the greatest privilege I could ever have imagined receiving in my life.  To sum it up, I live and breath Big Cat Rescue and our mission and count it a privilege to do so.  I can’t give money, so I give what I can, which it my time and devotion.

Meet the Big Cat Rescue Team. See a typical day at the sanctuary.

Lauren Buckingham

Lauren Buckingham

Director of Research

Lauren Buckingham

Lauren BuckinghamLauren arrived from the UK in march 2013 as an intern.

On completion of her level 5 and after clocking over 4,000 intern hours, Lauren was hired as Big Cat Rescues research director and started in October 2015.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behavior & Wildlife Biology and experience working with an array of different species.

Lauren is responsible for identifying and managing research and conservation collaborations, finding new areas Big Cat Rescue can help fund or provide assistance too.

She also assists with Big Cat Rescues call to action, getting guests to call their legislators in support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Lauren came to BCR with a passion for all animals and since learning about their plight aims to educate others on the current status of big cats and joining the fight to end the trade.