1/1/95 – 8/29/16 (usually a DOB of 1/1 means we don’t know exactly, but it truly was her birthdate)
As with many of the servals we have at Big Cat Rescue, PURRsonality seems to enjoy the daily attention she gets from her volunteer keepers. She eagerly plays with any enrichment items that are given to her to break up the monotony of life in captivity. She can be seen batting spice bags around and rubbing and rubbing them until the scent has completely disappeared.
As with most of our servals, this is the type of playful, non-threatening behavior you’ll see from them during the daytime. But, feeding time is a whole different story. The minute food is involved; these diminutive little cats become dangerous carnivores. PURRsonality is no exception.
Though servals are often touted as great exotic pets, nothing could be farther from the truth. Ask many of our keepers and they will all say the same thing: they’d much prefer feeding the larger tigers than these little wildcats like PURRsonality. Looks can be very deceiving!
A month after the dental work and she never did go back to eating enough. As her appetite continued to wain we decided to sedate her again, run blood work again and do an exploratory surgery. We had seen something suspicious looking in her ultrasound a month ago, but weren’t sure, so we figured at the age of 21 there wasn’t much hope, but maybe we’d find something that could be fixed.
We didn’t. Her blood work showed that her kidneys were done, as did the exploratory, and so we made the sad decision to euthanize her.
Most of our servals were rescued from people who got them as pets and were not prepared for the fact that male or female, altered or not, they all spray buckets of urine when they become adults. Some were being sold at auction where taxidermists would buy them and club them to death in the parking lot, but a few were born here in the early days when we were ignorant of the truth and were being told by the breeders and dealers that these cats should be bred for “conservation.” Once we learned that there are NO captive breeding programs that actually contribute to conservation in the wild we began neutering and spaying our cats in the mid 1990’s. Knowing what we do about the intelligence and magnificence of these creatures we do not believe that exotic cats should be bred for lives in cages. Read more about our Evolution of Thought HERE
Meet the 2 lb Rehab Rescue Bobcat named Spirit Feather
July 20, 2016: Another 2am success story! When this little bobcat was separated from her mom, and found in the middle of the road, good samaritans turned her in at a clinic in the middle of the state. Who are you going to call at 10:30 pm when you have a bobcat in a box taped shut? Big Cat Rescue, of course.
One look at that defiant little face and you know you are going to have your hands full!
Despite her tiny size Spirit Feather inspires her new name with her ferocity. Feather was a tribute to our blessed Little Feather, but this little bobcat showed us that Spirit just had to be part of her new name.
Dr. Justin Boorstein, DVM and Jamie Veronica Boorstein, have their hands full while trying to do a SNAP test and give the first set of kitten shots to Spirit Feather. Even though handling her is difficult, it’s exactly what we want for her. She needs to see humans as the enemy if she is going to survive in the wild one day.
Nirvana came to Big Cat Rescue from a broker on 7/27/94. He had left her at the vet’s office for dead because she was so dehydrated. Ocelots were once in great demand as pets thanks to their striking coats and small size. However, as with most exotic cats, their unpredictable nature and propensity for spraying soon changes people’s minds.
Many of these once beloved pets end up abandoned, sold to canned hunts or ultimately euthanized. Nirvana was rescued and raised at Big Cat Rescue where she now passes the time climbing trees, catnapping in her man-made cave and spraying the unsuspecting passersby. Nirvana also participates in the operant training program and is one of the specially selected cats that BCR Interns work with each week.
** Stealing images become harder… Thankfully. Someone asked us on Facebook what kind of cat this was; we knew it was an altered photo of Nirvana our ocelot. See the altered image and the original image and learn how to find your photos through Google. http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-march-30-2014/
** Nirvana is in the quarterly newsletter, “The Big Cat Times” Nirvana the ocelot had a swollen cheek. Turns out she had a few bad teeth. She was taken to Ehrlich. Animal Hospital where volunteer vet. Dr. Wynn extracted … http://bigcatrescue.org/000news/Advocat/2011-1.pdf
** Nirvana made “The Big Cat Times” in 2011. Nirvana was moved to a different enclosure. Since her previous home was in a location that did not lend itself to expansion it was connected to the Crazy Bobs … http://bigcatrescue.org/000news/Advocat/2011-2.pdf
Windstar was an unexpected surprise to Windsong and Alexander. Because Alex was a Hybrid we assumed he was infertile after four years of watching him breed with no success. We had neutered all of our male Bobcats except for the hybrids as we were so sure they could not reproduce. Windstar was proof to the contrary and his birth resulted in his father and uncle, Des-Purr-ado being immediately neutered. Windstar is affectionately called “Bobcat” and has a wonderful purrsonality. Windstar loves the water. Every year for his birthday he gets a kiddie pool for a week to play in. In 2004 for his birthday he got a rock pool with waterfall like the tigers have.
Windstar wants you to know that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. There was a time, in our recent history when we believed in slavery and we believed that women should not be allowed to vote. Anyone who thought otherwise was ridiculed and cast out of society. Now we look back and wonder how we ever could have believed that all men were not created equal. You are witnessing a shift in the way people perceive animals because science has taught us that they experience fear, joy, shame, love and they dream just like we do. As we become better informed we cannot turn a blind eye to the abuses they suffer and some brave souls are speaking out. Accepting that all life is precious is an idea whose time has come and nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.
8/18/16 Windstar Bobcat was netted to see vet after being found “down” in his den. He seemed fine the day before, but when he didn’t come out to eat, Jamie knew something was wrong. We netted him to take him in the hospital and called the vet. We found vomited mushrooms, but both varieties turned out to be non toxic.
We found a mass near his kidney and a biopsy was sent out.
Watching over him through the night on a Nest cam, Jamie reported that he was awake and looking around at 5 am, so she felt he was out of the woods. About a half hour later though he passed peacefully in his sleep.
A necropsy will be done to determine the cause of death.
Please help us end the trade in all wild cats as pets, props and parts by sending this easy email and making a call to your US Senators and Representatives at BigCatAct.com Windstar would tell you, “the time has come.”
Most of our bobcats were rescued from fur farms where they were being raised to slaughter for their fur. Some were being sold at auction where taxidermists would buy them and club them to death in the parking lot, but a few were born here in the early days when we were ignorant of the truth and were being told by the breeders and dealers that these cats should be bred for “conservation.” Once we learned that there are NO captive breeding programs that actually contribute to conservation in the wild we began neutering and spaying our cats in the mid 1990’s. Knowing what we do about the intelligence and magnificence of these creatures we do not believe that exotic cats should be bred for lives in cages. Read more about our Evolution of Thought HERE
** Walkabout Video – Today at Big Cat Rescue Aug 29 2013 – In this hour long walk about you will see Flavio Tiger in the Vacation Rotation cage and being loaded into a wagon for diagnostics. You will see Bella Tiger making the long walk to the Vacation Rotation cage and enjoying it. You will see the new Kitten Cabana construction, Tommie Girl Bobcat, Tobi Cougar, Gilligan Canada Lynx, Lovey, Thurston, Mary Ann, Moses, Bailey, Anazasie, Windstar,Max and Levi the bobcats. Also rare glimpses at Genie Sandcat, Nico Geoffroy Cat, Pharaoh and Tonga the white servals, Mr E the Leopard cat, Jade and Armani the leopards, Joseph and Sasha the lions and Cameron and Zabu the white tiger. Lots of cats, lots of rain, lots of interesting behavior. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-big-cat-rescue-aug-29-2013/
** December 2011 Advocat Newsletter – A few of the most recent projects included an enclosure addition for Purr-sistance the ocelot and Windstar the bobcat. Not only do they have lots of extra space, but we are now able to shift them easily from one side of their enclosure to the other making maintenance a breeze. http://bigcatrescue.org/advocat-news-2011-12-2/
He’s in the hospital until we get a clean fecal sample from him. If he doesn’t have hookworms he will be cleared to go out in the 1200 sf enclosure next to Ms Claws. For now you can check in on him here, but be very, very quiet: https://video.nest.com/live/2zgUFP
Cage rest sounds pretty peaceful for the cat, but it’s a real challenge for the caregivers.
See 2 playlists of some of our rehab bobcats
While we do bobcat rescue, rehab and release in Florida, we will not relocate bobcats as state law requires that they be released very near where they were captured. They must be released on at least 40 acres and we must get written permission from the owner of the property. They may not be released into state owned parks (strangely) but rather must be released on privately owned land with the land owner’s consent.
Big Cat Rescue has decades of experience rehabbing and releasing bobcats back to the wild where they belong. We provide huge, naturalistic enclosures where these cats can learn or perfect their hunting skills before being released back to the wild. We have trained staff who are experts at capturing an injured bobcat or hand rearing orphaned bobcats until a surrogate can be found.
We go to great lengths to keep these wild cats from imprinting on humans and monitor their care via surveillance cameras to make sure they are thriving. When they are healed, or old enough for release (about 18 months of age) we find the best habitat possible for sustaining them and set them free to live out the life that nature intended.
If you have a bobcat emergency in a state other than Florida, we can help you find a rehabber or will be a resource to wildlife rehabilitators who need help with bobcats, lynx or cougars. When you are searching for a bobcat rehabber ask the following questions:
1. Do they have experience with bobcats?
2. How big are their rehab enclosures? (Ours start at 1200 square feet and some are double that)
3. Do they feed a live diet of prey to insure that the cats will be able to hunt for themselves?
4. Do they keep people, including themselves to the extent possible, away from the bobcat so that they do not imprint on people and end up approaching humans after release?
5. Do they have a vet on staff or on call 24/7 for emergencies?
Rehabbing and releasing bobcats is much more difficult that the rehabilitation of most wildlife. These magnificent little wildcats need every opportunity to fulfill their role in nature and Big Cat Rescue is here to give them that second chance.
We are thinking the bobcat rehab rebuild is going to run $345,000.00
The area that would be most suitable on our property would allow a foot print of about 200 feet by 800 feet and would give us about 1/3 of that in thick woods and 2/3 in grassy runs. The woods are a blessing and a curse when we are talking chain link boxes.
Click map to see larger
The pink areas are our permanent big cat residents. The green shaded area is where we want to move our bobcat rehab facilities. It will be the opposite end of our property from the new hotel that is going in on Easy Street.
The 18 acre lake was dug out by the previous owner and then he was filling it in, starting w/ the green shaded area, with concrete and construction materials from demolition sites. He dug the lake down to 30 feet in places, so we could have that much concrete to drill through.
Wild bobcats DO dig, so we have to have a floor. That’s why I was thinking that a big chain link box, complete with roof and floor, might actually work there. It would have to be 1 in mesh and at least 11.5 gauge to meet state standards and keep their live rats from escaping. We would put dirt, grass and shrubs over the flooring after install.
This year we had 7 bobcats in rehab, which is the most we’ve had at one time, but as our reputation for successful releases grows, more cats seem to end up here, so we need to be ready for that growing demand.
We are confident that we can end the practice of private ownership of big cats, so the wildlife rehab work will expand as the need for big cat sanctuaries decreases with our legislative wins.
We own the three houses and two barns that are south of the green shaded area, so there is water, power and Internet nearby. The main house and the two barns have a life estate by the elderly owner though, so I’d have to build something for indoor care of injured cats, but it wouldn’t have to be huge because of the opportunity to take over the existing structures soon.
Currently the intensive care is done in our on site Cat Hospitals, but it would really be nice to have the wild bobcats totally away from the hubbub of the sanctuary, in their own recovery facilities adjoining the outdoor runs.
What I envision here are 8 long, narrow runs, maybe 20 by 230 each, that could be opened up into 4 that are 20 x 470 when there are 4 or fewer cats. Still puzzling about how to make the space expandable, without shared walls, which are just a tragedy waiting to happen.
Whether a bobcat comes to us injured or orphaned, they usually go through these stages:
1. Inside intensive care
2. Outside, small (low) cages so they don’t climb and fall.
3. 1000 -2500 square feet of space to perfect their hunting, climbing, hiding skills.
Another factor that I haven’t quite figured out yet, is how to mount cameras so that we can make sure the cats are doing well, and to engage the public. Our Bobcat Rehab camera is very popular at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release and a great way to engage people in caring about wildlife, so I want to build it with a goal of it being a good virtual visual experience.
Each cage will require 27,120 sf of 1 in chain link mesh. Or roughly 64,750 linear feet of 8 foot high chain link mesh.
Below are mockups by Kenni Pedersen of what the bobcat rehab runs will look like.
These web cams are usually on domestic cat kittens that we are fostering for adoption, but are sometimes on the exotic cats in our on site Cat Hospital so that we can monitor their progress when they are recovering. We do not breed exotic cats. Find out why no legitimate sanctuary breeds animals.
We took in our first foster kittens on 4/5/2013. We take in kittens that the Humane Society cannot yet put on the floor for adoption. This is usually moms with babies, bottle feeder kittens, kittens under 2 lbs (the legal weight to spay & neuter them), and feral kittens that need socialized. Interns keep and care for them at their housing.
When the kittens are old enough to have their first vaccines and have been SNAP tested (for Feline Aids and Feline Leukemia), they can spend their days in the Kitten Cabana while the interns are working at the sanctuary. While there, volunteers who have had the Kitten Playtime Class can go in to play with, and socialize them.
People can help by donating to the foster program. It can be in the form of money, Purina Kitten Chow, plain clay litter (no clumping), wet food, soft blankets, towels, toys, beds, heating pads and kitten nursing supplies.
You can also help by spreading the word to adopt, not buy, and please spay and neuter pets.
You can help support our foster program by feeding all of our big cats.
One of the best ways to help is through general donations that can be used however it is most needed at the time.To make a general donation just click the Donate Now button below. This is the best way to give as it has the lowest credit card processing fees and is immediate help for the cats.
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