Now at Big Cat Rescue Jan 10 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue Jan 10 2014

OldestCatFossilBig Cat Missing Link


A fossil recently found in the Zanda Basin in Tibet included remains of Pantera blytheae, a new species of big cat that is most closely related to the modern day snow leopard.

The skull of P. blytheae is the oldest big cat fossil found to date, and fills a significant gap in the fossil record. It indicates that ancient big cats lived nearly 6 million years ago, 2 million years earlier than previously thought, and sheds light on their geographic origins in Asia.

Read more:


Illegal Maiming and Killing of Bobcats and Mountain Lions


A Mesa County outfitter and his assistant guide were indicted Tuesday on allegations that they conspired to lead clients on illegal hunts in Western Colorado and Utah between 2007 and 2010, state and federal officials announced.


Christopher W. Loncarich, 55, of Mack, and Nicholaus J. Rodgers, 30, of Medford, Ore., were hit with a 17-count indictment related to their alleged practice of illegally capturing and maiming mountain lions and bobcats in order to make hunting the cats easier for their clients, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in a Wednesday news release.


The men are charged with conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, interstate felony transportation and sale of unlawfully taken wildlife, and felony creation of false records concerning wildlife that was sold in interstate commerce.


Runway Reversal



Kind of creepy, but so is killing animals for their fur.

Now at Big Cat Rescue Jan 3 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue Jan 3 2014

Doing What Bobcats Do

Bobcat-2014-Lakeland-Circle-B-Bar-Reserve-bird1 Bobcat-2014-Lakeland-Circle-B-Bar-Reserve-bird2

Bobcats make great neighbors but lousy pets.  More info about Living With Bobcats.


Awesome ad erases all the animals in The Lion King’s opening sequence

This is a great ad by Greenpeace Netherlands, brilliantly executed by Studio Smack: They erased all the animals of The Lion King’s opening sequence to show kids and adults how the African savanna would look if we don’t protect its animals.

I can imagine the kids first puzzled, then crying, as all their favorite animals disappear leaving the beautiful backgrounds thanks to the amazing digital wizardry of Studio Smack.


Today at Big Cat Rescue Dec 28 2013

Today at Big Cat Rescue Dec 28 2013

Bobcat Killed by “Kindness”


A Story That Breaks My Heart


On Dec 27, 2013 I got a call from Scott C.  He said he had been camping with his family, including a five year old daughter, at the Saint Sebastian River Preserve State Park at 1000 Buffer Preserve Dr in Fellsmere, FL and had been approached by a young, starving, female bobcat kitten.  I asked him to send photos and he sent these.  It would be a three hour drive for me to go see if I could find her, so I immediately contacted Sherrie Wentworth of and asked if she knew anything about the bobcat and if she would go assess the cat’s condition and check with park staff to see if they knew her history.

It was apparent, from Scott’s report, that she was either a poorly rehabbed bobcat kitten who had imprinted on humans or perhaps she had grown up in the park with people offering her handouts from an early age.  In either case, most people know that bobcats don’t just walk up to you in the woods and if they do it’s probably because they are rabid, protecting offspring or mentally challenged.  Scott reported the strange incident to the park staff, but wasn’t sure they would know what to do, so he called Big Cat Rescue.

Sherrie has had more than 20 years experience in wildlife rehab and was happy to go see what she could do, but a few hours later Sherrie reported that “Fish & Wildlife got there first and killed her on the spot!”



As shocking as that may sound to you and I, it has been our experience, in 20+ years of rehab, that the wildlife agencies you think are protecting our beautiful wild cats are usually just a bunch of hunters who see the cats as competition for the kinds of animals they want to shoot for sport.  I know from experience that when I and others have called the Florida Wildlife Commission to ask them what should be done about injured bobcats, or bobcats who have gotten into trouble with humans, their standard answers is, “Just kill it.”

Up until recently it was considered “good family sport” in Florida to turn bobcats, foxes, and / or coyotes loose in a fenced area and then turn out hunting dogs to rip them to shreds under the innocuous term of “fox penning.”

This abhorrent practice was known to occur at 16 facilities in Florida but was banned in 2010 after wild life lovers outnumbered wild life abusers for the first time in the history of Florida Wildlife Commission public hearings.  Big Cat Rescue had been a leader in getting bobcat lovers to attend and speak up for the wild animals who were being used as bait.

The blame for this bobcat kitten being gunned down is not entirely that of the Florida Wildlife Commission, in my opinion though.  Equally to blame are those who habituated her to humans.  Whether it was someone who tried to rehab an orphaned bobcat kitten and failed, or if it was the public feeding this undeniably adorable bobcat kitten, the fact of the matter is that those acts of “kindness” ultimately led to her untimely death.

Please don’t feed wild carnivores!  It almost always ends badly for them.




Saint Sebastian River Preserve State Park at 1000 Buffer Preserve Dr in Fellsmere, FL


Big Cat Rescue goes to extraordinary lengths to insure that our rehabbed orphans do not imprint on people and know how to catch their own food.


FWC continues panther relocation efforts


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will redeploy traps as it continues efforts to capture a panther that has been sighted sporadically in an area of Golden Gates Estates west of Collier Boulevard (CR 951) in Collier County.

The FWC panther team, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been closely monitoring this area since late November, as part of an ongoing effort to relocate this panther to a more suitable, less urban habitat. Panther biologists have followed up on people’s reports of the panther with site visits and deployed game cameras to identify the panther’s travel routes. There has been an increase of FWC law enforcement patrols in the area, and the brochure, A guide to living with Florida panthers, has been distributed to area residents with the help of Defenders of Wildlife.

“Panthers are sometimes seen in urban areas, but these cats generally move on to more appropriate habitat,” said Kipp Frohlich, deputy director of the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. “The FWC is assessing and acting on the best steps to protect the public, as well the best actions to ensure this panther can be safely relocated.”

The FWC is asking for the public’s help in reporting sightings of a panther in this area. People who have seen a panther, its tracks or other evidence of panther activity can call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

If you see a panther, remember to give panthers space. Florida panthers typically avoid confrontation. Make sure they have a way to escape. For more on Florida panthers, including a guide to living with Florida panthers, go to and click on the “Living with Panthers” PDF.


Today at Big Cat Rescue Dec 24 2013

Today at Big Cat Rescue Dec 24 2013

Christmas Eve at Big Cat Rescue



Amur Leopard Video



This made my day!


Office Makeovers at Big Cat Rescue



Chelsea’s new office


Gale’s new office


Jeff and Tigger’s office


Willow’s new office

When the floor began to give way in our office trailer, Scott Haller had to rip out the floors and start from scratch.  He found a wood floor product that is cheaper than vinyl and looks a lot nicer, so all of the offices and main conferencing areas and kitchen have new floors.  That inspired a lot of redecorating and spring cleaning and the images above are the results.


Bobcat Kitten Call!


Because we never want a bobcat to suffer needlessly, my phone number is easily accessible to anyone and everyone who thinks they have seen a Florida Panther or a Bobcat.  That means I am awakened at all hours of the day and night to take these calls.  This one woke me up yesterday morning; but thankfully they had photos to send, so I didn’t have to drive hours to find out if it was truly an orphaned bobcat kitten.



Probably not a bobcat, but check the next photo


Probably not a bobcat, but check the next photo


Probably not a bobcat, but check the next photo


Definitely not a bobcat, so I sent the caller the following image with an explanation of how to tell a bobcat from a domestic cat kitten.  ie:  Note the short tail and look for white patches on the backs of the ears.



How amazing that we have such tools at our disposal that a person can trap a feral cat, text me a photo and I can text them right back with an image snagged from the Internet to demonstrate what to look for?  It’s easy to see why they make have thought these kittens were bobcats, because the spotting looks just like a bobcat.


Today at Big Cat Rescue Dec 24 2013



Today at Big Cat Rescue Dec 14 2013

Today at Big Cat Rescue Dec 14 2013

Consider Making a Year End Tax Deductible Donation to Big Cat Rescue


Year End Tax Deduction Giving

Dear Friends,


As the clock winds down on 2013 and you count your blessings, please consider making a year-end, tax-deductible donation to Big Cat Rescue.


Your donation will allow us to continue to rescue abused and abandoned exotic cats, provide them with excellent nutrition and medical care, and live out their lives in dignity and peace at our sanctuary.


We are so grateful for your amazing support of our sanctuary and cats in 2013! Because of YOU, we were able to rescue abused cats from as far away as Kansas, complete construction on our new 2.5 acre Vacation Rotation enclosure, and rehabilitate and release two Florida bobcats back into the wild.



We sincerely thank you for your continuing compassion for our big cats and generous support of our sanctuary. Best wishes from your Big Cat Rescue family for a purrfectly healthy and happy New Year!



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