Come along with Carole Baskin as I show you our recently completed Kitten Cabana for foster kittens, see Vern, Chuck and Scott talk about finishing the Vacation Rotation “curtain” that makes the 2.5 enclosure cat safe for just about any species of exotic cat.
See Babbs planting some beautiful plants around the property with volunteers.
Watch Gale lead a project building a rehab cage for Fencer along w/ interns and volunteers. See Jen doing enrichment with some of the volunteers and a lot of the cats.
Then walk around to visit with Bobcats: Angelica, Angie, Lil White Dove, Little Dove, Levi, Precious, Mary Ann, Thurston, Lovey, Tommie Girl, Moses, Bailey, Andi, Sierra, Cherokee. Leopards: Cheetaro, Jade, Armani, Jumanji, Simba and Nyla. Canada Lynx: Gilligan. Siberian Lynx: Natasha. Caracal: Rusty. Hybrids: JoJo and King Tut. Geoffroy Cat: Nico takes a long bath. Ocelots: Amazing Grace and Nirvana. Tigers: Zabu and TJ. Cougars: Cody, Tobi and Aspen Echo. Lion: Cameron. Sand Cat: Canyon. Servals: Ginger, Nala, Frosty, Kalihari, Zouletta and Zimba… and a whole lot more.
Animal Lovers Dream Vacation Winners Amy and Mario Godwin
This photo was from circa 2009 when Precious could get up in her tree. She’s had a stroke, at the age of 21, but has been working hard to get back on her feet and managed to do so recently. The photo below is Levi bobcat during a recent vet check up.
Food Prep Photos
The building was built by friends of Big Cat Rescue in 2003-2004 for $40,000. The lion’s share of the money raised to build it came from Jamie Veronica’s college fund, supplied by Jacqueline Norris, her great grandmother. Jacqueline was known to her grand children as Momma Jacquie, and thus the sign out front that says, Mamma Jacquie’s Cool Cat Cafe – Food Prep Center.
At the far left is the “rat room” and laundromat for the Cat Hospital next door. Live rats are raised there for the rehab bobcats. This area is screened for fresh air and is also where the hot water tank and water purification system is housed.
We later added on a metal roofed carport for golf cars, our beast wagon and our van.
The right end of the building is a carport styled “roof over” for the two walk in freezers. The small freezer is for whole prey and frozen treats for the cats. The larger freezer can hold 17,000 lbs of food and contains the ground diet, beef and chicken. Having these freezers under the roof will extend their lives.
The back of the freezers shows that the compressors are kept under the roof as well to protect them and the whole area around the freezers has hurricane panels cut for quick installation in the event of an emergency.
Behind Food Prep is a propane storage system and generator, donated by the Body Shop, to run Food Prep in the event of a loss of power.
Inside the main section of Food Prep is the computer where volunteers and staff log in and out for the day. It is also where another computer is set up for them to log their observations from feeding and cleaning the cats into the Intranet site for Big Cat Rescue. These entries send emails to the CEO, President, Operations Manager, Maintenance Team and Vet, with the full report of feces found, food left behind and any maintenance or veterinary issue that is observed.
Feeding supplies, such as paper plates, rubber gloves, paper towels etc. are on the top shelves in the back ground and cleaning supplies are on the bottom, so that there is no chance of something spilling and contaminating the food delivery products. At the left you can see stainless steel sinks and cutting boards where the food is chopped.
Behind the shelves is a huge walk in cooler that is the full width of the building. In the photo you can see an Intern carrying a box of frozen meat into the cooler where it will defrost for the following day.
Inside the walk in cooler are racks on the left for thawing whole prey and wrapped items and on the right is a stainless steel morgue table for draining the blood off the meat which is captured in buckets below. The walls are clad in an easy to clean water proof sheeting like you would see in a shower stall. A lot of our cats are on special diets due to old age and health issues, so the buckets on the rack in the back right of the photo are for creating those diets before the feed wagons leave the Food Prep area.
Special lights are needed inside freezers and coolers and are very expensive.
The stainless steel sinks wrap around three sides of the room. There is a lot of natural light in the room from windows and there are overhead lights as well. The floors are all tile and mopped down daily after feeding.
On the left is a cabinet for feed and bedding for the rats and stainless steel rat cages on the right. The washer, dryer, hot water tank and purification system are behind the rat cages. In order to keep vermin from entering this area, the screens are covered with a 1/4 wire mesh on a frame mounted to the outside of the room over the screened windows.
When another sanctuary asked for details about our nutrition center or food prep area, I figured I’d just post it here for anyone who is interested.
From our friends at HSUS:
California Restricts Bobcat Hunting and Bans Lead Shot
Today is an important day for wildlife protection in California. Gov. Jerry Brown signed two pieces of legislation today thanks in no small part to all the hard work The HSUS and our supporters have put in to protecting California’s wildlife and people.
Gov. Brown’s signing of AB 711 means hunters in California will be required to use non-lead ammunition to stop the incidental poisoning of dozens of species, and stop these bullets from killing long after they have left the chamber. His signature on AB 1213 will add a no-trapping buffer zone for bobcats around Joshua Tree National Park and stop commercial trappers from catching and killing bobcats on private property without the consent of the property owner.
Our California State Director Jennifer Fearing says, “California has led the nation in creating humane laws, and today’s pair of actions by Governor Brown is an incredible victory for wildlife and humans alike.” Read more on my blog»
Thank you for all you do for California’s animals.
Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States
Please leave wildlife alone! A baby bobcat was euthanized by the Health Department in South FL on Friday because a person picked the kitten up, thinking it an orphan, and she and her neighbor were both bitten. They called Animal Control, who was closed all weekend, so we couldn’t reach them until today. They said that since there is no quarantine time known for rabies in bobcats, the Health Department made them euthanize the kitten so the head could be cut off and tested for rabies. Bobcats almost never contract rabies, and the women who were bitten said they didn’t want the kitten to be killed, but there was not hope for the bobcat once the CDC learns of a bite. If you see a bobcat who looks lost, call us, but please don’t touch them. This act of concern for a kitten just cost him his life. This photo is not the bobcat in question, as no one took a picture.
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Ask USDA to ban contact with big cats and their cubs today!
The Humane Society Speaks Out Against Cubs and Props
Wild Animals Are Not Stuffed Toys
Across the country, the public can pet, feed, pose, and play with tiger, bear, and lion cubs, as well as other wild animals for a fee. These baby animals are bred and used for just a few months for photo ops and play time, and then discarded. This vicious cycle fuels the exotic pet trade, puts animals at risk, endangers the public, and creates a burden for both law enforcement and nonprofit sanctuaries when these cast-off cubs become adults and are too large and unpredictable to handle.
In response to a legal petition from The HSUS and other animal protection and conservation organizations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is requesting comments on whether to prohibit public handling of dangerous wild animals.
USDA has changed the Animal Welfare Act regulations by revising its definition of retail pet store in order to keep pace with the modern marketplace and to ensure that animals sold via the Internet or other non-traditional methods receive humane care and treatment.
In an effort to provide all pertinent information in one location, USDA Animal Care has created a special web page. On this page, we will post all related materials and updates. We encourage you to please visit the page and read through the posted materials in order to: 1) gain a better understanding of this regulation change; 2) learn the reasons that prompted the change; and 3) see if you need a USDA license or if you are exempt from licensing.
This morning a man who lives in the Enclave in Land O Lakes Florida got his morning cup of coffee and opened the blinds to his back yard to enjoy the natural view that he has since his cul-de-sac home backs up to a long corridor of power lines. A four foot high fence, made of a material often referred to as hog fencing, was overgrown with vines, but despite that the homeowner could see there was a cat tangled in the fence and hanging from one rear paw.
He called Animal Control and they dispatched someone to the scene who told the man that it was a bobcat and that they are non-indigenous to Florida and thus the cat would have to be shot. He was wrong. This was clearly a Florida bobcat. By this time the man’s parents had joined him on the scene and when they heard that this gorgeous animal was going to be killed they called Big Cat Rescue.
10:59 am I answered a call and a man, who was obviously distraught, began relaying the story above to me. I asked to speak to the Animal Control officer and explained that we are licensed by the state of Florida precisely for emergencies like this and that if he could keep people away from the bobcat we were on our way.
The Animal Control officer had approached the ensnared bobcat with a catch pole, but said the cat thrashed viciously at him so we knew we would have to sedate the bobcat in order to disentangle him. I called Jamie Veronica and she immediately recruited her husband, Dr. Justin Boorstein to go with me to the rescue site. They had planned on taking a much needed day off after spending their weekend rescuing Reise the cougar. I called Chris Poole to video tape it and we were off.
It rained all the way there, but as soon as we pulled up the clouds parted and we hauled all of our gear to the rear yard and evaluated the situation. I tried to keep the neighbors back and quiet, which was hard because everyone wants to get their photos and chatter endlessly about something so exciting right in their back yard.
Dr Justin Boorstein was able to get within about 8 feet of the bobcat without the cat going into a rage, and used the blow pipe to sedate him, but 15 minutes later, the bobcat was still struggling to stay awake. So, Dr Justin gave him a second, lighter dose and we waiting another 15 minutes, but the cat was valiantly holding his head up and keeping an eye on our every move. He was tangled so badly in the fence that we felt he needed to be completely asleep because:
1. If we cut the fence off his foot and he escaped he could run out in traffic and we wouldn’t know if his leg were broken or dislocated.
2. If we tried to untangle him we were going to be focused on not doing any more damage while he would be focused on killing us.
3. This was likely to be a painful process and we didn’t want him to suffer.
As much as it scared us to do it, we deciding to hand inject a third and final dose to try and get him to sleep. This appeared to work and his cute little tail, which had been held in the traditional C curve of an alert bobcat, finally went limp and he shut his eyes. Jamie sneaked up to see if he was fully asleep and thought he was so we rushed into action.
Then he lifted his head again and warned us off. We couldn’t risk any more drugs and he was sedated enough that despite growling and keeping his eyes focused on us, he wasn’t thrashing. The Animal Control Officer tried to get the snare pole around his neck and chest to lift him over the fence, but the cat was not letting the loop pass his front legs and we didn’t want to choke him.
Jamie cut the fence from around the paw, but the toe was so badly twisted in it, that we couldn’t free him, so we figured the small piece of fence would just have to come with us to surgery. They let the net down over the fence to pick the cat up, but it was obvious that he was going to go all spread eagle all over the mouth of the net and not let us lift him.
I climbed the fence, landed in some briars, and then grabbed him by the scruff of the neck to keep him from turning and biting me. We got the bobcat mostly in the net, but that foot with fence wire was catching on everything even though Jamie had cut it as close as she dare. With one hand on his scruff I guided the back feet into the net and they lifted him over and put the net up to the squeeze cage.
Once in the squeeze cage, the door was to be dropped, but that tangled mess on his back foot was all caught in the net. It took a few minutes and the bobcat was surprisingly patient as Jamie freed his foot and Justin shut the door. We had done a map check while waiting for him to go to sleep and it was the same time and distance to take him to Dr. Wynn’s clinic or Dr. Justin’s clinic, so we took him to the latter, since we were already tying up one vet all day.
Once there Dr. Justin Boorstein was able to untwist the fence and free the toe. The X-rays showed that one of his middle toes was broken but despite three vets looking at the X-rays they couldn’t find any other breaks or dislocations. We were all astounded since the cat had been hanging that way for hours, in the rain and had done a fair amount of twisting and turning to try and free himself.
After a battery of blood tests, which required shaving his fur in some cases, because he was as stubborn about yielding any blood as he was in going to sleep, his sedation drugs were reversed and he woke up very quickly… and mad. We drove him to the West Boensch Cat Hospital where Gale and crew had a nice fluffy straw bed ready for him.
3:56 PM He is in the Cat Hospital at Big Cat Rescue and should have a very quick recovery time and then will be released.