AdvoCat 2014 06

AdvoCat 2014 06

The June AdvoCat


When to Euthanize a Tiger


ocelots Amazing GraceAt Big Cat Rescue we have a general  decision tree that we and our vets use to determine when it is time to euthanize a big cat, but every situation is different. The vast majority of the time we just aren’t sure that it is the right decision until we do the necropsy, which is the animal version of an autopsy.  The reason it is so hard to know, if we are doing the right thing, is because cats are hard wired to live the mantra of the wild; “Survival of the fittest.”  They just will not reveal their illness or their suffering until they cannot hide it any longer.

We just had two situations, back to back, where we had to make the gut wrenching decision to euthanize an exotic cat.  One was an ocelot (known in Central and South America as the Tree Tiger) and the other was an actual tiger.  Both were 20-22 years old, but their histories were so different, that the decision in each case came after painful deliberation of our veterinary care team.

Read the rest of the story here:


An Admiration of Wildlife, A Legacy of Support

Big Cat Rescue recently received a collection of fine art wildlife prints donated by Traci and Gregg Matthews, on behalf of the estate of Mr. and Mrs. David Melville, Traci’s Grandmother and Grandfather.

Mr. Melville met his first big cat, a black leopard, in a jungle in Burma during the 2nd World War. The cat emerged to drink from a stream as he stood there watching in amazement.

Soon after, Mr. Melville began collecting the artwork of renowned wildlife artists Charles Frace’ and Guy Coheleach.

Following Mr. Melville’s passing, Traci and Gregg Matthews sought to pay tribute to her Grandfather’s legacy by donating his collection of artwork, valued at approximately $13,500, in support of an animal welfare related organization that advocated in support of the magnificent creatures he so fondly admired.

These spectacular wildlife prints, all of which include an affidavit of limited edition/ authenticity are now available for purchase, in support of the magnificent creatures that call Big Cat Rescue home:


Foster Kitten Program


Millions of cats and kittens are killed in shelters each year.  See what Big Cat Rescue is doing about it.


NY Tiger Rescue Video



Garfield…Recipes with Cattitude! Cookbook

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

See what others say about this cookbook:

Five Stars!  Garfield Recipes with Cattitude! is packed with over 230 terrific recipes for all of Garfield’s favorite foods from lasagna, (of course) to pizza and more! The book is filled with illustrations by Jim Davis and with pointers from our favorite feline, you will be sure to be entertained, informed and inspired to try these delicious offerings! Over 200 pages of beverages, breads, breakfast items, cookies, candy, desserts, lunch items, main dishes and even pet treats, you will find something to fit your palette!

Put in the code BigCatRescue at check out and get $7 off and BCR gets a $5 donation.  Here is the link:


Key Snow Leopard Habitats To Be Identified and Protected


Last October’s Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum resulted in an unprecedented commitment from range countries and the global community to save these cats. Now, this commitment is turning into action, as experts are getting ready to define key snow leopard habitats to be protected.

Next Steps in Global Effort to Protect Cats:  Conservation experts and representatives from all 12 snow leopard range countries are meeting in Kyrgyzstan this week to identify at least 20 landscapes that can support secure snow leopard populations – and prioritize measures to protect them. Read More


An Inspiring and Heartfelt Tribute


Mike S., a Big Cat Rescue suHomelessNotHeartlessBrickpporter in Florida recently contacted the sanctuary to purchase a “Pave the Way” brick in honor of a Rick, a homeless individual that he had previously befriended.

Mike contacted the sanctuary following Rick’s tragic death, as he wanted to create a “Pave the Way” brick to ensure that his friend was “forever remembered”.

Mike first encountered Rick sitting in a parking lot with his pet dog.  Being an animal lover, Mike asked Rick if he could pet his dog, named Huckleberry.  Rick thanked Mike for asking, and introduced him to his canine companion, and the three soon became friends.

Then it dawned on Mike…how much he had and how little Rick had.  How can someone have so little, yet have so much?

To “quote” Mike, “He made me a better person, so his life was not a waste, but rather an inspiration.”


Top Shocking Incidents of Big Cat Exploitation – June 2014


We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and reach out via phone or email to contact one or more of the offenders listed below and politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. Please join us in our mission of Caring for Cats and Ending the Trade. If you learn of exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact



U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R) and Mike Lee (L) posing and smiling with a tiger-skin rug

No. 1 Recently U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) posted a smiling photo of himself and U.S. Senator Mike Lee (Utah) on his Facebook page posing with a tiger-skin rug. He said he had just done “a little shopping for the office.” Please let Senator Cruz know that – whether the skin is real or fake – there is no justification for flaunting an endangered tiger skin, especially as an elected official. Contact Senator Cruz here:

Post comments to his Facebook page here:



Adult lion in a cage at City Life Church in Tampa, FL on Easter

No. 2 On Easter Sunday, the Pastors of City Life Church (Florida) brought a full-grown lion in a tiny transport cage into the church sanctuary during services. Can you imagine the stress and fear the lion much have experienced in this huge church with hundreds of worshippers? Please kindly let the Pastors know that exploiting exotic cats for “shock value” during religious services is ridiculous and potentially dangerous.

Contact the church at 813-933-3991 or via email here:

Post comments to the church’s Facebook page here:



White tiger at Houston Aquarium

No. 3 Houston television station KPRC recently did a fluff story about the white tigers at the Houston Downtown Aquarium. You read that correctly – tigers at a marine aquarium! Reporter Ruben Galvan interviewed a keeper identified as Joy about the tigers. Joy spouted facts as though white tigers would actually be found in the wild! Scary. Then reporter Galvan mentioned that he would be swimming with Beluga whales at Sea World in San Antonio the following day. So it seems to us that KPRC routinely features stories that exploit exotic animals. Please let KPRC know there are better ways to boost ratings than to promote the exploitation of white tigers and other exotics on their station. Animal lovers will tune out stations that show such a lack of disregard for these magnificent sentient creatures.

Watch the news story here:

Contact the station’s General Manager Jerry Martin at 713-778-4910 or

Post comments to KPRC’s Facebook page here:



Cougar on exhibit at a college in Washington

No. 4 Edmonds Community College (Washington) recently hosted an animal exhibit on campus that included this caged cougar and numerous other animals. A student who contacted Big Cat Rescue tells us that the cougar had no water and many students were upset to see the caged animals. The cougar was exhibited by a non-accredited outfit called Predators of the Heart, which claims to be a “refuge” for animals.

We contacted Dr. Jean Hernandez, President of the college, and explained that a refuge does not force wild animals to be on exhibit in tiny cages for hours and gawked at by hundreds of people! We also told her there is NO justification for using and abusing cougars and other exotic animals on a college campus. In fact, the exhibit sends the very wrong message to impressionable students that animals are ours to exploit as we wish. It can even encourage people to think they make good pets and purchase these cats themselves. Dr. Hernandez never responded to our emails.

Would you politely reach out to Dr. Hernandez and let her know big cat lovers do not want to see cougars on college campuses? Email her at



Tiger cubs interacting with staff from WABD radio in Alabama

No. 5 97.5 WABD (Alabama) had promoted tiger cub handling on their Facebook page recently showing staff members with cubs used for cub petting at the notorious Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. The station was even encouraging their fans to pay to interact with the cubs, but once they heard from YOU, they pulled the photo from their page.


Do You Shop on Amazon?


If you do, you can help Big Cat Rescue with every purchase, at no additional cost to you by making Amazon Smile your log in page to Amazon and selecting Big Cat Rescue as your charity of choice!


Free Fun and Games


Click on the link now to try out one more of our: Online Games


Open this email on your smartphone and try out one or more of our: Mobile Games


One more way to help raise money at NO COST to you:  Yahoo has agreed to help us by providing a special search site that is branded just for us.  They will also share revenue from searches to help us raise needed dollars.

Just click on the link and check it out…It’s that easy. Please try 5-10 natural searches using this search engine, after all you already use the Internet to search.  Now you can search using a branded search engine built exclusively for us, of course the more you use it the better it is for us.

(You can save this special link search page to your favorites).  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT; JUST DOING YOUR NORMAL SEARCHES FROM THIS SEARCH LINK, HELPS US RAISE NEEDED FUNDS!!!  “Search Link”

Thank you for your support!

Please participate now so you won’t forget, we would love 100% participation in the next 24-72


PS: Please send this email to at least on friend or family member, so they can have fun and help us all at no cost!!

Now at Big Cat Rescue May 3 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue May 3 2014

Wildcat Walkabout 2014 05 03



If a tree falls in the woods and there is only a tiger to hear it, did it make a sound?  Ask Shere Khan.

Reisa, Ares and Narla Cougars say “Hello.”

A kitten goes to the vet after chewing the nipple off his bottle and Jamie has to dig through the poo to find it.

Great Canada Lynx vocalizations in this video by Gilligan at dinner time and we check in with Skipper who is feeling better. Jungle Cat vocalizations too, by Rambo.

Some rare video of Nico the Geoffroy Cat, and Diablo the hybrid, and extremely rare footage of Genie the Sandcat.  King Tut the hybrid chows down on raw meat.

Cybil Serval says it is way too cold (64 degrees on May 3) and Serengetti, Kalahari, Nairobi and Desiree Servals go nuts because it is dinner time.  So does Nikita Tiger.  Max and Mary Ann Bobcats play and pounce and pace for dinner.  Check out some of the cutest bobcat bellies you will ever see, when Apache does his thing and Divinity pees on their toys.

Regina spends her S.A.V.E. award on toys for Sassyfrass Cougar and Simba Leopards.

Sassy, Mac, Cody and Tobi Cougars get ramps for their platforms; built and installed by the Holley’s.  Gale asks them to build a special platform for Tommy Girl the bobcat who is pretty much blind.  Some nice footage of her.

The Bravo fence guys come and fix a gate and more of our donor inscribed bricks are turned into an entrance to the sanctuary.  Reisa Cougar chirps, as Tonga the white serval takes a bath.  Canyon Sandcat hisses from inside his barrel.  Ocelots, Amazing Grace and Nirvana come out to see what is happening.  Little Feather turns 21 and gets a doll house.

Simba Leopard is acting friendly while Interns and Volunteers are working in Cameron and Zabu’s enclosure.  Sundari Leopard is on vacation and we see her exploring after dark on a night cam.



More Lynx Vocalizations

This footage of Canada Lynx fighting was not at Big Cat Rescue.  Our Canada Lynx do not have to share a cage.



Donate Now

Canada lynx

Help end Idaho’s wildlife slaughter.

Dear Cat Lovers,

Idaho’s vicious war on wolves now threatens to devastate another endangered species: the Canada lynx.

The state’s keeping it quiet, but endangered lynx are dying because of the state-sponsored explosion of wolf trapping. There are just 100 of the beautiful cats left alive in the state, and they won’t last long if the illegal killing goes on.

So the Center for Biological Diversity is going to court to stop it. Please help us win the case by donating today to our emergency Predator Defense Fund. The Max and Anna Levinson Foundation has generously offered $50,000 if we can raise that much from our members too. This will make your donation worth twice as much, so please give as generously as you can.

To kill as many wolves as possible, Idaho isn’t just spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on sharpshooters and helicopters; the state has also dramatically ramped up the number of leghold, snare and body-crushing traps strewn across its landscape. The number of trapping licenses has skyrocketed from 1,114, before wolves were stripped of federal protection, to 1,943 in 2013.

Idaho's breeding wolf packs

It’s illegal to trap or kill lynx because they’re a federally protected species. Yet Idaho is ramping up trapping licenses to kill more wolves, bobcats, coyotes and other species knowing that lynx will get caught as well — in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

This level of trapping is deeply unsustainable. It may wipe out all the state’s lynx. And it will only get worse if we don’t stop it now.

Please help stop the killing of wolves and lynx by donating to the Predator Defense Fund.

The Center has formally notified Governor Butch Otter we’ll sue if the state doesn’t stop killing lynx — and that’s exactly what we’ll do. But we’ll need your help to win what’s bound to be a difficult legal challenge.

For the wild,

Kierán Suckling
Kierán Suckling
Executive Director
Center for Biological Diversity
Now at Big Cat Rescue May 2 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue May 2 2014

Wildcat Walkabout 2014 05 01



Shere Khan Tiger is still mourning the loss of China Doll.  Jade & Armani Leopards pose for the camera.  Thuston and Lovey Bobcats cuddle up in their tree house.  Gilligan watches Skipper the Canada Lynx get caught and taken to the vet, a water moccasin threatens Gale and Pharaoh the white serval, JoJo the Caravel is up on this platform and Rusty and Sassy Caracals are snuggled in the bush.  Ginger Serval is on the prowl.

There are some great vocalizations by Running Bear and Little White Dove in this one, as well as some cats you don’t see very often due to their shy nature.


Great article about why it is bad to breed white tigers and Big Cat Rescue is quoted and linked.


Shere Khan Tiger 2014 May 2

Now at Big Cat Rescue March 30 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue March 30 2014

Stealing Images Becomes Harder…Thankfully

Someone asked us on Facebook what kind of cat this was:

Nirvana Blue Ocelot

We knew it was an altered photo of Nirvana our ocelot.  See the original photo below:

Nirvana Gold Ocelot

Google makes it easy to find out who is stealing your images, or where images originate.  Just go to:

Click the camera icon in the search bar

Click the Upload image tab

Upload the image and Google will show you what they have that looks like it.

Usually the largest version could be considered to be the original, if it is clear.

We found it posted here by MistyMorning:

Misty Morning Nirvana Blue Ocelot

I love google!


Today at Big Cat Rescue Oct 21 2013

Today at Big Cat Rescue Oct 21 2013

Big Cat Walkabout Oct 2013



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

Today at Big Cat Rescue June 21 2013 Ocelot Enrichment

Today at Big Cat Rescue June 21 2013 Ocelot Enrichment

Tiger Mauls Caregiver


June 21, 2013 Anderson, IN: A 21 year old female employee named Marissa Dub was attacked by tiger at Joe Taft’s Exotic Feline Rescue Center. For cleaning purposes, the tiger was moved into a holding area. Officials report that the door to the holding area did not get shut all the way, allowing the tiger to bite and latch onto her head. Co workers distracted the tiger with food and retrieved Dub who was airlifted in critical condition to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis.


Helping Wild Cats All Around the World

We are constantly asked for help from places all around the world.  In this case there was a young ocelot being treated in a foreign hospital with the goal of release back to the wild.  During the cat’s hospital stay, they wanted to provide enrichment so that the cat would heal quickly.  Here is the letter our Education Director (who heads up our Enrichment program) sent.  Maybe some ideas in there for your “tiger” on the couch at home?


Dear Omar

Thank you for contacting Big Cat Rescue. I can tell you about some of the types of enrichment we use for our ocelots here, but obviously you would need to determine if they are safe for the kitten and if he enjoys them!

Ocelot Amazing Grace 2013

We use a lot of olfactory enrichment with our cats–spices such as catnip, cinnamon, anise, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, etc. in a brown paper bag crumpled into a ball, or perfume sprayed on a cardboard toilet paper or paper towel roll (with paper removed).

Our ocelots also really enjoy bloodsicles, which we make from the blood from the raw beef we feed them mixed with filtered water and frozen in a cup. Once it’s frozen you can pop the bloodsicle right out of the cup and put it in the cage. This is a nice treat on a hot day. You can also grind up sardines and water in the blender and freeze that mixture into a popsicle as well–we call them sardini martinis.

You can also give the kitten a box to play in and hide in–big cats love boxes too! (We remove all tape, labels and staples from the boxes so cats won’t ingest those.)

Our cats enjoy watermelons and pumpkins to play with, but your kitten may be too small for that. A gourd might work for someone his size.

The cats love balls to play with as well. You just have to make sure they are big cat safe–no soft plastic that they can tear into and eat. This is where we order indestructible big cat toys from:

Often when our cats are in the hospital, we leave a computer on playing a DVD of animals for them to enjoy. He might like to hear some music as well.

When we have baby bobcats in the hospital here, we have found that they enjoy stuffed cat toys with a beating heart inside (battery operated). The babies cuddle with it and the beating heart makes it seem more like Mom. Some have heaters, which are good for tiny kittens. You can buy those online. Stuffed animals are good for small kittens to cuddle with and fight with. You just have to make sure they’re not ingesting anything that could hurt them.

I hope this helps! Best of luck with your little guy.


Education Director Willow Hecht

Education Director Willow Hecht

Willow Hecht

Education Director/Senior Keeper

Big Cat Rescue

phone 813-323-3265