That is the lie that animal abusers tell everyone to try and change the subject from protecting exotic cats to a message of mere competition.
They trot out their modified version of our 20 year plan to back up their ridiculous claims, but they leave out the most important part of the plan, which is that there no longer be big cats suffering in captivity, and thus no longer a need for sanctuaries, including Big Cat Rescue’s sanctuary.
As the public becomes better educated about why it is so wrong to breed wild cats for life in cages, they will cease to support industries that breed them as pay to play props, for circuses and other abusive purposes. There will temporarily be an increased need for real sanctuaries, which are those who meet the following standards.
1. Real sanctuaries do not breed exotic cats for life in cages.
2. Real sanctuaries do not buy wild cats.
3. Real sanctuaries do not sell their wildlife.
4. Real sanctuaries do not let the public, nor their staff or volunteers handle the big cats, other than for veterinary purposes.
5. Real sanctuaries do not endanger the public and the big cats by taking them off site for exhibition.
Big Cat Rescue LOVES real sanctuaries and helps them by:
1. Providing guidance on best practices to help the sanctuary qualify for and obtain accreditation through the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
2. Hosting workshops and conferences for those who want to do the right thing for wild animals.
3. Training volunteers and international interns in understanding that each animal is an individual who is to be respected and treated with dignity.
4. Sending work groups of our own volunteers out to help after disasters and when other sanctuaries are short handed.
5. Sharing the secrets of our success with those who demonstrate clearly that they are putting the animals first.
Those who exploit wild animals for their own gain hate us because they don’t want the public to know that:
1. There is no reason to breed big cats in cages, as none of them in private hands can ever be set free.
2. There is no captive breeding program that benefits conservation, other than AZA administered SSP programs.
3. Paying to play with a cub or see one on display actually harms conservation efforts.
4. Tigers could disappear from the wild because of the smoke screen caused by their legal breeding of generic tigers.
5. A ban on private possession is the first step toward saving tigers in the wild.
Exploiters claim that if the Big Cats & Public Safety Act were to pass that they would be put out of business and wouldn’t be able to help “rescue” lions, tigers, leopards, ligers and other exotic cats, but that isn’t true. Big Cat Rescue is one of the most successful sanctuaries in the world and we do it by being open, honest and treating the cats with kindness and respect. We want sanctuaries to thrive, and they can do that if they employ the same attitudes and behaviors that we have in being a real sanctuary.
Any real sanctuary, who is doing their work for the animals and not their own sense of satisfaction, will share our goal of a world where all wild cats live free.
Genie the Sandcat is rushed to the vet when her keepers note that she is acting weird.
Genie Sandcat was sedated in a glass box used for domestic cats.
This was to make sedation easier on her since she is only 3.3 pounds and 14 years old.
Dr. Wynn keeps a close eye on her vitals.
The monitors are just all over the place, so she has to rely on feel, sound and instincts.
For such an old and tiny cat, Genie Sandcat has some fearsome teeth!
The tiniest mask straps are too big, so Carole holds the gas mask in place.
Sandcats are the softest of the exotic cat species.
No spinal issues and her lungs don’t look terrible, but she has a case of bronchitis.
This is good news, because Genie Sandcat is given a long lasting antibiotic shot and has a good chance at recovery.
Dr. Wynn gives her fluids, steroids and antibiotics to help tiny little Genie fight off her symptoms.
Genie Sandcat’s paw is the size of the tip of Jamie Veronica’s finger.
Sandcat paws are fully furred on the bottom for running on desert sands.
Violations at Big Cat Facilities 2011-2014
The USDA site doesn’t work most of the time and when it does it is so slow that most browsers will time out and quit before you can download the information you are looking for. This information is current as of Oct. 3, 2014.
USDA Facilities with big cats who have had citations
USDA Facilities with big cats who have had repeat violations
USDA Facilities with repeat violations for all animal species
Big Cat Attacks and the Big Cat Club
Zabu at 2:56, can you pick out our other big cat stars?
Have you ever wanted to take a trip through time to see what animals looked like millions of years ago? When it comes to cats there is little or no need. This beautiful specimen is a Manul, otherwise known as Pallas’s Cat. About twelve million years ago it was one of the first two modern cats to evolve and it hasn’t changed since. The other species, Martelli’s Cat, is extinct so what you are looking at here is a unique window in to the past of modern cats.
Although the Manul is only the size of the domestic cat, reaching about 26 inches in length its appearance makes it appear somewhat larger. It is stocky and has very lengthy, thick fur, which gives it, perhaps to human eyes, an unintentional appearance of feline rotundity. Yet although it appears stout and somewhat ungainly it has a natural elegance and poise – exactly what you would expect from the genus Felis in other words. Plus it can certainly look after itself in a fight!
Image Credit Flickr User gsbrown99
The main reason for its survival throughout the ages has been its isolation. In the wild it lives on the Asian steppes at substantial heights – up to 13,000 feet. Based in India, Pakistan, western China and Mongolia as well as Afghanistan and Turkemistan, it has even been discovered recently in the wilds of the Sayan region of Siberia. In these places it prefers rocky areas, semidesert and barren hillsides. In other words places where we are less likely to live – but even having said that you will no doubt be able to hazard a guess which species is the Manul’s greatest enemy.
Take a close look at the eyes of the Manul. Do you see a difference between it and the domestic cat? That’s right, the pupils of the Manul are round, not slit-like. Proportionally too, the legs are smaller than cats we know and they can’t run anywhere near as quickly. As for the ears, well, when you actually can catch sight of them they are very low and much further apart than you would see in a domestic cat.
It also has a much shorter face than other cats, which makes its face look flattened. Some people, when they see their first Manus mistakenly believe that it is a monkey because of its facial appearance and bulky looking frame. It is easier to see why, from some angles.
The Manus has not been studied a great deal in the wild, where it is classified as near threatened. This is because it is distributed very patchily throughout its territory, not to mention the fact it is still hunted despite protection orders made by the various governments who create human law in its range. Before it was legally protected tens of thousands of Manuls were hunted and killed each year, mostly for their fur.
It is thought that the cat hunts mostly at dawn and dusk where it will feed on small rodents and birds. Ambush and stalking are their favorite methods of conducting a hunt and although they tend to shelter in abandoned burrows in the day they have been seen basking in the sun. In other words, behaviorally they are much like the domesticated moggy that we know and love.
The Manul is a solitary creature and individuals do not tend to meet purposefully when it is outside the breeding season and will avoid the company of others of its kind where possible. When it is threatened it raises and quivers the upper lip, Elvis like, revealing a large canine tooth.
When breeding does happen the male has to get in quickly as oestrus usually only lasts just under two days. It usually births up to six kittens, very rarely a single one, and it is believed that the size of its litters reflect the high rate of mortality the infant cats can expect. Yet they are expected to be able to hunt at sixteen weeks and are very much on their own and independent by six months. Although their life expectancy in the wild is unknown in captivity they have lived to over eleven years.
Don’t rush to your local pet store, however. The Manul does not domesticate and even if it did they are incredibly hard to breed in captivity with many kittens dying. This is thought to be because in the wild, due to its isolation, the cat’s immune system did not have a need to develop and so when they come in contact with us and other species, this under-developed immune system lets them down.
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Yet as a living, breathing glimpse in to twelve million years of feline history these amazing animals are irreplaceable. Unique is a word which, in this day and age, is mightily overused. Yet these cats are quite simply just that – unique.
When it was announced that a Pallas Cat was arriving, Vern was heard to say, “Is that a breed, or did the cat get kicked out of the palace?” (You never know around here)
This cat is being treated like royalty. He was imported from Mongolia in part of an effort to save this incredibly beautiful creature from extinction. As happens with males, he is surplus for the moment and not needed in the breeding program at the Oakhill Center for Rare and Endangered Species. His owner sent him to us knowing that his time here would not be wasted because in our naturalistic Cat-A-Tats he will become a well known face in educational media.
When the volunteers heard he was coming they all pitched in to build him a 400 square foot Cat-A-Tat in a single day. It includes privacy fencing for his security, a tree stump den, lots of logs to climb and “room service”. During his stay on Easy Street he’ll have every luxury that a Pallas Cat deserves.
These photos are the new arrival to Big Cat Rescue.
This Pallas Cat has a special love of fish as can be seen from the lip licking in the photo at the bottom. While we offer fish as a treat, it is not a staple in our diet.
Notice the bushy, ringed tail in the photo above. The underbelly fur of the Pallas Cat is longer than the fur on any other species of cat.
His primary diet will consist of fresh mice and rats and AFS.