When we rescued Kimba, Zeus and Keisha from JnK’s Call of the Wild in Sinclairville, NY we were not allowed to film but IFAW did and shared these photos of the rescue with us to share with you.
Kimba the tiger had been almost entirely unresponsive to the rescue efforts going on around her, and had been sleeping in her den, but when we tried to shut her in it, she came out and refused to go back in. There were no safety entrances on the cages, so there was no way to hook up our transport unless we could convince her to go back in the den, but it stank from food and feces piled inside it.
Big Cat Rescue Operations Manager, Gale Ingham, lures Kimba with a piece of meat on a stick.
The cats were literally starving to death, so Kimba tiger followed Gale back to the den. Apparently the way the cats had been fed, at JnK’s Call of the Wild, was to close the door to the den, like you see above, then open a back door, throw the food in the den, and then let the cat in. It worked and we were able to shut Kimba in her den so we could open a door on her cage and push our transport wagon up to the opening. The door was so rusted that it twisted half off its frame when we opened it.
Kimba “ran” for the opening. Even though she doesn’t seem to see very well, she knew the scent of fresh meat was in this direction.
Once she got to the door she wasn’t sure what to do though. It took a little calling, a little patience and Kimba’s extreme hunger for her to overcome her fear.
Kimba tiger looks to see if there is any way to get the food without going in the strange new box.
Kimba comes over to the camera guy to see if he will get the food out for her.
No deal. She has to do it herself.
There were a few false starts and stops as she stepped up and back out, but finally she hoisted her 20 year old, rickety frame up into the transport wagon.
Gale and Big Cat Rescue President, Jamie Veronica Boorstein, shut the door.
Because this was a seizure, each cat had to be rolled out into the open and photos taken by the officers with an identifying description.
We loaded Kimba into the Loving Friends transport vehicle first because she was in such poor condition and we were really concerned about her making it through the day. The A/C was on in the trailer and it was considerably less chaotic than what was happening outside.
In a pile of fluffy hay, with food in her stomach, Kimba fell asleep within minutes.
We kept checking on her to make sure she was still alive. She seemed at peace.
This was a brand new transport that was custom built by Loving Friends Transport.
It was designed with safety in mind, so it was pretty heavy to roll up the ramp.
Next to be caught was Zeus. Since he was still sleeping in his den, we shut him in and it went a lot faster.
We opened the door and Gale ran with a piece of meat and Zeus in hot pursuit.
We had to cut a hole in his cage to attach the transport.
Even though there were pipes in the way that we couldn’t cut and the hole for him was way too small, he forced himself through it to get to the meat that Gale had enticed him with and Jamie quickly shut the door.
Jamie lowered the door behind him.
Zeus is photographed by the authorities in case there is any lawsuit filed after the seizure.
JT and Laura Taylor, of Loving Friends, provided much needed muscle to get the cats rolled up into their transport vehicle.
Someone needs to buy JT a Big Cat Rescue shirt for these rescues.
Jamie is usually the one to steer the transports because she does it so well, but JT is really good at it and stronger.
Zeus is busy eating the rest of the food he got for going in the wagon and doesn’t care where they are hauling him.
Laura and JT spend most of their time rescuing domestic dogs from puppy mills and relocating abandoned dogs from shelters where they cannot find homes to larger shelters where there are more adoptive parents.
Laura and JT’s first tiger rescue was Amanda, Andre and Arthur tigers that we rescued in 2011 from the Wild Animal Orphanage in TX.
Next up is Keisha and Gales says, “Can anybody, who isn’t holding a gun, please help push?”
Jamie squeezes down between Kimba’s cage on the left and Keisha and Zeus’ cages on the right to put out transport wagon in place for catching Keisha.
At first we thought we might just let Keisha into Zeus’ cage, after he was out, because we already had a hole cut, but Jamie noticed that there was a double wall between tail-less Keisha and the two lions next to her. All of the cats had shared walls, sometimes with bears and wolves, but the one cat, with no tail, had a double wall between her and the lions. If we let Keisha into Zeus’ cage, there was a shared wall with the same lions and we really didn’t want to have to break up a lion and tiger fight, so we did it the hard way.
Jamie usually just stands on top of the transport wagon and lowers the door, but we were pretty sure Keisha wasn’t going to go in there if someone stood on top, so Jamie created a makeshift pulley for the rope and I went in Kimba’s empty cage to hide and hold the rope.
The cage walls were not very high and Keisha was really, really hungry and knew we had food. This could get very ugly, very fast.
Gale tries to lure Keisha tiger into her den so we can cut a hole in the wall to our transport wagon.
Keisha is so frantic for the food that she is jumping up on her back feet and clawing frantically at Gale and the den.
The IFAW camera guy has a Go Pro on a long pole and Keisha momentarily mistakes it for beef on a stick.
Keisha pushes her nose out through the huge gaps in the wire to make sure the Go Pro isn’t something to eat.
Keisha is getting pretty frustrated because she just doesn’t understand. Note the lions in the back ground. They were NOT helping matters any.
Despite her growing frustration, Keisha didn’t hiss or snarl at anyone during the loading.
Once Keisha finally fell for the trap she was photographed and loaded.
Upon arrival we were told that we only had 30 minutes per tiger to get them loaded or they would have to be sedated in order to not hold up the rest of the rescue teams.
We managed to get all three in their transport wagons within our 30 minute time allotment and were very happy that they didn’t have to go through the risk of sedation in their weakened states.
The clouds were rolling in too and we really thought we would be rained out, but the weather held until the last of our tigers were on the loading ramp.
Once inside it would be a 22 hour, straight through trip to Tampa. Laura and JT had just driven up two days before and then were helping load the tigers before they would have to head out on such a long and tiring journey.
All along the way stops were made to insure the cats were comfortable.
The tigers drank 8 gallons of water on the way to Tampa.
The Loving Friends transport trailer is air conditioned, has CO2 monitors and is monitored by webcams that display to the driver so they can watch for any trouble, all along the way.
We had to borrow two transport wagons for this trip.
One from Loving Friends Transport and one from our insurance provider, Mitchel Kalmanson.
We brought the fourth transport because we were expecting to pick up another tiger named Sasha, but she had died before the rescue. No one seems to know when. Some volunteers said she was there in the summer of 2013. The owner of JnK had put her on the list of cats she wanted to give up in Feb. 2014, but then she changed her mind and made the state come and take them from her.
On June 8, 2014 both of our vets came out to re evaluate Kimba the tigress, as she just isn’t eating as well as Zeus and Keisha. They were deliberating over what would be the best and safest course of action for Kimba because she is 20 years old and extremely frail. We didn’t think she would even make it through the rescue and transport to FL as she was so starved and depleted. Kimba would only eat a few morsels of food and then stop, so they decided to try and feed her several times a day to try and build her strength up before risking sedation.
On June 10, 2014 Dr. Wynn came out to try and just lightly sedate Kimba. Just enough to check out her teeth, look for masses and draw blood for diagnostics. We had to block off her den so that she didn’t go in it after being sedated. We wouldn’t know when it was safe to go in, unless we could test her for a blink response, so we used lumber to block off Kimba’s cave.
That was easier said, than done.
The wonderful thing about our enclosures is that the dens are so nice and cool, with the mounds of earth on top, but it makes for a challenge when we try to keep the cats out. We don’t think Kimba can see very well. She manages to get up and down from her perches, but seems to do it by feel.
Once we got her down off her platform, and safely locked away from it and the den, she was sedated. We use a cocktail of drugs to make it as easy on the cat going down and coming back up as possible.
Someone had butchered her paws in an attempt to declaw her and she has claws growing in every direction out of her feet. It must have been just brutal to have to walk on rocks her whole life with those claws growing out every which way.
Kimba was given extra fluids even though she wasn’t a dehydrated as you would expect for a cat who was likely in renal failure. There were no obvious issues with her teeth and no masses that could be felt from outside, or in her mouth or throat.
Kimba will be kept inside the cat hospital pending results and to see if the cool air perks her up enough to eat more. She is shedding a lot and we are combing out the dead fur to help her stay cool. We use a long back scratcher to do it and she really likes it.
Kimba’s blood work show her kidneys to be pretty bad. Only one other cat was as bad and that was Sophia the cougar. She lived a year and a half after rescue but it was touch and go for a long time. https://sites.google.com/site/bigcattributes/home/sophia-cougar but Sophia was several years younger.
Kimba’s blood work also indicates that she is suffering from a urinary tract infection, which can cause kidney values to spike, so she is being treated with injections for the UTI. She is also getting an appetite stimulant and several bags of fluids, sub q, each day. She is being fed every two hours and only takes a couple bites, but she is eating at each meal and as her UTI begins to subside, she will feel better and hopefully want to eat more. She doesn’t seem to mind the injections and fluids and just chuffs and rubs her head up against the cage wall affectionately.
We hope to put her back outside tomorrow in a little better condition.
Meanwhile Zeus and Keisha seem to have a new lease on life and are visibly doing better every day.
Daily Big Cat Video May 20- June 11, 2014
Zeus, one of our newest rescued tigers, chases Karma on the golf cart as she brings a new feeding block out to Kimba tiger. Keisha tiger is being calm during all of the fuss over Kimba and had just been chasing some ducks. The vets, Dr. Wynn and Dr. Justin Boorstein, check on Kimba and weigh the pros and cons of sedating her. They opt to try and get a little more food in her and then 2 days later try to sedate her, but have a hard time getting her to come down from her platform. Once they do, they find that she is only 170 lbs. Our smallest tiger ever before was 225 pounds. Kimba has a big frame, but is just all fluff and no meat on her bones.
Zabu gets a rocket ship for enrichment, but decides she’d rather lay in the shade than try to launch it.
Big Cat Rescue is a finalist for Non Profit of the Year in the Tampa Bay Business Journal Awards.
Video from Animal Care Expo of the event, the location in Daytona Beach and key note speeches by Wayne Pacelle and Jackson Galaxy.
Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve Safe For Now
Late last week, a federal judge denied the National Park Service’s request to dismiss a case brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians to reduce damaging off-road vehicle use in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve.
The suit asserts the Park Service violated the Endangered Species Act, its own off-road vehicle management plan, the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws by designating hundreds of miles of new trails for off-road vehicle use in the preserve without first assessing potentially destructive impacts on endangered Florida panthers and other rare and vanishing Florida species, as well as other sensitive water, soil and vegetative resources. Read more at the Mountain Lion Foundation.
Illinois’ Lion Protection Bill Passes the Legislature
Senate Bill 3049, introduced by Senator Linda Holmes (D – Aurora) has successfully passed out of the Illinois Legislature and is now sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature.
SB 3049, which passed on the last day of session, places Gray wolves, American black bears, and mountain lions on Illinois’ protected species list, and eliminates the current practice of allowing people to shoot them on sight with no questions asked. Read more at the Mountain Lion Foundation.
Mexico City has a pending ban on circus animals. The law, aimed at stopping animal abuse in circuses, was passed by the city council Monday but is still awaiting signature from Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.
Levi the bobcat sees the vet, Jamie, BarJean and Carole paint on Mother’s Day at Painting With a Twist, we get ready for some new rescues by revamping the tiger cages and we roof an area so cougars can move back and forth to the Vacation Rotation area.
Tiger Poaching Cheaper Than Tiger Raising
“The owner said he retained the permit when a leopard skin was previously sold to a public institution since it bore little risk of inspection; the permit is now available to provide cover for trade in another skin. The owner, himself an experienced taxidermist, further said he has processed wild tiger skins which were gifts to elite individuals.” You just can’t regulate animal abuse. It has to be banned.
Brave Cat Survives Brutal Kick, Recovers at ASPCA
King, the neighborhood cat who was viciously kicked 20 feet, is recovering at the ASPCA. Last week, a video of his attack went viral and led to an arrest by the New York City Police Department. Find out more about the attack and how you can help prevent animal cruelty. Read More…
This month Porsche is unveiling their new SUV called the Macan – which means Tiger in Indonesian. When Big Cat Rescue recently learned that Porsche dealerships around the country planned to rent tiger cubs as part of the “entertainment” at their Macan launch parties, we knew we had to try and educate Porsche about why this is cub abuse.
We contacted Porsche North America’s headquarters in Atlanta and explained that Big Cat Rescue as well as other GFAS-accredited sanctuaries and reputable animal welfare groups such as PETA are highly opposed to the exploitation of tiger cubs for entertainment, PR and “shock value.” We explained to Porsche that tigers are endangered in the wild and using them as props to promote automobiles would send the very wrong message that exotic animals are ours to use at will.
We were extremely pleased to find that Porsche management quickly “got it” about the abuse to the cubs and immediately notified all of their dealers around the country NOT to include tiger cubs in their marketing promotions for the Macan. And after further discussions with Big Cat Rescue and PETA, Porsche has adopted a no-animal policy for all dealer activities!!
And a very special THANK YOU to Porsche for caring about tiger cubs and taking a responsible stance on wild animal exhibitions!
Big Cat Rescue encourages our supporters to visit their local Porsche dealer and test drive the new Macan. To read PETA’s press release, read on:
PORSCHE URGES DEALERSHIPS TO NIX TIGER CUB EVENTS FOLLOWING APPEAL
Company Shares Concerns With PETA, Big Cat Rescue Over Animals’ Well-Being, Customers’ Safety
Atlanta — In response to appeals from PETA and Big Cat Rescue citing animal welfare and public-safety concerns raised by Porsche dealerships’ reported plans to exhibit tiger cubs at unveilings of the new Porsche Macan, Porsche Cars North America has pledged to urge all of its U.S. dealerships to cancel any plans to display tiger cubs or any other animals at events.
In an e-mail to PETA, Porsche’s vice president of marketing, Andre Oosthuizen, told PETA that Porsche shares its concerns “when it comes to the ethical treatment of any animal, large or small, wild or domesticated” and “will personally make contact with every Porsche dealer to reinforce our appeal that no animals whatsoever be used in any dealer activity.”
“After hearing from PETA about how tiger cubs used for displays are torn away from their mothers shortly after birth, Porsche was quick to kick a ‘no live animals’ policy into high gear,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “By speaking out against cruel big-cat displays, Porsche has set an example of kindness and good business sense for other companies to follow.”
Baby tigers used for public display are typically only 8 to 12 weeks old—and the cubs displayed at a Porsche dealership in Tampa, Fla., earlier this month were believed to be only 3 weeks old.
In nature, tiger cubs stay with their mothers for two years, but tiger cubs used for display are generally taken away from their mothers when they’re just days old in order to “acclimate” them to human handling. The frightened, helpless cubs are continually carted from town to town and venue to venue—and when they grow up and are no longer profitable, they’re often left to languish in small cages or are disposed of.
Wild-animal displays also place the public at risk of injury and disease transmission. A bear cub recently used in a promotion at Washington University in St. Louis bit at least 18 people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Center for Biological Diversity