Meet Bryna Donnelly on Cat Chat Show 78. Find out what Greater Good, Rescue Build and Animal Lifeline all have in common and how Bryna is helping animals all around the globe.
Find out what Big Cat Rescuer, Kathryn Quaas, is doing at the Born Free sanctuary in Ethiopia at the Ensessakotteh Wildlife Rescue, Conservation and Education Centre.
Phoenix and Captiva
(Warning to chicken lovers, there is a photo on the page of the bobcat eating a chick. These chicks arrive frozen and are the byproduct of the egg industry. All male chicks are usually disposed of at birth. We buy them to feed our cats because whole prey is the most wholesome for the cats.)
We have cameras on the outdoor enclosures, but not enough band width to open it up for public access. Here is a screen capture:
This is just one section of their 5 section rehab run.
Phoenix and Captiva ~ Rescued June 2015
There are two more mouths to feed at Big Cat Rescue! Phoenix and Captiva are two little Florida bobcat kittens who both lost their moms recently in very different, but equally awful ways.
Big Cat Rescue is a licensed bobcat rehabber here in Florida We plan to raise these guys at our sanctuary with as little human interaction as possible so they retain their wildness. When they are full grown, we will teach the kittens to hunt and release them back to the wild in a rural area of Florida.
If you’d like to donate to the care and upbringing of these amazing kittens, click HERE.
Phoenix managed to live through a forest fire last week in Lee County, Florida. Officials hoped to reunite the kitten with his mother, by leaving him near where he was found after an initial assessment that he seemed ok. But three days later, the kitten was dehydrated and still calling frantically for his mother, so he was sent on June 1 to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW). Staff at CROW evaluated Phoenix and helped him recover well before delivering both kittens to Big Cat Rescue on June 25, 2015 for the next phase of their rehab for release.
We think there could be no more appropriate name than Phoenix, the mythological symbol who raises from the ashes to be reborn.
Here is a compilation of news stories about Phoenix:
June 1, 2015: The baby bobcat rescued from a massive brush fire in Lee County last week just underwent a physical at CROW – Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. Staff says recovery is going well for the kitten. Click here to read more about the rescue: http://bit.ly/1GiR4xE
News updates http://www.nbc-2.com/story/29221676/bobcat-kitten-improves-despite-burns#.VXCyd1xVhBc
The larger kitten doesn’t have a name, and I am just using Captiva here as a holding space.
Captiva’s story is every bit as heart rending, but didn’t make the news. She was the one Big Cat Rescue agreed to take first. Gareth Johnson, the CROW Hospital Manager, worked with us a few years ago when we rehabbed and released bobcat Copter. Gareth called Big Cat Rescue on June 1 to report that some people had trapped a bobcat kitten and then left it in the trap without food or water for a couple days before deciding they should feed her something. Of course, they had no idea what to feed a 4-week-old nursing bobcat kitten, so what they fed her made her sick. Lucky for Captiva, they finally made a good decision and dropped her off at CROW. The kitten was stabilized, despite the fact that she arrived in such bad shape no one thought that was possible.
CROW has state of the art medical facilities, but is not set up for bobcat rehab. Raising and rehabilitation a bobcat requires a lot of space and infrastructure. Gareth called and asked if we would be able to take the little one. I told him that I’d be happy to drive the 5-hour round trip to pick up the little darling. Gareth wanted to do a SNAP test first and said he’d call me to come get her as soon as that was done.
Meanwhile Phoenix, the bobcat kitten who survived the forest fire, was directed by the Florida Wildlife Commission to be sent to CROW and he arrived that same evening, June 1.
More photos of Phoenix and Captiva
Phoenix and Captive Bobcats get two new friends!
Big Cat Rescue of Tampa, FL is excited to tell you about an opportunity that is sure to feed your beastly appetite for adventure. Our Big Cat Keeper Tour is the most exclusive behind the scenes experience you can find in the animal world that is respectful to the animals and safe for the guests. If you are an animal lover and want to see the inner workings of a real animal sanctuary, then this 2-hour experience is what you have been searching for.
No where else can you get this close and enjoy such a wide variety of wild cats, and support a great cause at the same time.
The Keeper Tour includes:
- Enrichment: You’ll make toys and treats for the cats to stimulate an animals’ activity level and watch as keeper hands out what you’ve made. Observe the animals’ reactions as they investigate their enrichment that you helped create for them.
- Operant conditioning: You’ll witness a training session between the cats & keepers. During this activity you will accompany our keepers who will teach critical behaviors to one of our feline residents, such as go into lock out, stand up so we can observe the paws and underside, and much more!
- History: You’ll learn the history behind our furry friends and how they came to call Big Cat Rescue home. In addition, you’ll also hear the story of why Big Cat Rescue was founded, as you take a guided mini tour of the 67 acre sanctuary.
On your exploration you will see many of our 80+exotic cats, including more than a 10 different species of exotic cats! Learn about where these great cats come from in the wild and what you can do to help their plight. You will join an exclusive group of adventure seekers and a few of our highly trained staff for an orientation that will prepare you for an afternoon of Behind the Scenes excitement!
Each Behind the Big Cat Scenes Keeper Tour is unique and different, so you never know fully what to expect, besides a roaring good time!
Space for this program is extremely limited prepayment is required. Participants in the Big Cat Expedition must be 10 years of age or older.
How do I get to Big Cat Rescue?
Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
Advance purchase is required and tours do sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day that you prefer, please book well in advance! Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.
Is there an age limit?
Children under 10 years old are not permitted due to the dangerous nature of this tour. Kids 10 years of age or older are welcome to attend. All attendees must purchase a full-price ticket.
Can I bring food or toys for the cats?
No, our diet is specific to their needs and we do not allow foods to be given to the cats that have not been approved by our vet and maintained under the most stringent quality controls. We do not give our cats toys that could cause harm if ingested so we do not permit toys from outside our own preselected vendors.
Can I take pictures during my tour?
YES! You are welcome to take photos and / or videos during your tour.
Do I have to stay with the group, or can I wander?
The only way to see the cats is on a guided tour, so you will not be able to wander away from the group.
Are there restrooms?
Yes, but we strongly suggest that you go before you get here because we have limited facilities and are on septic systems which cannot handle a lot of volume if there has been recent rain. There is a McDonald’s right at the corner of Easy Street.
What if it rains?
The DayTour will still go out in a light rain as long as there is no lightning. If it is thundering or pouring rain, we may try to wait it out, or will offer a refund, or rescheduling.
Can I bring my pet?
Is there a charge for parking?
Parking is always free and there is plenty of it except for our busiest times in Nov, Dec and March. During these busy times it is tight, but we will help you park at no additional fee.
Are you ADA compliant?
If you are unable to walk for two hours, we have golf carts available for $10 extra, per person riding. Our paths are dirt, so wheel chairs are hard to push, but scooters do well. There are no seats along the tour paths.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes! Gift certificates are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate please click on the “Gift Certificates: Purchase” link in the yellow box on this page: Gift Certificates for Feeding Tours
Do you offer private tours?
Yes! Please see the list of all activities to get more information about our Private Tours. Check out Visit the Cats to find out more about all of the exciting ways that you can have fun and help save the wild cats! We offer Feeding Tours, Night Tours and Keeper Tours.
Non-refundable, can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice.
Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. You may reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) only if you do so at least 24 hours in advance.
Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
There is no smoking allowed at Big Cat Rescue.
We do not allow smoking at Big Cat Rescue, except in the parking lot.
If you have been on a Feeding Tour, please tell others about your experience below:
Nikita was found chained to the wall in a crack house during a drug bust in Tennessee. Because she had been confined to a concrete floor, she had huge swellings on her elbows that took months to heal. She was so thin that you could carry her under one arm. She would only eat white rabbits, so she had a plethora of nutritional issues to deal with as well.
The authorities took her to the Nashville Zoo at Grasmere, but she had been declawed and could not live with the zoo’s other lions. They had to find a new home for her, so we received the call. Big Cat Rescue agreed to take Nikita in, as well as three other Bobcats who all arrived on 11/30/01.
Nikita has flourished under our care. She has grown into a tall, lanky, healthy lioness. She’s extremely playful and loves to roll on her back and grab her paws or try to do somersaults whenever she has visitors stopping by to talk with her. Though we wish she had the freedom she deserves, we’re so happy that she survived her earlier ordeals to enjoy the blissful days we try to provide for her here.
Watch Nikita Lion LIVE on explore.org
Here is a list of pages on our site that you can find more information, photos, and videos of Nikita Lion.
See Chris & Gale setting up Piñatas for Cameron and Nikita the lions and Zabu the white tiger in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on April 25, 2014 – http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-april-25-2014/
Pumpkin time for Nikita Lion: http://bigcatrescue.org/pumpkin-time-for-nikita-she-seems-pretty-happy-about-it-lion-pumpkin-halloween-funny/
Nikita Lioness seized in drug raid! http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-seized-in-drug-raid/ and http://bigcatrescue.org/000news/Advocat/2012-2.pdf
Nikita Lioness all grown up: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-24-lion-cage-grand-opening/
The walls start to go up on a new play yard for Nikita: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-aug-21-2/
Nikita the lioness loves her new view and can’t wait for room addition: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-jan-29-army-strong/
The last couple wall go up: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-12-iphone-5-announced/3/
Watch Nikita the Lion explore her new enclosure! http://bigcatrescue.org/new-lion-home/
Photos of Gayle talking to Nikita Lion: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-talk-like-a-pirate-day/
I wonder what Nikita is thinking while she watches the volunteers and Interns working? http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-14/
LION VS Big Yellow Ball = Lion Wins! Watch our goofy lioness Nikita take on her new yellow boomer ball! Enrichment is an important part of our cats lives at the sanctuary they will never be free and wild, so we have to keep their minds stimulated with new toys and enrichment, ensuring the best quality life in captivity. http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-vs-big-yellow-ball/
Another photo of Nikita: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-6-2/
Watch as our tigers and lions have fun destroying whole watermelons! http://bigcatrescue.org/tag/lions/page/25/
We didn’t think Nikita Lion would ever feel comfortable going into a confined space like one of our feeding lockouts, but she looks pretty content. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-16/
RNC visits Big Cat Rescue Lioness Nikita: http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-aug-29-2/4/
See photos – Dr Justin used a bent spoon to dislodge a stick that had gotten stuck across the roof of Nikita Lioness’ mouth. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-sept-5-2/
Meet the rest of our exotic wild cats.
It’s the most dreaded time of the year