Join Big Cat Rescue’s Carole Baskin and her cat experts from around the globe.


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Cat Chat Show Directory


Cat Chat 79  Video Pet Doctor Bernadine Cruz Interviews Big Cat Rescue’s PR Director, Susan Bass

Cat Chat 78  Video Meet Bryna Donnelly of Animal Lifeline, Rescue Build and Greater Good on Cat Chat Show 78

Cat Chat 77  Video 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.

Cat Chat 76  Video Meet Patricia Tricorache from the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Join us to learn about the plight of the cheetah and what CCF is doing about it.

Cat Chat 75  Video Show Notes The Big Cat Coalition presents at a congressional briefing in Washington, DC about the need to pass HR 3546 The Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Cat Chat 74  Video  Show Notes  KJ talks with Carole Baskin about her experience as a keeper at Bill Meadows’ Tiger Safari and warns others to check out animal facilities before falling victim to abuse.  Caution:  Foul language and disturbing images.

Cat Chat 73  Video    Show Notes  Glenn & Dona Williams talk about how Cecil the lion changed their lives.

Cat Chat 72  Video    Show Notes  Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue interviews key members of the Tampa Cat Crusaders.

Cat Chat 71  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, Antonio Franyuti, Founder of Animal Heroes, and Lourdes Lopes, Federal Deputy for the Green Party PVEM, entered into a Declaration that we would work together find and build sanctuaries to care for the big cats who have been banned from being used in public exhibition.

Cat Chat 70  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Meet long time volunteers, Matt and Jen Ruszczyk, in the 70th episode of The Cat Chat Show with Carole Baskin, at Big Cat Rescue.

Cat Chat 69  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Olga Bellon gets a crash course in big cat care at Big Cat Rescue to implement in the new big cat facility being built in Spain as part of AAP.

Cat Chat 68  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Meet David Enden and Kyle Taitt, two young men who are involved in awakening a generation.

Cat Chat 67  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Carole records a day in the life of the sanctuary via Google Glass and the iPhone 5s.

Cat Chat 66  Video  Podcast  Show Notes   Meet T.O. Lawrence, the new media producer at Big Cat Rescue and get a sneak peek into some of the great new concepts he has in store for you.

Cat Chat 65  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  A day in the life of Gale Ingham, the Operations Manager at Big Cat Rescue.

Cat Chat 64  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  D.W. Raleigh author of Shiloh’s True Nature published by Hobbes End Publishing.  Find out why we think cat lovers will love his new book.

Cat Chat 63  Video Podcast Show Notes  Meet Joshua Decker from Local Directive. Carole met the owner of Local Directive, Lisa Meier, at a Florida Lobby Day in 2009 and Lisa offered to take over the management of Big Cat Rescue’s Google AdWords grant.

Cat Chat 62  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  National Geographic photographer Steve Winter and Sharon Guynup recently produced Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Big Cat a book (published by Nat Geo Books). They have been using the book as a platform to speak up for tigers because few people know that just 3,000 remain in the wild, nor are they aware of the threats that are pushing them ever-closer to the precipice.

Cat Chat 61  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Meet Carol Childs, founder of the National Humane Society and the Florida Humane Society.  See about 50 cats and kittens who are being spayed and neutered today and are ready for your loving arms. 

Cat Chat 60  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Margaret Gates, Founder of the Feline Nutrition site, says it should be a raw meat diet, like nature intended.  Join us for this hour long discussion about how a raw meat diet can help your cat live a longer, healthier life. 

Cat Chat 59  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Madi Hawkins, the Director of the Habersham County Animal Care & Control in Georgia, talks about how TNR is saving thousands of cats from being killed in her shelter.

Cat Chat 58  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Meet Jenny Schlueter, Development Director & Feral Friends TNR Program Manager for the Tree House Humane Society.

Cat Chat 57  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Want to be a pet detective, or need one to find your lost pet? Check out Kat Albrecht’s interview about her work with Missing Pet Partnership and get involved.

Cat Chat 56 Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Cat Chat 56 Merritt Clifton of Animals 24 – 7.

Cat Chat 55  Video  Podcast  Show Notes Clara Lee Arnold, from Hopkins Belize Humane Society talks about her work there and with the Belize Zoo.

Cat Chat 54  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Meet Shelly Thayer, Executive Director of the Cat Depot.

Cat Chat 53  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  How to Systematize Your Nonprofit Organization and Attract More Volunteers to Your Cause – Carole Baskin is interviewed by Owen McGab Enaohwo.

Cat Chat 52  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Lori Gagen is the Executive Director at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary and joins Carole Baskin for Cat Chat 52.

Cat Chat 51  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Gary Kaskel, author of the new book, Monsters and Miracles – Henry Bergh’s America, is our guest on Cat Chat 51.  Henry Bergh was the founder of the ASPCA.

Cat Chat 50  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Stanley F. Bronstein is an Attorney, CPA, Author & Certified Laws of Positioning® Coach. He interviewed Carole Baskin for a segment that he calls Interviews That Will Change Your Life.

Cat Chat 49  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Chris Poole, the Media Producer for Big Cat Rescue talks about how he came to work at Big Cat Rescue, how he taught himself the trade and shares some of his insights into producing captivating video.

Cat Chat 48  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Judy McGee co-founder of National Tiger Sanctuary talks with Carole Baskin about their efforts to end cub handling displays.

Cat Chat 47 Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Intern Karma Hurworth joins Carole Baskin on this episode of Cat Chat to talk about what inspired a 52 year old woman to give up everything, drive from Oregon to Florida, and commit to the grueling schedule of being an intern at the sanctuary.

Cat Chat 46 Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Karen Lynch, author of the spy thriller, Game of Lies and many children’s stories and books shares Finn McCool’s message that good things happen to those who do good.

Cat Chat 45  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Today is Carole Baskin using Google Glass to talk with volunteers in action who are taking care of the exotic cats.  It’s just like being there to see it through her “eyes.” Apologies on this one, as it isn’t rendering in iMovie and is truncated to the first 19 minutes.  Still trying to fix this.  #ThroughGlass

Cat Chat 44  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Tammy Thies, Founder and Executive Director of Wildcat Sanctuary is interviewed by Big Cat Rescue volunteer, Kathryn Quaas.

Cat Chat 43  Video  Podcast  Show Notes  Lisa Horsborough shares her experience from volunteering at a facility in South Africa that claimed to be raising white lions and golden lion cubs for release into Kruger National Park.

Cat Chat 42  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Barbara Frank, a 10 year veteran, and Master Keeper at Big Cat Rescue is Carole Baskin’s guest.

Cat Chat 41  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Kate McFall, the FL state director for HSUS and Carey Theil, Executive Director of GREY2K USA Worldwide presented at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay on how to get involved in the legislative process to help animals.

Cat Chat 40  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Sybelle Foxcroft, Founder and Director of Cee4Life,  joins us today from Melbourne Australia to talk about her work saving tigers.

Cat Chat 39  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Diane Gustafson shares her story about her love of animals and what she did when she encountered abuse at a big cat facility.

Cat Chat 38  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Carole Baskin talks about the International Tiger Coalition and Big Cat Coalition successes.

Cat Chat 37  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Julie Bindas author of Thy Kingdom Come discusses herbal remedies, shamanism and the differences in captive and wild cats

Cat Chat 36  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Jennifer Dietz, Esq. a pioneering Animal Law Attorney

Cat Chat 35  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Cindy Wines of Earth and Animal Wellness

Cat Chat 34  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Robin Greenwood, Pres. of Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary

Cat Chat 33  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Shayla Scott of Chimps Inc, talks about their Lynx

Cat Chat 32  Video     Podcast   Show Notes  Noelle Almrud, of Black Beauty Ranch

Cat Chat 31  Video     Audio   Show Notes  Justin Mikolaitis, Esq. chats with us about pet laws

Cat Chat 30  Video    Audio   Show Notes  Howard Baskin explains the big cat crisis in America

Cat Chat 29  Video    Audio   Show Notes  Carole Baskin talks w/ Interns and Staff at BCR

Cat Chat 28  Video    Audio   Show Notes  Patty Finch of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Cat Chat 27  Video    Audio   Show Notes  Scott Giacoppo of Washington Humane Society

Cat Chat 26  Video    Audio   Show Notes  SkipAHolics:  Rebecca, Maria, Monica & Cecelia

Cat Chat 25  Video    Audio   Show Notes  Mitchel Kalmanson talks about insuring the wild, weird and wacky

Cat Chat 24  Video    Audio   Show Notes  Dr. Danya Linehan, DVM on Litterbox Issues

Cat Chat 23  Video    Audio    Show Notes  Lynda Sugasa, Founder and Executive Director of Safe Haven Rescue Zoo

Cat Chat 22  Video    Audio    Show Notes  Cougar & Bobcat Rescue

Cat Chat 21   Video    Audio    Show Notes  Chelsea Feeny

Cat Chat 20  Video    Audio    Show Notes  Dr. Danya Linehan, D.V.M.

Cat Chat 19   Lost Files             Show Notes  Jamie Veronica

Cat Chat 18   Lost Files             Show Notes  Honey Wayton

Cat Chat 17   Video    Audio    Show Notes  Gale Ingham

Cat Chat 16   Video    Audio    Show Notes  Carole Baskin

Cat Chat 15   Video    Audio    Show Notes  Bobbi Brink

Cat Chat 14   Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 13  Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 12   Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 11   Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 10   Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 9    Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 8    Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 7     Lost files

Cat Chat 6    Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 5    Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 4    Video    Audio    Show Notes  David and Carole

Cat Chat 3    Lost files

Cat Chat 2    Video    Audio    Show Notes  Sean Carnell

Cat Chat 1    Lost files

AdvoCat 2016 04

AdvoCat 2016 04

The Best Week for Big Cats in Decades!

This week has been epic for big cats, thanks to all of YOU who have roared out to protect wild cats and their cubs.

4/3/2016 USDA cracks down on abuse of cubs under the age of four weeks.  In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars or leopards.  Read more.

4/5/2016 USFWS announced that they are rescinding the generic tiger loophole. Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USFWS since at least 2007 to rescind this loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers.  Read more.

Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USDA since the 90’s and USFWS since at least 2007 to end cub handling and rescind the generic tiger loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. According to their Q&A it sounds like the USFWS may still rubber stamp activities that really don’t help tiger conservation, but it’s a step.  USDA only banned the contact with cubs under four weeks, but that is a step too.

So What’s Next?

Regulations can’t work, because USDA and USFWS don’t have the resources nor apparently the will to enforce the weak rules they have, so that is why we need an all out ban on the private possession of big cats.  You can help get that done at


Don’t Forget Your Favorite Mom

Nav_HolidayMothersDayThese gifts have been hand selected by our online Gift Shop manager to bring you the best gifts for Mom, and in time for her special day if you order now. Shop for Mom and Save Big Cats Too!


To Celebrate Mother’s Day Will You Help Us “Mother” Our Foster Kittens?

Did you know that Big Cat Rescue fosters domestic kittens until they are old enough to be adopted? In the last 3 years our interns and volunteers have mothered literally hundreds of foster kittens! See some of the little cuties and find out more at


Big Cat Rescue’s In Situ Conservation Work 2016

dOnce a month, a volunteer or intern is selected for outstanding service to the cats.  Big Cat Rescue rewards them by making a $1,000 donation to conservation projects in their honor.  So far this year Big Cat Rescue has donated to the following projects to save wild cats in the wild.

Big Cat Rescue donated $5,000 to The Corbett Foundation, a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organization solely committed to the conservation of wildlife. They work towards a harmonious coexistence between human beings and wildlife across some of the most important wildlife habitats in India, namely Corbett Tiger Reserve, Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve and around the Greater Rann of Kutch.

Caracal Photos Elijah&RoseIn February 2016, BCR donated $2,000 to assist the Urban Caracal Project. The Cape Peninsula is a biodiversity hotspot that has lost almost all of its large mammals such as cape lions, leopards and brown hyenas. Caracals as a result may play a major role in maintaining the ecosystem as they are the largest remaining predator in the area.

In March 2016 BCR donated funds to assist the Black Footed Cat Working Group, with one of the longest running small cat projects that has been in process for over 23 years, conserving the Black Footed Cat population in South Africa. More than 60 cats have been caught and collared over 100 times and what is known today about the species has been found during this field study.

Big Cat Rescue donated $1,000 to the first-ever study on the ecology and behavior of the Sand Cat in Morocco.  Learn more about these projects at

Ultrasound Match

We are thrilled to announce a fantastic matching funds opportunity to help Big Cat Rescue purchase a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine so that we can continue to provide the best veterinary care possible.

While our x-ray machine is critical for examining bone structure it has limited capacity for evaluating organs. An ultrasound machine is more suited for examining soft tissue. Currently our vet team relies on a physical exam, blood work and x-rays to determine the cause of a cat’s illness.  If the cause is not readily apparent using these tools, they must perform an invasive exploratory surgery.

Ultrasound Zabu Tiger

It is critically important that the person operating the ultrasound machine be trained and have extensive experience reading sonograms. If we purchased a standard ultrasound machine, we would have to incur the logistical issues and cost of bringing in an expert technician each time we needed to use it. This is not practical because in many cases we would not know if we were going to need to do an ultrasound until after we take x-rays.  If we did need to do it, we would have to do it immediately while the cat was sedated and would not have time to arrange for a technician.

The specialized machine we need solves this problem in an ingenious way. It has a camera mounted to it and an Internet connection to a board certified technician who will guide our vet via camera to make sure they get the best possible sonogram images and will aid in correctly reading the images.

The specialized one we need for our cats costs $50,000. The great news is that the Reitzel Foundation has stepped up and pledged a dollar-for-dollar match up to $25,000! So your much needed and greatly appreciated donation toward our ultrasound machine for the cats will go twice as far! Thank you for continuing to support our cats and our sanctuary. This ultrasound machine will make a world of difference in the lives of our precious cats.

If you would like to contribute to the matching fund, please donate here.  Thanks!

Thor Update

Thor Eye ImprovementThor, the bobcat who was hit in the head by a car, and lived to tell about it, has been healing in the onsite cat hospital.  The last two items to check off his list are to be sure that the injured eye won’t be a hazard for him and to see him get back into hunting condition.  His last eye check by veterinary ophthalmologist, Tammy Miller, indicates that the eye is doing well, even if not visual and you can log in and watch him daily on the Bobcat Rehab webcam provided by at

Hamburger Mary’s Event

It was a gaudy night of fun and bingo last week that raised $1,100.00 for the cats!



The notorious Robert Engesser and his traveling roadside zoo Jungle Safari are RIGHT NOW exploiting a tiger cub by charging the public to pose for photos with the cub. Adult tigers as well as many other animals are in tiny cages in the parking lot of the Ozark Shopping Center in Ozark, Alabama. Plus, Dothan’s ABC news station WDHN News aired a “news” piece about the deplorable zoo and gushed about how wonderful it was to have wild animals in a parking lot!

Engesser claims the exhibit is an “educational zoo.” This shopping center is owned and operated by the City of Ozark under the auspices of the Ozark City Council. It’s time to let WDHN as well as the Mayor of Ozark and City Council members know that cub petting is not “educational” or “humane,” and that by supporting it, they’re supporting animal abuse and the wildlife trade.

Abuse Engessor Jungle SafariEmail Billy Blackwell Mayor of Ozark at and

Email the Ozark City Council members at

Email WDHN News Director Stephen Crews at

Post comments on WDNH News’ Facebook page here (but don’t be surprised if they remove your comments):


Have you always wanted a career in wild animal care or management?

Zoo College is modeled after the Keeper Training offered at Big Cat Rescue.  It is the only online, virtual training center, where you can test your skills against real life animal care challenges.  The lessons you will learn have been tested and improved over more than 20 years in dealing with some of the most dangerous and majestic carnivores on the planet.

Before now, the only way to get this extensive zookeeper training was to volunteer or intern at Big Cat Rescue, in Tampa, FL.  Minimum time requirements for onsite training range from four hours a week to 16 hours per week.  Due to the danger involved in caring for lions, tigers, ligers, leopards and other wild cats, it takes two years of training to achieve proficiency, so it would mean years of commitment for you to progress through that experience.

With Zoo College you can pace yourself and test your knowledge, using all of the same teaching guides, videos and methods, before making such a huge commitment of time or finances for a biology degree that won’t give you any real sense of what it means to care for wild animals in a zoo or sanctuary setting.

Because we are still in Beta and working out the bugs, we are offering the course for only $9 per month.  Check it out at Zoo College


Want a career in wild animal care? Check out


Zoo College Ad

Dreaming of a career with wild cats?  Check out

Mother Foster Kittens

Mother Foster Kittens

To Celebrate Mother’s Day,

Will You Help Us “Mother” Our Foster Kittens?

Did you know that Big Cat Rescue fosters domestic kittens until they are old enough to be adopted? In the last 3 years our interns and volunteers have mothered literally hundreds of foster kittens!


This includes mommy cats with babies, bottle feeder kittens without mommies, kittens under 2 lbs. (the legal weight to spay & neuter them), and feral kittens that need to be socialized. Big Cat Rescue’s amazing interns – who live on property and ADORE kittens!! – care for the kittens from the time they arrive to the time they are brought back to the Humane Society for adoption. That’s a lot of love, nurturing, care and socializing!

When the kittens are old enough to have their first vaccines and have been SNAP tested (for Feline Aids and Feline Leukemia), they can spend their days in our Kitten Cabana while the interns are working at the sanctuary. Volunteers who have taken our Kitten Playtime Class can go into the Kitten Cabana to play with and socialize them. Playing with kittens! Yippee. Friendly kittens have a much better chance of being adopted. WATCH OUR KITTENS LIVE DURING THE DAY in the Kitten Cabana at

Big Cat Rescue provides the kittens with food, formula, litter, crates, carriers, bottles, toys, cat trees, catnip, heating pads, scales, nebulizers, intern housing, Internet for webcams and emergency care. If YOU would like to help support our Foster Kitten Program and “mother” our tiny charges, DONATE HERE

Or we can always use these supplies for our kittens: Purina Kitten Chow, plain clay litter (no clumping), wet food, soft blankets, towels, toys, beds, heating pads and kitten nursing supplies. Easy to order from our Amazon Wishlist.


SPAY AND PLAY – One more really cool thing…we put our mouth where are paws are! If you bring us an original receipt from your vet showing that you spayed or neutered a pet, or a receipt from an animal shelter showing that you adopted a spayed or neutered pet within the past year, Big Cat Rescue will give you a FREE PASS for our Day Tour. That’s a $36.00 value!  If you are the kind of person who cares enough to protect your pet or feral cats from over population and all the horrors that go with it, then you are the kind of person we want to meet!  See Day Tours for times and tell the Ticket agent you have a Free Pass to redeem.

USDA Cracks Down on Abuse of Tiger Cubs

USDA Cracks Down on Abuse of Tiger Cubs

United States Department of Agriculture Cracks Down on Abuse of Tiger Cubs by Roadside Menageries

In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars or leopards.

“We applaud USDA for taking this first step to put roadside zoos and the public on notice that federal law prohibits using infant cubs for photographic opportunities and interactive experiences,” said Anna Frostic, senior attorney for wildlife & animal research at The Humane Society of the United States, “but it is imperative that the agency take additional action to prohibit public contact with big cats, bears and nonhuman primates of any age.”

As documented in the petition, dozens of facilities across the country routinely breed and acquire exotic feline species – all of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act – to produce an ample supply of cubs for profit. “Both animals and people are put in harm’s way when big cats are used for public contact exhibition – young cubs are particularly susceptible to disease, especially when deprived of necessary maternal care, and cubs quickly grow into dangerous predators that can cause serious injury to adults and children,” said Jeff Flocken, North America regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Big Cat Coalition Logos

In contrast to zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, “there are thousands of big cats in private menageries in the U.S., and these facilities do not have the resources or expertise to safely and responsibly care for dangerous wild animals,” said Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. Conservation professionals agree that endangered and threatened species like tigers, lions, and apes should not be bred for commercial purposes.

“The insatiable demand for cubs and baby primates used at interactive exhibits fuels a vicious cycle of breeding and exploitation. It is standard in this horrific industry to separate babies from their mothers, and then discard them when they grow too big for handling,” explained Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA.

The mass propagation of tigers in the U.S. has resulted in a captive population that is nearly twice the number of tigers that exist in the wild. “Cubs used for petting, if they survive, typically spend many years living in substandard facilities and the few who are lucky enough to eventually end up at good sanctuaries typically arrive with medical issues caused by deficient care,” said Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue.

In addition to these animal welfare, public safety and conservation concerns, “the surplus of exotic animals in roadside zoos and other substandard facilities puts an enormous financial burden on the accredited sanctuaries that provide lifetime care for abandoned and seized animals,” according to Michael Markarian, president of The Fund for Animals.

Investigations have revealed that using tiger cubs for photo ops and play sessions can yield over $20,000 per month for a roadside zoo, fueling demand for more and more cubs – but once the cats mature, their future is uncertain. “There is just not enough space or resources at accredited sanctuaries to support the demand created by this irresponsible breeding,” said Kellie Heckman, executive director of Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

Further, “the fate of captive tigers in the U.S. has serious implications for the conservation of tigers in the wild,” said Leigh Henry, senior policy advisor for Wildlife Conservation at World Wildlife Fund, “strengthened regulation of U.S. captive tigers will help ensure that captive-bred tiger parts don’t enter the black market and stimulate the demand that drives the poaching of wild tigers.”

While there is still much more work to be done to fully address the coalition’s petition to completely prohibit public contact with big cats, bears and nonhuman primates of any age, this is a significant step forward for the U.S. to improve its oversight of captive tigers and lead by example to encourage other countries, like China, to reduce the demand for tigers and tiger products.

See the 2016-USDA-Guidance-Cub-Handling



Bean the Bearcat AKA Binturong


Bean was sedated because he was losing his appetite and we thought the culprit may be cancer as he also had a mass that had developed on his foot. We sedated him and removed the mass, and at the time his blood work appeared to be pretty average for an animal his age. We did not find any other possible causes for his inappetence at the time of his exam, so it was thought that perhaps the mass on his foot was painful and that may have led to him not wanting to eat. The mass was removed and tested negative for cancer.

Normally we would have liked him to recover indoors for at least a week before going back to his enclosure, but he was so unhappy in the hospital that we decided to move him back out early. During this time he also had been refusing to eat. Sometimes the animals can get very upset about being kept in a new environment and will refuse to eat. However, when he was moved back out to his enclosure he still refused to eat. We believed that this was most likely due to having been captured, sedated, and kept inside for a couple days and that by moving him back outside it would pass.

When it did not we decided to set up a hospital sized cage for him attached to his own enclosure. This way we could provide him the fluids and medications he needed. (Because he was not eating, he was not taking his meds.) We have to give the fluids and medications a minimum of 2-3 days to take effect. During this time and because he had been refusing to eat we also had to syringe feed him a little food. This was done once a day at the same time as his fluids and meds. The reason this is so important is because if an animal does not eat for a certain period of time their gi tract can actually stop working and even if the animal starts to feel better they will not eat. By giving him some food via syringe it keeps his stomach and intestines functioning until he hopefully would feel better. Syringe feeding is always a last choice after offering a big variety of foods multiple times a day either on a plate or via a long stick. We typically will only syringe feed an animal in this type of situation 2-3 days. Today is Bean’s third day of receiving fluids, medications, and syringe feeding. He still has not turned the corner and so our vet will be examining him later on today. It is likely that we will have to euthanize him as we cannot let him continue to go on without eating. While we are very sad about this outcome, we know that we have done absolutely everything we could have done for him.

If you have followed Thor Bobcat’s rescue. He was a FL bobcat who was hit by a car. He broke several bones in his jaw and face. After having these breaks repaired he absolutely refused to eat. He went days without eating and became very weak. We feared that despite receiving the care he needed to repair his injuries that Thor did not have the will to go on. After trying all of our usual tactics of lots of different kinds of meats both on a plate and at the end of a stick we resorted to syringe feeding him a meat slushie. We did this for a few days and he bounced back and began eating on his own. He is now very strong and healthy and will be released back out into the wild in the coming months.

So as you can see, syringe feeding is sometimes necessary to give the medications a chance to work and to keep the digestive system functioning. Sometimes it works, and other times it does not. When it does work it is completely worth it and saves the animal’s life. When it does not work at least we know there is nothing else we could have done for the animal.

Jamie Veronica
President of Big Cat Rescue –
A permanent sanctuary for big cats &
rehabilitation center for native FL bobcats




What’s All the Buzz at Big Cat Rescue?

Honey Bees!

Vernon Stairs

A few years ago Vernon Stairs was using the weed whacker back in the heavy brush behind Cameron the Lion and Zabu the White Tiger’s cage when he accidentally stepped into a fallen bee’s nest.  The hundreds of stings he endured would have killed most people and certainly would have killed our cats.  You can imagine our trepidation when we discovered three HUGE hives on the sanctuary grounds!

beesWe were really torn between wanting to insure the safety of our cats and our workers and being aware of the fact that honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate, due primarily to the use of pesticides.

According to Einstein, if the bee disappears then man only has four years left to live.

Mary Barbara Jean StairsBarbara Stairs got busy (dare I say, like a bee?) to find someone who could rescue and relocate the bees. She followed a lot of leads that led no where before being funneled through the University of South Florida and out to some previous students who just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE BEES!

Bryan and Erica started a honey bee rescue and honey product Facebook group called Urban Buzz.  They are just getting started, but have a lot of knowledge about bees and a strong desire to preserve the important role they serve in nature.  You can see how expertly they relocated the bees from our trees to their hives in the video below:

We wanted to help them get their new business off the ground and set up a website for them at

Be sure to watch the site for the addition of raw honey, and awesome honey bee products like lip balm, beeswax candles, bee tees and more.