Phoenix Rehab

Phoenix Rehab

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.) 

Rehab Bobcat Kitten Adult Phoenix

We have cameras on the outdoor enclosures, but not enough band width to open it up for public access.  Here is a screen capture:

Bobcat Kittens

Donate to big cats

 

This is just one section of their 5 section rehab run.

Rehab Bobcat Kittens 2015

Phoenix and Captiva ~ Rescued June 2015

Rehab-Bobcat-Kitten
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.

Rehab-Bobcat-Kitten

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.

Rehab-Bobcat-Kitten

If you’d like to donate to the care and upbringing of these amazing kittens, click HERE.

 

Phoenix

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.

Rehab-Bobcat-Kitten

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

http://www.wptv.com/news/state/florida-bobcat-kitten-on-the-mend-after-rescue

 

Captiva

Rehab-BobcatThe 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-Rehab

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Phoenix and Captive Bobcats get two new friends!

http://bigcatrescue.org/4-bobcat-kittens/

 

 

 

Nikita

Nikita

hear big catsNikita

Lioness

DOB 2/3/01

Rescue 11/30/01

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.

Sponsor Nikita http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

Watch Nikita Lion LIVE on explore.org

LIVE lion web cam

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/

Nikita Lion and her yellow ball

Nikita Lion and her yellow ball

 

 

Nikita Lion "I Haz Feets"

Nikita Lion “I Haz Feets”

Meet the rest of our exotic wild cats.

Bobcat Calls

Bobcat Calls

It’s not even 2 days into the new year and I got another bobcat call.

I was on my way in to work when I got a call from our Gift Shop that a man had walked in and asked if we were missing a bobcat.  I’m always surprised at how many Floridians don’t know that bobcats are native to our state.  What had started out as a beautiful morning, quickly turned dark and dreadful.

As I approached the location it was clear, from the beautiful spotted underbelly facing the sky, that the animal who was being hit time and time again by motorists, was indeed a bobcat.  I waited for a break in traffic to run out and retrieve her broken body.  Usually bobcats seem to make it out of the roadway, or at least to the shoulder of the road, but she had been crushed so many times, that it felt like my heart would break into as many shards, when I felt her in my trembling hands. I thought about the male bobcat who had lost his life at this same crossing just a little over a month ago.  On both sides of Sheldon Road there is massive development underway to add more stores, homes and a recent emergency clinic.  Ironic…

BobcatsHitByCarCitrusPark

I vowed to create a document to track all of these calls.  We have done a good job of documenting the bobcats we have rescued, but what about all of the times when we didn’t get there in time?  We have gotten 12 bobcat calls in the last year; four of them were dead on arrival and we never did find the fifth bobcat, although we did find blood on the pavement.  Right now we have 6 bobcat kittens in rehab and hope to release all of them this year.  While it brings great joy to return them to their rightful place, it is just barely enough to make up for the pain of finding the broken bodies of those we can’t help.

So many campaigns suggest that you should give wildlife a “brake” and it’s a lovely sentiment, but it you have ever seen a bobcat run, then you know there is no way a person could avoid hitting one if the cat darted out in front of them.  The only real solution is to build under and over passes that connect major green ways for the animals and high fences with a cantilever at the top to keep wildlife from scaling them.  The straight, 8 foot fences that are used current are totally inadequate.  These are pricey projects, but without them we will lose our wildlife and all that is beautiful and pure in this world.

BrakeForWildlife

We are working hard to end the private possession of exotic cats and doing so would put us out of business.  We really look forward to that day, but I know that won’t be an end to the long days and sleepless nights.  We will always provide rehab and release for native bobcats and that need seems to be increasing.  It’s hard to know if the number of bobcat calls are escalating, or if it is just that people know to call us now, because we are so well known for our premiere rehab facilities.  12 calls were an all time high in 2015 and were three times higher than any year, dating back to 1994.  Even other rehabbers will often call us for the time consuming and costly process of getting a bobcat ready for release back to the wild.

Thanks to explore.org we have a webcam on one of our Rehab Bobcat enclosures where viewers can watch the current residents as they recover from injuries, or learn how to be bobcats when they grow up.  http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release

We have a major project underway at the sanctuary for a Small Cat Fun area, similar to our Vacation Rotation, but as soon as it is done we need to begin fundraising for a complete overhaul of our Bobcat Rehab enclosures.  We have had to temporarily outfit cages for bobcat rehab that were not designed for that purpose and while it works, and is better than any other options out there for rehab, it isn’t optimal.  We want to start from scratch to build rehab enclosures that are bigger, allow for more muscle toning, and that are further away from human encroachment.  With more than 30 years of bobcat rehab under out belts, we know what we need and think our donors will help us make it a reality.  If saving native bobcats and returning them to nature appeals to you, then you can help out here:

https://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=9489

To see some of our rehab bobcat rescue videos:

If saving native bobcats and returning them to nature appeals to you, then you can help out here:

https://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=9489