Tiger Lilly

Tiger Lilly

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Tiger Lilly

Female Bobcat
DOB 4/30/95
Rescued 6/6/95


Tiger Lilly came to Big Cat Rescue on 6/6/95 along with Selena, Levi, Crazy Horse and the rest.

She too was to be slaughtered and her fur used for Trade show competitions.

It is possible that she and Divinity were litter mates – with their silvery fur they look almost identical. Where they differ is in their personalities. Divinity is fearless, whereas Tiger Lilly is elusive and shy. Through operant conditioning, slowly Tiger Lilly is becoming a more outgoing bobcat.


Tiger Lilly Bobcat When She Was a Kitten



Sponsor Tiger Lilly Bobcat here:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat


Most of our bobcats were rescues from fur farms.  The deal Our Co-Founder made with the three fur farms we discovered in the U.S. was that he would pay top dollar for every cat and kitten they had as long as the fur farmer would agree to never buy and breed cats again for slaughter.  It came at a time that the public outcry was against the fur industry.  Many of these animals were purchased at auctions where the uncaring owners were dumping the cats with no concern about their welfare.  There is much controversy over whether we did the right thing by paying the ransom for these cats.  We still accept many unwanted cats each year, but do not pay for them and typically require that their owner surrender their license, in an attempt to keep people from just trading in their cats each year for a newer, cuter model.  We have to turn away more than 100 cats each year due to a lack of space and funds and the lack of regulation of the exotic pet trade. Read more about our Evolution of Thought HERE




hear big catsSierra

Female Bobcat
DOB 4/22/1997 – 4/11/2015
Rescued 11/30/01


Sierra and her two mates, a male and female bobcat, were bred for display at the Tennessee National Zoo, but were never used because they were very shy and hid from the public.

The three bobcats grew up together in a holding facility at the zoo. When we rescued Nikita the lioness, the zoo asked Big Cat Rescue to take the three bobcats as well. The male, Rocky, was neutered and the trio lived together for many years at the sanctuary.

Sadly Rocky passed away several years after their rescue. With out Rocky in charge of the bobcat group Sierra and Andi resorted to fighting for the dominant position in their duo. Their fighting continued so they were separated and now live in their own spacious enclosures where they can be their own bosses.



Siera Bobcat

Sierra Bobcat hasn’t been doing well in April of 2015.  We are trying some last ditch efforts to get her to eat.


Read tributes to Sierra Bobcat here:  https://sites.google.com/site/bigcattributes/home/sierra-bobcat



hear big catsNico

Female Geoffroy Cat
DOB 5/1/93 – 5/1/2015
Rescued 7/19/94

Read tributes to Nico here:  https://sites.google.com/site/bigcattributes/home/nico-geoffroy-cat

Geoffroy Cat at Big Cat RescueWe had been following his story from birth and chased him through his second owner, who sent him along to Big Cat Rescue with three Bengals on 7/19/94. He arrived taped up in a cardboard box. The fury from within the box made opening it a death defying act. As with many exotic cats, the smaller they are, the more fierce they can be. Everyone says that she “looks just like a domestic cat” but careful study of her size and shape shows that she is indeed a wild cat. It wasn’t until we went to have her neutered that we discovered that she had fooled all three of his owners; Nico is a female.

Melanistic geoffroy cat

Melanistic Geoffroy cat


Nico speaks to us of the medicine of Antelope which is the call to Action.  Antelope reminds Nico that life on this planet is brief and we are all here with a higher purpose than what our Ego paints as its illusion.  Our higher calling has nothing to do with hoarding things.  The physical body is made of dust and it and all that it gathers will return to dust.  Nico wants us to remember that we are called to action on behalf of self, family, clan, nation and finally Mother Earth.



Do something today to make the world a better place.  Pick up litter that you didn’t toss.  Clean up a mess that you didn’t make.  Smile at everyone you meet and silently wish them well.  Make a child laugh or teach him to read.  Pay the toll for the person you don’t know on the highway behind you.  Clean out your closets and garage and give all of the things you have gathering dust to someone who can use them.  Nico knows that the more you give, the more abundantly life gives back, but you have to make the first move.



Geoffroy Cat Species Spotlight Video



At 19 Nico needed a tooth extraction to save her life.

More Pages About Nico

* Today At Big Cat Rescue – Walkabout Video: The 3 Texas Tigers, Amanda, Andre and Arthur show off how smart they are at dinner time, enrichment is given to Alex Tiger, Simba Leopard, Zeus Tiger and Sundari Leopard. Check out Nico the Geoffroy Cat’s cute, pink toes. A sickly little foster kitten goes to Jamie for intensive care. See Natasha Siberian Lynx have some mats combed out of her fur. Interns help move her back outside after her seizure and she gets a new Cat-a-Tat. Bobcats, Lovey & Thurston have to move one door down first. http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-july-23-2014/

 * Today At Big Cat Rescue’s Wildcat Walkabout Video May 3rd 2014: See Nico PLUS Gilligan, Skipper, Reise, Ares, Narla, Diablo, Genie, King Tut, Rambo, Cybil, and many more of the cats.    http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-may-3-2014/

* Big full screen size photo of Nico on her 21st birthday: http://bigcatrescue.org/happy-21st-birthday-to-nico-the-geoffroy-cat-she-may-be-the-smallest-resident-at-big-cat-rescue-but-shes-got-a-big-fan-base-here-at-the-sanctuary-cute-blackcat-wild-bigcatrescue-tiny-cat/

* Today At Big Cat Rescue: Here is a page of photos of multiple cats from March 5th, 2012 including photos of Nico at age 19.  http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-mar-5/

* Today At Big Cat Rescue’s Wildcat Walkabout Video August 29, 2013: In this hour long walk about you will see Flavio Tiger in the Vacation Rotation cage and being loaded into a wagon for diagnostics.  You will see Bella Tiger making the long walk to the Vacation Rotation cage and enjoying it.  You will see the new Kitten Cabana construction, Tommie Girl Bobcat, Tobi Cougar, Gilligan Canada Lynx, Lovey, Thurston, Mary Ann, Moses, Bailey, Anazasie, Windstar,Max and Levi the bobcats.  Also rare glimpses at Genie Sandcat, Nico Geoffroy Cat, Pharaoh and Tonga the white servals, Mr E the Leopard cat, Jade and Armani the leopards, Joseph and Sasha the lions and Cameron and Zabu the white tiger.  Lots of cats, lots of rain, lots of interesting behavior.

* Today At Big Cat Rescue Ocober 2013 Walkabout Video: Angelica, Angie, Lil White Dove, Little Dove, Levi, Precious, Mary Ann, Thurston, Lovey, Tommie Girl, Moses, Bailey, Andi, Sierra, Cherokee. Leopards: Cheetaro, Jade, Armani, Jumanji, Simba and Nyla. Canada Lynx: Gilligan. Siberian Lynx: Natasha. Caracal: Rusty. Hybrids: JoJo and King Tut. Geoffroy Cat: Nico takes a long bath. Ocelots: Amazing Grace and Nirvana. Tigers: Zabu and TJ. Cougars: Cody, Tobi and Aspen Echo. Lion: Cameron. Sand Cat: Canyon. Servals: Ginger, Nala, Frosty, Kalihari, Zouletta and Zimba… and a whole lot more. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-big-cat-rescue-oct-21-2013/

* Today At Big Cat Rescue October 10: Here is a page of past photos of Pharaoh, Cookie, Purrsonality, Esmeralda, Joseph, Sasha, and Nico. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-oct-10/

* Advocat Newsletter March 2012 Issue: There is a story about Nico going to see Dr Wynn for some dental work.  http://bigcatrescue.org/advocat-2012-03/




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Male Bobcat

Date of Birth: 5/5/95

Rescued  6/6/95


Apache came to Big Cat Rescue on June 6,1995. His previous owner saw him urinate on the carpet and decided that having a bobcat as a pet was not the best idea. Apache shares a large Cat.a.tat with Divinity.


He is one of the shyest in the bunch and is always leery of Keepers that approach his enclosure. He can be quickly won over however with a few tasty treats.


Apache looks very different from the other bobcats he lives with, his coat is very light and his eyes are blue-gray.


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


Apache Loves Spice Bag



Apache When He Was a Kitten



See A Video of Apache Shredding Toilet Paper



Most of our bobcats were rescues from fur farms. The deal we made with the fur farms was that he would pay top dollar for every cat and kitten they had as long as the fur farmer would agree to never buy and breed cats again for slaughter. It came at a time that the public outcry was against the fur industry.

Some of our cats were purchased at auctions where the uncaring owners were dumping the cats with no concern about their welfare. We still accept many unwanted cats each year, but do not pay for them and now require that their owner surrender their license, in an attempt to keep people from just trading in their cats each year for a newer, cuter model.

The only way to end the abuse caused by the trade in wild cats is to pass a federal ban on the private possession of exotic cats.

Read more about our Evolution of Thought HERE




hear big catsKalahari

Female Serval
DOB 9/16/96
Kalahari and Serengeti were pets that became unwanted after a divorce. Even people with the best intentions are not usually prepared for the life time commitment involved in owning an exotic cat. Kalahari is smaller than her sister Serengeti, and she has a chronic heart condition for which she must be given medication every day. Several of the cats at Big Cat Rescue have chronic conditions that require medications on an ongoing basis. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to get a wild cat to eat their medication. Kalahari’s keepers have found that she really likes whole prey like the day old chicks that are purchased frozen from a wholesaler. The chick is thawed out and then keepers put Kalahari’s pill down the chick’s throat. Kalahari gets really excited when she gets her special chick each day and quickly devours the treat unaware that she has just been medicated.

Sponsor Kalahari http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/products/serval-sponsorship

Most of our servals were rescued from people who got them as pets and were not prepared for the fact that male or female, altered or not, they all spray buckets of urine when they become adults. Some were being sold at auction where taxidermists would buy them and club them to death in the parking lot, but a few were born here in the early days when we were ignorant of the truth and were being told by the breeders and dealers that these cats should be bred for “conservation.” Once we learned that there are NO captive breeding programs that actually contribute to conservation in the wild we began neutering and spaying our cats in the mid 1990’s.  Knowing what we do about the intelligence and magnificence of these creatures we do not believe that exotic cats should be bred for lives in cages. Read more about our Evolution of Thought



More about Kalahari

Kalahari and Serengetti are two sister servals who were born here back in 1996 and are now part of the reason that we no longer breed exotic cats.  At the time they were born we had two volunteers who were married to each other and who were a couple of the most dedicated volunteers we had at the time.  Their names were John and Penny and they were people we could always depend on for cleaning cages, feeding the cats, giving tours and doing outreach.  There didn’t want children and were wholly committed to helping protect exotic cats in any way they knew how.  I could not have asked for a more dynamic team.

When Kalahari and Serengetti were born, John and Penny made their pitch for why they would be be the best home possible for the two youngsters.  Their intention was to raise them with the kind of doting love and attention that two full time parents could give.  They would be so confidant and socialized that they would be comfortable going out to schools and civic events as “ambassadors” to teach people about why we need to protect wild cats and wild places.  Back then we didn’t realise that such “ambassadors” only cause people to want them as pets and are thus counter productive to the mission.

John would rave to us about all of the new tricks he had taught “their girls” and the rest of us kind of lived vicariously through his stories because he never actually brought “the girls” out for us to visit any more.  They never did, to my recollection, take “the girls” out into the public as intended, but I believed they were loved and cherished and that was good enough for me.  The two servals were raised until they were two or three years old;  about the time that they became mature and were no longer fun and handleable as pets.

Then John and Penny divorced.  They quit volunteering.  Neither felt the other was an appropriate parent to “the girls” so they asked if I would take them back.  Of course we did, but the only family they had ever known was John and Penny so they were not friendly to our keepers initially and didn’t enjoy visitors.  That is why they aren’t on the tour path and why a lot of you have probably never even met them.

Serval Sisters

Serval Sisters

Kalahari has a heart problem and has to be given two types of meds every day and has had to be tended to by our current vet care staff for the past 10-11 years.  The people who had vowed to be there for her and Serengetti aren’t there any more, but current Big Cat Rescuers are.  Their story is just one of hundreds that we tell about why even the smaller exotic cats never work out as pets.

No one had more time invested in caring for servals that John and Penny did at the time of their adoption.  They had seen lots of other servals go from being cute and cuddly kittens who grew up into spitting, hissing servals.  They thought they were different.  They thought they could do it better and I believed it too. I really thought the love and attention they would give these two would be far above what I could offer here, with volunteers who come and go, and I thought that they would have a forever home.

There were a lot of cats here, mostly those who were rescued from fur farms, some who were born here, that I put into what I thought were loving and forever homes, but almost all of those cats have come home to us.  It is the family that makes up Big Cat Rescue who turn out to be the safety net for these cats and for those we rescue.  As I watch huge sanctuaries get in over their heads and fail, I am ever reminded that we have to be smarter, more diligent and more accountable to each other than ever before if we are to be able to provide the forever home that is Big Cat Rescue.



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Male Bobcat
4/30/95 – 8/21/15

Levi came to live at Big Cat Rescue in 1995 along with 10 other Bobcats who were destined to be the next year’s fur coat harvest. Our Co-Founder had stumbled upon a facility in Omaha Nebraska that was raising Bobcats and Canadian Lynx for the purpose of harvesting the cats for their fur.

In order to spare these cats, all of them were purchased from the breeder and brought to live at the sanctuary.

Levi was neutered and lived with Tiger Lilly.

Aug 21, 2015  Levi Bobcat was euthanized by Dr. Boorstein tonight.  He was dramatically losing weight, suffered from high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, and advanced kidney disease.  Upon necropsy it was found that his kidneys were completely shriveled.  This was not apparent in our previous blood work because the medications he was on masked the extent of his kidney failure.  He was becoming increasingly anemic and dehydrated, despite being given sub q fluids repeated and injections to both stimulate his appetite and reduce his nausea.  Tonight Levi made it clear that he was ready to go, so Jamie and Dr. Justin helped ease him over to the other side.  He was twenty.  Read his tributes here:  https://sites.google.com/site/bigcattributes/home/levi-bobcat

Levi Bobcat When He Was a Kitten





Sponsor Levi Bobcat here:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat


Levi Bobcat Gets Netted



Levi Bobcat has been treated for kidney disease for a year or more, and lately his keepers say he’s acting weird.  Levi will usually launch himself aggressively at keepers and is always quick to come for food, treats and even his meds, because he wants to let you know that he’s the boss.  We decided to draw some blood and urine and see how his disease is progressing and if there is anything we can do to give him relief.

We tried catching him in his lockout, but that didn’t work, so Plan B is to net him, which no one wants to do because he is so scary.