hear big cats


Male Leopard

DOB 3/1/92

Rescued 7/20/95

Sabre was 3 years old when he arrived at Big Cat Rescue on 7/20/95. Though he was only supposed to be here temporarily, his former owner moved and left no forwarding address.

This could have been another sad ending as most are in the exotic pet world. Luckily, we had taken Sabre in and he will have a home here for life. He is very playful and fun loving and always has a mischievous look on his face. He loves to act very silly, running about his cat-a-tat and jumping on top of his mountain den.

Sabre the black leopardSabre, like many of our cats, has been relocated to new cat-a-tats a few times.  The change of scenery and new neighbors to interact with provide another form of enrichment for our big cats.  Sabre has enjoyed the time he has spent among other cougars, tigers, leopards and bobcats.  The only thing Sabre probably hasn’t enjoyed is his recent neutering.  But now he is back to his old energetic self loving his new location.


Sabre the Black Leopard Tumor Removal


Sabre the black leopard is 22 years old, which is about 10 years longer than most leopards live, but a tumor has begun to grow under his chin and could make it hard for him to swallow, so the difficult decision is made to remove the mass surgically.  The surgery could kill him, but the mass could too.  This is graphic surgery video so don’t watch if you have a weak constitution.



Black Panthers?



Sponsor Sabre

Gorgeous Black Leopard Photo 2011

Gorgeous Black Leopard Photo 2011


Why isn’t this cat called a Black Panther?



hear big catsGinger

Female serval
Appx. DOB 1/1/2009
Rescued on  5/5/2013



Ginger is approximately four years old and was bottle raised from a kitten. She did not have a name, so in keeping with the Gilligan’s Island theme she was named Ginger. Ginger was kept in a cage about 9′ x 12′. On one side of her two cougars were housed and on the other was an empty cage about half the size of hers.


That empty cage housed another serval who died a few months before the rescue. Sadly the serval had become wedged in between the door panels and died. It is unknown how the serval died. The dead serval was left in the cage for weeks before it was removed and dumped in an open pit just a few feet from the cage.

Ginger-Serval-2014-09-21 14.44.29

Ginger was the first cat at the Kansas property to be captured. She was netted by Big Cat Rescuers so volunteer veterinarian Dr. Justin and the Kansas City Zoo veterinarian could examine her. Despite living next door to two large intimidating cats, witnessing the death of her serval neighbor, and living in complete filth, Ginger was surprisingly calm during her capture and exam, and quickly adapted to her new found comforts at Big Cat Rescue.


Above photos are all taken at Big Cat Rescue

Sponsor Ginger



Read more about the rescue and see photos and videos here:


Jennifer Answers Ginger’s Cat Call



Find out more about volunteering.




hear big catsAnasazi

Female Bobcat

DOB 4/22/02 Earth Day

Arrived at Big Cat Rescue 5/20/02


On May 20,2002 Big Cat Rescue received a call from an animal clinic in Ruskin, FL about a bobcat. A local resident had supposedly seen a bobcat cub in her yard all by itself, fearing that the mother had abandoned it or had been hit by a car, she caught it and brought the dehydrated kitten in. After giving the cub fluids the clinic called us and we agreed to come and pick up the kitten.

The bobcat cub was very sweet. She purred anytime she was picked up. She was about 4-5 weeks old and was obviously hand raised. A kitten her age from the wild would be a hissing spitfire.

We had some tests done on her, only to find out that she was very sick with all kinds of worms and bacteria. She immediately went onto vitamins and medication and started to eat a specially prepared ground meat diet.

She has made a full recovery and is the definition of rambunctious. Ana is now old enough to share a Cat-A-Tat and a life with Will the bobcat. They have been spayed and neutered and will live out their lives together. When ever possible, we try to pair cats together so that their lives in captivity will be enriched by the company of one another. However some of our cats are just deteremined that they would rather live alone.


Sponsor Anasazi here



hear big catsJumanji

Male Leopard

DOB 2/23/96


Since he is one of the first black leopards you see at the sanctuary, Jumanji is used to quite a bit of attention. Most days, he can be found in the shadiest part of his cat-a-tat lounging on his fern-covered tree log. It is very easy to see how well black leopards camouflage themselves in the jungle since most people walk right by without noticing him there. People magazine certainly noticed Jumanji though.  His photo was featured in an article written about Big Cat Rescue.

Jumanji is also known as quite the superstar achiever in our Operant Conditioning Program.  He learns very quickly and always wants to please, especially when treats are involved.  If the keeper is not quick enough with the reward, Jumanji will offer other behaviors to see if maybe the keeper wants something else.  He makes it easy to capture and reward other behaviors, which he will then subsequently remember.  The adage that leopards have the longest memories truly applies to Jumanji.

Jumanji was born here back before we learned that no privately held exotic cats serve any sort of conservation purpose.  Back then, in the pre-Internet era of the 90’s, the only people we could turn to for advice were breeders and dealers who lied to us about the necessity of breeding exotic cats to save them.  As soon as we learned better we stopped breeding and began campaigning to end the abuse of breeding wild cats for life in cages.

On 2/3/09 Panther International pledged to donate $20,000 to Jumanji’s life time care.



Sponsor Jumanji

Jumanji-Leopard Jumanji-Leopard Jumanji-Leopard

Why isn’t this cat called a Black Panther?


Jumanji Gets New Digs


Leopard Island is what we call an area of the sanctuary that is in the middle of four cart paths.


We are moving all of the leopards to Leopard Island so they can access tunnels.


The tunnels connect to lion, tiger and leopard cages so we can easily move cats to and from their vacation site.


The vacation site is 2.5 acres called the Vacation Rotation enclosure.


Each big cat gets a two week vacation in the Vacation Rotation area and then shifts back to their enclosure.


We have gotten pretty good at moving leopards this way, but it will be much easier to just open a gate.


Eventually we hope to connect cougar tunnels as well so they can go on vacation too.


Volunteers added some more dirt / sand to this enclosure yesterday so it looks like a beach, but will be full of grass soon.



Alex Bobcat comes to the front of his cat-a-tat across the cart path to check out the new neighbor.


The Holley’s built a new platform for Jumanji so he could have great views of the lake and paths.



Little Feather Bobcat comes to the front of her cat-a-tat across the cart path to check out the new neighbor.


Jumanji gives his seal of approval on the new digs.  Thanks for making it possible to enrich their lives.

You can continue to provide such excellent care by donating here:


More Links About Jumanji

February 15, 2016 – Jumanji is sedated for treatment. Jumanji had dental surgery, as well as had the mass on his forehead removed. The mass was sent to lab for testing. It appears as though Jumanji got a stick stuck across the roof of his mouth causing two of his molars to go bad as well as neighboring molars. So now he does not have any upper molars and cannot chew. He will be on a soft food diet forever. His food must be cut up in pieces small enough to just swallow. He will recover in the concrete hospital cage for five days before returning to his enclosure. This will help keep his stitches clean. Also found during his exam was significant spondylosis, arthritis, in his spine. He will be on pain medications for the next week to see how it helps.

February 16, 2015 – Jumanji is highlighted in this Wildcat walkabout video.  Popsicles & stiches….

December 31, 2014 – Karma and Becky administer K-Laser therapy to Jumanji the Leopard

October 17, 2014 – Lots photos including Jumanji at the vet:

October 2014 – Jumanji is in the Advocate Newsletter:

October 9, 2014 Video, News, & Photos of the various cats including Jumanji getting a new room edition:

October 1 – Today at Big Cat Rescue has many photos of the cats and the sanctuary grounds and photos of Jumanji with his pizza box:

August 21, 2014 – Jumanji Leopard’s Vet Emergency:

June 22nd – Lots of photos of the various cats including Jumanji:

May 31st – Today at Big Cat Rescue has updates of various cats including Jumanji:

May 3, 2014 – Wildcat Walkabout Video has footage of several cats including Jumanji:

March 8th – Lost of news about and photos of various cats including Jumanji doing a tail dance to get attention:

January 13 – This page has a bunch of photos of the cats including a photo of Jumanji pouting:

January 12, 2014 – Video and Photo of Jumanji “Break Dancing”:

November 29th – This page his packed full of photos, videos, & news. Jumanji the black leopard vys for attention from Reno. He tries playing with toys, break dancing, spinning, leaping …covering his eyes, rolling on the ground, …

October 21, 2013 – Walkabout Video has some footage of Jumanji:

January 2013 – Jumanji is in the Advocate Newsletter:

January 13, 2012 – Jumanji leopard pouting. Yes, leopards can pout if they think others are getting treats they are not.

January 2009 – Keeper Walkabout has cute footage of Jumanji as well as several other cats:

Want to know more about leopards? Go to our species info page to fins some fun serval facts.

Want to see other cats the call Big Cat Rescue home? This page lists all of the cats by name and species.

Find ways that YOU can get involved saving big cats, and small ones, too.

Do you get our free monthly newsletter so you can stay up to date on the happenings here?





hear big catsMoses

Male Bobcat
DOB 4/22/01 Earth Day
Rescued 5/14/01


We gave Moses the birthday of Earth Day, because he was abandoned here with no note and no one to tell us what his story was. He was about four weeks old and near death when his carrier was discovered inside our gates in May. He knew how to nurse from a bottle, which is something that has to be learned over a two or three day period, so we had to assume that he was someone’s failed attempt at a pet.

With proper diet and antibiotics, he was soon well enough to be a playmate to Trick E., the Amurian Leopard Cat, however he quickly outgrew this small cat.

He has been neutered and now and lives with Bailey.



Sponsor Moses Bobcat here:




hear big cats


Male Leopard

DOB 6/6/94 – 5/8/2015

Rescued 8/4/94

Simba GOODSimba is a male Asian spotted leopard born on 6/6/94. He came to Big Cat Rescue on 8/4/94 with his sister, Nyla, as a bottle fed baby. Simba had the misfortune of being born the wrong sex.  Backyard breeders always want more females than males.  Since his sister Nyla was cross eyed, he was not a good candidate for breeding and was unwanted.

Seeing what a beautiful leopard he has grown up to be, we are fortunate that we were able to take him in to save him from a long life of breeding.

Simba has always had a predisposition for the female volunteers who care for him.  This was never more evident than when he was recently relocated to a cat-a-tat near Reno, a former circus performing leopard.  Though bigger than Reno, Simba spent most of his time hiding away in his den until he was coaxed out by a female staff member who sat with him and reassured him that everything would be all right.  The term “big scaredy cat” never fit anyone more on that day than it did Simba.

He quickly adjusted to his new surroundings.  He just needed the reassurance, as we all do sometimes, from someone who cares deeply for him.

Simba has arthritis in his old age and is being treated with pharmaceuticals, supplements and laser therapy.




The leopards at Big Cat Rescue are definitely some of the funniest cats at the sanctuary! They’re often “break dancing”, playing with enrichment, stalking tour guests and just being goofy! But remember despite how cute and cuddly they may look sometimes, they are still very much WILD and their mood can change very quickly from fun to ferocious!




More Info About and Photos of Simba

Simba Leopard had an MRI and surgery the last week of December 2014. Here is a link telling you what happened to Simba’s Leopard’s tail:

Leopards Simba and Nyla Re-Introduced After 15 Years (scroll down the page to find their pix):

Simba goes on vacation (scroll down the page to find his photos):

On this page there is a video of Simba and Nyla meeting at the Howdy door:

On this page is another video. In that video is a clip of Simba going to the vet.:

More clips of Simbda can be found in the videos on this page:

Operant Conditioning with Jennifer Ruszczyk:

Photo entitled, ‘Simba Wonders Why?”:

How does picking up after our leopards help save tigers in Indochina?? Find out how here:

Interns plant greenery in Simba the leopard’s enclosure:

See two photos of Simba enjoying his platforms and ramps when the Holley’s first made them for him: 

Two more photos of Simba on his platforms:

Simba’s sister Nyla: