AdvoCat 2016 04

AdvoCat 2016 04

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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 http://BigCatAct.com

 

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 http://bigcatrescue.org/mother-foster-kittens/

 

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 http://bigcatrescue.org/insitu/

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 explore.org at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release

Hamburger Mary’s Event

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

ACTION ALERT!!

YOUR VOICE NEEDED TODAY TO SPEAK OUT FOR TIGER CUBS BEING EXPLOITED!

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 bblackwell@ozarkalabama.us and mayor@ozarkalabama.us

Email the Ozark City Council members at cfo@ozarkalabama.us

Email WDHN News Director Stephen Crews at screws@wdhn.com

Post comments on WDNH News’ Facebook page here (but don’t be surprised if they remove your comments):
https://www.facebook.com/DothanFirst/posts/1124650860919147

 

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

ZooCollegesmartmockups

Want a career in wild animal care? Check out ZooCollege.com

***

Zoo College Ad

Dreaming of a career with wild cats?  Check out ZooCollege.com

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AdvoCat 2016 01

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Hope You Are Having a Happy New Year!

We are very happy for two recent graduates of our bobcat rehab program.  Check out the release of Phoenix and Captiva in this video:

Phoenix and Captiva are starting a new life journey as free and wild bobcats. Watch as we release them in their natural habitat. It was sad to see them go, but exciting to know that they are in the wild where they belong.  Help support our bobcat rehab work by donating here:

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

Win a Cat Tree

Win it for your own cats, or tell us your favorite cat shelter in the U.S. and we will send it there.  Email your snapshots of our Explore.org/BigCatRescue cats to Win@BigCatRescue.org  The winner will be chosen by random drawing on February 10, 2016. Hopefully we can then get it ordered for you by Valentine’s Day to make it one for your cat to remember forever.

Collage 1920x1080

Valentine’s Day

It’s the heart warming-ist time of the year!

We have more than 14 pages of free Valentine’s Day goodies for you here:  http://chatbigcats.com/?s=valentine

 

ValentinesCoupon

WILDHEART16
15% off entire order. Offer valid 1/27/16 – 2/7/16

BIGCATART
30% off artwork (canvas prints, limited edition signed prints, and original paintings). Offer valid 1/27/16 – 2/7/16

Use it now at http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/

Get downloadable Valentine photos at http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/downloadable-sponsor-a-cat

 

Watch the Elephant in the Living Room for FREE on Hulu

Elephant in the Living Room

Watch Online for FREE!

Now available on Hulu, the runaway hit documentary The Elephant in the Living Room is streaming online for FREE! http://www.hulu.com/watch/337242

The film won FIVE “best documentary” awards as is wonderful to watch.

AND, you can help change the mindset of our culture about private ownership of dangerous animals by rating the film, leaving a comment, and encouraging others to watch.

On behalf of the cats, thanks for helping encourage others to watch it!

Also get the book written by Tim Harrison here:  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/products/book-wildlife-warrior

 

Check Out Fun Cat Videos Since Last Month

Mountain Lions in Wyoming need your voice NOW!!

 

Wyoming lawmakers have proposed a bill (HB 0012) that would legalize the cruel trapping and snaring of mountain lions.

Please take action here: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16920

 

Outrageous Acts of Science

For those of you who missed the episode of Outrageous Acts Of Science, here is the link to our portion of the show. We were the first to be featured on this episode.

http://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/outrageous-acts-of-science/why-do-big-cats-like-boxes/

BoxingDay

Help Us Defeat Animal Abusers

Big Cat Rescue is THE most hated sanctuary by animal abusers.  Since there is no way for them to stop us from exposing their misdeeds and no way for them to justify their exploitation of exotic cats, they resort to posting false reviews about us in an effort to trash our good name.  Most review sites won’t remove fake reviews, even when it obviously not from a real visitor.  If you are a real visitor to our sanctuary, and love the work that you have helped us do for big cats, please help us recover from a recent attack by blind followers of Black Jaguar White Tiger who have been posting false 1 star reviews on these sites:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bigcatrescue/reviews/

TripAdvisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34678-d117501-Reviews-Big_Cat_Rescue-Tampa_Florida.html#REVIEWS

Yelp https://www.yelp.com/writeareview/biz/7pDoY-1hdJLdUDreEs-azg?return_url=%2Fbiz%2F7pDoY-1hdJLdUDreEs-azg

Great Non Profits http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/write/big-cat-rescue-corp

Google Plus https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=google%20maps%20big%20cat%20rescue

 

Ask China to Stop Farming Tigers

China is in the process of revising its Wildlife Protection Law of 1989. It’s the first time the law has been amended thoroughly in 26 years and its unlikely there will be another opportunity to amend the law in the near future. The 1989 law provides the basis for China’s policy of wildlife “utilisation” and trade and breeding for commercial purposes.

The new draft law was published last month and unfortunately, continues to encourage commercial breeding and utilization as its founding principle. Public consultation over the draft law is ongoing and the deadline for comments is January 29th, 2016.  If you would like to submit comments in English, you can mail your comments to:

The Legal Committee of National People’s Congress
No. 1 West Avenue, Xicheng District,
Beijing, China  100805

Sample statement:

Please stop the captive breeding of tigers and stop using their parts and derivatives.

 

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AdvoCat 2015 12

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Happy Holidays from Big Cat Rescue

 

We have so much to be thankful for; wonderful people like you who help ensure that our big cats stay fed, our AdvoCats all around the world who work for laws to end the abuse of big cats, our Big Cat Rescuers who donate their time to caring for the cats, running the sanctuary and educating our guests, and to live in paradise.  This issue is our gift to you!

 

Holiday Goody Gifts for YOU!

Big Cat Rescue has teamed up with Explore.org who is hosting LIVE STREAMING video of the cats. See tigers playing, swimming, sleeping, and eating.  Watch Nikita lioness as she plays and sleeps.  Watch adorable funny kittens playing.

FIRST: Go to http://Explore.org/BigCatRescue to see the live streaming videos and use the “Snapshot” feature there to take your own photos of the lions, tigers, and kittens.

EVERY photo submission gets YOUR NAME placed in a drawing for a free t-shirt.

SECOND: Submit your photos to us before midnight on Christmas Eve.  The T-Shirt Winner will be announced on Christmas Day.  We will pick 30 photos to include in a special edition screensaver that we will give away Christmas Day.  Find out how to submit your photos here, where it says, Win A FREE Big Cat Rescue T-Shirt http://chatbigcats.com/newsletter-gifts-december-2015/

Video Updates Since the Last Mews Letter

Bobcat Release Site Needed in Highlands County FL

State law requires that bobcats be released back to the same county where they were picked up for rehab.  Rain and Dancer came from Highlands County, so we need a release site that is in excess of 40 acres (the more land the better) where the owner will give us written permission to release them.  If you have land, or know a land baron, please email Cat@BigCatRescue.org and let us know.

 

Can’t Get Enough of the Big Cats?

Now you can watch them LIVE on explore.org/bigcatrescue  Check out each of the webcams below:

Nikita Lioness

Vacation Rotation

Feeding Station

Kitten Cabana

Windsong Memorial Cat Hospital

Bobcat Rehab

AdvoCats Come in All Sizes

Our AdvoCats come in all ages, from all over the US and the world. Eleven year-old Alexander P. proves that anyone who cares about big cats can make a difference. For the past two years Alexander has supported Big Cat Rescue through our Buy a Brick program by collecting donations rather than gifts for his birthday. This school year, he and his fellow classmate are organizing a school fundraiser to sponsor one of our very own bobcats in honor of their school mascot.

Alexander_BigCat_2

Just this week, Alexander’s family surprised him with an early Christmas gift – a trip from Maryland to our sanctuary in Tampa, FL! During his visit Alexander learned more about the issues of private ownership and about our federal bill, the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Wanting to voice his support for big cats, Alexander plans on visiting the Capital next year to meet with legislators and tell them just how important this bill is to him.  Thank you for all that you do for the cats, Alexander!

Jennifer Leon, MPA Director of Outreach

 

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AdvoCat 2015 10

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Happy Halloween from Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescuers Have Rescued a 13-Year-Old Tiger Named Teisha from Ohio

DONATE HERE TO HELP US CONTINUE TO RESCUE CATS LIKE TEISHA
On Monday, October 5, 2015, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office took possession of 5 tigers from Mike Stapleton, owner of Paws & Claws Animal Sanctuary near Columbus.

Teisha TigerStapleton has been battling state officials to keep his tigers ever since Ohio legislators enacted an exotic animal law that went into effect almost two years ago. Authorities arrived prepared to seize Stapleton’s cats after he had vowed to never give up his cats, but in the end Stapleton peacefully surrendered his cats. All 5 cats will be placed in approved sanctuaries outside of Ohio.

When we learned that Teisha – a 13-year-old tiger, in such bad shape that she was unable to walk, and didn’t move even during the chaos and darting when authorities took possession of her two weeks ago – we immediately offered to bring Teisha to Big Cat Rescue where we can provide her with the best possible medical and dental care and nutrition.

It is our understanding that Stapleton told people on the scene Teisha had been injured by the other tigers in the cage, who constantly picked on her. It’s doubtful that a vet ever examined Teisha before ODA rescued her.

Four Big Cat Rescuers left Tampa on Wednesday, October 21, for the 15-hour drive up to Ohio with our transport carrier. They drove straight through and met with Ohio authorities and took possession of Teisha.

For the first week after Teisha was rescued by ODA, she did not stand and just peed and defecated while laying down. The ODA vets put her on pain medication and she has begun getting up and walking a little bit. It’s heartbreaking to speculate how long Teisha has been in pain but not receiving any medication while owned by Stapleton.

Although Teisha had a hard time standing when she first arrived, she is doing better every day.  Walking more, chuffing more and coming to enjoy life more, thanks to you, and proper vet care.

We will post updates about Teisha and her prognosis as we can. It is only because of our amazing donors like YOU that Big Cat Rescue can save these cats!

THANK YOU for your continuing support of our work and our sanctuary!

Rescue Photos as They Roll In

Teisha Tiger Walking

See all of the photos of Teisha the tiger as we get them here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153390842851919.1073741904.595786918&type=1&l=33a4b86167

 

Video of Teisha’s Rescue

Coming soon!

 

Video update on Teisha

 

WHY Change Name from Keisha to Teisha?

We always try to keep a cat’s name, but at Big Cat Rescue we have protocols that demand every Keeper post observations to a database that shares the info with the CEO, President, Ops Mgr, maintenance crew and the Vets if it is a medical related post. Each cat has to have a unique name in the database.

We have had cats with the same name before, like Cleo Cougar, Cleo Serval and Cleo Bobcat, but we already had a Keisha Tiger. Calling the new cat Teisha Tiger makes sure that her observations records are unique to her and sounds similar enough to her that we hope she will just pass it off as a regional accent.

Cats are masters at hiding symptoms when they are ill. Daily observations are crucially important to managing health. That observations database is vital part of the daily care so a unique name is a must.

Teisha is an Arabic name that means Alive and Well, which is our goal for her.
October 25, 2015 Teisha got her first perfume tube and she certainly enjoyed sinking her claws and teeth into it.

 

Top Shocking Incidents of Big Cat Exploitation

 

We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and contact one or more of the offenders below to politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. If you learn of exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact Susan Bass at Susan.Bass@BigCatRescue.org.

 

 

No. 1  The Tatiana Restaurant and Nightclub in Hallandale, Florida

Tatianahas featured live tigers in their nightclub shows. This photo from Tatiana’s Facebook page shows a woman performing last month with an adult tiger that does not appear to even be restrained. This is a public safety issue as well as animal exploitation.

Other photos taken by guests show a tiger in a tiny transport cage on stage at the nightclub. Imagine the noise the tiger must endure and the fear he must be experiencing! A loud nightclub is no place for a magnificent wild cat. Please ask Tatiana to STOP exploiting tigers and ask USDA to inspect the facility.

Ask USDA to inspect this nightclub: aceast@aphis.usda.gov

Contact Tatiana Nightclub at Tatiana_restaurant@yahoo.com and at 954-454-1222.

Comment on posts on Tatiana’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TatianaLounge?fref=ts

Sign a petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/489/824/799/?z00m=27029688&redirectID=1847553235

 

No. 2 The Alachua County Fair in Gainesville, Florida

Alachuathis week features the notorious Amazing Rainforest Experience circus show with big cats. You may recall seeing photos of emaciated tigers in August at the Missouri State Fair (one photo at right).

Those cats are also owned by Amazing Rainforest Experience, so it is very likely these same cats are now being forced to perform at the Alachua County Fair. Please email the fair and let them know animal lovers do NOT want to see big cats exploited as entertainment. Also ask the FWC to inspect the cats at the fair.

Contact the fair at alachuafair@gmail.com

Ask the Florida Wildlife Commission to inspect the Amazing Rainforest Experience cats at the fair: http://myfwc.com/contact/fwc-staff/senior-staff/commissioners/

 

No. 3 Ustad, a wild tiger in India, needs your voice!

UstadTigerPlease add your ROAR to the global effort to return Ustad (T24) to the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve where he belongs!

Big Cat Rescue was contacted by a group of big cat advocates requesting our help to increase international awareness regarding the false accusation that a tiger named Ustad killed a local forest guide in the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in May 2015.

Witnesses said it was a different tiger that attacked the forest guide, yet Ustad was subsequently seized and illegally moved to a zoo more than 250 miles away from the only home he has ever known. Secretly capturing a wild tiger and moving him to a glorified zoo is against all of India’s standard operating procedures. Locals believe the move was orchestrated for purely political reasons.

Even more concerning is that the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which is responsible for wild animal conservation in India, was not informed of the capture and move, against all of the country’s normal protocols. NTCA sent a team to the tiger reserve following the death of the forest guide and determined that Ustad was not guilty, acted as a normal tiger, and should be returned to the wild instead of locked up and exhibited at a glorified zoo for the rest of his life.

Please let India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NTCA know that the world is watching and wants Ustad to be returned to the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve where he belongs.

Suggested Wording for your Email:

I wish to add my voice to the global ROAR that T24 Ustad be freed from captivity and immediately returned to the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve where he belongs!

NTCA has already determined that Ustad is not guilty of the attack and death of the forest guide in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in May 2015. NTCA found that Ustad acted as a normal tiger and should be returned to the wild. Please do not sentence Ustad to a life locked up and on exhibit for the rest of his life. He is a wild tiger and should be allowed the dignity to live out the rest of his life in the wild. The world is watching.

Please send your email to each of these email addresses. THANK YOU FOR ROARING FOR USTAD!!

bonalbishan@gmail.com

ms-ntca@nic.in

dirpt-r@nic.in

singlag12@yahoo.co.in

dgfindia@nic.in

motgov2119@gmail.com

secy-moef@nic.in

pjavadekar@gmail.com

ig-ntca@nic.in

 

October’s Featured FREE Treats

It’s no trick!

Featured Cat’s Story (Alex Tiger)
Short video of Alex playing with his Spice bag
Keeper Comments about Alex
How to Sponsor Alex Tiger
Tiger Fun Facts
NEW Magazine Style format unveiled for the Big Cat Times Fall Edition
World Animal Day Screensaver featuring 32 close-up photos of various cats at Big Cat Rescue
Big Cats and Pumpkins screensaver featuring 19 photos of big cats playing with pumpkins
Big Cat Wallpaper for your computer, tablet and phone
World Animal Day Video
FREE Big Cat Books
Halloween Jokes
Social Media Fun Shares

Get them all here:  http://chatbigcats.com/newsletter-gifts-october-2015/

 

Videos Since the Last AdvoCat Mews-letter

 

 

SpookTacular Savings!

Take advantage of this hauntingly good deal in our online gift shop www.bigcatrescue.biz All purr-chases help the cats like Andre and Arthur here!

SpookSavings

Small Cat Fun Area Gets a Roof

Our Small Cat Fun area has been under construction for about a year now.  It has been complicated by the fact that it is so huge and yet will require a roof.  Vernon Stairs and his son, Vern Stairs (his sister calls him Chuck) and Scott Haller have been working, in between record rain storms, to get this play area done.  More than 50 of the 5 x 15 foot roof panels are in place now…just 100’s to go.  This turned out to be a much more expensive and difficult project than we had planned, but the cats are going to love it!

Small-Cat-Fun-Vern-Chuck-2015-10

 

Halloween Haunted House

 

hauntedtrailcatpumpkin2014Murder House will be offering terrifying experiences for those who love the thrill of haunted houses, and they are doing it to benefit Big Cat Rescue!

Right now they are having a contest here:  http://www.murderhousetampa.com/contests/

Big Cat Rescue will NOT be hosting a haunted trail this year, but instead is asking all of our supporters to go to the Murder House in Tampa to get your chills and thrills, as they will be donating proceeds to our cats.

Be sure to sign up for our mews-letter so that you get all the latest details about this scary event.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween and be sure to keep your pets safe too.  Bring them inside!

 

 

 

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Cecil the Lion

Cecil the lion has touched the lives of everyone who cares about big cats.  Here are three articles that detail some of his impact on the rest of the world:

http://bigcatrescue.org/cecil-lion/

http://bigcatrescue.org/cecil-the-lion-an-agent-of-change/

http://bigcatrescue.org/delta/

If you are looking for a way to help protect big cats like Cecil, please take the Tiger Selfie Challenge below.  While Cecil was not a cub that was used for pay to play and then turned out into a canned hunt, most of his kind do start out that way.

 

Take the Tiger Selfie Challenge!

Tiger Selfie Ad Phone

You remember the Ice Bucket Challenge, don’t you?  It was a crazy, popular way to raise awareness about  Lou Gherig’s Disease, that started in 2014 and has already raised more than 100,000 million dollars for ALS research.  Just yesterday Boston Mayor Marty Walsh took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge—and challenged Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to do the same. A full year later this form of public activism is still grabbing headlines.

What if the cats had such a successful campaign to raise awareness about the suffering they endure for tiger selfies, lion selfies and liger selfies?

You KNOW we could end the pay to play schemes, once and for all, if everyone knew that posing with tiger cubs was Cruel NOT Cool!  Find out how here:  http://bigcatrescue.org/selfie/

New Big Cat Videos

 

Never miss a video starring your big cat friends!  Subscribe to both channels:

Main channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/BigCatRescue

Daily Big Cat channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/DailyBigCat

 

Free Lion Screen Savers and Wallpapers

 

In honor of Cecil the lion we have created free screen savers and wallpapers for Macs and PCs at our newly launched ChatBigCats.com site!  LaWanna and Ysabel have been working for months to convert our old BigCatFun.com site to a kid safe, mobile responsive, interactive site where you can play games, puzzles and find all kinds of fun things to do.  This site is still in Beta, so some links may be broken, but this link will take you to an area that is ready, where you can download the screen savers and wallpapers.  http://chatbigcats.com/newsletter-gifts-august-2015/

 

Your voice is saving big cats!

 

Last month we asked you to speak out against the cruel use of cubs, in a pay to play Swim-With-Tigers scheme at Dade City Wild Things and USDA has finally sued them for severe violations of the Animal Welfare Act saying, “The gravity of the violations alleged in this complaint is great, involving multiple failures to handle animals carefully and to provide access for inspection.”  Find out more at TigerCubAbuse2.com

Because you take action, whenever we point out big cat abuse, the USDA has also sued Doug Terranova who runs a circus and shows up at fairs with Joe Schreibvogel and his pay to play cubs, and Gregg & Karen Woody who also drag cubs out to parking lots and fairs.  We can end the abuse of lions, tigers, ligers and other wild animal cubs if we all speak out together.  Thank you for taking action on our alerts, and please be sure to do so on the following:

 

Top Shocking Incidents

of Big Cat Exploitation – August 2015

 

We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and contact one or more of the offenders below to politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. If you learn of exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact Susan Bass at Susan.Bass@BigCatRescue.org.

Walk On The Wild SideNo. 1      The Benton County Fair in Oregon recently hosted A Walk on the Wild Side’s exotic animal exhibit. An article in the local Corvallis Gazette-Times quoted one fairgoer saying the cages were small and the animals were pacing and showed signs of stress. A Walk on the Wild Side, also located in Oregon, has been closed to the public since March 2015 due to code violations but still subjects exotic cats to fairs and shows.

Benton County Fair Manager Lonny Wunder said he receives two or three complaints a year about the wild animal exhibit, but he will reconsider having them back if he receives more than that. SO we are asking you to please urge Wunder to do the humane thing and not allow exotic animals to be displayed at the fair next year.

Read the Corvallis Gazette-Times article here: http://www.gazettetimes.com/news/local/exotic-animal-show-raises-questions/article_c81dab3e-f5be-5858-a04f-6f6852bf5f49.html

Contact Fair Manager Lonny Wunder at 541-766-6090 and email him at this link http://www.bentoncountyfair.net/contact-us/email-inquiry/
No. 2      The Midland County Fair in Michigan just hosted a circus act called Wambold’s Amazing Animals. The act featured several tigers and even included a liger – the result of the unnatural mating of a tiger and a lion. Local paper Midland Daily News covered the tiger show in at least two articles but never mentioned the true issues involved with big cats in traveling acts in their reporting. Fair manager Trish Steele is quoted gushing over the circus act, “They provide a lot of educational information to people who are in the free entertainment area. It’s not just a show.” Hmmm.

The owner of the tiger is also quoted in the article saying white tigers are “very, very rare in the wild because they have no camouflage.” It’s true they don’t have camouflage, but white tigers are not found in the wild because they are not a species!

There is nothing educational about seeing majestic big cats forced to perform in front of crowds and travel in small transport wagons. Please help us educate Steele and the Midland Daily News that exotic cats and other animals at fairs and in circus acts should be a thing of the past. Urge the fair to NOT have the cats back next year.

Read an article here: http://www.ourmidland.com/news/wambolds-brings-amazing-animals-to-fair/article_f5a7d9d2-4752-5fc9-90a4-00c324382234.html

Email the Midland Count Fair at midlandfair@midlandfair.net
Email Midland Daily News reporter John Kennett at jkennett@mdn.net and reporter Kelly Dame at kdame@mdn.net
Tiger Encounter

 

No. 3      The Kutztown Fair in Pennsylvania recently hosted a circus act with tigers called Tiger Encounter, run by the notorious Frisco circus family.

We’re told children were allowed to feed the cats with a long stick. That sends the wrong message that big cats are ours to use how we want. Please kindly let the Kutztown Fair that animal lovers do not want to see big cats used as entertainment.

Email the fair at info@kutztownfairgrounds.com.

 

No.4      The West End Fair in Pennsylvania is going on right now until August 29. The fair features Bruno Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tiger circus show. However, there is no such thing as a “royal” Bengal tiger. The fair’s website says Bruno is “devoted to preserving these magnificent tigers for many generations to come.”

Breeding them to live lives of misery in circus acts and traveling the country in tiny transport cages? That is no life at all for big cats.

Politely email the fair at   secwefa@ptd.net

Comment on the fair’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-West-End-Fair/587611944615207?sk=timeline
Vincenta White Tiger Circus

 

No. 5      The Showhegen State Fair in Maine recently included the Vicenta White Tigers circus act. In a local newspaper article, owner Vicenta Pages actually told a reporter – presumably with a straight face – that “there are no longer any white Bengal tigers left in the wild of their homeland in India, having been hunted and poached to extinction.” HUH?

White tigers do not exist in the wild and could not survive even if they did because they would not be able to sneak up on prey or hide from predators. Big Cat Rescue believes it is tragic that fair managers and even journalists fall for these lies over and over again. Would you speak out for these tigers?

Learn more about white tigers here: http://bigcatrescue.org/abuse-issues/issues/white-tigers/

Contact the Showhegen Fair at  office@skowheganstatefair.com

You can also help us to politely educate the reporter at CentralMaine.com who wrote an article glamorizing the white tigers at the fair, seemingly without researching or reporting the facts about white tigers. Read the article here: https://www.centralmaine.com/2015/08/16/bengal-tigers-earn-their-keep-at-skowhegan-state-fair/

Email reporter Doug Harlow at dharlow@centralmaine.com

Want to Help Big Cats in a More Purr-sonal Way?

 

Join our intern program here:  http://bigcatrescue.org/get-involved/volunteer/intern/

 

Why is the FWC Giving Up on the Florida Panther?

 

Background

You may recall that in June Big Cat Rescue joined various national conservation groups in speaking out against the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s [FWC] policy proposal for the Florida panther. You may read our response to the FWC’s proposal at http://bigcatrescue.org/why-is-the-fwc-giving-up-on-the-florida-panther/.

Mountain Lion Cub Stolen From The WildMany of you responded to our action alert, contacting the FWC and asking them to not give up on the FL panther. Big Cat Rescue attended the meeting in Sarasota to speak up for panthers (and bears). We also participated in a news conference with the Sierra Club, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Humane Society of the United States. Our combined actions resulted in the FWC taking note of the public’s comments and sending the proposal back to their staff for
revision.

Earlier this month (August 2015) the FWC posted their revised​ policy proposal. As the Tampa Bay Times put it in their editorial on August 17th, the revised proposal is a “win for open government over secrecy” but the policy still has “some weasel language” and that overall, this is a reminder of the “need for public oversight of this critical agency.”

Big Cat Rescue opposes the revised policy proposal Although we were pleased to read that the overall tone of the proposal had softened with the removal of some of the most contentious terms and language, Big Cat Rescue found the “weasel language” to be far more extensive and subtle than the TBT let on.

First, the good.

The revision includes welcomed recommendations to restore panther habitat in the Everglades, coordinate with the Florida Department of Transportation on the installation wildlife crossings, and support for strategic conservation easements. But much like the FWC’s response to request for more habitat be protected for wildlife – the FWC has little to no say in these matters. These recommendations are just that, recommendations.

Second, the bad.

The original proposal repeated brash assertions that the FWC would no longer support panther recovery outside of southwest Florida and insisted that one population of an estimated 100 to 180 panthers in southwest Florida after 34 years “should be ample scientific evidence to warrant reconsideration of the status of panthers under the Endangered Species Act.”

The federal government has maintained that for panthers to be taken off of the endangered species list their needs to be three separate populations, each with 240 panthers. Conservation groups, wildlife organizations, and a wide array of Floridians were quick to call out what was an attempt to force the federal government to reconsider the criteria for taking panthers off the endangered species list. (Big Cat Rescue believes that lowering the panther’s federal protective status, and ultimately delisting the big cat from the Endangered Species Act, are steps towards allowing a panther hunt.)

This revision, in addition to the softer tone and recommendations, includes language stating that the FWC does not intend to change the panther’s protected status. But the core statements brashly asserted in the original proposal are still there – polished and smoothed over, but none the wiser.

Third, the ugly.

The FWC is still abandoning their obligation to federal recovery efforts outside of the small population of 100 to 180 panthers in southwest Florida. The policy proposal still calls for federal officials to lessen their criteria for taking panthers off the endangered species list. It also leaves the door wide open for the FWC to take lethal action against panthers.

Be a voice for the Florida panther!

Three Mountain Lion CubsTell the FWC Commissioners to oppose the policy proposal. Attend the upcoming FWC meeting in Ft. Lauderdale on September 2nd​, 2015 at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. The FWC will be voting on the revised policy proposal as well as finalizing​​ rules for the impending bear hunt.

More information about the meeting including the address, ​start time, agenda, and a ​link to ​the revised draft FL panther position proposal​​ may be found online at http://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/2015/september/02/agenda/

 

Take Action Here!

http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51389/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15098