AdvoCat 2015 10

AdvoCat 2015 10

Happy Halloween from Big Cat Rescue

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

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:


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



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:

Contact Tatiana Nightclub at and at 954-454-1222.

Comment on posts on Tatiana’s Facebook page:

Sign a petition here:


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

Ask the Florida Wildlife Commission to inspect the Amazing Rainforest Experience cats at the fair:


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!!


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:


Videos Since the Last AdvoCat Mews-letter



SpookTacular Savings!

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


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!



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:

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!




Murder House Halloween Haunted House

Murder House Halloween Haunted House

Murder House

Halloween Haunted House

Murder 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:

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.

Zabu tiger Pumpkin




Join us for the Haunted Trail on Growl-O-Ween




Tired of the same old theme parks? Obnoxious crowds, packed parking lots, long lines—you know what I’m talking about.

Want a more intimate scare this Halloween?

Then join Big Cat Rescue Friday, October 25 for Growl-O-Ween, an after dark spooky night tour that ends up along the Haunted Trail, if you’re brave enough to walk past the glowing eyes, roaring of tigers, screaming of cougars as our nocturnal hunters show you this is their time.  Then you reach the Haunted Trail and the fear really begins.


It’s an after dark experience that’ll make your hair stand on end.

Growl-O-Ween at Big Cat Rescue, Friday, October 25. Reservations and pre-payment required.  Space is limited.  $55 per person.

Ages 10 and older only.  No costumes allowed.  Please do not consume alcohol before the tour or you’ll be refused admission.

Avoid the hassles of the big theme parks and brave Growl-O-Ween, Big Cat Rescue’s Haunted Trail.

This is a one night event and there are only 2 set tour times, so reserve your spots now if you don’t want to miss out.

The reservations will be for either the 8PM or the 8:30PM Night Tour on Oct. 25, 2013 ONLY here:

Please disregard the Night Tour description at Zerve as both of these night tour times will include scare zones that are not usually included.

Today at Big Cat Rescue Oct 18 2013

Today at Big Cat Rescue Oct 18 2013

Big Cat Rescue Right This Minute




2013 Right This Minute TJ vacation


Just gave a tour this morning to a news station here from Vietnam, thanks to an invitation by the U.S. State Department.

Yesterday the press was here to view cats vs pumpkins.

Tampa Bay Times – print edition had color photo of Ben on the front page of the Local section.
NBC — ran the story last night during the 6 pm news.
NBC online (32 photos of the cats) —
FOX — ran story last night during the 5:30 pm news.
Bay News 9 — I don’t see anything online but a friend of mine saw a story airing this morning. (They didn’t come out yesterday but I sent them some of Jamie’s photos)



AdvoCat 2013 10

AdvoCat 2013 10

Happy Growl-O-Ween!



Tired of the same old theme parks? Obnoxious crowds, packed parking lots, long lines—you know what I’m talking about.

Want a more intimate scare this Halloween?

Then join Big Cat Rescue Friday, October 25 for Growl-O-Ween. Get your tickets here:


Two New Rescues


Two very lucky exotic cats have found their way to a fur-ever home at Big Cat Rescue.  At the links below you can read or hear their stories and see photos of them before, during and after their rescue.

Meet JoJo the Caracal / Serval hybrid here:

Meet Reise the Cougar rescue here:


Lion Tacos May Lead to Extinction


LionJoseph2013No, we don’t mean that restaurants who use the gimmick of offering lion meat are causing lions to go extinct, (although wild populations have been cut in half in the last 20 years) but rather that, THANKS TO YOU, this kind of bad behavior tends to cause the restaurants to go extinct.  There have been a number of short sighted restauranteurs who thought it would drum up business to put lion meat on the menu, but it always results in bad press, a loss of patrons and in some cases that damage was so irreversible that they shuttered their businesses altogether.

On Oct. 8 CBS Tampbay reported that Taco Fusion had closed up shop, taken down their social sites and were not responding for comment after the firestorm of angry posts and negative reviews that resulted from their grand plan of offering up the King of Beasts in their mediocre tacos.

In 2011 the Tucson Taqueria gave the lion meat gimmick a try. According to Yelp their CA shop has closed.

A few years ago Spoto’s Steak Join tried the same outlandish ploy and, yes, you got it, Yelp says they’re gone too.

Several other second rate eateries, and also found themselves on the receiving end of your many, angry emails and calls and you will notice that they no longer feature lion meat.  It’s bad business to mess with the “King” and we thank all of you who roared out on behalf of the cats.


Two Important Movie Screenings


Lion Ark follows the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescue, with a narrative compiled from film, interviews, conversations and reactions as events unfolded. How attitudes to animals were changed in Bolivia, illegal circuses pursued and closed, and 25 lions airlifted to freedom.

The Paw Project documentary is an inspiring David and Goliath story of a grassroots movement to protect felines, both large and small, from the cruelty of declawing and how the movement has prevailed, despite the efforts of well-funded professional veterinary associations.


Some New Videos by Big Cat Rescue


Fastest Way to Serve Watermelon to Big Cats



Draw My Life



10 Reasons Why Big Cats Make Bad Pets



Dalton Agency Video


Thanks to all of YOU who voted for us during the Dalton Cares contest, we were awarded this poignant video by the Dalton Agency to promote comments to USDA to end the cruel practice of cub handling.  Find out more at


Your Votes Help Protect Big Cats


The big cats count on you to provide them with the food and medical care they need, so even if you can’t donate directly, there are so many ways that you can help.  The Body Shop Dragonfruit Lip Butter campaign could result in thousands of dollars and free publicity for the cats.  All we need to win is your daily vote here:



Please Sign Petition to Save Cubs


Sign petition to save cubs

Many of our supporters do not have a U.S. address and can’t take action on a lot of our alerts, but Care2 is for everyone.


Tony the Truckstop Tiger Update


The Animal Legal Defense Fund announced that the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld their court win against the the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for issuing a license to the truckstop to keep Tony the tiger next to the gas pumps at the 24/7 station.  More here:

We have offered to give Tony a forever home here at Big Cat Rescue but his owner is still insisting that he would send the tiger to a place that animal lovers hate; presumably just to spite us for speaking up for Tony.  As bad as that choice may be, it’s probably no worse than where he is now.


Free Halloween Goodies

DIY Halloween Bags

Make your own Halloween To-Go box with your kids, or check out Halloween cards, games, puzzles and more spook-tacular fun at


Only $50k Left to Obtain $100k Matching Funds!


The purpose of the Big Cat Rescue Endowment Fund is to insure that we can meet our commitment to care for the cats for their entire lives. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay manages our fund and has a wonderful matching program. When donations under the current fundraising program total $300k, the Community Foundation will match our donations by putting in an additional $100k! So each donation to the fund earns an additional 33% in matching funds.

Thanks to many wonderful donors we are at this writing only $50k from the $300k goal and hoping to reach the goal by year end.  To donate online to the Fund and earn an additional 33% on your donation visit

To donate by check, simply send the check made out to Big Cat Rescue and put “Endowment Fund” in the memo section. Minimum donation $50. If oversubscribed, donations will be applied to other sanctuary needs.


One of our tigers, Flavio, at 24 is believed to be the oldest tiger in the world. Our cats live far longer than is typical. We attribute this to our use of only the best (but naturally most expensive) food, the peaceful setting, our intense focus on enrichment to keep the cats happy and mentally and physically active, and on the excellent medical care provided by our vets.

THANK YOU for helping us meet our commitment to these magnificent animals and obtain this large matching grant!


2014 Big Cat Rescue Calendar


This 13-month glossy color calendar features the big cats who call Big Cat Rescue home. Each month you will enjoy a fabulous big cat image to go wild over! Only a limited number will be printed, so to ensure you receive your 2014 Big Cat Rescue calendar pre-order it today! Calendars will begin shipping towards the end of this month.

2014 Big Cat Calendar


Hyperthyroidism in Bobcats


Levi is an 18 year old bobcat who came to Big Cat Rescue in 1995 along with 10 other Bobcats who were destined to be harvested for the fur industry. Our Co-Founder had stumbled upon a facility in Omaha Nebraska that was raising Bobcats and Canada Lynx for the this purpose. 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 now lives with Tiger Lilly.

Several months ago Levi began to lose weight despite having a healthy appetite and being fed larger portions. It is normal for the cats to lose body condition as they age, but he seemed to be doing so more rapidly than usual.

He was taken to Ehrlich Animal Hospital to be seen by Big Cat Rescue veterinarian Dr. Wynn. She performed a basic exam, collected blood and urine, and took xrays. Overall he looked remarkably good for a cat of his age.

Levi the bobcat and Dr Wynn

The test results indicated that he had an elevated thyroid level, some kidney disease, and a urinary tract infection. Hyperthyroidism is a common reason for weigh loss in older cats. There are medciations that treat the condition, however, they come with side effects that affect the kidneys. Since Levi had some kidney abnormalities already, it would be a balancing act to determine the most effective dose of medication. He was started on a coursed of antibiotics to treat his UTI as well as medication to improve his thyroid levels.

Two months later Levi has improved immensely. He is eating well and has gained 6 pounds! We are so happy that he is doing better and thank Dr. Wynn for the excellent veterinary care she provides to not only Levi, but all of the cats at Big Cat Rescue.


2013 Tee-Up for Tigers Golf Tournament a ROARING success!


Thanks to our friends at Seminole Lake Country Club, led by John Brott, Karen Jay and Jenny Hastings, this year’s event raised approximately $15,000 in support of the magnificent creatures that call Big Cat Rescue home.

Tee up for Tigers 2013

We’d like to extend a VERY special Big Cat “Thank You” to all of our generous sponsors of the tournament:

“King of Beast”

St.Pete MRI


St. Pete MRI

Jaguar of Tampa

Cheney Brothers


John Brott & Karen Jay

Blue Bell Ice Cream

The Moon Under Water

Shamrock Dental

Mickey Quinn Seminole

Finley’s Pub

New Creations Ground Maintenance

My Tampa Agent.

The daylong festivities included a roaring round of golf followed by an awards ceremony, silent auction, purrrfectly delicious dinner and scrumptious desert table, generously donated by Cheney Brothers.