We didn’t plan it this way, but on NATIONAL FERAL CAT DAY we were asked to rescue two exotic cat hybrids who had been dumped by their owners and were now starving to death…..
The cats had been trapped by Animal Control and no one had claimed them, so the Audubon Society drove them to us to see if they could get a second chance here.
One of the cats was a very sweet bengal cat who was adopted by one of our Big Cat Rescuers. The second is an unknown mix, but closely resembles a Jungle Cat. He is not as friendly and because of this he will remain a permanent resident here at the sanctuary. His caregivers have grown quite close to him over the past couple of weeks and have given him the name King Tut.
When Tut arrived he was very underweight and had a wound on one of his feet. His wound was cleaned and sutured by Dr. Wynn and he was neutered. King Tut has finally been moved outdoors to a large natural enclosure.
Diablo is a savannah cat, which is a hybrid between a domestic cat and an African serval.
This cross breeding is not only cruel to the animals involved, but also produces confused offspring that can not figure out how to be a house pet. Diablo is very unfriendly and has inherited every bit of a serval’s hissy personality. He is also food-aggressive and turns into a dangerous wildcat at feeding time. Diablo marks his territory including his new toys, enrichment, his trees, and dens by spraying them. All of these nasty habits, just for a pretty coat pattern, don’t seem like a wise trade-off.
Because his owners discarded him for being who he was, Diablo will live out the remainder of his life in a cage. While this is sad, at least he will be free to be the wild animal that he is.
BCR is trying to educate the public before they pay $3,000+ for a cat. Breeders think they might lose money if people hear another view point. In our time, we have seen a number of unwanted hybrids.
Breeding down a wild cat with a domestic ruins any chance of the wild genes to continue on and save the species.(Seen with the loss of interest in the wild Amur Leopard Cat to the hybrid Bengal cat)
Let alone, why make another desinger cat when millions of domestics are put to sleep each year.
Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fl. provides a permanent home to over 140 exotic cats from Hybrids to Lions. WE DO realize people may love their pet hybrids (we see the videos here on You Tube), but it puts a demand on breeders getting servals and other smaller exotics to keep up with the exotic pet market, a market we are against.
Today we spoke with Honey Wayton the Gift Shop Manager at Big Cat Rescue.
Sold Like Purebred Cats and Shot Dead for Being Exotic Looking Cats
(DETROIT FREE PRESS) – The big cat roaming Detroit’s northeast side is dead, according to a feral cat rescue group that has been trying to find it for days.
The body of the 25-pound, 3-year-old Savannah cat named Chum was found in a trash can on Detroit’s east side Monday evening, said Laura Wilhelm-Bruzek, founder of Paws for the Cause, the feral cat rescue group based in Chesterfield Township.
A neighbor near Joann and Bringard, just south of 8 Mile, shot the cat days ago, Wilhelm-Bruzek said. The all-volunteer nonprofit rescue group and advocates for feral cats had been searching for the cat since Saturday.
“I think people can’t just go around shooting things they don’t understand,” Wilhelm-Bruzek said today. “I think we need to be a little bit more respectful of the animals and human beings around us. I’d love to see someone look into it and investigate it. But I’m not holding out a lot of hope. This whole thing from the beginning has just been a mess.”
Neighbors said they had contacted the Michigan Humane Society and Detroit Police when the cat – called a Savannah – was seen roaming the neighborhood, but both declined to investigate.
Paws for a Cause got involved last week, and the cat’s owners called the group Monday, Wilhelm-Bruzek said. They said the cat, which did not have a microchip, had gotten out of their home about a month ago through a window.
The rescue group heard that the cat had been shot. But they weren’t able to find the cat’s body until Monday, Wilhelm-Bruzek said, when the group was shown where the cat had been thrown away.
“I simply asked them for the cat’s body and they said it was across the street in a garbage can,” she said. She was walked to the garbage can, “and the cat – whose name is Chum – was there,” she said.
Chum’s owners, who live near 9 Mile and Gratiot and had raised the cat since it was 4 months old, were devastated.
“They were hysterical,” Wilhelm-Bruzek said, adding that they are having the cat cremated today.
According to the International Cat Association, a Savannah is a hybrid between a domesticated housecat and an African serval cat. Wilhelm-Bruzek said Chum, about 2 feet tall from floor to head when sitting, was an F2 Savannah, or a second-generation hybrid.
“I don’t think it was the size as much as the coloration that scared people,” Wilhelm-Bruzek said. Savannah cats have long legs and exotic spots like a small leopard or wildcat, according to the association. They were first introduced to the public in 1997 and are sold for thousands of dollars.
Michigan Humane Society spokesman Ryan McTigue said this morning that the agency was unaware of the cat’s status.
“That’s pretty terrible,” McTigue said when told about the cat’s fate. He said the agency would have a statement later today.
Foxes, pigs, cane-toads and rabbits are notorious for the devastation they cause as some of Australia’s most infamous feral animals.
But there is increasing concern over stopping the ‘next wave’ of invasive animals — pets that could become pests.
Professor Tony Peacock, Chief Executive Officer of the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC) said some pets have real potential to negatively impact on biosecurity and threaten Australia’s unique wildlife.
“Almost all feral fish populations established since World War II have come from home aquaria,” Professor Peacock said.
“Tilapia, considered to be one of the world’s worst 100 pests, were originally brought in as tropical aquarium fish, but have now invaded river and dam systems in Queensland and Western Australia, and are heading south.”
“As tilapia spread they are expected to take a heavy toll on our native wildlife by eating the eggs and young of prawns, barramundi and several other native threatened species such as Murray cod.”
The fish don’t swim here themselves. Professor Peacock says this highlights that people are in the driver’s seat of this problem.
“Don’t release pet fish into the environment. Fish that are released into local waterways can upset the natural balance and impact on native fish species.”
“Once pest animals have arrived and have established populations, we have to resort to control, providing it is feasible, viable and alleviates the negative impact.”
Investigative work is constantly being undertaken to monitor any new threats, and to work with policy and decision-makers to avoid the threats posed by potentially invasive species.
“Prevention is always better than a cure,” said Professor Peacock.
“A smart decision by the government was to ban Savannah cats from import to Australia.”
“Savannah cats are derived from domestic cats and African servals. They would have passed serval genes onto our feral cat population, posing a high risk to our wildlife.”
“The last thing we need is genes for better hunting efficiency and bigger cats getting into our feral cat population.”
“The Savannah cat ban shows we are learning from previous mistakes, such as introducing rabbits and cane-toads. If in doubt, we should keep it out,” he said.
And it seems as though other countries are following suit.
“The US is considering banning giant snakes, many of which have been imported as pets and then released, and are now over-running national park areas such as the Everglades,” said Professor Peacock.
Recognising biosecurity is a global issue, IACRC are joining forces with the Australian Biosecurity CRC for Emerging Infectious Disease and CRC for National Plant Biosecurity to host the world’s first international conference focusing on agricultural and environmental biosecurity. The conference will take place in Brisbane from February 28 to March 3 2010 and will discuss a myriad of biosecurity topics across these sectors.
The Global Biosecurity 2010 is sponsored by: Horticulture Australia Limited, Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis (ACERA).