This has been an incredibly busy year at the sanctuary! We took in a record number – 10 – orphaned or injured native Florida wild bobcats, rescued many new cats and brought them to their forever home, started the process to rescue former circus tigers in Guatemala, began construction on two more enclosures for our rehab bobcats and even survived Hurricane Irma (all the cats are fine). As always, I feel blessed to have such amazing donors, including you, whose support allows us to continue to rescue exotic cats in need around the country and even internationally.
Since last summer we have rescued eight amazing permanent residents. Savannah cats Beacher, Loki and Simba were rescued separately in November, December and June. Sadly, all were kept as pets until their owners finally realized hybrid cats are still wild and should not be pets.
Also in December we took in elderly cougar Maya after her owner surrendered her to authorities. At 18, Maya is over 100 in human years. Elderly big cats rarely have the opportunity for a new life at an accredited sanctuary. Maya is such a sweetheart – we feel like we’re the lucky ones to have her here!
December was so busy it also marked the arrival of Manny jaguar and extremely rare Amur leopard Natalia! An AZA-accredited zoo in Nebraska was revamping their big cat exhibit areas and would no longer have the cats on display. The zoo wanted to ensure both cats “retired” to an accredited sanctuary and reached out to us; we immediately said yes! When gorgeous Manny stepped out of his transport cage, our volunteers, interns and staff instantly fell in love. He has settled in quickly and likes to bring his balls and toys into his den with him each night.
Natalia leopard was very shy when she first arrived and kept to the back of her large enclosure. But she rapidly relaxed and now really enjoys enrichment and lounging front and center on her largest platform to watch tours go by!