30 Years of Saving Big Cats Thanks to YOU!
This has been our best year ever as we celebrated 30 years of saving exotic cats with the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act! Some of the most impressive work to save big cats has been done by big cat lovers joining their voices to end abuse and pooling their resources to save exotic cats in the wild before they are all gone.
The Cats YOU Rescued
|Name||Species||Rescue Day||Appx DOB|
You can keep up to date on the progress of all our rehab bobcats via remote cameras at https://bigcatrescue.org/cams/
There were 5 more bobcats we tried to help throughout 2022 but were either dead on arrival, or we were unable to track down and catch. We submitted the carcasses on all of the deceased cats to the Florida Wildlife Commission’s biologists who are trying to discern the nature of the coronavirus that is killing Florida panthers and bobcats enmasse. The virus causes neurological issues making it impossible for the cats to walk.
Saying Goodbye to Cats We Loved
We said a tearful goodby to these precious cats: Servie Serval 22, Running Bear Bobcat 24, Loki Savannah Cat 8, King Tut Savannah Cat 13, Kricket Serval 21 Jinx Leopard 23.
Long Healthy Lives
By the end of this year, we have 41 exotic cats and 24 of them are over the age of 12. 10 of those are over the age of 16, and 2 of those are over the age of 20. This is well beyond how long they are designed to live in the wild and much older than most zoo cats who have a 16 year lifespan.
Abandoned Big Cats 2022
In 2022 all of the calls to place big cats were handled by the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance. We were only aware of 6 cats in need in the U.S. last year. Black Jaguar White Tiger, in Mexico was shut down and approximately 180 big cats were rescued and survivors dispersed to Mexican zoos when Eddie Serio went on the run in the face of money laundering charges. In 2022 we did not take in any exotic cats because our sister sanctuaries were happy to do so and it freed up our resources for ending the trade at its root. All of our rescues were native bobcats for rehab and release back to the wild this year.
We know how important it is to maintain transparency and without tours we have decided to install 46 LIVE cameras in 2020 and were working on that throughout 2022 despite many setbacks due to supply chain issues and Internet connectivity. We have really stepped up our LIVE video offerings on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other streaming platforms.
We achieved our goal of ending cub handling and phasing out private possession of big cats in the U.S. with the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act on 12/20/2022.
The work we do to protect wild cats in the wild is too vast to detail here, so you can see all of that at https://bigcatrescue.org/insitu/ Despite having to cut back on expenses this year we still donated $100,850.00 to 27 conservation projects, protecting wildcats, globally. The donations covered projects, supporting 13 different wild cat species, across 18 different countries. There are a few on the list below that are on hold but plan to be funded soon.
Community Outreach & Events
Big Cat Rescue did the Great American Teach In this year reaching 1350 students at 6 Grade K-12 schools in November 2022 via 5 volunteers. Deb Quimby did 7 zoom meetings with college and high school students for projects/papers and answered questions for their project/paper. Carole Baskin did 42 Zoom interviews and podcasts for reporters in 2022.
Wins for Exotic Cats
10/21/2022 RI: Possession of Wild Carnivores. All exotic and native wild animals and hybrids of the order Carnivora for which there is no USDA conditionally licensed or unconditionally licensed rabies vaccine are expressly prohibited from importation or possession without the issuance of a valid permit by the Department. Possession is restricted to bona fide researchers, USDA licensed exhibitors authorized to possess animals of this order for short-term exhibition purposes, and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) certified facilities.
7/28/2022 The USDA announces that, as of August 1, 2022 Congress has directed the agency to no longer allow inspectors to use a controversial regulatory practice called “teachable moments.” Starting in 2016, this practice allowed inspectors to use their discretion to leave “minor” violations of law off inspection reports and instead “educate” the USDA licensees.
5/3/2022 MD SB381/HB52 passed into law and it prohibits the sale of parts or pieces from 15 endangered or iconic animals.
4/15/2022. WI Governor Tony Evers vetoed SB 347. Benefit to captive wildlife: Native wildlife at roadside zoos in Wisconsin will continue to be regulated by both the state Department of Natural Resources and the USDA.
3/16/2022 Italy bans fur farming with a deadline of mid 2022.
3/11/2022 Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s signed into law House Enrolled Act 1248, a public safety and animal welfare measure that will ban public encounters with Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Snow leopards, Jaguars, Mountain lions, any hybrid of these, and bears, regardless of age. The new state bill dictates that “a person that owns or possesses a specified animal may not allow a member of the public to come into direct contact with; or enter into a proximity that allows for or permits direct contact with the specified animal, regardless of the age of the specified animal.” Exceptions include veterinarians and interns and techs under a vet’s supervision, trained employees, animal owners, and other employees or contractors involved in the animals’ care.
USDA Actions Against Big Cat Abuse
Note that of the 22 cases below 6 are in Texas and 6 are in Florida.
USDA issued Official Warnings (which carry no weight as they have no penalties attached) to:
Noah’s Ark Animal Rehab Center and Sanctuary in Locust Grove, GA on 11/9/2022 for failure to remove dead animals, rotten food and feces from cages. USDA Report
South Texas Zoological Society in Victoria, TX 10/27/2022 for unsafe handling of animals and unsafe caging. USDA Report
Austin Zoo in Austin, TX 10/19/2022 for unsafe handling of animals. USDA Report
Predators of the Heart in Anacortes, WA 9/22/2022 for unsafe caging. USDA Report
International Exotic Feline Sanctuary in Boyd, TX 9/12/2022 inadequate veterinary care. USDA Report
Zooworld Zoological & Botanical Conservatory in Panama City Beach, FL 6/27/2022 for unsafe handling of animals. USDA Report
Peter Renzo in Stagecoach, NV 6/2/2022 inadequate veterinary care. USDA Report
Cleveland Metropark Zoo in Cleveland, OH 4/7/2022 improper handling of animals. USDA Report
Wild Things Zoofari in Taylor, TX 4/21/2022 unsafe caging. USDA Report
Capital of Texas Zoo in Cedar Creek, TX 4/21/2022 unsafe caging. USDA Report
Vernon Yates in Seminole, FL 5/19/2022 for threatening a USDA inspector. USDA Report
Wild Florida in Kenansville, FL 5/19/2022 unsafe handling of animals. USDA Report
Naples Zoo in Naples, FL 3/10/2022 unsafe handling of tiger that bit an intruder and was killed by police. USDA Report
Wildlife Encounters in Barrington, NH 3/10/2022 unsafe handling and caging of animals. USDA Report
Safari Wild Animal Park and Preserve in Como, MS 2/17/2022 failure to provide shelter and inadequate perimeter fencing. USDA Report
Joel Almquist in Phelan, CA 2/3/2022 inadequate perimeter fencing. USDA Report
USDA Administrative Complaints and Orders Filed Against:
All Things Wild White Tiger Discovery (Lisa Lopez) in Kauffman, TX (Marcus Cook) filed 11/9/2022 alleging she was exhibiting tigers at fairgrounds across the country and allowing the public to feed tigers without a barricade to protect the public, while she did not have a USDA License. USDA Report
Tri-State Zoological Park and Robert L. Candy in Maryland had filed an appeal of their ruling, but it was dismissed 11/3/2022. The case had been filed 3/25/2022 to revoke their license which ultimately happened. USDA ReportUSDA Report and USDA Report
Wildlife on Wheels (Robert Sawmiller) in Wapakoneta, Ohio USDA license was revoked 4/5/2022 and he was fined $53,600. USDA Report
USDA Settlement Agreements:
Single Vision LLC (Carl Bovard) Melrose, FL $8850.00 on 11/16/2022 for more than 40 violations including unsafe handling of big cats, failure to provide veterinary care, unsafe, dilapidated housing, failure to maintain records and refusing access and interfering with inspectors. USDA Report
Waccatee Zoological Farm (Kathleen Futrell) Myrtle Beach, SC fined $7800.00 on 3/30/2022 for failure to provide clean water and veterinary care. USDA Report
Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary Citra, FL fined $2500.00 on 5/5/2022 for escape and killing of two tigers due to unsafe caging and failure to provide veterinary care to a lion. USDA Report
Click here for 2022 IRS form 990 and 2022 audited financial statement and annual report and USDA Inspection. https://bigcatrescue.org/finances/
Big Cat Rescue has an Endowment Fund to provide a secure future for the cats. The Fund resides at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Periodically the Community Foundation offers a matching program where the nonprofit sets a fundraising goal and when 75% of the goal is reached, the Community Foundation provides the remaining 25%, which effectively is a 33% match of the funds provided by donors.
Then and Now
Visit http://bigcatrescue.org/about/finances/ to get copies of our 990’s and Audited Statements. We pride ourselves in keeping our fundraising and administrative total expenses below 9%. Because our tour revenue exceeds our fundraising and administrative costs, 100% of donations go to Program Expense (saving big cats).
Compare Our YouTube stats in 2022 to 2021
YouTube continues to send us a lot of traffic. By 2022 year end we had 1,370,000 subscribers and 638,606,575 views on our main channel.
We had 40,600 subscribers and 1,608,565 views on our secondary channel called Daily Big Cat. At the end of 2022 we combined Daily Big Cat with Big Cat Rescue’s main channel.
Our Facebook fans include 3,687,677 million followers. Our Facebook efforts reach millions of people in a single week!
Twitter At the end of 2022 we had 316,700 followers on Twitter.
Pinterest 4,590 followers
LinkedIn 6,134 followers
Instagram 178,491 followers
We are on SnapChat again as bigcatrescuer since we cannot access our original account at bigcatrescue. Our Snapchat activity and followers also boomed this year, with hundreds of viewers per snap!
We launched on Tik Tok in 2019 and closed out 2022 with 3 million likes and 421,700 followers.
The BigCatRescue.org website
The internal tracking of viewers reports 452,728 views in 2022 vs 1,247,397 in 2021 but as you can see our tracking wasn’t working for half the year.
Amazon. A huge shout out to everyone who has donated items from our Amazon wishlist and who has chosen Big Cat Rescue as their charity of choice in https://smile.amazon.com/
In the News
Big Cat Rescue was reported favorably more than 13,844 times in 2022 according to MetroMonitor.com. They calculated the publicity value to be $55,203,213 because the unique views totalled 16,104,031,599. Some of our national press has included shows on CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery and the History Channel in addition to such publications as USA Today, National Geographic and the New York Post and major media coverage in several other countries as well.
Mail List. Our mailing list is 83,030 supporters.
WHO WE ARE
The Big Cat Board
The Board met 4 times in 2022. Board members are: Carole Baskin – Founder, CEO, Director | Howard Baskin – Secretary, Treasurer, Director | MaryLou Geis – Director | Darren Kipnis – Director | Keith Lawless – Director | Lynda Licht – Director | Kim Mahoney – Vice President, Director | Jamie Veronica Murdock – President, Director
Paid Staff and Contractors:
Paid staff & contractors include: Afton Tasler, Brittany Mira, Carole Baskin, Deb Quimby, Erin Carden, Gale Ingham, Howard Baskin, Jamie Veronica, Katie Nikic, LaWanna Mitchell, Victor Alonso and Ysabel Cruz.
Big Cat Rescue had 58 volunteers (incl interns) at the end of 2022 who clocked in 17,714.69 man-power hours, in addition to 16 interns did 19 sessions (12 weeks each) who clocked 13580.01 man-power hours. Between 13 full time paid staff, 1 part-time staff and volunteers we averaged the equivalent of 29 full-time staff.
Between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, Big Cat Rescue provided $227,766.00 in scholarships to provide housing, transportation, utilities, food, training and entertainment to 11 interns for 14 three month sessions and 5 Level 5’s doing one full year sessions each, arriving in Tampa, FL from 11 states. (Each 3 month session is roughly $6,699.00 in food, housing and entertainment.)
The Public and COVID-19 Concerns
We closed our doors to visitors on March 15, 2020 and are still, as of the end of 2022, not having the public at the sanctuary. We resumed doing small private tours for donors over $500 in October.
We are ramping up all the ways to connect with you on our social sites too at Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok. We have a lot of volunteers who can’t go to work or school right now, so they are getting fresh air and sunshine while helping out our cats. This means more keeper videos to share with you, while you are on lockdown.