A rescue mission for lions and tigers and other big cats

While watching the Skip the bobcat story on ABC I came across this
news post about our Fur Ball last year that I had not remembered
seeing before.

TAMPA, Fla. – The sights are stunning to say the least: a tiger swims
gracefully, a lion shows off its fearsome teeth and cougars play
chase.

Big Cat Rescue is a wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Tampa but it
can't do the work all on it's own.

On Saturday, Action News contributor, Sean Daly got a look at the
magic that happens everyday and how you can support it.

The vision for Big Cat Rescue started with one disturbing trip in
1993. Founder Carole Baskin says she and her former husband were
interested in raising a couple of bobcats.

The couple found someone selling the cats in Minnesota. Baskin says
when they arrived, they discovered a fur farm.

The couple bought all 56 cats in the facility to save them from being killed.

Today, the sanctuary tries to educate people about why keeping exotic
animals as pets is a bad idea. In their experience, most people get
exotic cats as kittens. Those kittens are manageable for about two
years, then they toughen up and cost a lot more to feed. At that
point, people start to abandon the exotic pets.

Baskin says some of the abuse and neglect they've seen is heartbreaking.

Baskin admits that during the early years of the sanctuary, she and
her husband didn't really know what they had gotten into. The couple
bred some of their cats, believing it was necessary to perserve the
species.

Now Baskin wants to make sure no one else makes that mistake.

Big Cat Rescue encourages laws that forbid breeding or owning exotic
pets. They've also been asked to help draft legislation.

Every year, Big Cat Rescue raises money for their cause with a Fur Ball.

This year's event takes place Friday, October 8th at the A La Carte
Pavilion in Tampa.

You'll enjoy live music, a gourmet dinner and live and silent
auctions. You can even bid on paintings created by some of the big
cats.

Individual tickets to the Fur Ball are $150. You can also reserve a
VIP table for parties of 10.

For more information, visit the sanctuary site at bigcatrescue.org

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_tampa/how-a-couple-quest-for-a-pair-of-bobcats-became-a-rescue-mission-for-felines

Posted: 10/02/2010

* Sarah Zak

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
Carole.Baskin@BigCatRescue.org
http://www.BigCatRescue.org

Caring for cats – Ending the trade

Join more than 37,000 Big Cat Rescue fans http://www.facebook.com/BigCatRescue

Twitter:  Follow Me and get a free wild cat screen saver or ecard
account @BigCatRescue

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