Adonnis came to Big Cat Rescue on 5/27/95 from Oklahoma, along with Venus and Bagheera. He was a pet leopard that had been declawed. His owners then moved and didn’t have room for him in their new location. This is just one of so many reasons that leopards don’t make good pets. People don’t realize that they are making a 20 year commitment – at least – when they acquire big cats like this. Some leopards have even lived past 29 in captivity.
Adonnis weighs about 100 pounds, and he is definitely not safe to handle. He is surprisingly affectionate, however, and enjoys rubbing against the fence near people he likes. He and Bagheera, his “roommate,” are now able to spend their days together in a very large cat-a-tat built especially for them as a contest prize won by Big Cat Rescue volunteer Julie Hanan. See the re-introduction of Adonnis and Bagheera at http://www.stopbigcatabuse.com/Flash/BlackLeopardPhotos.htm
This morning we took Adonis in for xrays and bloodwork. His xray showed huge masses in and around the liver that were pressing against his lungs, stomach and intestines. Half of his lower spine was virtually fused due to spondylosis. At the age of 20 there was no chance that he could be treated for either and recover so while he was sleeping we made the painful decision to end his life.
He will be greatly missed by all of us, but he is no longer in pain and no longer a prisoner of the cruel situation he was bred and born into as an exotic “pet.” Thank you for making the last 15 years of his life the best they could be under the circumstances. His brave heart beats on in each of yours.
TRIBUTES FOR ADONNIS
What binds us all as volunteers here at BCR is the depth of our love for all of these cats. Losing Adonnis, one of our oldest leopards….though we knew we’d have to face the sorrow one day soon, “knowing” it is far different than “feeling” it – for each of us. Adonnis and Bagheera were both such survivors, but I always thought Bagheera would leave us first. I was more prepared for that somehow (or at least I thought I was). She just survived her eye surgery and Adonnis stood by waiting for her return. It breaks my heart that she now stands alone. I wasn’t ready for this, is she?
Years ago, I won a letter writing campaign and was able to choose how to use that award. Adonnis and Bagheera both touched my heart, so I used the award to have their enclosure enlarged and improved. It made me so happy to do that. Seeing them enjoy it was something I looked forward to whenever I came to volunteer. I’ll always remember those happy times with him. You could just get lost in those loving, leopard eyes of his when he came over and looked up at you so intently. And he was such a sweet boy to feed.
It gives me solace knowing how Adonnis spent his time here, spoiled and greatly loved. He was, and forever will be, special to many, many of us. I’m glad I have this video as a remembrance of the wonderful times I was privileged to see. Run free and wild, big boy…..Julie, Volunteer Senior Keeper
One of my favorite boys is gone. He always greeted me when i came to clean. I, too, always thought Bagheera would go first…I was not prepared for this news today. It saddens me to know he won’t be here for us to spoil and care for, but it is also a relief that the decision was made, while he slept, to end his life with dignity and absent of suffering. It is a painful decision that I’ve had to make before, but we must put the welfare of the cat before our own sadness.
Run free Donny Boy….you’ll be missed by all…Regina, Volunteer Senior Keeper
Every time news that one of our animals have left us, it first tears at my heart and then leaves a sad but relieved warm spot in my heart that reminds me that the animal that has just passed is finally free from a life in a cage where they were never meant to be and free from any pain they may have had.
Hearing about Adonis last night was such a shock, the last time I saw him he looked perfect! As Julie says, knowing that the time will come and then being faced with it are two vastly different things. I have not had the joy of being around Adonis and Bagheera since my return to BCR but I do remember them from prior years and am honored to have had that brief time with them. He was such a handsome, sweet yet intense boy and I will miss his presence and spirit. My heart goes out to Bagheera during this time and to all the volunteers who made Adonis life here the best it could be for these many years. Thank you…Lisa, Volunteer Senior Keeper
More Memorials at http://bigcatrescue.org/category/memorials/