AdvoCat 2007 03

Greetings

It’s a pleasure to be at the sanctuary during this beautiful spring, and we invite you all to not only come out and feel the cool breezes, but also see the winds of change. We always have new things to report to you about the cats and this month is no exception. We kick off this edition with some promising talk from a savvy legislator, new technology, refreshing compassion from a child, a new tour opportunity prowling town and more. Enjoy this edition and be sure to come out during Spring Break to see us!

 

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Carole Baskin, Founder

 

 

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Legislator Sinking Teeth into Issue

Ellyn Bogdanoff“It’s just absurd that we are allowing the import of so many exotic animals into Florida!” says, State Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff of Ft. Lauderdale. We applaud this representative for taking the time to hear from us. We let her know that 15 other states already ban the private possession and use of big cats and 8 more have launched such legislation already in 2007.  Florida is the biggest provider of exotics to the rest of the country and is a haven to more dealers than any other state because tax payers have very little say in the matter.  Unlike other states, the FWC has constitutional authority to make its own rules in Florida and if you don’t like it, there isn’t much you can do about it.

We met with Rep. Bogdanoff for advice on what can be done.  We see that we have 3 options, one of which is the most viable, and that is to ask Governor Crist to appoint Commissioners who represent the majority in matters that deal with wildlife.  The current board consists solely of hunters and yet 77% of the people polled said they felt hunting should be outlawed. The first option is something you can do and we make it easy at the link.

Click to take action now…

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Trapped… for Good.

Jaguar with cubTrapping is the furthest thing from our mission, except when it comes to camera traps for tracking and aiding wildlife. Our own Big Cat Rescue president Jamie Veronica is currently in Guyana with a fellow volunteer Justin, on a mission for the sanctuary. Jamie and Justin will be in Guyana for ten days setting new digital camera traps with video to track Jaguars, Ocelots and Pumas.  Our partner, Foster Parrots, tells us that with the recent import ban of all birds into Europe, Guyana now finds herself in a position to change the long practiced wildlife export industry there. Many trappers are finding that there are no markets for their “products”! Many of these trappers now find themselves unemployed and the government may start to look at the potential revenues of eco-tourism to fill the gap. If we can make a concerted effort with our conservation project we hope to serve as an example and to garner the support of Guyana to create the world’s premier rainforest destination. Our plans include the promotion of our project here in the US and a marketing strategy to heighten the visibility of this important move in Guyana. Three trips are planned this year.

Funding is critical as you can imagine. We need to offset the very costly price of the 4.1 mega pixel Sony snapshot sniper. We’d like to appeal to you to sponsor a “camera trap package” for $571.13, which will include: camera $449.00, lock $24.95, and a 2 GB memory card $69.99, shipping and handling. You can view this camera at http://www.snapshotsniper.com/Features.htm

If you are willing and able to do this for us, we will in turn thank you by ensuring that you reap the fruits of your donation. You will receive copies of the photos gathered from that trap for 1 year. Please stay tuned for some exciting reports from Jamie and Justin.

Click for more info or to help…

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Tour Company to Benefit Big Cats

Karen MacNeill-SwartzFormer Big Cat Rescue volunteer and continual supporter, Karen MacNeill-Swartz (shown on left with tour guest from Germany) has begun a venture that is a labor of love. It taps both her entrepreneurial bent and her passion for animal causes. She created Exotic Interactions, www.exoticinteractions.com, to serve several goals, one of which is to bring valuable income to not-for-profit organizations that take care of wild animals. Exotic Interactions currently offers animal excursions in cooperation with Big Cat Rescue, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida Aquarium and Peace River Refuge and Ranch.  In an effort to market these unique offerings, Exotic Interactions also offers sightseeing tours of the Tampa Bay area and includes stops at one of the animal facilities. We have formed a mutually beneficial affiliation with Exotic Interactions in which Karen intends to bring in many tour groups who will be exposed to our educational mission. Do you have guests coming in town who would enjoy just such an excursion? Spread the word! We hope it will become the “cat’s meow” of tours in the Tampa Bay area.

For more information on Exotic Interactions, click here

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 Video Contest

One of our most passionate supporters, La Wanna, is running a contest for us on our sister site called Return2Eden.org for people to submit slideshows or mini movies for prizes. The goal is that more people will make videos promoting The Snow Leopard Trust’s official website, which will ultimately help them save Snow Leopards in the wild in their natural habitat. She tells us, “I love what the Snow Leopard trust is doing to accomplish their goals.  Since I can’t give them funds, I am hoping to give them the gift of promotion, by way of LOTS of videos on YouTube.  The more people that learn about what the Snow Leopard Trust is doing the better the chances of their success in saving this wonderful big cat in its natural habitat.” In entering this contest, you will not only will have a chance to learn about an endangered species and show off your talent, but you will also be eligible for prizes such as a snow leopard adoption package complete with photos, screensaver and puzzles.

Click here for more info…

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Free Ring Tones

Lion Roaring RingtoneThe call of the wild has never been so clear. Thanks in part to the suggestion of a volunteer, Patricia Massard, we now offer free cell phone Ringtones! What better way to have your call announced than by the roar or caterwauling of your favorite big cat? The research is in and all of us are cell phone-bound for the foreseeable future. What better tie-in than to take part in the explosion of cell phone ring tones?

Peter Galvin, a co-founder of the Center for Biological Diversity, came up with the idea for the free ring tones of endangered and rare species as a way to educate people – especially the younger, technologically savvy generation…

These statistics are not lost on us and we have jumped on the bandwagon for the benefit of the big cats. Choose from a cougar, bobcat, tiger and everyone’s favorite, Cameron the Lion. Check them out today!

Click here…

 Kids 4 Cats

A child’s heart cry is one that usually does not go unheard if people have ears to hear. Please take time to read one such child’s passionate dramatization through the storytelling of a big cat’s plight. She is not far from the reality we experience. Take a moment and see through Alyssa’s eyes what some of us have become blinded to or ignorant of. We thank you Alyssa, for your deep sensitivity and understanding of the issues at such an early age. Keep on learning and encouraging us all. Your voice will be heard!

Read Alyssa’s Story here…

 Go Vegan for Big Cats

JodiWe’d like to tell you about a special supporter, Jodi.  She has aligned herself with The Adopt-A-College program was created by Vegan Outreach. They created a leaflet called “Even if You Like Meat” (a pdf is available on their website, www.veganoutreach.org). She hands college students these leaflets as they walk by while saying “Info on Helping Animals?”  She tells us, “It’s so easy!!! And in just one hour I can expose hundreds of people to the plight of farmed animals. For every leaflet handed out, Vegan Outreach estimates that 40 animals are saved from a life of suffering. You can see how this estimate is determined at http://www.veganhealth.org/colleges.”   Jodi encourages everyone to get out there and try leafleting even if just for 15 minutes. The students that are affected by the leaflet will tell someone else who will tell someone else. They might even raise their children to be more compassionate and it will spread that much more!

Over the next few weeks in addition to handing out “Even if You Like Meat” booklets, she will also give $10 off coupons to Big Cat Rescue to any student who pledges to go vegetarian for one day! This will encourage people to try going vegetarian to see how easy it is. She has enlisted Michelle LaFleur to help with some of the coupons at her table at USF on “Meatout” day next week 3/21. For anyone who wants to try this with Jodi, please feel free to contact her at jodi@vegtampabay.com or 727-237-6223. Also, join http://www.animalrights.meetup.com/157 for her leafleting schedule and other events in the area.

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Calling all Fur Ball Early Birds!

tiger early bird specialHave we got a deal for you!  It helps our planning enormously if we can estimate early how many people will attend.  And seating is limited so we may sell out again.  So, to assure your seat and help our planning, we are offering an Early Bird Special as follows:

Individual tickets are normally open seating, but tickets purchased before July 31 will have RESERVED seating – assigned seats closer to the stage.  If you purchase a table before July 31, you receive priority placement for your table, each of your guests receives a copy of Mary Hessler Key’s wonderful book “The Entrepreneurial Cat”, AND each guest receives one $20 raffle ticket to win the Rolex watch donated by AvantGold Jewelers!  A limited number of Early Bird Seats and Tables have been set aside, so to be sure you can get these enhanced value tickets purchase them now before they are gone!

Click here and reserve your seats today

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 Feline Fact

lion teethTake a Bite Out of This!

A cat has tiny incisors in the front of its mouth…flanked by dagger-like canine teeth on the top and bottom. Cats do not chew the way we do.  They use their teeth to cut and shear their food into small easily digestible pieces. No fine dining here!

 

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