AdvoCat 2008 05

Greetings Friend of Big Cat Rescue!

Thinking about Mother’s Day, my own mother, my daughter and all of the extended family I am blessed with in the cats, volunteers and supporters of Big Cat Rescue, I was looking for a quote to sum it up here.  I found that purr-fect sentiment in Albert Schweitzer’s words, “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”  I am so thankful to all of you for keeping that flame burning brightly in me.


Carole Baskin, Founder




  Lessons From the Cat

Shaquille the black leopardShaquille, the leopard, arrived at Big Cat Rescue in 1996. Coming from a night club act in Las Vegas he arrived with a cougar whose face and head had been so severely beaten that she arrived with an infection in her brain from the open wounds and has long since died.  Shaq’s former owner beat him to the point that the skull around his eyes has been so badly damaged that the eyelids roll in, causing his eyes to tear a lot.  Perhaps they are tears for all of his kindred spirits who are still made to perform for man’s entertainment.  Shaquille carried the scars of his abuse on his body, but overcame them in his heart.  His arthritis had progressed to the point where none of the remedies or pain medications were helping any more.  He could no longer stand and we had to put him to sleep.  We are saddened that his time with us is over, but now, at last he is free.




  Celebrity Lineup

What do Bo Derek, Arch Deal, Jack Hanna, Tippi Hedren, Jim Fowler, Ian Anderson of Jethrow Tull, Bill Murphy, Doug Williams, Luke Richardson, the New York Yankees, Quarterback Chris Simms and Congresswoman Kathy Castor all have in common?  They all love Big Cat Rescue.  Some are new friends and some from years past.  Click on their names above to see images from their visits.

  Chance Makes His Great Escape


Chance the baby bobcatBig Cat Rescue planned this escape for months. Last year a baby bobcat call came in as the third one in three weeks. He only had one eye and a lump on his belly the size of an orange. Big Cat Rescue was there to get him the medical attention he needed. Emergency surgery repaired the hernia in his abdominal wall. The swelling was the contents of his intestines and other internal organs that had spilled out of the muscled area and were rubbing away at the inner lining of his skin. The attending vet, Dr. Liz Wynn, believes that his hernia and missing eye were caused by some sort of trauma. The area where he was found is completely surrounded by development in West Tampa, but bobcats are often reported there and last year one was found as road kill. After months of recuperation and rehabilitation, Chance the yearling bobcat was released. Watch the movie and see his wild dash for freedom:



Photos of Chance the bobcat by Jamie and Justin

Photos of Chance the bobcat by Julie posted on FlickR


  Vets Rush to Big Cat Rescue

On March 27th, 2008 Big Cat Rescue was honored to host almost 100 visitors from a very special audience. The American Animal Hospital Association was visiting Tampa for AAHA’s 75th Anniversary Yearly Conference held this year in sunny Tampa, Florida.  This specialized group of attendees included veterinarians; practice managers; vet technicians, assistants and support staff; vet students, and family guests. Read more:


  Tiger Lilies?

Barbara RiddleWith more than 100 big cats on 45 acres, we are always in the process of refurbishing and replacing old cages.  Landscaping is another ongoing project whether it be hauling off tree limbs lost in a storm, to mowing acres of grass, to installing beautiful plants to give the cats shade, privacy and the excitement of the butterflies. Most of the trees and flowers at Big Cat Rescue were donated and this video thanks John Deere, Tampa Bay Nursery, Babs of Garden Magic, our volunteers and those of you who make it possible.


Your Donation Plaque Size
$5,000.00 12″ x 12″
$2,500.00 6″ x 12″
$1,000.00 4″ x 8″
$500.00 4″ x 4″
$250.00 2″ x 4″

Help fund the completion of the enclosure https://www.bigcatrescue.biz/ and if you donate 250.00 or more have your name engraved on the marble plaque too.  We still need to raise $27,035.00.  See our progress and the cats having fun HERE


  Mother’s Day Contest & Gifts

Necklace SetIs your mom as fiercely protective as the tigress? Does she have the faith in you to let you soar, like the eagle? Does she take in every stray like the hen?

Tell us how your mother is like one of your favorite animals and win a $60.00 hand crafted necklace and earring set for her for Mother’s Day.  Click to see larger.
Categories are:
Poems, essays, audio and pictorials and the winner in each category wins a gift set of Big Cat Rescue cards and the over all winner gets the beautiful necklace and earring set crafted by one of Big Cat Rescue’s volunteers.  Enter now!

https://www.youtube.com/group/BigCatContest  or mail to LaWanna@bigcatrescue.org

or at https://www.ChatBigCats.com and use the key word momsday so we can find it.


  Congressional Visit

I recently toured Big Cat Rescue with my family and we had a great time. My daughters were able to appreciate the magnificent animals in natural settings, and learn about the different species and the issues they face in captivity and in the wild. Big Cat Rescue is a wonderful educational resource and great asset to our community. They provide a great home for the animals and help reduce the number of cats that suffer abuse, abandonment or extinction by teaching people about the plight of the cats, both in the wild and in captivity, and how they can help through their behavior and by supporting new laws to protect the cats. I would encourage any parent or animal lover to take the tour.

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-11) See photos from the visit here:


  Encyclopedia Britannica

White Serval photo by Jamie VeronicaIn April Big Cat Rescue was the featured story at Encyclopedia Britannica. Anita Wolff had contacted Jamie Veronica to ask for permission to use some of her photos and she suggested they contact Carole Baskin about some of the legislative work we are doing. Encyclopedia Britannica devotes an impressive section of their site as a source of information, a call for action, and a stimulus to thought regarding humanity’s relationship with the animals with whom we share our planet. They support worldwide efforts to ensure humane treatment of animals, develop the understanding of their nature, promote their survival, and protect and restore the environment. We are honored to be a part of the great work they are doing to educate, inform and enlighten.  Read it here and see some of Jamie’s photos they have put to use:



  Quick Feline Facts

Fur Ball Sponsors:  The Tampa Tribune has signed on as a sponsor again this year.  Check out all of our great supporters, get your Early Cat tickets and buy a raffle ticket for the His and Her Rolex watches at https://bigcatrescue.org/FurBall.htm

Ink Recycling: As of this month we have 115 new supporters representing an increase of over 411% from 2007.  Contact Merrill for postage paid recycling bags at Ink@bigcatrescue.org

AdvoCat Hero: Leigh Toborowsky from the radio show Talking With Pets was on a private tour before the 2007 Fur Ball, and she made it her personal mission to get Bayer to donate Advantage. She did all of the footwork and our vet, Dr. Liz Wynn, DVM only had to make one phone call. Bayer responded by donating a full year’s supply of flea treatment for the cats.

YouTube Challenge:  Big Cat Rescue’s YouTube site has 1,999 subscribers and is the 5th most popular non profit of all time.  Help us break 2,000 by subscribing to our videos at: https://www.youtube.com/user/BigCatRescue

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