AdvoCat 2009 03

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day Friend of Big Cat Rescue!

Maybe it is just the luck of the Irish, but we were green before it was cool to be green.  I’m not Irish, but our President, Jamie Murdock has roots in Ireland and all of us, especially the cats, are lucky to have you who care.

Green buds are popping out all over the sanctuary and we have a lot of green fun for you in this issue that includes some of our lucky cats, another contest you could win and how easy it is to be green.

May the luck of the Irish be with you throughout the entire year!


Carole Baskin, Founder



 Matching Funds and $10,000 Prize!

Razoo Donate To Big Cat Rescue on Secure Site Powered by Network for GoodThe Reitzel Foundation has generously established a matching grant under which they will match dollar for dollar any donations made to support our most recent rescue of Freckles the Liger and Alex and Cookie the two tigers up to $25,000. This means your donation has double impact! Meantime, the site we use to take your secure donations has a contest under which the charity that gets the most donors in March wins $10,000. If you can, please take this opportunity to help fund this rescue, have your donation doubled by the matching grant and help us win the $10,000 by contributing what you can today. Our sincere thanks to the Reitzel Foundation and to you!


 Hope the Bobcat is Green!

For all of you who have been anxiously awaiting the next episode about Hope the baby bobcat who was rescued as a kitten and raised by a domestic cat family, your wait is over!  Hope is a Florida bobcat who is being trained to go free this spring.  See this latest video of a very green looking bobcat.

  Sweet 16 Kiss the Tiger


Kiss a TigerBig Cat Rescue was founded sixteen years ago in 1992 and to celebrate our anniversary we are going to celebrate the sixteen species of wild cat that reside at the sanctuary. November honored Windsong the Bobcat who started Big Cat Rescue and December’s cat was Hercules the Snow Leopard. February’s cat was Genie the Sandcat.  This month you can “kiss” Nik the Tiger.  He may be foolin’ but Nik says, “Kiss me.  I’m Irish!”


  Join Us on Facebook & Add Our New App

Mobile GivingJoin me on Facebook! If you are already on Facebook, search for Carole Baskin to find my page.  Get in on the all the news and write on my wall.  Help us fund the rescue work you love by typing your mobile number in the Big Cat Rescue Donations application on the left side of the page. You can also help the cause, by telling your friends.

If you have a page on Facebook click here to install the Big Cat Rescue Donations application on your own page ( This application lets your friends feed the big cats with their mobile phones…and it looks pretty cool too.

If you don’t have a Facebook page, follow the link below to get yours and be my friend!

Or send an email to to join us.  Be sure to join our Big Cat Rescue group too:


  Big Cat Camp Ages 16 – 18

Summer Camp Adults Big Cat RescueHave you always dreamed of a career in animal care? Are you passionate about conservation? Have you wondered what it’s like to do research in the field? For the first time ever young adults ages 16-18 can explore their interests and learn from our Keepers, Staff and experts in person. Join us in small workshop formats designed to give a real taste of life in the animal care and conservation world. Three different session topics will be offered with “Big Cat Tracking Academy”, “So, You Want to Be An Animal Keeper?” and “Modern Conservationist” on the agenda for this summer season.

This camp will fill up fast, so reserve your “spots” now!

  Tiger in a Shed and a Bobcat in Box

Tiger in ShedA tiger has been kept in a shed, in a small concrete floored cage for more than 3 years. She interrupts her constant pacing, only to stand up and look out the small window at the world who has forgotten about her.  Outside there is a tiny chain link box barely more than two feet wide and maybe eight feet long.  Inside, on a toxic mulch floor, paces a bobcat.  No where to go and nothing to do, the pitiful bobcat paces back and forth, back and forth…waiting for help to come.

The owner is in the hospital and her volunteers say that she may die there.  If she does, she is the only permit holder for the cats and the state could come in and euthanize the cats, or send them to another awful facility where they will be treated just as badly or worse.  There are no decent facilities in FL that are willing to take them and Big Cat Rescue doesn’t have room. We have to be responsible to the cats we have already rescued and cannot take on another big mouth to feed.  We offered to take the bobcat if she would quit trading in cats, but she refused.

This woman runs Animal Rescue Kingdom in Ocala, FL.  Even though she exhibits her tiger, she has never complied with getting a USDA license, nor in posting the FL bond.  She and another couple are both on her board and on that of Vanishing Species Wildlife.  USDA just fined Vanishing Species and found them unfit to care for their big cats, demanding that they find new homes for the tiger, lion and cougar they house in Davie, FL. Horrible facilities like this abound in FL because, unlike other states, our FL Wildlife Commission makes their rules outside of public will.  They aren’t elected.  They know that more than 90% of the public is opposed to this kind cruelty, but they have been unwilling to stop it.  Please help us end the breeding and trade in big cats, at least in Florida.  Get involved here:  Even though the FWC probably won’t listen to you, we can then take the case to the Governor who appoints the Commissioners, but we need to be able to let the Governor know that we all tried.  Please copy us with your letters so we can present them to him too.

  Recycled Pets

In February Big Cat Rescue invited Hillsborough County Animal Services to set up their Adoptable Pet Mobile at the front gates to the sanctuary during the busiest tour day of the week. The bus housed 9 domestic cats and kittens that were looking for a home. While several visitors stopped by the bus and met the cats, none of these homeless kitties ended up being adopted. We plan to invite the Adoptable Pet Mobile out again in the near future, so keep an eye out on our website for upcoming dates. It’s important to the big cats to help out their little cousins. If you have space in your heart and are looking for an addition to your family consider adopting a pet from one of the many animal shelters and rescue centers that are out there.

  St Patrick’s Day Contest Cards and Screen Savers

Send cards and be automatically entered to win if you send the most cards!

There are now 688 St. Patrick’s eCards and a total of 2,543 eCards to choose from.

Irish CatPrizes are store credits for (not cash). Spend your store credit on anything in our online gift shop you want. What could be greener than a Big Cat Shopping Spree?

1st Prize -$75 store credit
2nd Prize – $50 store credit
3rd Prize – $25 store credit

The contest runs through St Patrick’s Day.  It’s free and it is lucky fun for everyone.


  Around the Sanctuary

There is always way too much good stuff happening at the sanctuary for me to put it all into a monthly newsletter. Parry the bobcat who was hit by a car and left for dead has been released back into the wild.  One more lucky bobcat got a new lease on life thanks to you and Big Cat Rescuers.  Angie the southern bobcat was moved next door to all of the other southern bobcats and is loving the new neighbors.

Big Cat Rescue was chosen as the charity to man the beer stations at the Super Bowl and several preceding games.  The volunteers for these events worked their “tails” off and raised $6,950.00.  Woo Hoo!!!

Sophia the CougarVern revamped the empty jaguar cage to accommodate a tiger, by adding a tiger size den.  Snorkel got to try it out first.  In addition to our key staff, who are always involved with big cat moves, random Green Level Keepers are chosen to help if they are there that day.  There are always cages to be painted, trees to be trimmed and lots of dirty work that has to be done.  If you are here doing that stuff, you will likely be here on a day something exciting happens, and get to participate. Doug & Marie were the lucky ones this time.  They got to see Snorkel happily load into the transport and pass by all of the other excited tigers.  The cats know that that the transport means you are going to a new, fun place, so they all vie to be the one.  Along with Scott, Jamie, Chris and Dr. Wynn, they were able to see Snorkel run around his new cage, play with his new ball and do the army crawl through the old jaguar den that was left intact so that he would have the hill over it to climb.

Shere Khan & China Doll moved into Snorkel’s 1 acre enclosure, so that we could do routine maintenance on their 3 acre cat-a-tat.  They acted like they had gotten a huge upgrade, rather than a downsize, with all of their romping and playing.

Sophia the cougar continues to get better every day.  It has been amazing to see her recovery when we were all sure her time here would be measured in mere days.  More on her and new photos here:

March 14-21, 2009 is Florida Panther Week and March 21st is the Save the Florida Panther Day.   See panther cousins at Big Cat Recue in Julie Hanan’s video HERE


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