Wild Thing, I think I love you…
It’s not too late to get your sweetheart the purr-fect gift. Order by 10 PM tonight and get a Wild Thing Gift Set just in time for Valentine’s Day. For $25 you will receive a Wild Thing Gift Set which includes a beautiful glossy color Big Cat Kissing Booth print and a cuddly soft big cat plush toy.
Didn’t order in time or worried this gift will not arrive by Valentine’s Day? No need to fret. You can order a digital version of the Big Cat Kissing Booth photo that you can download and print yourself for just $15.
The big cats need love too! Big Cat Rescuers enrich the lives of our resident felines on a daily basis, however, holidays call for the special treatment. Each year volunteers, interns, and staff create unique enrichment toys to celebrate the holidays with the big cats throughout the year. Check out these adorable photos of the big cats enjoying their Valentine’s enrichment.
Family of Advo-Cats, Go Above and Beyond
Adam Johnson contacted Big Cat Rescue when he found out about a tiger cub petting exhibit at the Northgate Mall in Cincinnati, Ohio in October 2011, the day after the Zanesville big cat massacre. In that tragedy 35 lions and tigers were shot to death after being purposely released by their owner who soon after committed suicide.
Adam and his three children, Kyra, Hayden, and Danielle were devastated about the cub exhibit and wanted to know what they could do to help. He had set up a petition on Change.org asking Macys, JC Penney’s and Sears to not allow cub exhibits — and that was before he had even spoken with Big Cat Rescuer Susan Bass! An undercover AdvoCat who cannot be named and Susan were planning a protest outside Northgate Mall for that Saturday so she asked Adam if he wanted to help protest. He and all three of his kids protested! Local TV stations covered the protest bringing even more attention to the cub petting issue. Kyra also spoke to her third grade class about the cub exhibit and about her experience protesting. Adam reports that the kids are praying every night for the cubs used in the exhibits as well as for the cats and volunteers at Big Cat Rescue.
As a thank you, we sent all three kids Big Cat Rescue T-shirts. This is a small token of our appreciation for a family of Advo-Cats who inspire us with their willingness to really speak out for the cats.
Fur-ocious Faucets for Food-Prep
We would like to sincerely thank T&S Brass and Jona Thomas for outfitting our food prep building with brand new faucets that are supremely functional. A huge thank you to John Greschuk of HUGHES Supply as well for facilitating the donation. These new faucets will make the daily food preparation and clean up a breeze for Big Cat Rescuers!
Largest Tiger at Big Cat Rescue Sedated & Sutured
It has long been rumored that Shere Khan, Big Cat Rescue’s largest tiger, weighed upwards of 800 lbs. His weight had been estimated based on the known weights of several other tigers at the sanctuary, however, he had never been officially weighed. Well after years of speculation we finally had the chance to find out for sure, but the circumstances were not the most desirable. Shere Khan had a small cut his back foot that, although only a few inches long, required stitches.
Big Cat Rescuers sedated the massive tiger this week so that his cut could be sutured and a lump underneath his tongue, that had been spotted by his keepers, could be removed and sent to the lab for testing. First Shere Khan was separated from his mate* China Doll and secured in a smaller section of his enclosure. Then Dr. Wynn had to estimate his weight in order to draw up enough drugs to sedate the enormous feline. Once he fell asleep a team of 8 staff members and volunteers hoisted him up onto two scales (one alone could not do the job). Shere Khan weighed in at a staggering 700 lbs.! Although he most likely weighs closer to 725-750 lbs. (He was so large that his body did not fit completely on the scales and his paws were still making contact with the ground which would lower the reading.)
After being weighed Shere Khan was loaded into a transport cage and rolled into our on-site cat hospital. His foot was cleaned and sutured, the mass on his tongue and another on his lower lip were removed and packaged to be sent to the lab, and he was given 3 bags of fluids. The procedure went smoothly. Shere Khan spent the night in the hospital before returning to his enclosure.
Since Shere Khan had to stay indoors overnight, Big Cat Rescuers took advantage of the situation to move Shere Khan and China Doll into a neighboring 3-acre enclosure and to move that enclosure’s single inhabitant, another tiger, Nikita into their 1-acre enclosure. The plan was simple enough. With Shere Khan slumbering in the cat hospital, keepers would lure China Doll into another transport cage and then shift Nikita through a tunnel from his enclosure into theirs. The tunnel would then be secured shut and China Doll could be released into her new home. Well just after China Doll was loaded into the transport cage it began to down-poor and Nikita was less than willing to participate. After some enthusiastic coaxing and a few meaty bribes he complied and shifted. All worked out in the end, Nikita was checking out all of the different smells in his new place, China Doll playfully galloped around her wide open space, and soaked keepers watched with satisfaction. The next morning the storm had passed and Shere Khan was reunited with China Doll.
Fur the Love of Art and Cats
Hoffman Porges Gallery in Ybor City, in cooperation with the Ybor Art Association, will host a one-night event to benefit Big Cat Rescue. “Fur the Love of Art and Cats” is sure to be a roaring good time featuring; art, a silent auction, entertainment, refreshments and a special door prize.
A “Wall of Cats” in the gallery will showcase the works of local artists who were invited to visit the sanctuary for inspiration. Their collective contributions are a wild variety of big cat-themed works in the form of photographs, oil and acrylic paintings, sculptures and mixed media works. Each artist who is showcased on the “Wall of Cats” has generously offered to donate a minimum of 10% of the proceeds from the sale of their work to the big cats. In addition, 100% of the proceeds generated through the sale of artwork and other items donated by local businesses for the silent auction will benefit Big Cat Rescue.
The event takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Hoffman Porges Gallery, 1907 E. Seventh Ave. in Ybor City. For information, call Samantha Churchill at (727) 455-2473 and check out this article online HERE
A Sad Farewell to a Fallen Friend
We had to say good bye to one of our dear friends, this month, a cougar named Hallelujah. Hal, as staff and volunteers affectionately called him, was 18 years old and had given up the fight against his advancing kidney failure. The tough decision was made to ease him over to the other side. Surrounded by those who loved him Hal gently passed on and was freed forever from his life behind bars. He will be missed dearly by all that knew him.
Hallelujah – “Hal” – lived almost his entire life at Big Cat Rescue. He came to the sanctuary, at only 4 days old, from an auction where people dump unwanted animals. From the day he arrived, he was always a very mischievous cougar. One of his favorite things to do was to try to grab hold of a water hose so he could snatch it, quickly chomp it, and send streams of water shooting out in every direction. Unlike most cougars, Hal liked the water and loved to chase water from the hose.
Hal became a very purr-sonable cougar as he grew. Hal captured the heart of so many Keepers, as the years went by. He was a smart cougar, figuring out just how to cock his head and stare into their eyes and talk with them so that he would always be assured of some really special, tasty treats.
Step Right Up for a Leopard Kiss Just 25 Cents
Check out this adorable video of Armani and Jade the leopards with their very own kissing booth.