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AdvoCat 2014 04

What’s Up With Cameron’s Mane?


Cameron Lion Short Mane


If you’ve ever been on a tour of the sanctuary, you’ve probably heard about how we gave Cameron the lion a vasectomy when he arrived so that he and the love of his life, Zabu, would be able to live together without bringing more cubs into captivity.  It was a great launching point to talk about why it is so bad to cross breed animals, like ligers, and to educate our guests about how the lion’s mane is a testosterone driven sign of his virility.   For a long time we all enjoyed the best of both worlds; a situation where there were be no cubs born and Cameron would sport his magnificent mane…but the older Cameron got the more threatened he became of anyone who even looked at Zabu.

There weren’t any lions or tigers in the area around Cameron and Zabu, so he took to angrily lashing out at the leopards next door, his keepers and the guests.  We couldn’t find any other cause for Cameron being so stressed out and decided to neuter him and see if that would help.  We knew that neutering him would mean that he would lose that enviable mane over time, but if he had been any other sort of cat, we would have done the same thing, so that they could relax and not have all those hormones raging through their system.

Cameron is losing his mane and eventually will look more like a lioness, but love is blind and Zabu doesn’t seem to care.  Come summer, Joseph may be asking what he has to do to get that more sporty, sleek look as well.


Saving Lions Thanks to YOU!


Last month’s March for Lions may have just seemed like one heck of a party, but thanks to everyone who came and fundraised for the event, we were able to net $10,000 and we wanted to spend it on ways to help lions outside our gates.   The movers and shakers behind the Global March for Lions were Chris and Bev Mercer of CannedLion.org.  Any time we need the truth on what is happening in Africa regarding lions, we always turn to Chris and Bev.  They have been the leading force against lion hunting and pay to play schemes that pimp out lion cubs, only to sell them into canned hunts as easy targets.  They would never ask for help, but this event made it possible for us to contribute $7,000. to their continued efforts to ban lion hunting.  Chris said this is the equivalent of a small fortune in his world and that he will put it to good use in protecting lions.

We were impressed with Nat Geo’s Cause an Uproar campaign and donated $1,000. to their BuildABoma.org project.  This will build two bomas to help protect lions from being killed for harming livestock.

We have long been impressed by Animal Defenders International because they are a small organization that has been winning huge victories for animals.  What really brought them up on our radar was the amazing work they have done in the past few years to ban circus acts that use wild animals in 20 + countries.  If you saw Blackfish and thought, “big cats need a movie like that,” then you have to see Lion Ark.  We saw it and were so enamored that we sent $1,100. to help with their efforts to free all big cats from circuses.

Before the March for Lions even began we sent the early money we raised, in the amount of $900. to Walking for Lions to be a major sponsor for the cycling event from Kenya to Botswana to raise awareness of the plight of lions.  So, thanks to your generosity we are raising awareness, supporting boots on the ground, giving locals a way to live with lions, rescuing lions from circuses and letting everyone know that when you pay to play with a cub, the cub is always the one who pays with his loss of life and liberty.


Animal Programming To Make YOU Proud


American Exotic Tim Harrison


YOU can help support a TV series that will educate a huge audience about the REAL issues involved in the private ownership of big cats and other animals?

AMERICAN EXOTIC takes viewers deep into the heart of one of the most dangerous and bizarre subcultures in the world – – Contribute before April 27 to make it happen!



Fun Videos at Big Cat Rescue


Wild Cats VS Toilet Paper!




Pet Tigers & Public Safety!


Angry Birds, Big Cats & Golden Eggs!


Stunned Grief Over the Loss of Two Cats


We never saw it coming, so losing Mr. E the little Leopard Cat and China Doll the grande dame of Big Cat Rescue just days apart has us reeling.  At least, with Mr. E., he was reported on the Observation Charts several times as drinking more water than usual.  Except for these reports, he had never been sick a day in his life.  Drinking a lot usually an indicator of renal disease and at 14 had lived much longer than most Amurian Leopard Cats do, but to us that seemed like such a young age.


As for China Doll, she had been here since 1995 and the only time she had ever been treated for anything was a small cut on her tail back in 2006. She had been the picture of health and we were all wondering how she was going to manage now that Shere Khan is looking so old and frail. She’s older than him, but you would never know it. She’s just always been one exuberant girl and last Tuesday night was like any other.

She had just eaten dinner when Jamie walked up to check on Khan. China Doll was standing near her lock out, when Jamie reported that she began hobbling backwards towards the treeline in her 2 acre enclosure, on just three legs. She began breathing hard, her pupils were dilated and she had several episodes where she would bob her head, walk a few steps, fall to the side and then paw and bite at the ground . She couldn’t seem to use her front leg at all. China Doll had everyone holding their breath when she managed to get out into the lake and continued to have repeated episodes that threatened her with every jerk backwards to drown her.

Barbara Frank reported, “China Doll would have drowned out there if keepers hadn’t been able to call her back in to the shore.”

The next 24 hours were stressful for everyone involved as they tried to figure out a way to confine China Doll in a small enough area so she could be sedated and examined. She couldn’t be sedated in the large enclosure for fear that she would return to the lake and drown, but she wouldn’t come into the lock out area either. At one point Jamie and Gale tried to build a small cage around her while she slept in the corner of the enclosure, but she got up and moved away seconds before a fence panel could be lowered around her using pulley ropes.

Finally China Doll entered her feeding lock out for a drink and Dr. Justin was able to sedate her, draw blood and examine the leg for wounds or a break. Blood pressure readings confirmed suspicions that she had most likely had a blood clot in the limb. Blood clots such as these are usually the result of heart disease and can happen suddenly and with out warning. The wrist and paw of the affected limb was cool to the touch and the blood pressure readings were quite low. It seemed as though the paw was not getting blood flow.

China Doll was give pain medication and kept under close observation in a smaller roofed enclosure connected to her big yard. Four days passed and she wouldn’t eat and would barely drink. Because she would not eat, she was not getting the much needed pain relief and therefore had to be darted to receive medication. She seemed to be blind but it may have been brain damage that just made her lack the coordination to move about or respond. It was a heart breaking series of days and her condition was not improving. On Saturday Dr. Wynn came out helped put an end to her suffering.

Please help us to take care of these aging cats by donating to our medical fund: https://www.razoo.com/story/Medical

We don’t want our volunteers to find out about cat deaths on social sites, where they are going to have fun, so please do not post China Doll’s passing until 4/19 to give everyone at Big Cat Rescue the chance to find out here, among friends, first.  Thank you.


Facebook Algorithms


At any given time there are more than 15,000 items cued up to show next in your Facebook Feed.  What WILL show up next is based on an ever-changing algorithm because Facebook wants people to stay on Facebook.  They will look at how frequently you like, comment or share someone else’s content to know if they should show you more like that.  Facebook believes that most people do not want to hear from “brands”, so even if you have Liked us, are Following us and have Subscribed to us, they still will only show you a smattering of our posts in your feed.  There is one way to be sure you never miss a great video, or a new rescue, a funny cat photo, or any other important news and that is to subscribe to our BigCatRescue.org RSS feed here:  https://feeds.feedburner.com/bigcatrescue/feeds Another way to increase the chances you will find us in your Facebook feed is to continue to Like and Share our cats!

Facebook Tiger


Happy Easter from Big Cat Rescue!


There are more Easter games, puzzles and fun things to do on our BigCatFun site than you can fit in the biggest bunny basket imaginable.  Check them out:  https://bigcatfun.com/easter.html

Last month we sent you an email asking you to help us raise funds at NO cost to you.  For those that have helped us, we send our deepest thanks.  For those that have not, we are asking that you take 10 to 15 minutes out of your busy day to click on one of the below links and play one of our FREE  online or mobile games.   When you do, the game distributor pays us a fee for your trying the games out.




In fact, if you click on a link after reading this email and try one or more of our listed games that would be very helpful.


Click on the link now to try out one more of our: Online Games


Open this email on your smartphone and try out one or more of our: Mobile Games


One more way to help raise money at NO COST to you:  Yahoo has agreed to help us by providing a special search site that is branded just for us.  They will also share revenue from searches to help us raise needed dollars.

Just click on the link and check it out…It’s that easy. Please try 5-10 natural searches using this search engine, after all you already use the Internet to search.  Now you can search using a branded search engine built exclusively for us, of course the more you use it the better it is for us.

(You can save this special link search page to your favorites).  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT; JUST DOING YOUR NORMAL SEARCHES FROM THIS SEARCH LINK, HELPS US RAISE NEEDED FUNDS!!!  “Search Link”

Thank you for your support!

Please participate now so you won’t forget, we would love 100% participation in the next 24-72


PS: Please send this email to at least on friend or family member, so they can have fun and help us all at no cost!!


Amazon Smile


You’re going to shop on Amazon anyway, right?  I do because Prime gives me free shipping and 2 day service on just about everything I order.  When you shop via Amazon Smile you can pick Big Cat Rescue as your favorite charity and we get money from Amazon every time you shop.  That’s something all of the cats can smile about!



New Book Explores Human – Cougar Relationships


Cougar by Paula Wild CoverThroughout history cougars have been feared and revered, persecuted and protected.

Paula Wild explores our evolving relationship with this enigmatic predator from past to present in her new book, The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous.

Combining natural history, scientific research and first-person accounts, Wild describes the cougar’s biology, lifestyle and behavior, as well as the most up-to-date information on cougar awareness and defense. Through in-​​depth research, she examines how peoples’ perceptions impact cougar populations and how cougar populations affect the environment. And, with the help of experts like Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, she delves into the plight of captive cougars and the need for better legislation to protect them.

Paula Wild is an award-winning author of four books and has written more than 1,000 articles for numerous periodicals, including Beautiful British Columbia, Reader’s Digest and Canada’s History Magazine. She lives in Canada on Vancouver Island, the cougar capital of the world.

The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous is shortlisted for the 2014 BC Book Prizes Booksellers’ Choice Award (Canada) and for the Nature Book of the Year Award in Foreword Review (USA).

For more information visit www.paulawild.ca.

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  1. I am very sad but I know that China Doll and Mr. E had the best in the world the years they were at BCR. Nothing will change that and I am proud that going to BCR the times I did helped these cats and others. I love BCR and every time we travel to Tampa from the Northeast we go to BCR. My support to all through this hard time just know that you have made changes in many lives. Cat and human alike.

  2. So sorry for your loss…the only comfort is the memories of how much she was loved by so many including yourself…I am sure she had a good life. Thanks for taking care of her for so long, bless your heart.

  3. I just read the heartbreaking story of how China Doll's symptoms started…and ended. I am in tears! :"""(
    I am so thankful I've had the privilege to meet her several times. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Shere Khan and everyone at BCR….RIP beautiful queen! You will be sadly missed. xoxo

  4. im so glad im not there; i would cry my eyes out for days (and I'm a sobber)
    So thankful to all at BigCat Rescue who helped her live a wonderful rest of her life.


  6. my deepest condolences on the loss of your friends, loved ones & just plain old big cats!! it's never ez to lose a friend whether 2 or 4 legged. and there aren't enough tigers or amur leopards left in the world to begin with….

  7. I feel such sadness at the loss of China Doll. She was what sparked my interest in Big Cat Rescue. I can only thank her for bringing me to BCR and comfort those who cared for her with the thought of how she stood as an ambassador for all the cats you work so tirelessly for each and everyday. She runs free now, without pain or fear in a place where no one can do her harm. She is with Love.

  8. I am devastated by the loss of our beautiful China Doll. She was truly one of a kind. I am so sad for Shere Khan. He will be lost without her.

  9. So sorry about the loss of China Doll and Mr. E, both beloved. Thank you for the unceasing care they were given.
    The branded search engine is easy to use, and I will be using your amazon link in the near future.

  10. All the big cats have a wonderful life at BCR, but it is always very sad to see one pass on.

  11. Marcella Mirande-Ketcham At least we do know that she had a good life at BCR and she knew she did

  12. I'm HEARTBROKEN to hear about China Doll and Mr. E., and now that Shere Khan is so frail, I'm afraid he may soon follow his beloved across the Rainbow Bridge. This is has been a most terrible year for BCR; a lot of very painful losses this year and they keep coming. I know that many of the cats are older at BCR and our treasured friends don't live forever. But this is HARD, SO HARD. My most sincere and heartfelt condolences to all there.

  13. So sorry to hear about China Doll and Shere Khan will be heart broken just like one of my cats was after her BFF of 16 years passed away from cancer.

  14. I am shocked and heartbroken over the loss of China Doll. My husband and I went on the keeper tour in March. Our guide Becky took the two of us out to see Khan and China after the tour was over. I am a Skipaholic and follow what is going on at the sanctuary constantly. I knew Khan had not been doing good and inquired. She took a golf cart and we went to see them. I am disabled and walk with a cane so this was an easier way to get there. China Doll was fine and was the one to draw Shere Khan out into the open from their jungle cat-a-tat. I am so beyond grateful to Becky for giving me a chance to see them. I never would have expected it would be the last time I saw sweet China Doll. I am so sorry for all of you at BCR. I feel an attachment to these beautiful cats and I am only a visitor. I cry every time you lose one. I can't imagine what you are going through. :'(

  15. As soon as I got a prompt about Amazon Smile, I picked you guys, and that happened mere days before I made a HUGE order on Amazon, so you guys are getting a slice of that. I’m glad that my frequent Amazon habit is going to help you guys so much.

    SO SAD to hear about China Doll, she was probably my favorite, she had such distinctive face markings and was always one I recognized immediately. Poor Shere Khan must be so sad without his friend. :-/

    I’ll have to redouble my efforts to make it down to Tampa before more of my favorites are gone.

  16. Since I have been to BCR several times, I feel all the cats I have visited all those times are very special to me. Every time one passes away, I cannot explain how sad it makes me. It's always hard to lose a wonderful animal, no matter what species they are.

  17. I am beyond sad about the loss of China Doll. She was such a beautiful cat. Shere Khan will be heartbroken.

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