The Best Week for Big Cats in Decades!
This week has been epic for big cats, thanks to all of YOU who have roared out to protect wild cats and their cubs.
4/3/2016 USDA cracks down on abuse of cubs under the age of four weeks. In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Born Free USA, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars or leopards. Read more.
4/5/2016 USFWS announced that they are rescinding the generic tiger loophole. Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USFWS since at least 2007 to rescind this loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. Read more.
Big Cat Rescue has been pressuring the USDA since the 90’s and USFWS since at least 2007 to end cub handling and rescind the generic tiger loophole and on 8/22/11 after a meeting with the USFWS the Generic Tiger issue was published to the Federal Register for public comment and got over 15,000 comments in support of our request to ban the breeding of non purebred tigers. According to their Q&A it sounds like the USFWS may still rubber stamp activities that really don’t help tiger conservation, but it’s a step. USDA only banned the contact with cubs under four weeks, but that is a step too.
So What’s Next?
Regulations can’t work, because USDA and USFWS don’t have the resources nor apparently the will to enforce the weak rules they have, so that is why we need an all out ban on the private possession of big cats. You can help get that done at http://BigCatAct.com
Don’t Forget Your Favorite Mom
These gifts have been hand selected by our online Gift Shop manager to bring you the best gifts for Mom, and in time for her special day if you order now. Shop for Mom and Save Big Cats Too!
To Celebrate Mother’s Day Will You Help Us “Mother” Our Foster Kittens?
Did you know that Big Cat Rescue fosters domestic kittens until they are old enough to be adopted? In the last 3 years our interns and volunteers have mothered literally hundreds of foster kittens! See some of the little cuties and find out more at http://bigcatrescue.org/mother-foster-kittens/
Big Cat Rescue’s In Situ Conservation Work 2016
dOnce a month, a volunteer or intern is selected for outstanding service to the cats. Big Cat Rescue rewards them by making a $1,000 donation to conservation projects in their honor. So far this year Big Cat Rescue has donated to the following projects to save wild cats in the wild.
Big Cat Rescue donated $5,000 to The Corbett Foundation, a charitable, non-profit and non-governmental organization solely committed to the conservation of wildlife. They work towards a harmonious coexistence between human beings and wildlife across some of the most important wildlife habitats in India, namely Corbett Tiger Reserve, Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve and around the Greater Rann of Kutch.
In February 2016, BCR donated $2,000 to assist the Urban Caracal Project. The Cape Peninsula is a biodiversity hotspot that has lost almost all of its large mammals such as cape lions, leopards and brown hyenas. Caracals as a result may play a major role in maintaining the ecosystem as they are the largest remaining predator in the area.
In March 2016 BCR donated funds to assist the Black Footed Cat Working Group, with one of the longest running small cat projects that has been in process for over 23 years, conserving the Black Footed Cat population in South Africa. More than 60 cats have been caught and collared over 100 times and what is known today about the species has been found during this field study.
Big Cat Rescue donated $1,000 to the first-ever study on the ecology and behavior of the Sand Cat in Morocco. Learn more about these projects at http://bigcatrescue.org/insitu/
We are thrilled to announce a fantastic matching funds opportunity to help Big Cat Rescue purchase a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine so that we can continue to provide the best veterinary care possible.
While our x-ray machine is critical for examining bone structure it has limited capacity for evaluating organs. An ultrasound machine is more suited for examining soft tissue. Currently our vet team relies on a physical exam, blood work and x-rays to determine the cause of a cat’s illness. If the cause is not readily apparent using these tools, they must perform an invasive exploratory surgery.
It is critically important that the person operating the ultrasound machine be trained and have extensive experience reading sonograms. If we purchased a standard ultrasound machine, we would have to incur the logistical issues and cost of bringing in an expert technician each time we needed to use it. This is not practical because in many cases we would not know if we were going to need to do an ultrasound until after we take x-rays. If we did need to do it, we would have to do it immediately while the cat was sedated and would not have time to arrange for a technician.
The specialized machine we need solves this problem in an ingenious way. It has a camera mounted to it and an Internet connection to a board certified technician who will guide our vet via camera to make sure they get the best possible sonogram images and will aid in correctly reading the images.
The specialized one we need for our cats costs $50,000. The great news is that the Reitzel Foundation has stepped up and pledged a dollar-for-dollar match up to $25,000! So your much needed and greatly appreciated donation toward our ultrasound machine for the cats will go twice as far! Thank you for continuing to support our cats and our sanctuary. This ultrasound machine will make a world of difference in the lives of our precious cats.
If you would like to contribute to the matching fund, please donate here. Thanks!
Thor, the bobcat who was hit in the head by a car, and lived to tell about it, has been healing in the onsite cat hospital. The last two items to check off his list are to be sure that the injured eye won’t be a hazard for him and to see him get back into hunting condition. His last eye check by veterinary ophthalmologist, Tammy Miller, indicates that the eye is doing well, even if not visual and you can log in and watch him daily on the Bobcat Rehab webcam provided by explore.org at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release
Hamburger Mary’s Event
It was a gaudy night of fun and bingo last week that raised $1,100.00 for the cats!
YOUR VOICE NEEDED TODAY TO SPEAK OUT FOR TIGER CUBS BEING EXPLOITED!
The notorious Robert Engesser and his traveling roadside zoo Jungle Safari are RIGHT NOW exploiting a tiger cub by charging the public to pose for photos with the cub. Adult tigers as well as many other animals are in tiny cages in the parking lot of the Ozark Shopping Center in Ozark, Alabama. Plus, Dothan’s ABC news station WDHN News aired a “news” piece about the deplorable zoo and gushed about how wonderful it was to have wild animals in a parking lot!
Engesser claims the exhibit is an “educational zoo.” This shopping center is owned and operated by the City of Ozark under the auspices of the Ozark City Council. It’s time to let WDHN as well as the Mayor of Ozark and City Council members know that cub petting is not “educational” or “humane,” and that by supporting it, they’re supporting animal abuse and the wildlife trade.
Email Billy Blackwell Mayor of Ozark at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Email the Ozark City Council members at firstname.lastname@example.org
Email WDHN News Director Stephen Crews at email@example.com
Post comments on WDNH News’ Facebook page here (but don’t be surprised if they remove your comments):
Have you always wanted a career in wild animal care or management?
Zoo College is modeled after the Keeper Training offered at Big Cat Rescue. It is the only online, virtual training center, where you can test your skills against real life animal care challenges. The lessons you will learn have been tested and improved over more than 20 years in dealing with some of the most dangerous and majestic carnivores on the planet.
Before now, the only way to get this extensive zookeeper training was to volunteer or intern at Big Cat Rescue, in Tampa, FL. Minimum time requirements for onsite training range from four hours a week to 16 hours per week. Due to the danger involved in caring for lions, tigers, ligers, leopards and other wild cats, it takes two years of training to achieve proficiency, so it would mean years of commitment for you to progress through that experience.
With Zoo College you can pace yourself and test your knowledge, using all of the same teaching guides, videos and methods, before making such a huge commitment of time or finances for a biology degree that won’t give you any real sense of what it means to care for wild animals in a zoo or sanctuary setting.
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Dreaming of a career with wild cats? Check out ZooCollege.com