AdvoCat News 2011 04

Help Rescue 5 Servals

5 Servals Rescued from a NY Basement
5 Servals Rescued from a NY Basement

African Cats is the epic movie in theaters right now of cheetahs and lions living free on the African savanna.  Meanwhile, right now there are five servals, who are lean, graceful cats that are often referred to as the “poor man’s cheetah,” living in a dark, dank basement.  They have been there for 12 years.  See how you can help set them “free.”


Put 100 Big Cats in Your Pocket

Put 100 Big Cats in Your Pocket

Hey Tampa, Lisa with Parner Pulse here with an update on one of our more unique Tampa Florida Attractions.

Big Cat Rescue has just released their very own iTunes App. The Big Cat app features instant access to the hundreds of amazing animals at the Big Cat sanctuary right here in Tampa.

With the App you will get photos of lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats, servals and many other unique cats that you may not have known existed! It will of course have tons of images (all of which I’m sure are amazing), that you can use for backgrounds on your phone or even share with friends.

The app only costs $1.99 and majority of that goes to Big Cat Rescues sanctuary. This app also gives you a chance to keep up with the advocacy campaigns Big Cat Rescue is part of, and help spread the word about what they do.

Big Cat Rescue is a hidden gem in Tampa, and if you have a free afternoon it is completely worth it to stop by. I have been and LOVED every second. The animals are beautiful, and the staff is amazing. I learned a lot about the Big Cats here in Florida and all across the United States.

Help support Big Cat Rescue and purchase their app today! (Droid users, they are working on one for you too!)

That’s all for now, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted on Tampa Florida News, and other great Thing To Do In Tampa Bay!

Get the app here:


What’s In YOUR Cat’s Bowl?

According to Margaret Gates of the Feline Nutrition Education Society, “Having a cat is having a connection to the wild. We get to caress the tiger. Now we want people to think of that connection in more literal terms. Cats may act domesticated, but living with humans has changed them very little physically. Your cat is still wild in almost every way. This is especially true when it comes to what they should be eating.
As we get out the message about bio-appropriate diets for cats, membership becomes vital to our effort. Having lots of members gives weight to our advocacy efforts. Basically, we are looking to get people thinking “How can all those people be wrong? There must be something to this.” Getting our message to them is important, but we’re still preaching to the choir. There are millions of cats out there being fed badly, and suffering for it. Help us reach those people by getting new members for the Society. It’s free.”

Peaches the Serval

Peaches the serval was born on 4/18/94 and arrived at Big Cat Rescue on 6/27/97. Servals, indigenous to Africa, are capable of leaping ten feet into the air to catch a bird in flight. But Peaches spent her young life confined to a small, concrete-and-steel dog run where she produced litters of kittens to meet the growing demand for exotic pets. When her owner had no use for her anymore, she was fortunate to end up at Big Cat Rescue.

Peaches lived at the sanctuary in a large grassy habitat where she could do all the things that came naturally to her, at her leisure. Her first day in her new 1200 square foot Cat-a-Tat was enough to bring tears to the most jaded eyes as she embraced with wonder and such enthusiasm the ability to leap through the brush chasing after insects. Peaches was very petite and was one of the cutest servals at the sanctuary.  She had been prone to seizures which were worsening as time went by.  At the age of 17 after a bad seizure that left her unable to recover on 4/8/2011 we made the painful decision to euthanize her.  We will miss her so much!  You can read our volunteers’ tributes:


The Jersey Boys Go Wild at Big Cat Rescue

On April 12th, 2011, the touring company of the Broadway play Jersey Boys, who were performing at the Straz Center visited Big Cat Rescue.  Read more and see the fun photos from their visit:


Hell’s Kitchen Chef Serves Steak Tartare to the Tigers!


On Thursday, April 14th Chef Robert Hesse from the FOX TV hit Hell’s Kitchen visited Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of exotic cats.

Chef Hesse was an astounding fan favorite in Season 5 of Hell’s Kitchen, and one who many thought would glide into the finals. Hesse was Chef Gordon Ramsay’s favorite to win as well; however an illness kept him from going further in season 5.

After two million plus fans requested Hesse’s return, Ramsay acknowledged the demand and brought Hesse back in Season 6.

Chef Hesse is one of the most popular contestants from the Hell’s Kitchen series, and has used his notoriety to help the less fortunate.  Read the rest of the story and see more photos at:


Tour Prices Raised to Offset Soaring Meat Prices

Big Cat Rescue’s tour prices have not changed in four years.  During that time, the Consumer Price Index has risen about 9%.  However, some of our costs have risen far faster, particularly the cost of meat for the cats.

In 2006 we paid 75 cents per pound for the beef.  We now pay $2.20.  Natural Balance, from who we buy the ground diet that has all of their vitamins and minerals, had held their price at $1/lb all these years while beef prices rose.  They have now raised the price to $3.10/lb, over 300%!  We buy 64,000 pounds per year.  This will increase our food bill by $128,000 this year; a HUGE number for us!

While it is natural to raise prices over time to cover inflation, we have hesitated to do so during these difficult economic times.  However, after 4 years without an increase, and faced with the dramatic increase in food cost, the time has come.

The new prices are:

Day Tour $29
Kids Tour $19
Feeding Tour $55
Night Tour $55
Keeper Tour $110

The price increase will be effective May 1, 2011.  On the tours that require reservations, if the reservation was made before May 1, 2011 we will honor the old price.  Howard Baskin, CFO and Advisory Board Chairman


Skip the Bobcat Calls Big Cat Rescue Home

Skip was hit by a car in December of 2010. Despite extensive surgeries to repair his shattered pelvis, he did not heal well enough to survive on his own in the wild and could not be released.

The pelvic canal is too narrow for him to pass fur and feathers, so Big Cat Rescuers had to create a safe space for him outside where he would be least likely to catch his own “fast food.”

If he ends up in trouble we will be able to get him the veterinary attention he needs, which would be impossible to do if he were released.

He now has a permanent home at the sanctuary.  We are very sad that he can never live free but at least he can live the easy life on Easy Street.

Thanks to a motion sensitive camera trap you can keep an eye on Skip as he adjusts to living outside if you have a facebook account.

For those who have joined us on facebook, here is a photo to entice your to join our 42,793 fans at


Cheetah Hunt

It seems that Tampa is at the center of the cheetah controversy now thanks to the new ride at Busch Gardens called “Cheetah Hunt.”  While it is this author’s opinion that the name probably refers to cheetahs hunting, rather than hunting cheetahs, the fact remains that animal lovers are pretty upset over the ride for a number of reasons.  “Most of the complaints that we get about the new ride is that cheetahs are very inbred and nervous animals that do not do well in captivity to begin with and being housed under a roller coaster just isn’t a very respectful way to treat a wild animal,” says Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue.

Others say that even the name is “a total turn off.”  Says freelance writer April Orcutt, in her letter to the International Association of Amusement Park and Attractions, “Is there any chance you could PLEASE talk the Busch Gardens folks in Tampa into renaming their roller coaster something besides “Cheetah Hunt”?  Ugh.  It’s a total turn-off.  Cheetah’s are highly endangered, and just a phrase like that makes my (and millions of other people’s) skin crawl.”  Read the rest of the story here:

Slinky Tiger Rhinestone Tank Top Benefits Serval Rescue for a cool and fashionable way to help us rescue the five servals who have been living in a basement for 12 years?  This is it!

What a sparkly and glittery way to show your support!

Beautiful black junior strap-tank top has a tiger in multi-colored rhinestones.

Written beneath the tiger in silver rhinestones is:  Big Cat Rescue.

Each scoop neck tank is made from 100% combed, ring spun cotton and comes in sizes S, M, L, & XL.

Half of your purchase profits Big Cat Rescue and makes it possible for us to rescue cats in need, protect the ones we have and work to end the trade in big cats as pets, props and parts.

Good News Bad News Take Action!
A great movie for animal lovers yet more cub abuse in Lincoln Mall

Show Time!

If you love animals, you need to see this movie!   The Elephant in the Living Room is a documentary film about the controversial American subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world as common household pets.  Director Michael Webber follows the journey of two men at the heart of the issue.  One, Tim Harrison, Big Cat Rescue’s Guardian Angel Award winner, a man whose mission is to protect exotic animals and the public, and the other, Terry Brumfield, a man who keeps his two pet African lions in a broken down horse trailer after one escapes and begins chasing cars on the highway.

Join Big Cat Rescuers at the Tampa showing on April 15 at 7pm at the Regal Citrus Park Theatre 7999 Citrus Park Town Center Mall Tampa, FL and check out other show times at

T.V. Time!

Watch Big Cat Rescue on WUSF Florida Focus on April 8 at 5:27pm which is locally Ch 16

Thank You Time!

When the Kona Grill found out just how much animal lovers hate seeing tigers carted out to restaurants, malls and flea markets they decided to cancel a tiger show they had planned for tonight.  Be sure to thank them by Liking their facebook page and especially by dining at their excellent restaurants.  Let them know that you appreciate the fact that they value compassion toward animals and their firm stand against allowing wild animals to be exploited on their properties.

Spank You Time!

Despite getting the same education about why it is so wrong to cart live tigers out to venues, the Lincoln Mall has chosen to continue to allow an abusive pay to play cub petting scheme at their mall.  Just last month 8 more malls have announced their decision to end these awful events that are made possible only by over breeding lions and tigers, ripping the cubs from their mothers, and then hauling them around the country in the back of tractors, so that their owners can profit from the public paying to handle the innocent cubs.

Please take a moment to contact the mall and let them know that you oppose this kind of animal abuse.

Lincoln Mall
Matteson, IL
708-747-5600 or fax 708-747-5629
Tracy Munno, General Manager.
Dayna Brosnan, Specialty Leasing Manager.

Ask their anchor store – Carson, Pirie Scott to speak up for the cats too!  708-747-5400

You can email both mall managers at the same time by filling in the form below.  This will also copy USDA to let them know that you want this kind of exhibition to end.
Pzazz Resort Hotel hosts cruel cub exhibits Take Action!
Please help by speaking up for the cubs today

The cubs need your help!

Pzazz Resort Hotel  in Burlington, IA has hosted an exotic cub exhibit, despite our urgent pleas to stop this abuse of the cubs.  When we called to explain to them why this is abuse, they became very angry and defensive of their bad decision.

An tiger cub petting exhibit happened most recently at the casino on April 17,  2011.

Joe Schreibvogel, the exhibitor, is an incessant breeder of big cats.  He rips the cubs from their mothers a few days after birth, a torment for both the cubs and the mother.  Then he and his associates, operating under multiple business names, cart the cubs in a semi-trailer around the Midwest, setting up cages in malls and casinos and charging people to pet them.  He claims he is “forced” to do this to make money to support the 1400 animals he has on 16 acres at his Oklahoma zoo.  But, real rescuers of animals do not torment some to support others.  Meanwhile, the 23 of his cubs who died in 2010 are the subject of an ongoing USDA investigation.

When Schreibvogel’s exhibit was at Mounds Mall last October, cubs were sick with violent diarrhea.  Instead of taking them off exhibit so they could rest and recover, his staff just followed them around with towels, then wiped the poor cubs’ tender bottoms with the same towel they had just used to wipe the floor, as the poor cubs screamed in pain.  You can see video of this awful abuse, and learn more about Schreibvogel, at

What happens to cute cubs used to make money by people like Schreibvogel after they are too big and dangerous to use this way?  Most spend their entire lives in small concrete and chain link cells, often in horrible conditions.  USDA rules allow keeping a 500 pound tiger for its entire life in an area about the size of a parking space.

To stop this abuse, malls and casinos need to know that it offends more people than it draws!

There are 3 ways you can stop this:

1.    Please send the email form listed below and / or pick up the phone today and place a call to voice your objection:

Toll Free: 866-792-9948
Direct phone line: 319-237-1209
Fax: 319-237-1253
General Manager:  Rob Higgins. Email is
Director of Sales & Marketing: Brian Fleming
Pzazz Resort Hotel
3001 Winegard Drive
Burlington, IA 52601

2.    You can easily email a pre-written letter by scrolling down on this alert.  If you received this by email, click on  “GO! TAKE ACTION” to access the letter.

3.  Go to Pzazz’ facebook page, Like Them, and then post how you feel about abusive cub displays at their casino:


Joe Schreibvogel is the notorious exotic animal breeder and exhibitor who operates the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Oklahoma and operates under more than a dozen different business names.  In response to efforts by Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL, the largest accredited sanctuary in the country dedicated to abused and abandoned exotic cats, to stop this abuse, Schreibvogel’s cub petting exhibit late last year started operating under the name “Big Cat Rescue Entertainment.”   The purpose is to dupe and confuse the public while tarnishing the name the real sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, in the process.  Big Cat Rescue has filed a lawsuit in federal court for violation of its intellectual property rights.

These cub exhibits are a very lucrative business based on incredible animal cruelty.

Remember: True rescuers and sanctuaries do not breed. Breeding more tigers simply adds to the number of big cats that end up living in deplorable conditions or being destroyed to supply the illegal trade in tiger parts.

Exhibitors like Schreibvogel may claim that these casino exhibits teach people that exotic animals should not be pets. But what example do they set as they handle the animals and allow casino patrons to hold and pet the cubs?  The websites of these exhibitors typically show photos or videos of the exhibitor handling, hugging or kissing adult tigers.

What sort of message are they really sending? The way to encourage people NOT to want exotic animals as pets is to set an example by never allowing physical contact with them.  This is what true sanctuaries do.

Thank you for showing that you truly care by speaking up for these precious cubs today.

If you’re having trouble viewing this alert, please go to:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *