AdvoCat News 2012 01

Out with the Old in with the New

According to the National Christmas Tree Assosiation, Americans purchased a whopping 27 million Christmas trees in 2010 spending an average of $36 per tree for a grand total of $976 million! Where do all of those trees go once the holidays are over? A lot of places actually. Discarded Christmas trees are mulched for landscaping use, used whole on shorelines to prevent soil erosion, and even burned to produce electricity. Did you know that the big cats like Christmas trees? They more than like them, they love them! Each year local Christmas tree retailers call Big Cat Rescue to offer their unsold trees to the cats. These unwanted old trees gain new life as enrichment. This year we picked up enough trees from three retailers to give each cat at the sanctuary a tree. The cats react to these trees much like they do to catnip or spices, they rub, paw, scratch and even chew on these festive trees. The enriching effects of interacting with the trees provides our resident felines with a healthy dose of holiday cheer!


Your Grocery Money Can Save Big Cats


A couple months ago Big Cat Rescue started ordering some great products online, instead of many of the cleaning and grocery products that we buy every week at supermarkets.  The reason we chose to do so is because the products are eco-friendly, safe around pets, economical and we were really hoping that they worked.  If so there is a residual income that could help support the sanctuary and our people who chose to get involved.


Here are a few things we learned:


– The products are great and in every case so far have proven to be more effective than the alternatives.  Around the sanctuary, probably the most impressive have been the dish and floor cleaners who have proven to do a better job at degreasing than Dawn.  This has been great for washing down our cooler, food prep floors, the cat hospital and the food and clean up buckets.


– The products are concentrated which makes them cheap to ship and then they last a long time.  They really do work when diluted with water like their label suggests.


So far it has been an easy sell and easy money for the cats.  Because of the hectic holidays we haven’t had time to really share the products with others but with just 9 of our staff and volunteers signing up and 7 of their friends doing the same, Big Cat Rescue has already gotten commission checks for $801.95 !  That buys some cat food!


Find out how your grocery shopping can help save big cats and/or how you can make an extra income by helping others here:



Bobcat Tortured by State Official


If you love animals, you may not be able to stand watching this video, TRAPPED BOBCAT TORTURED, but someone has to speak out against this sort of twisted cruelty before one more bobcat ends up this way.


In the video created and posted by Tracy Truman, appointee to the Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife in Nevada, a bobcat, that has been trapped with a leg hold trap, is jerked around in front of a dog that is urged to attack the terrified and injured cat. As the chain is pulled back and forth it appears to be wrenching the bobcat’s arm out of his shoulder socket. Regardless, bobcat is forced to defend himself against the dog, who is barking wildly, but appears to be afraid to make contact. The man on the other end of the chain is apparently trying to lure the dog into attacking by pulling the bobcat around like a toy. When questioned, the hunter/trapper reportedly said he was not mistreating either animal, but that the purpose of having posted his video online is a “training video for other trappers to show them how to train their dogs…” When questions by the media, Commissioner Tom Collins said, in reference to dragging the bobcat to and fro, “it is no different than someone pulling on their dog’s leash.”


Action needs to be taken in defense of this helpless wildcat, action from individuals like you. Please take a few minutes today to visit to send a letter on behalf of this bobcat to state officials asking for disciplinary action as well as improvements to policies that will protect wild animals, such as this bobcat, from being mercilessly tortured. Pre-written letters are available or you can write your own. It takes just a minute or two and is the only way to prevent this sort of cruelty from happening again. This bobcat and his wild brothers and sisters are counting on YOU.



Fundraising Campaign


Skipper’s Smokehouse Fun for All Ball a Wild Time and Roaring Success


We would like to sincerely thank the staff of Skipper’s Smokehouse and the bands who participated in the 1st Fun for All Ball. The event was a great success and a lot of fun too! Admission, raffle ticket and gift shop sales combined equaled $1,137


$785 was BCR’s 75% take of the door (just over 100 attendees), $206 in Raffle Ticket Sales, $146 in BCR Gift Shop Sales, for a grand total of $1137 raised for the cats!



Save Bobcats From Hunters


Let’s all walk the talk! NY is asking for public input on their planned expansion of bobcat hunting. Hunters have spoken up. Can you imagine if every animal lover did, too? Leghold trapping is one of the most inhumane forms of abuse. Won’t you answer the appeal of this bobcat and take a moment to email your thoughts by Feb. 16?


Please send an email TO: SUBJECT: Bobcat Plan



Big Cat Genome Project


Big Cat Rescue was recently contacted by Brian Davis, a geneticist in the laboratory of Dr. William Murphy at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine.  He said, “Our goal is to use existing genetic tools and recent advancements in large-scale genomic technology to characterize multiple aspects related to captive animal populations.  For instance, it is of great interest to us to accurately examine the genomes of tigers to develop easy-to-use assays to determine the subspecies of tiger, or the percentage of each subspecies contributing to a generic tiger’s genome.  With the recent events in Ohio, we are redoubling our efforts to develop these tools as efficiently and effectively as possible.”


He said they could use cheek swabs, hair bulbs, whisker pulls, blood draws and biopsy tissues. They are especially interested in tigers, ligers, other hybrids and any animals who have been inbred to produce white coats.


Our cats, both living and dead, can still help scientists save the endangered cats. We sent samples from Simba, Freckles and Zabu and Brian responded, “I want to let you know that Simba’s genome (along with Freckles and Zabu) has been extracted and banked. They are in cold storage at -80C and was wonderfully intact. We very much appreciate all your help with this tiger genome project. We can’t do the work we are doing without help from awesome contributors like you! Keep in mind, we are just starting with the tiger and will be doing similar work on all exotic felines in the future based on our methods development in the tiger.”



Thanks to the Tampa Bay Lightning staff!


On December 14th the Tampa Bay Lightning staff took a day out of their schedule to volunteer at Big Cat Rescue.  They were amazing!  25 staff members came in the morning, then another 25 in the afternoon.  They worked feverishly to taking down the old chain link fence around the 10 acres we bought a year ago and clearing foliage to prepare the property to be usable.  They took video of their work and of Bengali the tiger as well as Joseph and Sasha the lions, all of whom observed their efforts intently.  They also taped a short interview with Advisory Board Chairman Howard Baskin.  Then they played the video on the “Jumbotron” huge screens that are over the rink to a packed crowd at the Lightning vs. Flyers game, giving the sanctuary exposure to over 20,000 fans!   Thanks Lightning for caring about the cats!!



Can Big Cats Purr?


Do tigers, lions, leopards and other species of big cats purr like domestic cats?  We’re often asked this question so check out the video for answers.



Sorry we were so late with this issue of the AdvoCat.  The February AdvoCat will be ready for you soon and has a couple more great videos!


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One Comment

  1. With the genome project, will you soon be able to tell us what subspecies of lion and tiger Freckles, Simba, and Zabu are? That would be really cool to know the history of the cat!

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