April 2009 AdvoCat
What an amazing year so far! We have been blessed to have the continued support of so many individuals, businesses and organizations during a time of catastrophic financial fears. I can’t thank you enough for remembering that the cats cannot speak out for themselves and cannot “cut back” like so many of us have to do now to make ends meet. The cats have always had to accept the compromise dealt them for having been born in cages, to live in cages and then one day to die in cages. They shouldn’t have to accept any further hardship and thanks to all of you, who have been so good to them, they won’t have to.
The AdvoCat only goes out monthly, so if you want to stay in the Big Cat loop, follow me on Twitter where you can get updates several times a day: http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue
Carole Baskin, Founder
Thanks to 1,010 of YOU We Won $10,000
Woo Hoo! Big Cat Rescue has won the Razoo contest prize of $10,000.00 thanks to 1,010 of YOU who helped by donating $10. or more. The total donations raised were $30,630 plus the $10,000. Razoo Grand Prize, plus the $25,000. Reitzel Foundation matching grant for a total of $65,630. for the cats! Razoo covers all of the credit card processing fees for donations made via their site, so that saved the cats another $1,400. Thank you everyone for making this such a roaring success.
Hear what some of our awesome donors had to say about Big Cat Rescue:
Hope the Baby Bobcat Goes Free!
Hope the baby bobcat will go free this month. She has grown up to be a little spit fire, an awesome rat hunter and she is ready to take on the world. I get goose bumps just thinking about how great it will be to see Big Cat Rescuers open the door of her transport cage and give her the gift of a whole, huge, new world to explore and conquer! She is ready, but there are still hunters out there firing at wild turkeys, so we are waiting until the season ends to give her a shot at freedom that doesn’t include being shot. See Episode 12 in the series about Hope the baby bobcat as she says “good bye” to her domestic cat family. Note that this video was shot several months ago and Hope is much bigger now.
Get a limited edition, hand beaded, commemorative Hope bracelet for $20 HERE or call 813.920.4130 to order. Only 100 will be made and they are sure to go fast.
Fur Ball Theme, Tickets and Sponsors
The wildest party in town is the annual Fur Ball where hundreds of big cat lovers come to strut their stuff and support the felines of Big Cat Rescue. This year’s theme is Mask-Grrr-Ade so start “hunting” now for your purr-fect mask. We are thrilled to announce that last year’s major sponsors, American Momentum, Jaguar of Tampa and Teasdale Worldwide have joined us again. Meet our new sponsor Barefoot Wine & Bubbly who will be donating all of the wine.
Check out the fun and reserve your “spot” : http://www.BigCatRescue.org/FurBall.htm
Bobcat Killed Please Help!
The Florida Wildlife Commission changed their rules recently so that “trappers no longer need to notify or obtain FWC authorization to take nuisance wildlife from private property with the consent of the property owner. Likewise, property owners may take nuisance wildlife, as long as the animals are destroyed humanely. Relocating nuisance wildlife to another property is prohibited.” (Take is the FWC’s euphemism for Kill)
What this means is that if someone sees a bobcat and a trapper is called, the bobcat cannot be relocated, but has to be killed!
In January a bobcat was trapped and killed near Orlando, FL. You can read the story and see that Big Cat Rescue tried to rescue the cat from being killed, but was ignored. There are two steps you can take to save bobcats from being killed just for being seen. One is to write RuleChanges@MyFWC.com before the June hearing and tell them that bobcats should be removed from the list of animals they call “nuisance wildlife.” The other is to download our new Living With Bobcats Brochure and make sure that your home owners association and civic groups know the facts about bobcats so that these important rodent controllers are not persecuted and killed.
Get the brochure, Living With Bobcats on this page:
Adopt a “Tiger” for Your Couch
In February Big Cat Rescue invited Hillsborough County Animal Services to set up their Adoptable Pet Mobile at the front gates to the sanctuary during the busiest tour day of the week. The bus housed 9 domestic cats and kittens that were looking for a home. While several visitors stopped by the bus and met the cats, none of these homeless kitties ended up being adopted. We plan to invite the Adoptable Pet Mobile out again in the near future, so keep an eye out on our website for upcoming dates. They will be at the PetsMart in front of Big Cat Rescue this Saturday. It’s important to the big cats to help out their little cousins. If you have space in your heart and are looking for an addition to your family consider adopting a pet from one of the many animal shelters that are over flowing with “tigers” for your couch.
School Kids in Missouri & Animal Lovers Dream Trip
If the name LaWanna rings a bell, it is probably because you know her as the AdvoCat who creates our online games, screen savers and online greeting cards. What you may not know is how much she does in Springfield, MO. for the big cats by taking her “Big Cat Classroom Mascot Program” to the schools. LaWanna has been offering free classroom presentations in her area and it has become so popular that she recently obtained the Extra Curricular Educational Planning Board’s approval to do her talks on conservation and the plight of big cats in captivity at all of the city’s 52 Elementary schools that have 4th, 5th and 6th grade classes.
When LaWanna heard that the local hospital was going to have a tabling event in their lobby she set up a booth with homemade display boards of pictures of the cats, highlighting the importance of regular enrichment for captive animals and fliers offering free downloads of Big Cat Rescue’s Child Safety ID program. Not only did she get 92 people to sign up for our newsletter, but she was such a popular attraction that the Cox South Women’s Center Coordinator has asked her to participate again in 2010.
LaWanna proves in all of her presentations that it is possible to reach a lot of people with a positive message without taking cats out in public as props.
And in her free time she is handling online contest entries for a free Animal Lover Vacation trip here: http://bigcatrescue.org/trip.htm
New Big Cat Videos
Big Cat Rescue is home to more than 130 exotic cats and we currently have 23 big, big cats at the sanctuary! This includes 18 tigers, 4 lions and Freckles the liger. This video shows the viewer just how much food these animals consume in one day and at what cost. We feed our cats 6 says a week with a fasting day on Sunday. Wednesday is “rat & bone” night which means whole (dead) rats for the smaller cats Siberian lynx – Geoffroy cat and then whole cow rib bones for the bigger cats Tigers – Cougars. We also give our larger cats whole prey (rabbits) to try and give them a good variety of food as close to their natural diet would be in the wild. See the video here: http://bigcatrescue.org/video/00279.htm
Check out other new videos like when the Florida beauty queens visited on their good will tour of Florida, and meet all of our lions, tigers and liger in one segment. Find them all here: http://bigcatrescue.org/podcats.htm
The Tiger Next Door is set to air on Animal Planet this year and you can see the trailer here: http://thetigernextdoor.com/trailer/ You can help it gain momentum for its May debut at Hot Docs. Please go to the screenings page here: http://thetigernextdoor.com/screenings/ and click anywhere the text is YELLOW and you will be taken to the official HOT DOCS page for THE TIGER NEXT DOOR. Hot Docs is counting the number of people who click through. Doing so lets them know you think the documentary that exposes Tigers Next Door is important. We do!
Mother’s Day Gifts to Make Her Purr
Mothers Day Gift $37: BCR jewelry gift set includes; 4 1/2″ x 31/2″ x 1 1/4″ wooden box laser engraved with BCR logo and beaded necklace. The necklace is handmade by village women in Jinga Uganda. The beads are made from recycled posters. The sale of these necklaces helps protect wildlife from being trapped and sold by providing an alternate source of income to the village. More HERE
Mother’s Day Gift $15: BCR photo coffee mug with two Jaguar Coffee Samplers. Mug is wrapped with photos including; Tiger, White Tiger, Lion, Lioness, Cougar, Black Leopard, Gold Leopard, Snow Leopard and BCR logo. Mug comes with two 2 oz ground coffee samplers; Lion blend and Cheetah blend. More HERE Prices do not include tax or shipping. See them here: http://bigcatrescue.org/gift/mothersday.htm
AdvoCat Tells Her Tale
Hi, my name is Nikki Benoit and while I have been involved in the Obama campaign (as an individual and not on behalf of any organization) I had never gone to our state’s capitol to be a voice for the animals in person. The Humane Society of the United States sponsored a Lobby Day in Tallahassee, FL to help others like me understand how the process works and what I could do to make a difference for the animals.
This is my summary of the experience:
Sweet 16 Kiss the Jungle Cat
Big Cat Rescue was founded sixteen years ago in 1992 and to celebrate our anniversary we are going to celebrate the sixteen species of wild cat that reside at the sanctuary.
This month you can “kiss” Rambo, our very talkative Jungle Cat.
November honored Windsong the Bobcat who started Big Cat Rescue and December’s cat was Hercules the Snow Leopard. February’s cat was Genie the Sandcat and last month you could “kiss” Nik the Tiger.
“Kiss” Rambo or “Kiss” them all: