Charaka

charaka-tiger

Charaka

Tiger M (N) DOB 7/1/2001 – 1/14/2017

Rescued by Big Cat Rescue on 11/17/16

 

 

Charaka Tiger

Charaka while at Big Cats of Serenity Springs
Charaka while at Big Cats of Serenity Springs

Charaka arrived at Big Cats of Serenity Springs on 12/2/01 at the age of 5 months old from Tanganyika Wildlife Park (which is run by ZAA director Jim Fouts) in Wichita, KS.  He was later paired with Priya Tigress, who was born at Big Cats of Serenity Springs and used as breeding stock for the pay to play schemes at Big Cats of Serenity Springs and elsewhere.  Cubs were frequently transferred both in and out to GW Zoo, Jungle Safari AKA The Zoo, Wildlife in Need, Dirk Arthur’s magic act, Tanganyika Wildlife Park, Hanson Exotics, T.I.G.E.R.S. and others.

charaka-tiger
Charaka’s first day at Big Cat Rescue

The term Charaka is a label said to apply to “wandering scholars” or “wandering physicians”.  According to Charaka’s translations, health and disease are not predetermined and life may be prolonged by human effort and attention to lifestyle. As per Indian heritage and Ayurvedic system, prevention of all types of diseases have a more prominent place than treatment, including restructuring of lifestyle to align with the course of nature and four seasons, which will guarantee complete wellness.

Charaka seems to have been an early proponent of “prevention is better than cure” doctrine.

Read more about his arrival at Big Cat Rescue here:  https://bigcatrescue.org/nov-16-2016/

Family Ties

In reviewing inventory records, Kiz found these relationships: Priya, Tutt, Nefertiti and Pandora were litter mates, born 12/20/2003 on site. Priya is now at Big Cat Rescue, Titi is at Black Pine Animal Rescue, Pandora is at The Wildcat Sanctuary and Tutt is at the Performing Animal Welfare Society.

Priya and Charaka’s offspring are at Carolina Tiger Rescue (Carolina), Turpentine Creek Wildlife Center (Montana and Poncho), The Wildcat Sanctuary (Griffen, Zeke and Dimitri) and Forest Animal Rescue (Juanita and Eva).

 

Charaka really liked the $60,000 virtual reality camera that was positioned to capture his arrival to paradise in Tampa.  Fortunately there were enough other toys and distractions that he didn’t do it any harm.

charaka-tiger

Everyone, and their brother, is going to ask if they will be put back together and that depends on what the cats want.  If they want to share space, we will accommodate them but big cats are solitary and usually don’t want to be housed together.  It’s only done at breeding facilities, for obvious reasons and at zoos to cater to the public’s desire to see animals in pairs or groups, even though it goes against their nature.  Find out more at https://bigcatrescue.org/solitary/

Charaka Has Died

1/14/17 Our beautiful and sweet Charaka Tiger has died.  His fans have been watching his recovery and even posted a video of him enjoying the fan below.  He’s been eating, pooping, playing with his toy (and dishes) and we all thought he was well on the way to recovery. This morning at 9:26 am one of our explore.org viewers called me to say that Charaka Tiger had a seizure and wasn’t breathing. I was over by Hoover and when I got to Charaka he was not breathing, had no blink reflex and his tongue was blue. I pulled his tongue out to look down his throat, thinking that maybe he was choking, but there was nothing there. I called Jamie and Dr. Justin who rushed to the scene. When I replayed the Nest cam recording it looked like he finished breakfast and meds earlier in the morning and then at 9:15 whet over and had a long drink of water and then came back to his platform and sat down. He licked his lips a few times, and then fell over dead.

We did a necropsy this morning and there was no obvious reason.  His surgery site was healing well on the inside and outside.  His organs looks normal but samples are being sent off for further testing.  He was still battling a nasty infection but you don’t just fall over dead from an infection.  He would have stopped eating and declined if it were the infection.  He’s one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met and we are all just in shock.

Last image of Jamie spending time with Charaka by Silver.

Charaka was only with us for a couple of months, but they were clearly his best months when you look at the PeTA factsheet on the facility where he spent most of his life:

PETA Fact sheet on Serenity Springs Wildlife Center FKA Big Cats of Serenity Springs
Serenity Springs Wildlife Center
24615 Scott Rd., Calhan, CO 80808
Serenity Springs Wildlife Center (aka “Big Cats of Serenity Springs”), owned by Nick Sculac, has failed to meet minimum federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition as established by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited the facility repeatedly for failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, failing to follow the recommendations of the attending veterinarian, failing to handle young and infant animals properly, failing to keep enclosures clean, and failing to maintain enclosures in good repair. During an inspection in April 2013, an inspector found a dead cougar covered with snow in one of the enclosures, which the staff had failed to notice. In May 2013, Serenity Springs acquired two 3-day-old tiger cubs from another facility, and both cubs died within two days. Between May 2007 and January 2010, 31 animals died at Serenity Springs.

December 9, 2015: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to provide the following animals with adequate veterinary care: two tigers with opaque colorations in the corneas of both eyes who were noted to be squinting and blinking excessively in the sunlight; two tigers with lameness and abnormal gaits affecting their right front legs, one of whom also had easily visible pelvic bones; a lion with an abnormal stance and an opaque coloration of the left eye; a leopard with an abnormal gait, two large lumps protruding from the left hip and thigh, and a third lump on the right thigh; a tiger exhibiting unusual behavior when urinating that could be indicative of an underlying veterinary condition; and three juvenile bears with significant hair loss who were noted to be excessively scratching their flanks and abdomens. The USDA also cited the facility for repeat veterinary- care violations for housing a 6-week-old lion next to two tiger cubs with contagious ringworm infections, exposing the lion cub to the infection, and housing a tiger cub with patches of hair loss with two other tiger cubs. The cub with hair loss was obtained from a facility with confirmed ringworm cases.

The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to have an adequate environmental enrichment plan for two ring-tailed lemurs, failing to dispose of expired meat that was being stored at room temperature and producing a foul odor, failing to provide 76 animals with adequate shade, failing to provide a leopard with adequate shelter from inclement weather, failing to provide big- cat cubs with the required calcium supplements, failing to provide two tigers with water, failing to remove brown liquid and debris from the water trough for two bears, failing to clean an excessive accumulation of bird droppings in an enclosure housing two bears, and failing to have an adequate number of properly trained employees to care for the 127 animals at the facility. The facility also failed to maintain the following enclosures in good repair: one housing black bears with a large hole in the shelter structure, allowing wind and rain to enter; one housing tigers with a chain-link fence in need of repair; and five housing a combined 10 tigers, with chewed and damaged wood that could potentially injure the tigers.

The facility was also cited for failing to drain water properly from three enclosures housing tigers, which had standing water and slabs of ice around the water bowls, and failing to regulate the temperature in an enclosure housing three tiger cubs. The inspector noted that the enclosure was cold and had two heaters that were not being used and were being urinated on, posing a fire hazard to the animals.

October 1, 2015: The USDA cited Serenity Springs again for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

September 9, 2015: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to provide the following animals with adequate veterinary care: a 7- week-old tiger cub with crusted hair and discharge from both eyes who was housed in an unsanitary enclosure with rodent feces and exposed drywall, two tigers with opaque colorations in the corneas of both eyes that appeared to be worsening, a tiger with an abnormal gait affecting the left front leg, two tigers with lameness and abnormal gaits affecting their right front legs, a tiger exhibiting unusual behavior when urinating that could be indicative of an underlying veterinary condition, a leopard with two large lumps protruding from the left hip and thigh and a third lump on the right thigh, a leopard with hair loss and several areas of reddened skin on his tail, two coatimundis with thinning hair coats, and a binturong with a thin body condition exhibiting tremors and an abnormally hunched posture. The enclosure housing the binturong contained a dead and decaying rodent and a large amount of rodent feces, potentially exposing the binturong to infectious organisms. The facility also failed to keep sufficient medical records regarding the previous medical treatments and future treatment plans for these animals.

The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for failing to conduct daily health and wellness observations of all animals and failing to communicate information to the veterinarian in a timely manner, resulting in the death of numerous animals in the enclosures, including eight tigers, a lion, a leopard, two kinkajous, and a bobcat. All these deaths occurred during a span of 12 months. Many animals were found frozen in the enclosures, and necropsies couldn’t be performed. The facility was also cited for failing to provide a sick tiger cub with timely veterinary care. The cub died en route to the veterinarian from an underlying immune system deficiency.

The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to have an adequate environmental enrichment plan for two ring-tailed lemurs, failing to dispose of multiple packages of raw meat that were past the expiration dates and stored at room temperature with numerous flies present, failing to provide 73 animals with adequate shade, stacking panels against the perimeter fence in a manner that could allow animals to climb over it easily and escape, failing to control excessive numbers of flies throughout the facility, failing to remove excessive accumulations of rodent feces throughout the facility, and failing to maintain the following enclosures in good repair: an enclosure housing tiger cubs with exposed drywall; an enclosure housing black bears with a large hole in the shelter structure, allowing wind and rain to enter; three enclosures housing tigers, a serval, and a leopard with exposed nails on the wooden resting platforms; and seven enclosures, housing a combined 14 tigers, with chewed and ripped wood that could potentially injure the tigers.

In addition, the USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to maintain complete acquisition records for a bobcat being exhibited to the public; failing to provide a leopard with adequate shelter from inclement weather; failing to provide two bears with potable drinking water; failing to clean at least 12 water receptacles provided for animals to soak in, which contained brownish-black water with hair, fecal matter, and other debris; failing to remove excessive accumulations of excreta from at least three enclosures; failing to have an adequate number of properly trained employees to care for the 112 animals at the facility; failing to supply a wholesome diet free from contamination to two bears (a plastic bag containing a thick yellow liquid was mixed in with their food, posing a risk of intestinal obstruction if they were to ingest the bag); and failing to follow the veterinarian-approved diet plan that required that tiger cubs receive added calcium supplements. Two cubs were observed to have lameness and joint swelling, which was possibly caused by inadequate calcium in their diets.

July 14, 2015: The USDA cited Serenity Springs again for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

May 29, 2015: The USDA filed an AWA complaint against Serenity Springs for repeatedly violating the act and allowing the death of multiple animals at the facility. Violations included failing to obtain adequate veterinary care for the animals, failing to observe animals suffering from disease and/or injuries, failing to follow the recommendations of the attending veterinarian, failing to meet the minimum standards for animal husbandry, and failing to handle animals, particularly young and infant ones, carefully. Serenity Springs also continued to allow direct public contact with exotic cats, the transport of infant exotic cats, and the use of infant exotic cats for photo shoots with the public, despite being previously advised not to by the USDA.

In addition, the USDA continued to voice its concern from its February 2012 AWA complaint that Sculac had not shown good faith. The USDA stated, “Respondents market themselves and their facility as both a ‘sanctuary’ and a ‘rescue’ facility for exotic felids, and solicit money from the public based on representations that they are saving endangered animals. In fact, respondents breed animals at their facility, and obtain infant felids from breeders, for the purpose of exhibiting these animals to the public for compensation in the guise of preservation of these species.”

May 27, 2015: The USDA cited Serenity Springs again for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

February 18, 2015: The USDA cited Serenity Springs again for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

January 8, 2015: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

September 13, 2014: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to provide the following animals with adequate veterinary care: a tiger with discharge coming from both eyes who was squinting and barely opening her right eye, a tiger with an abnormal gait affecting the right hind leg and a thin body condition, and a tiger with muscle loss and an abnormal gait affecting the hind limbs. The facility was also cited for repeat violations for failing to provide 35 animals with adequate shade from sunlight; failing to repair multiple enclosures in disrepair, affecting 28 animals, (problems included exposed drywall, sharp and rusty wires protruding into enclosures, splintered and broken wood, and exposed nails protruding into enclosures); and allowing the public to handle an 8-week-old tiger cub for at least six hours in one day with no documented breaks. During this time, the cub uttered vocalizations indicating distress numerous times.

The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for failing to have an adequate environmental enrichment plan for two ring-tailed lemurs; failing to repair a leak in the refrigerator, causing several boxes of produce and eggs to be covered with mold; storing unsealed bags of meat next to prepared meals for the animals, posing a risk of contamination; stacking panels against the perimeter fence in a manner that could allow animals to climb over it easily and escape; failing to remove an overgrowth of weeds from 10 enclosures housing animals; allowing the accumulation of rodent feces in multiple areas throughout the facility; failing to remove a dead mouse from the room adjacent to the food-preparation area; and failing to remove numerous dead flies from the food-preparation table.

August 27, 2014: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

June 20, 2014: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

February 26, 2014: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to control an excessive number of flies in the enclosure housing a binturong and failing to provide the following animals with adequate veterinary care: a tiger with hair loss and dried blood on her tail and a tiger with patchy hair loss covering at least 50 percent of his right side from the neck to the hip. The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to repair a wall with exposed electrical wiring and drywall in an enclosure housing two lion cubs, failing to provide 17 animals with adequate shade from direct sunlight, and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained exposed wires, accumulations of fiberglass insulation, exposed nails, ripped wood, and broken fences, affecting 28 animals.

November 5, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to provide the following animals with adequate veterinary care: a tiger with a thin body condition who was limping on his right hind leg; a tiger with streaks on her corneas and a laceration with dried blood around the left corner of her mouth; a tiger with streaks on the left cornea, a laceration with dried blood on the left front paw, and an abnormal claw on the right hind leg; and a wallaby with a reddened, raised area with hair loss on the left front paw. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for failing to provide six tigers with adequate shade from direct sunlight. At least two of them had noticeable streaks on their corneas, making them more sensitive to direct sunlight and possibly causing discomfort.

August 9, 2013: While exhibiting at the Denver County Fair, Serenity Springs was cited by the USDA for failing to restrain a 7-week-old tiger cub properly during a photo shoot with the public. The cub was vocalizing and squirming, and the employee didn’t properly handle the cub in order to minimize the risk of harm to the animal and the public.

May 31, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for refusing to allow officials to conduct an inspection of the facility.

May 23, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to provide the following animals with veterinary care: a tiger limping on his left front leg and a tiger with an unsteady gait who appeared to be excessively careful when placing her paws on the ground. The USDA also cited the facility for failing to follow the attending veterinarian’s directions to monitor a tiger in labor, leading to the death of the tiger and the single cub during birth. In addition, the USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have proper identification and acquisition records for a hybrid bobcat/domestic house cat and failing to handle two 3-day-old tiger cubs properly. They had been acquired from another facility, and one died within 24 hours of arriving at Serenity Springs. Two days after arriving at Serenity Springs, the second cub was unable to pass feces and was euthanized.

May 7, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for refusing to allow officials access to conduct an inspection of the facility.

May 6, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to provide two lame tiger cubs with veterinary care. Officials conducted a focused inspection to check the condition of a tiger cub previously identified to be severely lame and unable to bear weight on his right front limb. During this inspection, he was observed to have a severe limp, wouldn’t bear weight on his right hind leg, and had noticeable swelling of the ankle area. Another cub was also severely limping on his right hind leg and had swelling around the ankle area. The cub would only hop a short distance before falling to the ground.

April 18, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to provide a tiger cub with adequate veterinary care. The cub was previously observed to have a severe limp, and during this inspection, the limp affecting the right front leg appeared to be worse. The cub wouldn’t bear weight on the paw and struggled to get to the food dish in the enclosure.

April 15, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

April 10, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to conduct daily observations of animals—an inspector observed a dead cougar covered with snow in one of the enclosures. The staff had provided the cougar with fresh water earlier that day but didn’t notice that the animal was dead. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for failing to provide a tiger cub with proper veterinary care. He was observed to have a severe limp affecting his right front leg, causing him to stumble and fall onto his shoulder. He was also seen walking with a crab-like posture with his hind legs and appeared to be in pain. This condition had not been noted by any of the staff members or reported to the veterinarian. The facility was also cited with another repeat violation for failing to repair multiple enclosures with protruding nailheads, chewed and splintering wood, and sharp, exposed nail ends.

March 20, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

January 7, 2013: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for placing the food for the wallaby on the ground of the enclosure in an accumulation of feces, contaminating the food, and failing to repair multiple enclosures, affecting 22 animals, that had protruding nailheads, exposed nails at animals’ eye level, broken fences, splintering wood, and broken, protruding wires. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for failing to keep disposition records for a paca and failing to provide a tiger with proper veterinary care. He was so thin that all his ribs were visible and his hip bones were protruding. No one at the facility had noted how thin he was or reported this condition to the attending veterinarian.

September 6, 2012: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained sharp wires, exposed nails and screws, broken boards, and splintering wood, posing a risk of injury to 24 animals, and failing to remove a stand next to the perimeter fence that could allow animals to climb over it.

May 18, 2012: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to repair large gaps in the perimeter fence; failing to clean the enclosure housing the binturong, which had a large accumulation of food debris, dead flies, rodent droppings, bedding material, and cobwebs; and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained broken fences and boards, sharp wires and metal edges, splintering wood, and exposed nails, staples, and screws, posing a risk of injury to 47 animals.

February 7, 2012: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to maintain a perimeter fence at a sufficient height of 8 feet for dangerous animals, failing to remove a pile of bricks next to the perimeter fence that could allow unauthorized people to climb over, and failing to repair holes in the perimeter fence.

February 1, 2012: The USDA filed an AWA complaint against Serenity Springs for repeatedly failing to meet minimum standards for veterinary care, housing, and husbandry. Sculac failed to adhere to the recommendations of the attending veterinarian, and 31 animals died at the facility between May 2007 and January 2010.

The USDA also stated in the AWA complaint, “Respondent Sculac has not shown good faith. In approximately April 2009, following injuries to an individual (Michael McCain) by a tiger at respondents’ facility, respondent Sculac extorted money from Mr. McCain by falsely representing to Mr. McCain that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had fined him $40,500 because of the tiger bite incident (which it had not), and that he would have to close the facility; whereupon Mr. McCain wired $40,500 to respondent Sculac.”

January 24, 2012: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to maintain a perimeter fence at a sufficient height of 8 feet; failing to clean the enclosure housing the binturong, which had an excessive accumulation of rodent droppings, debris, and cobwebs; and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained broken fences and boards, sharp wires and metal edges, splintering wood, and exposed nails, staples, and screws, posing a risk of injury to 39 animals. Serenity Springs was also cited for failing to provide three geriatric mountain lions with an adequate amount of water.

December 7, 2011: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

September 12, 2011: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to maintain a perimeter fence at a sufficient height of 8 feet, failing to keep a bag of food free from contamination (it was stored on the ground around fecal matter and swarming flies), failing to remove an excessive number of flies and an accumulation of equipment being stored in the enclosure housing the alpacas, and failing to remove an accumulation of rodent droppings and cobwebs from the enclosure housing the binturong. Serenity Springs was also cited for a repeat violation for failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained exposed electrical wiring, holes, broken fences and boards, sharp wires and metal edges, splintering wood, and exposed nails, staples, and screws, posing a risk of injury to 56 animals.

July 7, 2011: While exhibiting animals at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, Serenity Springs was cited by the USDA for failing to restrain a tiger cub properly during a public performance.

May 18, 2011: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to clean the enclosure housing the binturong, which had an excessive accumulation of rodent droppings and insulation materials; failing to maintain a perimeter fence at a sufficient height of 8 feet; and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained holes, broken fences and boards, sharp wires and metal edges, splintering wood, and exposed nails, staples, and screws, posing a risk of injury to 50 animals.

January 19, 2011: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for multiple repeat violations for failing to dispose of expired medications; failing to have proper drainage in multiple enclosures, resulting in excess amounts of ice, standing water, and mud, affecting 24 animals; failing to repair a gap in the perimeter fence; failing to maintain a perimeter fence at a sufficient height of 8 feet; and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained holes, broken fences and boards, sharp wires and metal edges, splintering wood, and exposed nails, staples, and screws, posing a risk of injury to more than 50 animals.

November 15, 2010: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to repair gaps in the perimeter fence and failing to maintain the fence at a sufficient height of 8 feet. Because of the problems with it, a feral cat was able to enter an enclosure housing a leopard, and the leopard killed and ate the cat. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to provide the following animals with adequate veterinary care: three tigers with corneal opacities, a leopard with a sore on his tail, and a cougar with severe lameness and swelling on the right front limb. Serenity Springs failed to follow the prescribed treatment for the cougar and stated that it was going to euthanize the animal instead. The facility was also cited for a repeat violation for failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained holes, broken fences and boards, exposed nails and screws, sharp wires and metal edges, and splintering wood, posing a risk of injury to more than 40 animals.

September 3, 2010: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

June 2, 2010: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to provide 70 animals with shelter from the sun, including at least three with eye problems that could be worsened by direct sunlight exposure; failing to clean an enclosure that contained an excessive amount of fecal matter and rotting food; failing to remove food debris that was causing an excessive accumulation of flies in one of the buildings; failing to remove a large accumulation of flies from an enclosure; and failing to maintain a program of adequate veterinary care that included a plan for backup or emergency veterinary care. During May 2010, a male tiger showed a decline in health, and Serenity Springs tried to contact the attending veterinarian for two days with no response. By the third day, the tiger had died. Serenity Springs failed to have a backup veterinary-care plan, resulting in the death of the tiger. The USDA also cited the facility with a repeat violation for failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained holes, broken fences and boards, sharp wires and metal edges, splintering wood, and exposed nails and screws, posing a risk of injury to more than 50 animals.

April 8, 2010: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for multiple repeat violations for failing to provide a lion and two tigers with bedding or insulation during below-freezing temperatures, failing to drain excess amounts of standing water from enclosures, failing to repair gaps in the perimeter fencing, failing to clean enclosures that contained excess amounts of fecal matter and rotting food, and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained holes, sharp wires and metal edges, exposed nails, broken boards, and splintering wood, posing a risk of injury to more than 30 animals.

March 9, 2010: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat veterinary-care violations for the following: failing to treat two tigers with suspected ringworm, failing to give the proper medication dosage to two tigers with thinning hair coats, and failing to treat several leopards with self-inflicted lesions on their tails. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for failing to provide the following animals with veterinary care: a mountain lion with right forelimb lameness; a leopard with hair loss, reddened skin, and an exposed bone at the tip of her tail; a leopard with reddened, erosive areas on both nostrils and the lower lip; three coatimundis with significant hair loss; a mountain lion with hair loss, reddened skin, and a lesion on her right hip; a tiger with hair loss, reddened skin, and a lesion on her chest; and three tigers with corneal opacities. The facility also had disposition records for two leopards who had died, but it never notified the veterinarian of any health problems that these leopards were having prior to their deaths.

The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to provide a lion and two tigers with bedding or insulation during freezing temperatures; failing to drain enclosures properly (some had excessive amounts of standing water, mud, and slabs of ice); failing to repair gaps in the perimeter fence; storing toxic substances on the food- preparation table; failing to clean multiple enclosures properly (some had excess amounts of fecal matter and rotting food); and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained rotting wood, holes, exposed nails, sharp wires and metal edges, broken boards, and splintering wood, posing a risk of injury to 29 animals.

January 19, 2010: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to provide the following animals with proper veterinary care: a tiger with a poor hair coat and thin body appearance; a limping tiger with hair loss, several cuts, and a thin body condition; a thin tiger with hair loss; a tiger with bilateral cloudiness in both corneas; a tiger with cloudiness in the left eye; two leopards with open wounds on their tails; and a leopard with a lesion on the nose and missing hair on the tail. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs with repeat violations for failing to drain multiple enclosures properly (they contained excessive amounts of standing water, mud, and ice, affecting 47 animals), failing to repair gaps in the perimeter fencing, failing to provide animals with the required vitamin supplements, and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained rotting wood, holes, exposed nails, sharp wires and metal edges, broken boards, and splintering wood, posing a risk of injury to more than 20 animals. The facility was also cited for failing to provide a leopard and two mountain lions with bedding or insulation during below-freezing temperatures.

October 1, 2009: The USDA cited Serenity Springs with repeat violations for failing to drain an enclosure properly (it contained excessive amounts of standing water), failing to repair multiple gaps in the perimeter fencing, failing to repair exposed insulation above the food-preparation table that could contaminate the food, and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained rotting wood, holes, sharp wires, exposed nails, broken boards, and splintering wood, posing a risk of injury to several animals.

August 25, 2009: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

May 18, 2009: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for multiple repeat violations for failing to store meat properly, failing to provide more than 50 animals with shade from direct sunlight, failing to drain an enclosure properly (it contained standing water and green slime), failing to repair gaps in the perimeter fencing, failing to remove green slime water from the pool for four tigers, failing to clean multiple enclosures that contained excessive amounts of fecal matter, and failing to keep the food-preparation area clean. The food-preparation table covered with blood residue and large numbers of dead flies. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs with a repeat violation for failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained rotting wood, holes, sharp wires, exposed nails, broken boards, and splintering wood, posing a risk of injury to several animals. In addition, the facility was cited for failing to remove maggots from the food-preparation area and failing to provide animals with the required vitamin supplements.

April 30, 2009: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

April 24, 2009: According to KKTV 11 News, a volunteer at Serenity Springs was cleaning an enclosure when a tiger bit his arm. The volunteer had to be taken to the hospital.

January 20, 2009: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for multiple repeat violations for failing to provide animals with veterinary care, including a tiger with abrasions on the face, hair loss, and inflamed skin and a leopard with an open wound on her stomach and back legs; failing to drain standing water properly from several enclosures housing seven animals; and failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained rotting wood, holes, sharp wires, exposed nails, broken boards, and splintering wood, posing a risk of injury to several animals.

September 25, 2008: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained sharp wires, exposed nails, and broken boards, posing a risk of injury to several animals.

May 27, 2008: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained broken boards, exposed nails, holes, and jagged edges, posing a risk of injury to several animals.

January 2, 2008: The USDA cited Serenity Springs with repeat violations for failing to provide animals with veterinary care, including two leopards with open wounds on their tails, and failing to repair enclosures that contained holes, chewed wood, and exposed nails, posing a risk of injury to several animals.

September 17, 2007: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to provide animals with veterinary care, including a tiger with several puncture wounds on the thigh, swelling, and an open wound on the leg and a tiger who was limping and had noticeable swelling on the left front leg, and failing to remove an overgrowth of weeds from an enclosure. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to drain standing water from several enclosures, failing to clean water receptacles filled with food debris and fecal matter, failing to store meat properly, failing to repair broken areas of the perimeter fence, and failing to repair enclosures that contained holes, sharp wires, jagged edges, chewed wood, and exposed nails, posing a risk of injury to several animals.

August 29, 2007: While exhibiting animals at the Colorado State Fair, Serenity Springs was cited by the USDA for a repeat violation for failing to restrain 11-week-old lion cubs during photo shoots with the public.

June 25, 2007: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to dispose of expired medications, failing to provide more than 20 animals with shade from direct sunlight, failing to clean multiple water receptacles that contained green slime water, failing to remove large amounts of feces from enclosures, and failing to remove a large accumulation of flies from the food- preparation area. The USDA also cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to maintain complete acquisition and disposition records, failing to store food properly, failing to keep the refrigerator storing the food clean, and failing to repair enclosures that contained broken fencing, holes, jagged edges, and exposed nails, posing a risk of injury to several animals.

April 6, 2007: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for repeat violations for failing to repair a broken fence that had sharp wire edges in an enclosure housing three animals and failing to drain a large hole of standing green water in an enclosure.

March 9, 2007: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

December 6, 2006: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

November 10, 2006: While exhibiting animals at the University of Colorado–Boulder, Serenity Springs was cited by the USDA for a repeat violation for failing to maintain a sufficient distance between the public and two big cats.

July 6, 2006: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to keep acquisition records and failing to repair enclosures that contained broken boards and large gaps that could injure animals.

November 18, 2005: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to repair enclosures that contained broken fencing.

July 15, 2005: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to repair enclosures that contained holes in the fencing and sharp wires that could injure animals.

June 14, 2005: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

April 8, 2005: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

October 8, 2004: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to dispose of expired medications and failing to repair enclosures that contained broken boards, broken wires, and exposed nails, posing a risk of injury to several animals.

May 12, 2004: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to repair enclosures that contained broken fencing and broken wires, failing to store meat properly, and failing to drain a large hole of green standing water from an enclosure.

April 30, 2004: While exhibiting animals with the Shrine circus in Denver, Serenity Springs was cited by the USDA for failing to handle animals properly during public exhibition. The animals were held in crates with no tops, which allowed them to jump out. The “animals needed to repeatedly be scruffed or otherwise physically forced into the crate where they were being housed,” potentially injuring them. The USDA also cited the facility for failing to maintain records for the animals it was exhibiting.

June 29, 2003: According to The Denver Post, an animal handler at Serenity Springs was attacked by two tigers while trying to clean an enclosure.

February 14, 2003: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to repair multiple enclosures that contained protruding nails that could potentially injure the animals.

November 14, 2002: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for failing to have a responsible adult available to accompany officials during an inspection.

November 8, 2001: The USDA cited Serenity Springs for a repeat violation for failing to store meat properly. It was kept in a freezer with rusty shelves and “heavy” meat, fat, blood, and debris residue along the shelves and floor. Serenity Springs was also cited for a repeat violation for failing to repair enclosures that contained protruding nails, broken fences, and broken wires that could injure the animals.

 

Lab Results from Charaka’s Necropsy

He had been reported for vomiting and through a trial period we tried to identify if it was a certain type of meat that was not sitting well, or if it was bones he could not process.  He appeared a bit bloated and refused to eat for a day, so we sedated and examined him.  His stomach was completely full of undigested meat, leaves, and fur.  One clump of fur in particular looked like it may have plugged up the portion of the stomach that empties into the intestines.

His bloodwork indicated mild kidney disease, urine cultures were negative for bacteria, his fecal test was negative for parasites.  A swab from the inside of his stomach was sent in for testing and the results indicated he had a mild bacterial infection in his intestines (all of the cats rescued in his group have had some sort of resistant bacterial infection and all have been different strains of bacteria).

In the days following his exam Charaka began eating small amounts and taking medications to ease stomach upset as well as to treat the infection. He seemed to be on the road to recovery when suddenly 7 days after his exam he passed away.  The day before he passed away he was in good spirits and had been playing with his toy, morning he passed away he seemed completely normal. Necropsy results were inconclusive, but here is what we know;

Liver – Extensive congestion of sinusoids throughout the sections.

Meaning: Chronic passive congestion of the liver, is liver dysfunction due to venous congestion, usually due to congestive heart failure.

Spleen: Mild chronic multifocal splenic periarteriolar lymphoid sheath hyperplasia with congestion and moderate to marked mesothelial hypertrophy

Meaning: Abnormal changes in the spleen with thickening of the cell layers around the spleen from an unknown cause.

Lung: Moderate regionally extensive subacute emphysematous change with rare moderate arteriosclerosis of small vessels

Meaning: Recent development of lung disease.

Kidney: Mild chronic multifocal renal cortical interstitial lymphocytic nephritis

Meaning: Chronic kidney disease.

Pancreas: Mild chronic multifocal pancreatic nodular hyperplasia
Found in older cats. It is a common incidental finding but the cause is unknown.

Small intestine (duodenum) : Moderate chronic eosinophilic and lymphoplasmacytic enteritis

Small intestine (jejunum): Moderate chronic eosinophilic and lymphoplasmacytic enteritis.

Eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE) is a rare gastrointestinal disease characterized by crampy generalized abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding and weight loss or various combinations of the above symptoms. The etiology of the disease remains unknown.Lymphoplasmacytic enteritis is the most common form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and is the result of an excessive accumulation of two types of white blood cells, lymphocytes and plasma cells, in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The causes of IBD are not well known but are suspected to be a result of an abnormal response by the body to certain intestinal bacterial or dietary antigens (proteins).

Excessive protein loss from the blood stream into the intestines is seen in very severe cases and is termed a protein-losing enteropathy. If inflammation is persistent and untreated, fibrosis (scar tissue) can result causing irreversible tissue damage. Lymphangiectasia (see below) may develop secondary to severe IBD. When lymphangiectasia is present, the prognosis is a great deal poorer as compared to those without this change. Prognosis depends on the severity of the inflammation, presence of fibrosis, body condition and response to therapy. In cats, severe lymphosytic-plasmacytic enteritis may be a premalignant lesion, meaning cancer (specifically lymphoma) may develop at a later stage.

Stomach: Overall the exact cause of death is unknown in this patient and is potentially secondary to some cardiovascular or cardiopulmonary collapse. There is no definitive evidence of pulmonary thrombi or thromboembolism throughout the sections of tissue submitted for review. There was rare evidence of arteriosclerosis within a pulmonary vessel wall with some vessel wall degeneration throughout the heart.

Additionally there was evidence of fibrosis along the myocardium which may all support some type of cardiovascular arrhythmia/compromise to result in sudden death in this patient. Throughout the sections of small intestine there was a moderate enteritis and more specifically there was evidence of significant numbers of eosinophils which may potentially suggest a hypersensitivity/allergic reaction. There was no definitive evidence of any additional eosinophilic inflammation throughout remaining tissues. Throughout the sections of pylorus reviewed there were very interesting changes of suspicious herniation of large regions of gastric glands into the wall of the stomach segmentally. It is overall unknown if this potentially represents a section of cut or plane of cut histologically or if this represents a true process with some form of dysplastic region of stomach wall with subsequent herniation of glands. The glandular stroma did not appear neoplastic with no evidence of atypia or malignancy besides the unusual herniation throughout the wall. I have requested that additional sections be trimmed and processed of the pylorus to allow better characterization of the tissue changes and/or evaluation of the tissue margins. A final report will be issued when those additional slides have been received and evaluated.

There was no definitive evidence of a neoplastic process, toxic change, trauma or infectious agents within the sections of tissue reviewed histologically. The remaining histopathologic features described are either secondary to sudden death, secondary to the recent surgery or incidental and age related finding in this case. Another board-certified pathologist reviewed the specimen and concurs.

Multiple board-certified pathologists reviewed the additional sections and the initial cuts of gastric mucosa and overall concur with the
initial findings of a segmental area of mucosal glandular tissue which is herniated into the submucosa. It was also agreed that there is no
definitive evidence of atypia or malignancy throughout this area. The exact cause of this lesion is overall unknown and potentially an incidental finding within the sections of stomach reviewed in this case but a rare finding. Overall the structural integrity of the submucosa may have been weak at this focus either congenitally or secondary to other causes not observed within the sections of tissue reviewed. There are reports of herniation of mucosal glandular structures into the submucosa in human, domestic and nondomestic animals but most of the time in association with a chronic inflammatory process. Correlation with clinical findings antemortem is warranted in this case.

Meaning: Rare findings with the stomach that suggest a chronic inflammatory reactions for an unknown reason.

Heart (left ventricle, right ventricle, interventricular septum): Mild to moderate multifocal myxomatous degeneration of vessel walls and fibrosis.

Meaning: The heart tissue had mild to moderate weakening due to an unknown cause.

Cause of death: Most likely died from a heart and lung related issue.

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