Dec 28 2016

Keeper Log

DEC 27, 2016 PM Feeding Log

Joseph ate 7 chicken drums and 3 lbs of red meat and chicken

In the AM TJ ate 1 lb 6 oz of red meat.  Later in the day he ate 6.5 lbs of red meat

Hoover ate 7 lbs of red meat and chicken

Keeper Nanci reported that Priya had a scratch on her head above her left eye.

Andi Bobcat did not want to come off of her platform to eat, but did eat when it food was moved closer to her.

Tonga Serval left some of his mush.

King Tut left a ping pong ball size of his mush.

Nirvana Ocelot ate all of her food.

Cameron Lion ate all of his food, today.

Banshee Bobcat left some ground chicken.

Tiger Lilly left a ping pong ball size of her ground chicken.


DEC 28, 2016 AM Feeding Log

Zimba Serval took part of her food out of the lockout and ate it very slowly, licking it a lot first.

Divinity left a thigh and some mush

Apache was chewing slow and licking a thigh and left most of it.  He could benefit from having the thigh cut up.

Breezy Bobcat left some of her mush.

Joseph ate 3 lbs of chicken quarters- ate all the small ones and the drums, but spit out the thighs.


Zouletta Serval was euthanized today at the age of 18 because her recheck on her kidney values showed them to be twice as bad as when we first discovery she was in acute kidney failure.  The antibiotics and fluids made her feel good enough to eat, but once the fluid therapy would be stopped she would rapidly decline.  We could see from watching her on the live web cam that she was increasingly annoyed at being confined and she absolutely hated getting squeezed for the sub q fluids.  Since there was no chance for recovery, and she was already the age at which most of our servals do pass, we chose to humanely euthanize her rather than take her off the fluids and let her dehydrate on her own.  There was much discussion with the vet team in trying to decide if it was better to put her outside and let nature begin to take its course, or if we should go ahead and do the inevitable to save her from suffering.  We chose the latter.  She will be missed by us and Zimba.  Doodles, Santino and Zouletta all came to the end of their time here within 5 months of each other.


Karma’s Note to Interns

Tonight after midnight please fast: Marilyn, Mary, Mindy and Missy

I would like you to take them up to the camera tonight when you’re leaving, to say goodbye to our explore viewers. In the morning, please confirm that they are actually 2 lbs, and record it. Then please leave them in your house and ready to go in a crate by 7:00, where I will pick them up. If they are not 2 lbs, they cannot go in. Please let me know if this is the case.

I know these instructions are a bit different this time. It looks like I may be needed to feed in the morning, so I need to get them to the Humane Society very early in order to be back in time. Please have them ready to go.


Cats on the Animal Observation Sheet – IMPORTANT NOTE:  When a cat is put on the Observation sheet it does not necessarily mean anything is wrong with the cat. It just means the keepers noticed something different so as a precaution that cat is on the Animal Observation Sheet to be checked on.  The majority of the time the cat is just fine but we like to be extra careful and err on the side of cation, just in case.  Sometimes, they are on this list just to give an “Atta Boy” note to the other keepers.   We feed them enough so they feel full and not left being hungry so occasionally leaving some of their food simply means they are full.    However, we note it anyway to make sure the vets have a record just in case.  So, please do not be alarmed just because a cat is on this observation list.  If a cat did not eat enough at breakfast more food will be offered later in the day.

 Announcing Today’s Facebook Winner

Each day that Carole does a Facebook Live video she asks a question and someone who answers it correctly wins a prize.  So, go to Facebook and Like our Facebook Page and choose to get notifications of our live videos.  Then participate in the contests, join in conversations in the comments area, too.

Today’s winner was: Jennifer Bakshi who answered correctly that one reason we don’t touch big cats here is that it’s rude.

 Facebook Live Videos

Videos one, two, and three were recorded as live on Facebook on Dec 8th.   Carole follows along as all the cats get Enrichment goodies.

VIDEO ONE:  Big Cat Enrichment at Big Cat Rescue Part 1 of 3

VIDEO TWO:  Big Cat Enrichment at Big Cat Rescue Part 2 of 3

VIDEO THREE:  Big Cat Enrichment at Big Cat Rescue Part 3 of 3

VIDEO FOUR:  Walkabout w/ Tigers, Cougars & Leopard

A little walkabout with Tigers: Andy, Gabrielle & Seth Cougars: Mickey, Mac, Sassy and Reise and Leopard: Sundari.


VIDEO ONE:  Leopard’s 20th Birthday

Sundari, the leopard, celebrates her birthday with a meat cake made by her favorite keeper.

This video was made by Afton and uploaded to on November 18, 2016.


VIDEO TWO:  White Serval Is 4 Years Cancer Free

Tonga the white serval had his nose removed to take off a cancerous mass. Now he is four years cancer free, and he is doing grr-eat!!!

This video was made by Afton and uploaded to on October 7, 2016.


 Gift Shop

Calling All Hoover Friends:  Have you seen the Hoover Tote Bags?  The purchase of Hoover Tote Bags helped to rescue Hoover the tiger as well as provide a great home to countless big cats. Read Hoover the tiger’s story here:  Show your love for Hoover the tiger with the purchase of this custom made tote. 100% spun polyester weather resistant fabric, dual handles 100% natural cotton bull denim, bag 15″ x 15″, made in America.  Click on the photo of the bag to be taken directly to the Hoover Tote Bag in our online gift shop.



 Viewer Videos From

VIDEO ONE:  Jasmine Has Something To Say

By Ruxandra


VIDEO TWO:  Hoover Swimming! Tiger Lake Cam

By Ruxandra


VIDEO THREE:  Jasmine Loves the Fountain

By Ruxandra

You may have noticed that the water level in the pond is lower than you’ve ever seen it before.  We have purposely allowed the drought to drain down this pond more than usual so that we can clear out the weeds and relocate the turtles, if we can catch them.  The pond has a water pump from our 18 acre lake that we use to keep it at the perfect level most of the time.

VIDEO FOUR:  Jasmine Watching The Cats Across The Road

By Ruxandra


VIDEO FIVE:  TJ Found a Treasure in the Lake

TJ found him a treasure and had to carry it around the enclosure showing it off to the neighbors and the keepers.

By Ruxandra


THANK YOU, Ruxandra for sharing these great glimpses into the the lives of the cats at Big Cat Rescue!!!


 Note To Viewers

You can find the link to these live streaming big cat cams at


 People Often Ask

For those of you who are regulars on our website and social media pages I am sure you see some questions that are frequently asked.  They are good questions and need answered in a timely manner.   While we do try to read all comments and answer all questions it is next to impossible to catch all of them every day.   You all ARE AMAZING and are always ready to step up and speak out for cats.  Therefore, we are including a section on these updates pages called “People Often Ask” and the purr-pose of this section is to encourage all of you to help us reply to newcomers’ questions if you see them before we do.   You will find the links list at the bottom of all update pages helpful.

Why Don’t You Have Cheetahs & Jaguars?

Photo of a Cheetah

The reason Big Cat Rescue doesn’t have cheetah is they are so inbred that they are virtually identical and don’t live very long, so they don’t end up in need of rescue. They are nearly impossible to breed in captivity so most zoos have to take them from the wild or they buy them from breeders who are not open to the public.

They don’t breed well in zoos because females are very fussy about picking a male, so the breeding farms put a female in a pen and then one by one try her with different males by using a tunnel system, like ours, but much much larger (measured in acres). They have to be in huge pens or they stress and die.  In the wild they patrol home territories of more than 800 square miles so no cage is really going to be suitable.  Any time you introduce adult cats you have a very real threat of them killing each other.

Their severe inbreeding is the result of all cheetah, not just the captive ones, making them all almost identical.

The current theory is that they became inbred when a “natural” disaster dropped their total world population down to less than seven individual cheetahs. They went through a “Genetic Bottleneck”, and their genetic diversity plummeted. They survived only through brother-to-sister or parent-to-child mating.  According to the enzymes, humans rate at about 70% identical. But laboratory rats and cheetahs rate at 97% identical.  Scientist think less than seven individuals, because it has been shown that if a population is reduced to seven individuals and then expands quickly, the offspring still retain about 95% of their genetic variability. But cheetahs have almost zero genetic variability – there’s hardly any difference between them.

If a species does not have much genetic diversity, it will not be able to adapt well to changes in their environment – such a climate change, or new bacteria or viruses. But if they do have a lot of genetic difference from one individual to the next, at least a few of them will be able to survive the changing times.

Because cheetah cost over $50,000 and mostly have to be brought in from the wild, which is a red tape process that takes nearly a year, and then they die young, they almost never end up being dumped into the pet trade. If someone says they have rescued a cheetah, demand to see the paperwork, because that almost never happens without a lot of money changing hands.  While much of the paperwork is marked as a “Donation” you can bet money changes hands when cheetah do.

Photo of a Jaguar drinking from a river with. Photo with a beautiful reflection.

I haven’t found evidence to support my theories about why jaguar are so rare in captivity. Maybe you can help in the comments. Here’s my best guess:

Jaguar can have four cubs in a litter, but two is more common, so they don’t reproduce nearly as fast as lions and tigers. Jaguar have the superior intelligence of leopards but have far more powerful bites and much more bobcat like personality, so they kill people more often than leopards in captivity do.

Even a jaguar who is too old for breeding will fetch $7500.00 or more in the private sector, because it is so rare that jaguars are dumped from zoos into private hands.  We know that two old circus jaguars were sold to a private collector in Florida for at least that much because we had offered to take them when the circus lost its license.  The end buyer called us to say the circus told her we were bidding 7500. each and she wanted to work out a deal with us where we were not bidding against her.  The circus had lied to her, because we don’t buy animals to rescue them (since the 90s) and we had not offered any money for the cats.  That call from the end buyer did give us a glimpse into how much they are traded for though and the fact that some places claim to rescue rare cats, but are really just buying them.

We know from our work in situ with native tribes that zoos pay people to poach cheetah, jaguars and other rare cats from the wild. The zoo’s PR story will always be that it was a “nuisance” animal that was going to be culled so they rescued it, but that’s almost never the truth when it comes to any exotic cat species.

Local people agree to back up the lie, because that’s how they keep the constant flow of money coming in for their poaching, but if you work amongst them long enough, they will tell you that they are being paid to go find animals for zoo displays. Because the import process takes a long time to get past USFWS rules, the animals languish in tiny, barren cages, and often die and have to be replaced before the day of flight to the U.S.  The only way for them to obtain the valuable cubs is usually to kill their mothers.

Wild cats belong in the wild, so please don’t pay to go see them in cages.  Help us end the private possession of big cats at

NOTE TO VIEWERS:  Whenever YOU see this question asked you are invited to help us reply to other viewers.  If you need a link to the above info it can be found on our website at To make it easier to remember that link it is simply our website with this added to it /cheetah-jaguar/

 Big Cat Kids

These two coloring pages are from a very special coloring book made specifically for us for an even called “March For Lions” a few years back by Pawstels artist, Melissa from

Click on the small picture below to get the full size page to save and print.

Free coloring page for kids   Free coloring page for kids



a-playballQuick Link Reminders

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