Female Serval

3/1/92 – 10/10/2011

Arrived at Big Cat Rescue 4/30/95

Esmerelda came to Big Cat Rescue in April of 1995 with her mate, Medicine Man.

Their previous owner gave them up because the Medicine Man had terminal cancer. We named him Medicine Man and despite all our efforts with both traditional and holistic medicine, he died a year later.

Esmerelda is one photographer’s favorite subject since she poses with such enthusiasm, as if to say, “Look at me! I’m gorgeous!” When keepers or guests approach her enclosure, she prances over to say hello with a chirp and a thundering purr. Esmerelda is also very playful, she will play with anything, her boomer ball, enrichment, sticks, bugs, even a single blade of grass that is fluttering in the breeze.

Esmerelda was euthanized 10/10/2011.  She had been in the cat hospital since Sunday morning and her conditioned was worsening, it was her time and she was ready to go. Even though she was weak, Esmerelda still purred at the sight of her friends who comforted her as she slipped quietly to sleep.

Tributes to Esmerelda Serval

Lynda Licht Oct 30, 2011
Esmerelda – you were the jewel of BCR. Cherished and beloved by all. I’ll remember all the stories that were told about you – only a truly special cat could inspire such a legacy.

Unknown Oct 30, 2011
Essie was always so sweet. I was always so happy to clean her cage, because I knew she would run over and purr and rub the fence. She was one of the most well-beahved, loving, and sweet creatures I have ever known, and I will always remember her little ‘frog’ meow.

Regina Rinaldi Oct 12, 2011
OK Esmerelda, you went way before we were ready to give you up….but you knew when it was time. I never met a happier serval when food was served…the dance she did reminded me of Snoopy, with her chin way up in the air and purring like crazy. I got to give you your meds twice and on the second time you vomited your chick and when i went to pick it up, I got stung by a jellowjacket. I knew then it was a sign.

Forever loved and always missed.

Unknown Oct 12, 2011
Oh Essie, you will hold a place in my heart forever. You were the sweetest cat I have had the honor to care for. Happy chirps and purrs whenever anyone was about. Always happy to see any of us or the tours. I will cherish the last few weeks, as well as all the years, of sitting and chatting with you while you decided whether or not we had put your meds in something worthy of you. Glorious Serval girl be at peace!

Esmerelda the serval back when she was younger
Esmerelda the serval back when she was younger

Pam Rodriguez Oct 12, 2011
Essie will be sorely missed by all. She was always so vocal when I passed her with a tour group. Thank you to all her took such great care of this beautiful creature.

Sherry Levesque Oct 12, 2011
Farewell our adorable Essie – I will miss your beauty and funny anticss…like the day you were determined to get a lizard from inside your Christmas tree! That is a memory I will never forget!

Marie Schoubert Oct 11, 2011
This “Angel” was the very first Serval I met when I started volunteering at BCR! The sweetest for sure! Esmeralda, not only you had a beautiful name and face and personality… she was the cutest Serval ever!
Doing meds in the morning was one of my favorite things just because of you Esmeralda. I would always cut extra little pieces of chicken breast and would stay right there until you would eat it all… that was “MY TREAT”.
I hope you have all the treats you want up there!
I promise you to keep giving treats to all your friends down here!!! I miss you so much Esmeralda!!!

Unknown Oct 11, 2011
I will miss Essie very much. She was such a sweet cat, and I loved how she used to come out at feeding time or when she smelled operant meat and yap at you. She was always purring and always glad to see you. It was hard to see her slowing down as she became sicker. I’m glad she is resting now.

BethAnn Bluder Oct 11, 2011
Essie will always have a special place in my heart. She was one of the first cats I fell in love with. She was so sweet, and she was my operant cat for many months, until she got sick. Good by sweet girl, I will miss you.

Unknown Oct 11, 2011
She was a very sweet girl. I will miss her. Thank you to all who took such great care of her over the years. I know she and Medicine Man are running through the tall grasses together now..

Carole Baskin Oct 11, 2011
My favorite memory of Esmerelda was captured in a photo that I haven’t seen in a while. It was long before digital images so it may not have ever been scanned. We had just built a big enclosure on the lake bank that was fenced on three sides and then extended far out into the water so that she could swim. The lake bank was steep and tiered in flowers and plants to prevent erosion. Esmerelda stood on the bank over looking the lake and her unfettered view of the land beyond. While there was a fence in the lake to keep her contained, she could stand on the bank and look out over the top of it and perhaps pretend that it was not there. She manifested all that is regal; all that is powerful and all that is capable of seeing a better future than the current reality.


More Memorials at


Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

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