Big Cat Updates
Summary: Who went to the National Sheriff’s Association Conference and why? How are Zoos Different than Sanctuaries? Action Alert for MO residents. Trailer: The Hidden Tiger. Teuci Bobcat goes free. Funny Cat Meme & LOTS of Keeper photos.
Dr. Justin coming to x-ray wild bobcat, Noel, to see if she can be put outside yet.
Lauren Buckingham’s Coordinator Note for DAY, 2/19/2018
We had a great today.
Food prep was done before lunch so we could open up a 4th tour this afternoon. We filled all four tours in addition to the morning’s private tours.
Joseph ate well today, although it took numerous attempts. He really liked his food dipped in either liver juice or with a liver puree. Whatever makes him want to eat 🙂
A meat count was done.
Brandy got her last operant sign off. Enrichment and feeding sign offs were also done.
How are Zoos Different from Sanctuaries?
Last night we did a LIVE presentation on Zoos vs Sanctuaries by Vanessa Ply. What are the differences between zoos and sanctuaries. Watch the presentation replay now.
Out of Tragedy Comes Unlikely Allies
It was a Tuesday evening in October of 2011 when Terry Thompson, a private owner of exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio, opened the cages of his 56 tigers, lions, cougars, bears, and wolves and let them loose. When Muskingum County Sheriff Matthew J. Lutz and his deputies arrived on the scene, they were face to face with a public safety nightmare: lions and tigers drifting towards the nearby town as dusk approached. Deputies had no choice but to shoot most of the animals, including 38 big cats before they could scatter into the night and threaten lives.
This tragedy was the tipping point for our nation, for Big Cat Rescue, and for Sheriff Lutz. He quickly became a vocal and effective advocate of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, a common sense and urgently needed bipartisan solution to the problem of dangerous big cats kept in unsafe circumstances across the country.
Since 1990 there have been over 800 dangerous incidents involving big cats. Thirty-four people have been killed, including children, and hundreds have been mauled. The probability of a dangerous big cat escaping may be low. But when it does happen, it poses a serious and completely unnecessary risk to public safety, law enforcement, and first responders.
Because the threat of a loose big cat could occur anywhere and the burden of responding to such an incident would undoubtedly fall upon law enforcement officers, Big Cat Rescue decided to reach out to the nation’s sheriffs and ask for their support in our efforts to end the private ownership of big cats as pets in the United States.
We attended our first National Sheriffs’ Association Conference at the start of 2016. Many wondered what we were doing there. Most of our cursory conversations included an explanation that we were, in fact, a rescue organization for wild cats. (Keep in mind that companies who provide services and products to law enforcement commonly use big cats in their logos and names.) But once people understood who we were, it was surprising how many Sheriffs and deputies immediately recalled a facility or private owner with a big cat in their jurisdiction and how many of thee cats were being kept in questionable conditions. Clearly, we were in the right place.
Pictured: FEB 2016 – Sheriff Lutz with BCR’s Susan Bass & Jennifer Leon at the National Sheriffs’ Association conference in Washington, DC.
After that conference our Director of Outreach, Jennifer Leon, worked with the National Sheriffs’ Association to facilitate a resolution in support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act – recognizing “that the private ownership of big cats in America is a serious public safety problem which requires the passage of the ‘Big Cat Public Safety Act’ to ensure big cats only live in secure facilities that can properly provide for them and do not diminish public safety.” This resolution was the first of its kind and has been invaluable in our efforts to gain congressional support for the bill. You can link to the resolution from our website at http://bigcatrescue.org/lawenforcement/.
We also published an article about Zanesville and the need for legislation in the July/August 2016 issue of Sheriff & Deputy magazine and expect to publish another article this summer.
Pictured: FEB 2018 – BCR’s Jennifer Leon with IFAW’s Carson Barylak at the National Sheriffs’ Association conference in Washington, DC.
Jennifer recently spent a week in Washington DC, meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill and once again representing Big Cat Rescue at the National Sheriffs’ Association Conference. This year our friends at International Fund for Animal Welfare joined us in the exhibit hall. They provided signage and small toy tigers to attendees as a way of saying thank you to our country’s highest constitutional law enforcement officers for their support in ending the private ownership of big cats as pets. Of course, plush toy tigers are the only tigers that belong in homes!
In addition to exhibiting, Jennifer had the unique opportunity to briefly address the NSA Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Past Presidents with our message of thanks. It was certainly the highlight of her trip and a wonderful moment for big cat advocacy.
Pictured: FEB 2018 – BCR’s Jennifer Leon addressing members of the National Sheriffs’ Association in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of Daniel J. Galbraith.
We could not be more grateful to NSA staff, Board members, and Executive Leadership for their continued support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Likewise, we thank them for welcoming Big Cat Rescue into their community as proud partners.
Jennifer Leon, MPA
Director of Outreach
ACTION ALERT for Missouri Residents !
From Animal Defenders International ( ADI )
ADI is group who saved Hoover Tiger from an illegal circus in Peru and transported him to Big Cat Rescue. To thank them for saving Hoover, PLEASE share their Facebook Post with EVERYONE you know is Missouri and in every cat group, advocacy group, and wildlife group you are part of.
Missouri state bills HB1907 and SB918 seek to block existing and future local government restrictions on working animals, including animals in entertainment. If passed, Richmond’s ban on wild animal circus acts would be overturned and proposals to adopt similar measures across the state would be halted. SB918 has already passed out of committee, with recommendation for the full senate to pass.
If you live in Missouri, please oppose HB1907 and SB918.
- Contact your senator here: www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/default.aspx/leg_lookup.aspx
- Contact your representative here: www.house.mo.gov/MemberRoster.aspx
Stop circus suffering where you live: www.stopcircussuffering.com
Trailer: The Hidden Tiger
Be One of the First To See It !!
Published on Feb 15, 2018 – Join Rescue Doc Films on this incredible journey as we explore the plight of wild tigers and the affect that captive tigers have on their conservation.
Freedom For Teuci Bobcat
After being trapped by a farmer because the bobcat was eating his ducks, Teuci was brought to Big Cat Rescue. It took a long time to find the perfect release site where he could stay out of trouble. Watch as he is finally set free!! BigCatTV.com
Cole & Marmalade: Looks like we need to adopt a couple more cats…