February 25 2019

Pharaoh Serval Photo by Brittany Mira

Big Cat Updates

Alpha, the 7-month-old rehab bobcat was seen by Dr. Justin.  She will be on soft food for 7 days. Alpha weighs 8 1/2 pounds.  See the videos below.

Seth Tiger has had a rough day.  He is not eating and not as responsive as we’d like to see.  Dr. Justin came to see him today and we will have more news tomorrow.  Keepers and vets are continuing to work with him and keep a very close eye on him.  We have had an a/c type fan blowing on him because it was pretty warm today in Tampa.

Alexa Flash Briefing

In case you have missed previous days’ news briefings you can find them all at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCPv8ivo6o4CZHFifkfRYDw

Two Coordinator Reports

February 24, 2019 – Lynda Licht

As you know, Andre went to his eternal slumber today. It was tough to continue working and keep our volunteers’ spirits lifted, but as usual, everyone soldiered on and did what needed to be done.

We expected a workgroup, but they did not show. However, our interns & volunteers were able to clean out Breezy’s cage. Mazz and Bridget Sardone started it out w/help from Christina Cochard, then in between tours and after cleaning Moe Mahamud, Caity Farr, Candice Casey, Fred Pagan, and I worked in shifts to finish it out.

The Holley’s were here replacing a new platform in a tiger enclosure.

This morning Susan Bass came in with a film crew to get some footage of tigers eating. I had the pleasure of escorting them through the outback. The shot of Priya eating all her food was amazing.

Can’t say enough thanks to our great Sunday regular partners and new volunteers who came out to do gift shop and tours allowing the interns to feed/clean/do projects. Jennie Jamison, Lisa Spencer-Novak, Amanda Wright, Marilyn Halpin, Nicole Weaver, Regina Turgeon, Edith Parker – you guys helped so much!!

Just had 2 senior keepers for the morning to clean (Desmond Fowles and Stephanie Chaiser), so Tanya Chute and Fred Pagan cleaned Outback and then got food prep done before lunch.

Rebecca Williams came for a couple hours and did our AM supplements and fed even though she had special plans for the day. Bridget Sardone got her feeding tour and enrichment sign-off and Fred Pagan got his operant.

Redshirt keeper regulars Deidra Ritchie, Stephanie Witherspoon, Mai Richardson, and Candice Casey are always here to look out for our littles. Special thanks to Mai who stayed to tackle the mountain of dishes after food prep was finished.

As usual, Jennifer Ruszczyk was here to do AM meds and keeper tour and mama Becky Gagliardo came to do PM meds.

A team effort as always. Thanks to everyone.

– Lynda Licht

February 25, 2019 – Lauren Buckingham

Good day, today with lots of volunteers to help out.

Steph C and MC got food prep done before lunch. They then went and handed out cicles.

We were able to open the fourth tour in the PM thanks to Alyssa E and Amber J. Also Pam for staying later than planned.

Cleaning, Feeding, Operant, and Enrichment sign-offs were done.

Hoover ate great today, over 11lb! Mark M. was able to get him to eat 6 pounds this morning and he ate 5 lbs for me this afternoon.

Keisha also ate well, she loves lamb still.

Alpha was sedated this afternoon so Dr. Justin could reevaluate her jaw. She had some dental work done and is back in the recovery hospital tonight. She should go back outside soon.

The transport cage was cleaned and put back by the hospital.

While everyone else was on tours this PM, Michael went around the tour path and filled in potholes with Asphalt. It was a much-needed project and great for one person.

That’s it from me!

THANK YOU, for the Facebook Fundraisers

THANK YOU, to each of you how have done Facebook Fundraisers. The cats have just received $10,360.84 for funds generated from Facebook donations and Facebook fundraisers between January 16th and January 31st. These funds will be used JUST FOR the CARE OF THE CATS.

Facebook Jan16 thru Jan31
Facebook Jan16 thru Jan31

Charity Navigator is the leading independent evaluating body for nonprofit organizations. Charity Navigator is the organization most respected worldwide for judging whether nonprofits are good stewards of donor funds. BCR has earned their highest ranking (100%) and their highest 4-star rating for “sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency” every year since we were first evaluated by them in 2010.

If you would like to set up a Facebook Fundraiser in honor of your favorite cat at Big Cat Rescue here is the link to get started https://www.facebook.com/fund/bigcatrescue/. If you need a photo for it or need help please email me at lawanna.mitchell@bigcatrescue.org and I will be happy to help.

Videos of the Day

Alpha Bobcat gets one last vet check to determine if she’s ready for release. Dr. Justin removed the wire that had been put in a few months ago to repair her broken jaw.

Alpha Bobcat gets a final vet check from Dr. Justin Boorstein to see if she’s ready for release back to the wild. He removed the wires that were used to mend her broken jaw when she was a kitten.

Q&A at Big Cat Rescue- Follow along as Keeper s Brittany shows you many of the Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Jaguar, Cougars, Lynx, Servals, Bobcats, Savannah Cats and an Ocelot that Call Big Cat Rescue was Rescue Home! Cats Features: Amanda, Priya, Zabu, Gabrielle, Seth, Running Bear, Nabisco, Apollo, Smalls and Mrs. Claws.

Keeper Video

A happy Manny video clip from Keeper Sharon Henry. I made the Calls of the Wild today at BigCatAct.com in honor of all the keepers whose dedication to caring for these cats is always above and beyond.

Operant Conditioning with Brittany & GoPro

Keeper Brittany shows you an example of simple operant conditioning with Chaos & Cyrus Caracal.

Chaos has always been the more shy and timid of the two who were rescued together from living their lives as breeding stock in Ohio. Cyrus started to become more outgoing and friendly a few months after arriving, while Chaos still remains very reserved. When it comes to our Operant Conditioning Program – Chaos has exceeded our expectations and has come out of her shell, which is very important for medical reasons.

As you will see with Cyrus though, he becomes a totally different cat when food or treats are involved. We are lucky he is outgoing and very food motivated but he is not ideal for the Operant program. We continue to feed him in Lockout using the guillotine door system, or will toss him treats but he is too aggressive to use a feeding stick or to regularly participate in Operant Conditioning.

Big Cat Rescue’s Animal Training Program is based on operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which behaviors are altered by the consequences that follow them. The behaviors are not forced, but “caught”, reinforced and therefore trained. We train only natural behaviors, no entertainment types of behaviors.

Operant Conditioning can:

  • Reduce the stress loads imposed by captivity
  • Enhance keeper safety
  • Facilitate routine care
  • Improve animal welfare
  • Enrich the animal and volunteer experience

Big Cat Rescue’s Operant Training Program is intended for:

  • Eliciting calm behavior from each of our animals while they are in the presence of their keepers and veterinary staff
  • Training behaviors that are dependable regardless of the trainer present
  • Providing mental stimulation for our animals
  • Enabling safe emergency and non-emergency transportation of the animals
  • Providing public education

https://bigcatrescue.org/operant-conditioning/

Explore.org/bigcatrescue Webcam Highlights

Young rehab bobcat racing a speeding squirrel. Recorded from the Bobcat Rehab LIVE Streaming webcam at Explore.org/bigcatrescue

OH MY GOODNESS!! WHAT was that? Recorded from the Kitten Cabana LIVE Streaming webcam at Explore.org/bigcatrescue

Oh hello! Where’d you come from? I was trying to nap here. GO AWAY! Recorded from the Nikita Lion’s LIVE Streaming webcam at Explore.org/bigcatrescue

Nikita Lion VS her blue ball – Recorded from the Nikita Lion’s LIVE Streaming webcam at Explore.org/bigcatrescue

Merchandise of the Day

Sponsor one of the big or little cats at Big Cat Rescue to help cover the cost of their food and care. Kits come with a beautiful 8×10 color photo, species information newsletter, and other sponsorship benefits. Choose your level of sponsorship starting at $25 Buddy Kit through $5,000 King of Beasts Kit. https://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat

Photos for the Day

Bravo and Tango Bobcats are watching closely for breakfast!

Bravo and Tango Bobcats are watching closely for breakfast!
Bravo and Tango Bobcats are watching closely for breakfast!

Cyrus Caracal listening to Beacher and Hutch chatting back and forth <3

Cyrus Caracal listening to Beacher and Hutch chatting back and forth
Cyrus Caracal listening to Beacher and Hutch chatting back and forth <3
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