Jan 11 2017

Cat Updates



Last night Dr Justin Boorstein came to check on Hoover, even though he had reviewed the photos and videos with Dr. Hay earlier in the day.  They had decided that Hoover’s surgery site actually looked pretty good and were not going to do the last ditch, emergency sex change surgery last night.  We wanted to let you know that the surgery was postponed and that Hoover looked better than the first cell phone photos of the day indicated, but didn’t have time for the full story.

So, here it is:  Jamie and I head off to Hoover with her new, amazing Canon EOS 5D Mark iV camera.  She tells me that vets always ask the most impossible things, like: “Make sure he gets these 8 medications, spread 2 hours apart, in this order”… or “Send me a video of him peeing so I can make sure everything’s working right.”  A video of him peeing!  No one has seen Hoover leave his den!  No one has seen any evidence that he’s peeing!  That’s why we are all so concerned in the first place, but nonetheless, Jamie’s heading out there to see if she can capture that magical moment.

The Keepers had managed to lock him out of his den, so I sat on the cart, a way back from the scene, and Jamie went up and crouched down in front of him.  I could see her getting a few shots, all the while in that squatting position that just kills your back and legs after a few seconds.  She kept at it and finally, after a very long time, waved me over.  Much to my disbelief she had captured many great shots of the surgery site AND a full length video of Hoover having himself a pretty normal looking whiz.  About the right amount for a tiger and without any apparent strain on his part.

It was not the straight back fire hose stream that most tigers do, because he urethra has been curved down by the stitching, but the flow was pretty decent.  It did spray all over the place, because he’s swollen, but the vet thinks that as the swelling goes down, that will resolve.  So, we waited for the vet to arrive and meanwhile…

Kathryn Stapleton and Lauren Buckingham tag teamed Hoover and got all of his evening meds into him along with a little food.  Getting the meds in him are critical because that reduces his pain and keeps him a little dorky so he won’t fuss with the incision.  Some of the meds are to prevent infection too, so it was a good night for Hoover and all of us who are so worried about him.



Charaka is eating several meals a day now too and taking all of his meds.  Blood work showed that Charaka had a weird, resistant intestinal infection too.  It’s something that comes from eating rotten meat.  We know he did not contract that here because all of our meat is fresh and picked up within 2 hours of feeding to the cat if they don’t eat it.  The infection is every bit as nasty as the ones that Priya and Gabrielle had on arrival from Colorado.


Hopefully, both of these precious tigers are finally on the mend.


From Keeper Vanessa:  Gale’s army.  Some of the best people I’ve ever known.  Big cat internship life ?  Interns are hardworking and truly TRULY make life good for the cats.  Have YOU ever thought about being an Intern (a.k.a. Angles In Blue)  Learn mroe about it at:  https://bigcatrescue.org/get-involved/volunteer/intern/


 Kitten Cabana

The purpose of the Kitten Cabana is for our volunteers to socialize the kittens and make them more adoptable when they are returned to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Kittens are usually between 6-8 weeks old when they are in the Kitten Cabana because they have to have their first shots, and we send them back to get fixed and adopted at 2 lbs. which is somewhere around 8 weeks, I think.  All of our Humane Society of Tampa Bay kittens are too young for the outdoor Kitten Cabana.  These little cuties are actually from the ASPCA where one of our volunteers, Rebecca works.

The improvements to the Kitten Cabana include more camera coverage (you can see them inside the Cool Cat Cave now) new cat trees, and the supplies are very expensive. We go through a LOT of kitten milk replacer, kitty litter, cat treats, medications, dewormers, vaccines and vet care.

We started the program with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay a couple years ago and have been able to help them save 427 cats and kittens.

Rescued kittens play and heal while they wait for their forever homes. Watch more at http://explore.org/bigcatrescue or find the Kitten Cabana link on BigCatCams.com

Find out more about Big Cat Rescue’s foster kitten program at BigCatRescue.org/kittens


NOTE TO VIEWERS:  If you look in the “Viewer Explore.org/bigcatrescue Videos” below you will find TWO NEW videos showing the kittens.


 lynx leaping clip art Spirit Feather Replay


 People Often Ask

How do you know if the bobcat survives in the wild after you release it?

We have two kinds of camera traps.  One collects photos and videos until the battery dies and then we have to guess when that is and go pull the card and change batteries.  It’s about 200.00 including security box and cable.  People steal these cameras all the time to use for deer hunting, so we have to spend a fortune on equipment to chain them down.

The other is about 500.00 but sends us the images as they happen via a cell signal that costs 10.00 a month. The great thing about that camera is that you know when the battery is dead, because you stop getting images, and you can tell from day to day if you are in a good spot or not.
Well the fancy one we put on Spirit Feather’s release site quit sending signals, so either it’s been stolen, or it’s having trouble, so Jamie is on her way to go fix or replace it.
The one we put on Thor Bobcat is getting tons of bobcat photos and videos… but unfortunately they are all of a bobcat tractor that has been installing irrigation pipes in the area to keep it green.  Jamie will be repositioning that one today too.  If not for the more expensive camera technology and instant cell signal service of the images we would lose a couple months waiting to find out that the whole card was filled with machinery instead of Thor.
It’s thanks to donors like you that we can keep an eye on the success of our rehab bobcats.  You can find the cameras, cables, cards and security boxes on our Amazon Wishlist.


 Viewer Videos From Explore.org/bigcatrescue

VIDEO:  Karma, Luke & Leia

By Susann


VIDEO:  Nikita’s Pedicure

By Susann


VIDEO:  TJ’s Potty Time

By Susann


VIDEO:  Stick Food for TJ – Will He Finish it All?

By Susann


VIDEO:  TJ Calling for His BFF, Afton


By Susann


VIDEO:  Andy’s Breakfast 1/11/2016

By Susann


VIDEO:  Max & MaryAnn Waiting for Breakfast

By Susann


VIDEO:  Welcoming Luke & Leia

By Susann


VIDEO:  King TJ Eating His Breakfast in Bed

By Ruxandra


VIDEO:  Common Hoov, Even TJ is Missing You

By Ruxandra


VIDEO:  Hoovie, We Love You So Much! Please Get Well Soon!

By Ruxandra

NOTE from BCR to Ruxandra:  This is GREAT!!!! LOVE IT!! LOVE IT!! LOVE IT!!


VIDEO:  Beautiful Charaka

By Ruxandra

Note to Viewers from BCR: This video that Ruxandra has kindly shared with us is Charaka in the hospital recovery cage. It is the only place at BCR you will find a cat on concrete. This hospital recovery cage is used when cats are recovering from surgery and cannot be in the dirt or grass. NONE of our cats live on concrete.



 BigCatTV.com Videos

VIDEO:  The Release of Spirit Feather Bobcat 1/10/2016


VIDEO:  A Tiger’s Road To Recovery (Priya)


VIDEO:  Thank You, Body Shop 12/30/2016


 Big Cat Facts – Andean Mountain Cat


NOTE To Viewers:  Have YOU ever heard of this wild cat species?


Common Name: Andean Mountain Cat
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felinae (Oreailurus)
Species: jacobitus

Misc.: The information for this cat comes from museum skins and skulls, and there have only been a handful of sightings in the wild. Only 2 scientists had the opportunity to observe and photograph this animal and it was only for a 2-hour period. To date, that is the only finding of this cat in the wild for study.

Size and Appearance: The Andean Mountain Cat is a small but sturdy cat with long soft fur, which is a pale silvery gray in color. It is striped irregularly with brown or orangy markings down the sides from the back, with dark gray bars across the chest and forelegs. It has rosette-like spots on the sides, and its belly is pale with dark spots. The tail is thick and long and banded with dark rings.

Longevity of this cat is unknown, both in captivity and in the wild.

Habitat: Only found in the rocky-arid and semi-arid zones of the high Andes above the timberline.

Distribution: Andes Mountains of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.

Reproduction and Offspring: Unknown.

Social System and Communication: Unknown. Due to the fact that the only individual ever seen in the wild was alone, it is concluded that this cat is solitary in nature. It showed no fear of humans.

Hunting and Diet: Reports of this cats diet include mountain chinchillas and mountain viscachas. These prey are “ricochettal” rodents, meaning that they bound off rock faces unpredictably to escape predators. Because of this, it is believed that the long tail of this cat is used to enable it to quickly change direction during a chase. Other animals with relatively long thick tails are the Cheetah (hunts gazelles and hares that change direction swiftly during high-speed chases), Snow Leopard (which hunts high among cliffs), Clouded Leopard, Marbled Cat and the Margay (species with highly developed arboreal capabilities).

Principal Threats: So little is known of this cat that it is hard to determine if its rarity is a natural phenomenon, is attributed to man, or is just a misconception due to lack of sightings. Therefore, the principal threat to this beautiful little cat is lack of knowledge.

Status: IUCN: Insufficiently known. CITES: Appendix I.

Felid TAG 2000 recommendation: Mountain cat (Oncifelis jacobita). One of the least known cats of South America, this species’ remote habitat and legal status make it unlikely that this species will ever be available to North American zoos or other holders.

Information taken With Permission from IUCN Wild Cats.


Photos By:
Jim Sanderson, Ph.D.
Center for Applied Biodiversity Science
Conservation International
1919 M Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036-3521 USA
202 912-1803 FAX: 202 912-0772 gato_andino@yahoo.com

We wish to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Jim Sanderson for sharing these photos of the Andean Mountain Cat with us.  These are the only photos every taken of this elusive little creature and had it not been for Dr. Sanderson’s dedication to this small cat we would never have had the opportunity to marvel at it’s beauty.  The cat showed no fear of humans and Jim was able to follow it for five hours.  None others have ever been seen alive by modern man. Help save exotic cats in captivity by clicking the link below.



The Wildlife Conservation Network is an organization that shares our belief that the money should go to the animals and not be wasted on salaries and benefits for those who are doing the fundraising.  If you contact them and say you want 100% of your donation to go to the Andean Mountain Cats in the wild, that is exactly what will happen.

Dr. Jim Sanderson has been responsible for igniting a passion in local peoples for the Andean Mountain Cats when he took the first photographs ever of them in the wild.  He introduced us to Lilian Villalba who is currently camera trapping these elusive little felines in Bolivia.  She and her team of researchers are supported in part by Wildlife Conservation Network.



 Captioned Photo To Share On Social Sites


 Big Cat Kids

Each day you have been getting two new pages from the coloring book made by Michele Katz ( CreationsByMit.com ) for an event we did a few years ago called “March For Lions.”  Each day you will get two new pages.

a-playballQuick Link Reminders

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