Big Cat Updates
TJ Tiger Has Died
TJ Gets Nails Done, Bloodwork and Xrays June 19, 2017
TJ Tiger had an ingrown claw that had to be trimmed. Despite having trees and plenty of things to shred his claws on, TJ’s advanced arthritis made it too difficult for him to manage his own claws. He had been sedated almost a year ago, and has been a picky eater for a very long time. Keepers would go out to him several times a day offering different choices to try and get him to take his meds and eat. He had become so resistant to their efforts that he was moved to a smaller cage, where they could reach him with a long stick, to put the food right in his mouth. When he lived on Tiger Lake the cages were too large to be able to entice him that way.
The vets, Dr. Liz Wynn and Dr. Justin Boorstein figured they would use this quick nail procedure to draw some blood and get some X-rays to see if there was anything more they could determine about why he was so fussy about eating. The blood work wasn’t remarkable. He’s 18 and his kidneys are only designed to last about 12 years, so the values were bad, but not terrible.
The X-rays showed horrible spondylosis and arthritis, so the vets decided that maybe, given his lack of mobility, he was eating enough. He was in good flesh, and had gained weight since last August. He just had that muscle loss that is typical in geriatric cats. His appearance was exacerbated by the fact that he was a “Baudy tiger” which is a common descriptor in the industry for tigers that were so severely inbred that they suffered hip dysplasia and extremely narrow hips. From the chest up, TJ looked great, but from the waist down, he looked to be 100 years old. The vets considered doing more extensive X-rays, but decided that TJ was going to be uncomfortable enough after being sedated that they didn’t want to put him through more, when there probably wouldn’t be anything they could do for an 18 year old tiger anyway.
They checked his teeth, which looked fine, and woke him up. TJ was waking up in the transport wagon while they spayed Chaos Caracal. By the time she was done, TJ was awake and we hooked the transport up to the concrete floored cage next to the hospital. While trimming back his claws the vet had nicked the quick and didn’t want it to get infected by TJ walking in the dirt. They decided to keep him in the hospital recovery cage a couple days to let it heal. TJ was woozy, but awake enough to step down out of the transport wagon into the cage, where he walked around a while before going back to sleep.
Jamie came to check on him later that evening, and was concerned that he was sleeping so soundly, so she woke him up. It appeared that he had just worn himself out, wandering around after waking up, so he was tucked in for the night.
TJ Tiger has died June 20, 2017
Gale texts the vet group at 7:18 am and tells us that TJ has just had a seizure. She said it was minor looking, but that he was breathing through his mouth and lethargic. Despite heroic efforts by the vet team, and especially Jamie and Gale, TJ Tiger died shortly thereafter.
A necropsy will be performed today, but if it was from throwing a blood clot (common in elderly cats after anesthesia), or a brain issue, or from the seizure, we may not be able to determine the cause of death. We are all just stunned. We have come to expect all of our cats to live into their twenties, even though that is twice as long as they live in the wild or in most other places.
We know that TJ was greatly loved and will be missed terribly. I put together a DropBox folder of some of TJ’s recent photos and the imprint of his paw that was taken while they were doing the bloodwork yesterday.
You can post your tributes to TJ on his page at http://bigcatrescue.org/tj/
This beautiful tribute collage was made and shared by Viewer Silver
Question for Viewers: A viewer asked for a photo book of TJ, printed not digital. After some checking found a place that I can make a really nice 8.5 x 11 Memorial Photo Book of TJ that would have 20 pages with about 40 to 50 photos of TJ in it. However, the cost on it would be expensive. Hard back books could be run somewhere between $35 to $49. Soft covers would be a bit less. Those price would include a very small markup for the cats. Would enough of YOU actually want one to warrant my time to make it? IF, enough of you want one, I am happy to take the time to make it and order it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think.
Chaos Caracal is doing fine. Hating the cone, but eating and doing fine. Yesterday, I mistakenly said she was 8.5 years old but after reviewing my notes she is 7.5 years old.
Some of you have messaged asking if we have anything with TJ’s photo on in the gift shop. Yes, there are a few items left: Greeting cards, post cards, Canvas photos, key chains, Canvas paw print, Mus, Bags, Pillows, Mouse pads. https://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/search?q=TJ
Today the Keepers and Interns celebrated the 500th kitten fostered at Big Cat Rescue. All kittens live in the four intern houses with the interns. During the day while the interns work caring for the big cats the kitten that are healthy and old enough to have their shots spend their days playing in the Kitten Cabana. At the end of the day they go back home with the interns. When the kitten reach 2 pounds they return to the Humane Society, very well socialized, and read to find their furever families. Watch the kitten on their live streaming webcam at http://explore.org/live…/player/big-cat-rescue-kitten-cabana Find all the web cams at BigCatCams.com
Snapshots by Viewers Susann Mesna and Cahthy Sell
Susann Mesna sent in a Kitten Cheat Sheet
TJ’s Rescue in 2007
When a long time feline breeding compound was closed down, the resident cats there needed a place to call home. Even though there are so many unwanted adult captive tigers in the U.S. some of the facilities that took the animals would use them for breeders (Even though none of them have the genes needed in the Tiger Species Survival Program) or put them right back up for sale onto the exotic animal market.
Big Cat Rescue got the call that the last 4 tigers left were to be put down if no one picked them up in a few days. Maybe they were left because they weren’t white tigers, or in perfect shape, but Big Cat Rescue didn’t care. BCR quickly pulled together its resources and drove up and got the last 4 on what was to be their final day.
The tigers now have a place to call home in an accredited Florida animal sanctuary to live out their final years with the respect that they deserve.
Some videos of TJ through the years
TJ Tiger Wonders… Can a Pumpkin Swim?
December 2010: Operant Conditioning with TJ Tiger – TJ Tiger who was rescued with three other Tigers is performing Operant Conditioning with Master Keeper Jen. This demonstration to us volunteers is to show us how we can do visual exams of their bodies without having to sedate them. When TJ does “up” he is rewarded with a “click” of the clicker and a piece of meat. A tiger can easily stand well over 7 ft tall!! How scary! To see Tj and more rescues, you’ll see them at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.
March 2016: TJ leaves vacation and gets shifted into a different enclosure. He took the time to check out his new home before creating a BIG SPLASH!!
July 2009 – TJ the Aquatic Tiger! Listen in as Scott Lope introduces viewers to TJ the tiger! TJ was rescued in 2007 from a breeding facility that was shut down after someone was killed by a tiger there. He as quickly become a favorite cat for volunteers, staff and visitors alike, because of his quirky character and crazy antics in his pool!
September 2016: Air Big Cat Visits Hoover And TJ Tigers – Take a trip with Air Big Cat to visit TJ and Hoover tigers an get an aerial view of their beautiful enclosures with lake access.
October 2013 TJ Tiger Runs Wild – Watch TJ the Tiger enjoying our NEW 2.5 acre enclosure! TJ ran around everywhere and he LOVES the water so he had lots of fun splashing around in the pond too!
September 2015: Water Tiger – Who has Four Paws and LOVES Water? TJ is known as our aquatic tiger. Although all tigers love water, it is nothing like TJ’s love for water, and he is at it again.
April 2017: Tiger Vs Tiger – The Ultimate Spalsh Off – Watch as TJ and Seth the tigers go head to head in Tiger Lake for the ultimate splash off!!
October 2016 – Snacks for TJ
October 2016 TJ’s Catwalk
February 2016 TJ Tiger Goes on Vacation – TJ Tiger goes on vacation, but it’s a bit more of an ordeal because his cage is too far away for above ground tunnels to work.
June 2016 TJ Swims
TJ at Tour Time
Cooking, Big Cat Style BBQ & Grilling
THANK YOU, EVERYONE, who contributed to this cookbook.
689 of you have downloaded it! Carole will be adding a price to it any time now, so if you have now yet downloaded it, hurry to run grab a copy now wile it is still FREE.
Note To Viewers: MANY of you asked for vegan and vegetarian recipes. Carole said we would make a “Cooking Big Cat Style, Vegan & Vegetarian, IF some of you would send us your recipes. We have gotten a few, but not enough to make a book yet. Email them to email@example.com
We understand this is NOT a subject you will enjoy, it is a subject you need to know enough about to be able to explain big cat issues to others. When you understand all the issues and how they effect saving endangered species in the wild you can better explain the issues to your friends, family, and acquaintances. When more people understand the issues facing big cats then more people will step up and help save them.
News Article: China’s tiger farms are a threat to the species
Big Cat Rescue’s page on this subject: Tiger Farms
In “Blood of the Tiger,” author J.A. Mills examines the multi-billion dollar market for tigers — a worldwide problem but most prominent in China. Jeffrey Brown interviews the author about how tiger farms drive mass demand for products made from tigers, and how that in turn spurs demand for wild animals via illegal hunting.
Many of the tigers in the private pet trade in America were once the cubs that people pay to have their photos taken with at roadside pseudo zoos, fairs and malls. Will YOU help stop the private trade in tigers in America? Please, make the Call of the Wild at BigCatAct.com
Here is a list of YouTube channels that feature videos of the cats here:
- Jamie Veronica: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY6X3rUv8UlIUbrxNeu-Aw
- Susann https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUFOZiTvzKRvj-oVbzdByvg
- Ruxandra https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvCsjKptd1gM9BhfDkGQGNg
- Donna P: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcFbhMc8Sqr-8MreWuYr4Bg
- Shawna https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfl9S-vDPJIgjl8QpM6Aypw
- Cathy S https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6ynHBFLKj0BVnK5jo2gTnw
- Janie M https://www.youtube.com/user/donutgirl100
- Jaime T: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY_oF0NhXc5OS8CcTaUi2A/videos
Carole is looking for a graphic artist who really gets what we are all about and would would like to help us with some graphics for shirts. If that is you or if you know someone like that, please have them email Carole at firstname.lastname@example.org
As per viewer suggestions, Quick Links now has it’s very own page http://bigcatrescue.org/quick-links/
Bookmarking it will help you find things quickly. That will come in handy for:
- Helping us answer questions on social media
- Finding answers to some of Carole’s Facebook Live questions