Koda Lioness

Koda Lioness

Koda Lioness


Date of birth (approximate): 2018

Date of Rescue: March 2, 2022

We are excited to share some very BIG rescue news! This afternoon BCR’s staff and vet aided law enforcement with the seizure of a 4 year old lioness. She was sedated and transported to the sanctuary and will recover in her transport before being given access to her new enclosure (Nikita’s past enclosure). She did very well under sedation and has since recovered nice and easy. Her name is Koda.


Update  3/3/2022

Miss Koda Lioness is out exploring. She is being closely monitored but given space to explore.



Two Important Things You Can Do to Make a Difference for big cats like Koda Lioness:

You might be interested in learning more about how cub petting impacts lions, tigers and their cubs, and saving big cats in the wild.  Learn all about it at CubTruth.com

After you read CubTruth.com if it leaves you wondering what you can do please go to BigCatAct.com and use the quick easy tool there to let lawmakers know you want The Big Cat Public Safety Act passed into law.

Thank you for speaking up for the cats and being a voice for the voiceless!

April 18, 2022 Update:

From Carole:

We’ve worked with law enforcement on cases like Koda’s for many years. Never before has a former owner been successful in getting a court to compel the wildlife agency to send a cat to a place of their own choosing, after the cat was sent to us, but this one has. We have no other choice than to comply with the court order and FWC’s demand that we catch her and deliver her to that facility. We don’t know if we can reveal where she’s going yet. We are trying to catch her by crate training rather than sedating her again so soon after her rescue March 2. We aren’t done fighting for her and will share what we are allowed to share as soon as possible.

May 30, 2022 Update:

According to the FWC, Koda’s owner has the right to place Koda at a licensed facility of his choice while his appeal of their decision regarding his license is in process. Shortly after he had us move her to another sanctuary, he had her moved again. From what we are told, it was to a small facility operated by one of the people who has been a longtime critic of our efforts. We suspect that the reason for the second move was that at that facility he may be able to have physical contact with the cat. It is unclear what happens to Koda if the owner loses his appeal. All we can do is wait and see.

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  1. Is there any more news about that beautiful Koda ? I wonder about her, she was just so beautiful and so young. I hope you can regain custody of her at Big Cat Rescue. She really started to be happy and it was a joy to see her feeling better with all the good care you gave her. Thank you for the update, I hope with the very important new law passed of the Big cat Public Safety Act started it will make a push to see progress to save her from the abuses of the last owner. Thank you.

    1. I asked about her recently, and my FWC inspector couldn’t tell me anything about her. She was last known to be taken to Judy Watson’s SOS in Bushnell which is not a good place in my opinion. – Carole Baskin

  2. Koda became a source of joy to so many of us. Seeing her go from running away from anyone around her to the Royal lady she was becoming was like witnessing a miraculous transformation. She was such a character eating the camera, playing with her balls, laid out on the platform content with life… It is my prayer that y’all will be guided in your continuous legal steps.
    I know one thing, if you permit my saying this. All creatures great and small belong to our God in Heaven, and He cares and watches over each one. Although we don’t understand how people like Mr. Pinson can win what he did, I know that all the people offering prayers on Koda’s behalf will be heard. Whatever the final legal verdict, there will be one greater than any of us who will continue to battle the evil.
    I know that Carole and Howard have been given the gift as caretakers and I hope that they will be protected and guided throughout their efforts.

    1. I am sick to my stomach too! I hope that Big Cat Rescue will FIGHT for her and not forget about her! She’s probably feeling so lonely, confused, and betrayed!

  3. Thank you for the informative update on Koda’s current situation! Praying for her health and safety!

  4. So sad. Is FWC involved with the well-being of Koda? Can they not recommend the best sanctuary for Koda to be placed? Keep fighting for this precious big cat please. Thank you Howard and Carole

  5. This breaks my heart. I hope and pray we get her back where she belongs. I do want to thank BCR staff and volunteers for the wonderful care they give these beautiful babies.

  6. I hope and pray that in the end they person does not get their license Koda goes either back to BCR or a GFA sanctuary and lives out her life with love and confidence that no one will ever do this to her again. GBU Koda and we miss you already

  7. So sorry you got caught up in a legal battle sweetheart. You are loved and I know BCR will continue to fight for you.

  8. Hi, sweet Koda!

    I’ve been able to watch your videos and see how you’re doing! Love seeing your progress and I know that Big Cat Rescue is taking such care of you! You’re such a sweet lioness!

  9. Being a young lioness is evident. Her facial lines and expressions are still what I call cub-ish. In other words she has that adorable cute look to her. I miss Nikita but this young princess will do, even though she has big paws to fill. She already has captured the hearts of many and will continue to do so. She is a pleasure to watch and her antics remind me of my little cat Lily. I wish long life and a lot of love to Koda and may she thrive in excellent health. ❤❤❤❤

  10. Why did Koda need “rescuing”? She appears to be well fed with no outward signs of abuse. What’s her backstory?

    1. I don’t know the story but I could think of a few possibilities. Maybe her former owner became physically unable to care for her or died and no one was left to care for her. Or Koda was in a state that does not allow ownership of big cats. I live in California- private owners of exotica animals and big cats hate us because our laws are so strict.

      She does appear well-fed, but her being overweight is also a sign of abuse. That much extra weight on her joints would eventually result in her being in a lot of pain and eventually not being able to walk without surgery or medical intervention.

  11. Koda does mean friend in Native American but in music, a coda ([ˈkoːda]) (Italian for “tail”, plural code) is a passage that brings a piece (or a movement) to an end. Welcome Koda!

  12. Welcome Koda, so happy your going to live your life here at BCR. (PARADISE). I have watched you explore your new home, and have fun with all your new toys. Enjoy everything sweetheart. We love you??????

  13. Welcome to your last home sweetie you will be loved and protected and all you can be may you be happier with BCR ????????

  14. Can’t wait to see Koda being given Love by BCR employees! She has no idea how spoiled she is going to be!!! Welcome to your forever home Koda, you are gorgeous!!

  15. Welcome, Koda Lioness! My goodness, it’s wonderful to have a lion at Big Cat again. I miss the roaring!

  16. Eva Williams:”Well, In a lovely memory of Nikita Lioness. ? Who loves to eat chocolate, ? doing Broadway shows, ? singing, ? talking to her friends when she’s the muppet, meeting celebrities, & doing her tongue talents!” ? ?

  17. Welcome to your furrever home Koda Lioness! Your life will be filled with more love than you could ever imagine! Great food, great care and great friends!! We love you baby girl!!!

  18. Welcome home beautiful Koda. You have no idea right now just how many people already love you but in your own time, you’ll learn it’s in the thousands! I know you’ll do Nikita proud in your role as our new queen! ?

  19. Welcome beautiful Koda. You’re in the best hands now at your furever home. Enjoy your wild at heart life sweetheart!

  20. Welcome Home Koda!
    It will be exciting for all of us to watch you as you become more relaxed in your new life. You are already loved by many.

    Thank you, BCR for taking this beautiful, young lioness – and all you do For The Cats!

    Mary Bogumill

  21. So happy to have this beautiful, beautiful girl. Thanks to all involved in seizure. Welcome to Paradise, Koda!

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