March 10 2017

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Big Cat Updates

Sassy Caracal is looking a little better each day, but at her age, and with her chronic breathing issues, we are monitoring her VERY closely.  Sassy’s lab results verified she did have the high amount of blood sugar 377, however, Jamie found the below information which makes sense considering her state when we found her:

Cats in general are prone to high blood sugar, typically during times of stress, where glucose levels may reach 300-400mg. This is often a temporary increase in blood sugar, and while it warrants further observation, it may not be cause to diagnose chronic hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus.

Josie Cougar was euthanized.  Yesterday Dr. Justin came out in the evening and we sedated Josie to run her labs again.  Even after getting lots of antibiotics and fluids she was continuing to spiral downward.  She refused to eat or drink and was not a cat we could give fluids without sedating every day, which would kill her too.  We made the sad decision to euthanize her as there was no prospect of her recovering and we did not want her to suffer.  The only solace was that she didn’t have to freeze to death over another brutal South Dakota winter.  Her last season was spent in the sun, surrounded by people who loved her.  

If you knew and loved Josie, you can leave your tributes to her in the comments at


Jamie is still working on rat tunnels and feeding puzzles for rehab bobcats.

Want to help support the rehab project and get a great tote too?




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Kali Tiger Goes Home

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I think LaWanna is either out sick or her Internet has crashed again.  You know how reliable she usually is, so things must be pretty bad for her right now.


 People Often Ask


Big Cat Rescue is Saving Wild Places for Wild Cats in 2017

African Parks

African Parks

In January 2017 Big Cat Rescue donated to African Parks, a non-profit conservation organization that takes direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of National Parks and protected areas in partnership with governments and local communities. They currently manage ten parks in seven countries: Chad, Central African Republic (CAR), Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia – covering an expansive six million hectares.

African Parks

African Parks focuses on effective law enforcement measures, conflict mitigation schemes, and community engagement in order to protect Threatened species such as lions, leopards and cheetah, along with providing them with the habitat and security of core areas the animals need in order to breed and thrive.

African Parks

They undertake wildlife monitoring, monitoring individual animals, through collaring or fitting tracking devices, to gather critical information on ecology and behavior,  survivorship or mortality, and advance knowledge on the ecosystem as a whole, as well as how to better manage the wildlife within them. Through monitoring efforts, they can establish the ways in which they focus resources. Research is a vital part of monitoring the health of the ecosystem and also an important way to track the management progress of the park. Regular censuses provide essential information on wildlife trends, which even with the best monitoring can take several years to determine, but ultimately dictate whether interventions are working.

Finally African Parks has the largest counter-poaching force in Africa with over 600 rangers on staff. Proper and frequent training is given to the rangers to to create an able and well-disciplined team who on foot, horseback, boats, vehicles and aerial, conduct year round patrols providing security for the wildlife against poachers and other illegal activities.


Tsavo Cheetah Project

In Feb 2017 Big Cat Rescue donated to The Tsavo Cheetah project. The Tsavo Ecosystem has been concluded as a priority focal area for cheetah research and conservation. Covering an area of 16,000 square miles (42,000 square kilometres) the Tsavo Ecosystem in south eastern Kenya, comprises the unfenced TsavoWest and Tsavo East National Parks and a diverse range of ethnic communities and tribes. Increasing human populations and demand for land and settlement is causing ever-closer interaction between humans and wildlife within the ecosystem, leading to conflict and livestock depredation. Since 2011, in cooperation with the Kenya Wildlife Service, the project has conducted research into the conservation and population status of the cheetah, beginning within the region of southern Tsavo East. There are many misconceptions among local residents on the cheetah’s behavior and ecology. Many people fear the cheetah, unaware of its non- aggressive nature. As a result, reports of unnecessary killings of this threatened cat continue to occur in the vicinity, even within the park’s boundaries by encroaching pastoralists. Local poaching in the study area for bush-meat includes cheetahs main prey species and has even caused cheetah deaths due to indiscriminate snaring.

Tsavo Cheetah Project

The aim of the Tsavo Cheetah project is to protect and conserve the Tsavo ecosystem cheetah population for the long-term survival of the species. They work with stakeholders and communities in addition to governmental bodies to foster the coexistence with local residents and influence wildlife laws and policies.



Rainforest Trust

Big Cat Rescue made a donation to the Rainforest Trust, to benefit Jaguars, through their Securing a Missing Link in the Amazon project. With a $1 for $1 match offered by the Rainforest Trust as a result of an anonymous donor, our donation of $2500, doubled to $5,000!

Rainforest Trust

The Rainforest Trust and their local parter, Center for the Development of an Indigenous Amazon (CEDIA) are working to protect a missing link that will create a combined 7.8 million-acre tai-national corridor, safeguarding critical Amazon Rainforest Habitat across Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. The missing link corridor will be secured by expanding a current Reserve of more than 1.3 million acres, protecting against illegal logging, oil exploitation and agricultural enrichment.

Rainforest Trust

The reserve expansion will incorporate involvement from resident indigenous communities to strengthen the protection and management of the entire Güeppí region of northwest Peru. Only one community exists within the proposed expansion of Airo Pai, a small Secoya settlement named Puerto Estrella. The Secoya people are believed to be one of the most ancient groups living in the Amazon and are strong proponents of conservation initiatives.

Rainforest Trust

To protect this vast area of Amazonian lowlands from further exploitation, Rainforest Trust will work with CEDIA and local indigenous communities to implement an integrated surveillance and control program that includes highly trained forest guards.


Research and Articles by Lauren Buckingham

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