March 15 2017

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Big Cat Updates

Wyeth just got a release site approved and she will be released within a couple of weeks, stay tuned.

Smalls Bobcat is sure enjoying FunCation

Kewlona and Dryden are in their new enclosure next to Gilligan, They have all the way down to the cage next to Servie.

Ariel has been moved to her new enclosure behind Tut and Pharaoh.  Moving the cats around and giving then new territory to explore is exciting and engaging for them.  Keeping the cats from being bored is one of our most challenging daily tasks.  Keeping their minds and bodies active makes them healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Kali is back home and Keisha is on Vaca

Keeper Brittany left a “gift” in the freezer in Food Prep for Kathryn.  What was it, you might ask?  Well….. during the daily cleaning Keeper Brittany found a pile of cougar poop that she those didn’t “look right” for she saved it, bagged it, tagged it and left it in the freezer for Kathryn.  Boy, one just never knows what they might find in the freezer.  Keeper Brittany also noted that Orion was grumpy, which is unusual for him, so guess who is on the observation sheet!  Yep, Orion will have have some extra company today as he will be watched closely by everyone on grounds.

Joseph is off to a great start today because he ate 5 pounds of turkey and red meat this morning for his first meal of the day.  As they do every day, keepers have returned to Joseph with more food throughout the day, however, those total pounds have not been logged in yet so I don’t have his daily in take total yet, but that breakfast was a great start to the day.

Zeus was off to great start this morning too by eating 5.5 pounds of his breakfast.  Again, keepers have taken him more food throughout the day although, I do not yet have those numbers to know his total for the day.  But that was a great breakfast.

Hoover was off to a fairly good start too because he ate 4 pounds for breakfast and morning meds.  Keepers have been back to take him food more times but as with the other boys, I don’t have those numbers yet.  However, knowing he ate that much of his breakfast is a good start to the day.

Keeper Sarah C added Tiger Lilly to the observation sheet because she has some matted fur.  When cats get as old as Tiger Lilly they can no longer groom themselves as well.  Keepers will go back around with the telescoping scratcher to help her remove the matts.

 **NEW** Video From Afton – Hoover

Do you wonder how Hoover the tiger is doing since his operations? Watch more videos by visiting

 Facebook Live Video Replays

VIDEO:  3/14/2017 St. Patrick’s Enrichment

Cougars get St. Patrick’s Day Enrichment

VIDEO:  3/14/2017 Bloodsicles We were live on The Dodo.

Ares, Artemis, Orion,

VIDEO:  3/14/2017 Live Replay from

Seth is lakeside in his habitat at Big Cat Rescue. Watch more at

VIDEO:  3/13/2017  Seth & Staff Chat


 Keeper Corner

Note To Viewers:  I am back but it will take me a bit to get caught up and back up to speed.  THANK YOU, Everyone, for the many emails and messages.  It will take me a while to get to the bottom of the inboxes, but I will reply to everyone as quickly as possible.  ~LaWanna

Apollo, the Siberian Lynx ~Keeper Afton

This is how I feel about this chilly weather I woke up to! ~Keeper Afton

I handed out St. Patrick’s Day enrichment all afternoon! Just call me the toys and treats lady!

Smalls bobcat looking very smalls in the funcation enclosure. ~Keeper Afton

From March 13, 2017: Happy Monday! Most people are like “Ugh, it’s the beginning of another work week”. I’m like, “Yay, another week with the big cats surrounded by great people!” I LOVE MY JOB!! -Orion cougar ~Keeper Afton

Thank you Loretta for buying Nova a new plush toy. It is set up in front of a camera trap so hopefully we will get some cute video clips of her discovering her new friend. ~Jamie Veronica

Pharaoh’s not a morning cat! ~Jamie Veronica

 Big Cat Gift Shop

Joseph Lion Tote Bag

The purchase of this item helped to rescue Joseph the lion as well as provide a great home to countless big cats. Read Joseph’s story here: Show your love for Joseph the lion with the purchase of this custom made tote. 100% spun polyester weather resistant fabric, dual handles 100% natural cotton bull denim, bag 15″ x 15″, made in America.


 We LOVE Our Viewers!!

Viewer Pic – Jean More:  Here is a fun Skipper collage for the BCR krewe! I got creative with PicsArt photo editor on my Samsung. Skipper is a Canadian Lynx and his best friend is, of course, Gilligan. Enjoy!


Viewer Pic – Scotti Cohn: “Aerial view” of Nikita Lioness at Big Cat Rescue. My photo taken using web cam at Nikita was found chained to the wall in a crack house during a drug bust. To read more about Nikita, click here:


THANK YOU to Viewer Christina Piper:  This was posted on our Facebook Page yesterday by viewer Christina P!!!  I almost fell out of my chair when I read this!  THANK YOU!!!  YOU made my day!!  QUOTE: You might be a BCR addict if you purposely buy your household appliances on Amazon so BCR gets the Smile Donation END QUOTE.


Viewer Pic – Rob Rager:  Seth: “This is me, doin’ the whole ‘lurking in the jungle’ thing!” Big Cat Rescue Tiger Lake Cam…/player/big-cat-rescue-tiger-lake


Viewer Pic – Scotti Cohn:  Good morning, Ms. Keisha!  To read more about Keisha Tiger, click here:  My photos taken using web cam at


 BCR Website Page Updates

Here are some pages on our main website that have been updated.

Note To Viewers:  Our website has quite literally thousands of pages.   With a site that large sometimes there are pages that need to be updated.   If you ever run across a page on our website that you think needs updating, please email me at and I’ll take a look and let the appropriate person know.

ONE – How Much Is That Kitty In The Window?  This page talks about the “real cost” of owning big cats.

TWO – Celebrities of Big Cat Rescue:  Big Cat Rescue has had the honor of being visited by and/or working with a number of big name celebrities including Bo Derek, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DeCaprio, Jane Goodall, Kate Walsh, Barbara Niven, Jack Harris, Jim Fowler, Jack Hanna, Bill Murphy, Tippi Hedren, Tim Harrison, Arch Deal, Congresswoman Castor, athletes from the Tampabay Bucs, the Lightning, the New York Yankees, and the casts of Wicked, Mary Poppins and the Jersey Boys just to name a few. We have had many local celebrities come to love us such as Chadd & Kristi, Sue Zelenko and a number of media purr-sonalities. In 2011 Ian Anderson created this wonderful PSA about the work he and Big Cat Rescue are doing to save exotic cats in the wild and to protect them from exploitation in captivity. Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull For Big Cat Rescue.  Go to to see photos from their visits and / or how they are working to help save big cats from extinction and exploitation.

THREE – Some of our web cam links have been updated.  You can watch the cats on live streaming web cams 24/7.

FOUR – Big Cat Rescue’s In Situ Conservation Work Big Cat Rescue’s In Situ Conservation Work 2017 Saving Wild Places for Wild Cats Sand Cats in Morocco In 2017 Big Cat Rescue continued our support of the first ever study on the ecology and behavior of Sand cats in Morocco, launched in 2015 by Dr Alex Sliwa and Gregory Breton, scientists from Europe.

FIVE – Volunteer Vacations – Can I volunteer for a week while I am on vacation>  Maybe.  It depends on how bad you want it and what you are willing to do to make your dream come true.

SIX – Saving Big Cats & Cubs

SEVEN – Josie Cougar


 Columbus Blue Jackets

On January 11th the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team rolled into Big Cat Rescue.

Their head coach, John Tortorella, formerly coached the Tampa Bay Lightning for 8 years. He had visited the sanctuary when he lived in Tampa and thought a tour would be a unique experience for his guys. The Blue Jackets were in town for a line-up against the Lightning and had a packed schedule, but made time to spend a few hours with the cats.

Kathryn, our Director of Donor Relations, and Jen, our Director of Outreach, were more than happy to show the guys around the sanctuary. Hailing from the state where 49 animals died in 2011, including 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, and three mountain lions – the players were familiar with the downside of treating wild animals as pets.

Left winger and team captain, Nick Foligno, organized the trip and seemed truly impressed with the sanctuary and the stories of our cats. Seth the tiger took a particular interest with the team and even joined them for a group photo.

Although the cats will always be loyal to their home team (Go Bolts!), they were honored to host and share a few chuffs with the men that hold the second-longest winning streak in NHL history!

Sadly, I don’t have that team photo (made the mistake of taking it with their phone). But I do have the above “back” shot.

Jennifer Leon, MPA
Director of Outreach

 Foster Kitten Update

Karma’s Email to Interns:

The following will be going back to the Humane Society tomorrow for their surgery and adoption:


Himalayan house, please have two crates ready for me to put Sweetie in one, and the kittens in another. I will pick them up from your house.

Modglin, please bring Jade and Tyler to the Kitten Cabana as usual.

Please don’t leave beds or blankets in the crates. We often don’t get the same ones back, which means we don’t get the bedding back. No need to fast anyone, the Humane Society will take care of that.

You’ll be happy to know that Jade & Tyler are going to be adopted together by our own yellow shirt, Mike Surdyk, and his wife, Wendy!

 Big Cat Facts

Displaying a Caged Tiger on School Grounds Sends a Bad Message

Big Cat Rescue’s email to the Principal and Assistant Principals of Pinellas Park High School in Florida:

Good afternoon. I am with Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. We are one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world for abused, neglected and abandoned big cats. Our accreditation by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries means that we don’t buy or sell big cats; we don’t breed big cats for lifetimes in cages; we don’t ever touch them; and we don’t take them offsite to events. Another important way Big Cat Rescue is different than other facilities that house big cats is that a crucial part of our mission is to advocate for stronger laws for big cats and stop the exploitation and abuse of big cats and cubs.

It has come to our attention from a recent graduate of Pinellas Park High School that every year your school brings in a tiger in a cage for your Law Day event, which I’m told is part of your school’s Criminal Justice Academy. I’m also told the tiger is owned by Vernon Yates of the notorious Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation. Please note that WR&R is NOT a GFAS-accredited sanctuary.

My questions – how in the world do you think it is appropriate to bring a live tiger to the school? And what do you believe a tiger in a cage can possibly teach your criminal justice students? Not only is it cruel to cart a tiger in a cage through traffic to an event and then force the tiger to be on display in a tiny cage with nowhere to hide as noisy students take photos of it, it is also a safety risk for your students, teachers and the general public. I’ve seen several photos of the tiger from its most recent visit last Friday, March 10, and there don’t appear to be any barriers between the students and the tiger. This is a USDA violation, not to mention dangerous.

I’d appreciate an email response this week. It is my hope that our dialogue can make you realize that it is not appropriate to have a tiger on school property. It is inherently dangerous, a large insurance liability, and sends the very wrong message to your students that it’s okay for people to treat wild animals however they want. In this day and age, is this really how you want your impressionable students to view and treat sentient beings such as tigers?

I look forward to hearing from someone and hope that you will agree to create a new policy to never again exploit a wild cat at a school event. Thank you in advance for your time.  – Susan
Reply email received a few hours later from the Principal of Pinellas Park High School:
Thank  you for your email and  concern.

I have visited Big Cat Rescue and appreciate the work that your organization does to bring awareness and care for the animals.  I also agree that the intended message with the tiger is not one we support.  The tiger had been part of the annual Law Day for some time and this year was not invited by the Criminal Justice Academy or Pinellas Park High School.  We did, however, fail to contact the organization to inform them that the tiger was not to be part of the event this year or in the future. We are drafting communication to inform the organization the tiger, or other animals of concern, are not to be part of the CJA Law Day in the future. Thank you again for your passion, dedication and concerns.

 Facebook Live Contest FYIs

Due to my being away for over a week I am somewhat behind on getting the emails out to this past week’s winners.  Hang tight for a day to two while I get caught up.  Winners WILL be notified and the purr-ticipation photos will be sent out as well.

ALSO:  A few previously notified winners have not responded to their winning notification emails to choose their prize so when you enter you email address on the contest answer form please make sure you are typing your email address correctly.  If you think you may have missed your winning notification email, please contact me at and I’d be happy to check the winners’ list to see if you are on it.

 Viewer Videos From

There are some GREAT videos recorded by viewers at that you will really enjoy watching.

VIDEO:  Jade & Tyler Playtime!  March 11th by Donna

VIDEO:  Who’s the star?  The sleepy lioness or the leaping squirrel?  LOL…. wait for it…

Here is a list of YouTube channels that feature videos of the cats here:

Kitten clipart, cat art Cole & Marmalade’s Corner

Cats react to seeing and walking in snow for the first time … They’re not big fans of the white stuff once they’re outside! 🙂
Do YOUR cats like the snow?

 Big Cat Book of the Day

Learn about Caracal Lynx as a species and about Caracals Rusty & Sassy.  See LOADS of photos of Rusty & Sassy, too.

Available in three formats: 

  1.  PDF Version for computers, tablets, & phones
  2.  Amazon / Kindle Version
  3.  iTunes / iBooks for iPad & iPhone

If you would like a FREE copy of this book drop an email to and tell me which format you would like the download link for.

 Quick Links

As per viewer suggestions, Quick Links now has it’s very own page

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

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