March 17 2017

Big Cat Updates

Little Dove now has access to both sections of her cage.

We are trying to transition Joseph back to eating in his lockout.

Zeus got off to a great start this morning because he ate six and a half pounds of red meat with his morning meds.  I do not have the numbers for how much he ate this afternoon yet, and of course he will get more with his evening meds, too.


We are as eager as you are to see Hoover back in the lake, but until the vet clears him for swimming, enjoy this video by explore.org/bigcatrescue


 BigCatTV.com Afton Did It Again

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with our big cats! Watch more holiday videos by visiting BigCatTV.com.


 Facebook Live Video Replays

VIDEO:  3/1/17 Ginger Serval was caught

Ginger Serval was caught and moved to a much larger enclosure on the other side of Frosty.

VIDEO:  3/16/2017 Walkabout With Carole Take 3

63 Degrees in Tampa, Florida (for us that is cold).  Learn about how we got started and some of the early lessons we learned.  Chat with Gale for a moment.  Hear Gilligan calling.  Cats you might see are:  King Tut, Pharaoh, Ariel’s new platforms, Nala, Little Dove, Tiger Lilly, Lovey, Thruston, Smalls,

VIDEO:  3/16/2017 Walkabout

VIDEO:  Walkabout 3/16/2017


 Big Cat Gift Shop

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 Big Cat Facts

Dear friend,

I hope this email finds you well and happy.

With great joy I can let you know that our manuscript titled “Responsiveness of cats (Felidae) to silver vine (Actinidia polygama), Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and catnip (Nepeta cataria)” has been published in BMC Veterinary Research.

BMC Veterinary Research was our journal of choice because it has a relevant audience, is open-access and does not have a word limit.

Thank you for your contribution to this paper.

The full-text article is freely available (PDF and HTML version) here: https://bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12917-017-0987-6

With best wishes,

Sebastiaan Bol, Ph.D.
www.cowboycatranch.org


 Projects

An amazing ad agency has donated their time creating some ads for us and they are working on a project video that will rock your world.  It is a very short video but it says it all.  As soon as we have the final item, we will share it for you to share.

Afton, Jamie, and everyone have been handing out some special St. Patrick’s Day  themed enrichment for the cats.  They get enrichment every day but around the holidays the volunteers try to create holiday themed enrichment.

Max and MaryAnn had a blast with their St. Patrick’s Enrichment through the night which meant their cage looked like a hurricane had hit it.  Jamie and Gale had quite a task cleaning that mess up yesterday.  They closed the cats in one side so they could go inside and clean up that massive mess.  Max and MaryAnn had fun kicking back and watching Jamie and Gale working away.

Thanks to an awesome group of volunteers we got a ton of stuff done today. Thanks everyone for pitching in and knocking out 4 cages and feeding and cleaning

 WANTED – Graphic Artists

Carole is looking for a graphic artist who really gets what we are all about and 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 cat@bigcatrescue.org


 Keeper Corner

An advantage of cleaning the cat’s enclosures on “Project Day” (Thursday) is to be able to go where the cats go. Cameron spends a lot of time on his platform so Megan L and I tried it out (see photo). There is a nice breeze up there as well as a wonderful view.  ~Keeper Candy C

This is another reason that having our enclosures built in sections is advantageous.   Keepers can lock the cats out of a specific section so they can go in to place enrichment for the cats or go in to clean up the hurricane size mess the cats make with the enrichment.  The keepers are safe and the cats still have plenty of space to hang out while they wait for the keepers to finish.

 

Pretty Zabu ~Keeper Afton


 People Often Ask

People Often Ask:  “Why does BCR give tours when some other facilities say that is wrong?”

Recently, I have heard that question numerous times.  It is a good question and deserves an answer.

Sadly, the cats who have been rescued were born in cages and exploited for human entertainment and are doomed to spend the rest of their lives in cages.  While we strive to make that life as normal as possible for the cats we also must educate the public and lawmakers about the reasons cats end up in cages.  You cannot stop it if you do not teach about it.  The only way to stop that cycle of abuse is to expose the industry to as many people as we can and let the public know it is happening AND what they can do to stop it.

If you visit us you will see that the cats here are treated with the utmost respect at all times and our guided tours are always organized, quiet, and kept moving along in an orderly fashion so that the entire time people are here they are learning about the evils of cub handling, captive breeding, the entertainment industry and other abuses and what they can do to stop those issues.  The tours have multiple guides to not only educate guests but to ensure that the peace and tranquility the cats enjoy is not interfered with.  Guests cannot holler at the cats or in any other way harass them.

We never compromise on the cats serenity for that education and the thousands of people who have been here attest to that in our reviews. The only negative reviews you will ever see are the animal abusers saying things that aren’t true. My guess is that it was one of them who sent you here to complain about a sanctuary being open to tours.  However, if you take a little time to actually get to know us, what we do, how we do it, and why we do it, you will see that the cats are not disturbed and we are focused on ending the issues that land so many big cats in cages to begin with.

There are only small portions of the day that tours are going on. There are many hours of the day there are no guests at all on the grounds.

ALL enclosures are built in a way so that if the cats choose to not be seen by the tour they have that option.  There are a few cats who are in areas of the sanctuary that tours do not go because those cats prefer to not be seen.  The comfort of the cats is first and foremost, always.  Our keepers and interns are very in tune to the cats’ feelings and will not hesitate to alter a tour’s route if any cat doesn’t seem to want the tour passing them on that particular day.

In summary, in an ideal world there would be no big cats in cages; instead, they would all be living wild and free.  Sadly, right now, that is not the case.  There are a lot of bad people out there abusing and exploiting big cats and their babies.  There are also a lot of people who actually love big cats and unknowingly support those abuses by paying to play with cubs etc.  Therefore, someone has to step up to the plate and teach those people what the horrors behind that industry really are.  We choose to step up, and even though it puts a target on our back, to speak out and keep speaking out to educate the public on what they can do to help stop the abuse and exploitation.

Some of the tours are actually taking a small group of guests along as we work behind the scenes.  An example of that is the Feeding Tour.  The cats are being fed the same as normal however, a small group of guests quietly follow the feeding team.

The Keeper Tour is another example of that.  We believe strongly that daily enrichment is vitally important for the cats’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being.   On the Keeper Tour a small group of guests help the keepers make enrichment goodies for the cats and then they follow the keepers as they walk around giving the cats their goodies.  Guests are ALWAYS kept quietly on the tour path and are never within reach of the cats.

Those two tours allow people to see behind the scenes activities at the sanctuary without interfering in any way with the cats’ normal day.  Those two tours show the cats in very different lights.  On the feeding tour the cats have one thing on their mind, FOOD.  On the Keeper Tour the cats are looking for their goodie, something they look forward to everyday, whether it is Keeper Tour day or not.


 Viewer Pix

It is fun for us to open an email and find fun pictures from viewers.  THANK YOU!!!!  Thought you all might enjoy it as well.

The King is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!


 Letter To Management

March 17, 2017

Dear Sir/Madam:

We would like to thank everyone who contributed and bought us new toys a few weeks ago. We’ve been so excited and so busy playing with them that we totally forgot to say thank you! They are so bright and such pretty colors! We will try not to put any teeth marks in the donuts, but … well, we can’t promise. A few of us have special notes:

Nikita: I like my new blue ball. It’s really easy to roll around, and much easier to sit on than the yellow one. And I think it will be much easier to hide from the landscaping crew! Also, please note that when I sit on it pretending to be a chicken sitting on an egg, it’s because that’s what I want to eat that day – chicken.

Cam: Zabu tells me not to, but I’m gonna chew on it anyway. I don’t care. I have to relieve my stress from Joseph stalking Zabu somehow, since he refuses to wear the eye mask I got him for Christmas.

Joseph: Mine should have been gold-plated, as befits a King. In order to maintain my dignity as a royal, however, I will not play with it in view of the camera. Now when is somebody going to buy me a crown?

Armani: I love my new toys! I say “toys” because Jade is too lazy to play so I took hers, too!

Hoover: I like my new toy, but I like my new neighbors better. I have very little time to play with it because I am so busy watching and stalking and flirting with the ladies! This is the best home EVER!

From all of us cats, a sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to our new toys. We are loving them!

Sincerely,

Armani, Cheetaro, Jade, Jinx, Sabre, Sundari, Cameron and Zabu, Joseph, Nikita, Sapphire, Jasmine, Andy, Keisha, Gabrielle, Hoover, Priya, Ares, Artemis, Aspen Echo, Josie, Mac, Mickey, Orion and Reise

(Sent via Lori D., Secretary to the Cats)


 Big Cat Challenge

We try to make the Big Cat Challenges a mixture of both serious issues and fun activities.  Today, let’s do a “Just For Fun Big Cat Challenge.”

Rescue work has many joys, triumphs, and heartbreaks; it is a real roller coaster ride of emotions.  You all are right there with us sharing the ups and downs, the good times and the rough times.  So for this challenge how do you all feel about just doing something silly and fun?

Everyone knows Gale likes cool socks because you guys often comment about her socks when you see them in Carole’s walkabout videos.  Our gift shops sell cool cat socks and those sales help to support the cats and the sanctuary.  We do ship out a lot of socks.  SOOOOOOOOOO…… today’s “Just For Fun Big Cat Challenge” is:

1)  Check out our big cat socks at BigCatRescue.biz

2)  If you have a pair of our Big Cat Socks, kick off those shoes and grab your camera because it is sock selfie time!

3)  Email your Big Cat Sock modeling photos to lawanna.mitchell@bigcatrescue.org

4) Challenge your friends and family and lets have some silly sock fun!

What do you say we shoot for having all the Big Cat Sock Modeling photos turned in by March 31st!  EVERYONE, who emails in a photo modeling our Big Cat Socks from bigcatrescue.biz will go in a drawing to win a glossy printed 8×10 photo of YOUR favorite cat here.  I’ll actually put up two printed glossy 8×10 photos so two lucky Big Cat Sock Models will get a cat photo in their snail mail box!

Kick off those shoes, grab your camera, and lets have some chuffs and chuckles, together.

 

Here is our first contestant:  Lee Durbin!!  THANK YOU, LEE!!

Staying warm in front of the fire in my BCR socks!! ~Lee Durbin

 

Here are just a few of the socks in our gift shop.

Note To Viewers:  If things like this are too silly to do on this page from time to time, be sure to speak up and let me know.  Remember, this is YOUR PAGE!  While our main focus for this page is communication so we can all work more closely together to educate the public and lawmakers on how to stop abuse and exploitation of big cats, this page should also have some occasional fun or funny things so we can laugh together as well.  It is up to you to let me know if this page is panning out or goofing up.  You probably already have this but if not, here is my direct email address for your suggestions lawanna.mitchell@bigcatrescue.org or use the page comments to post suggestions.


 Viewer Videos From Explore.org/bigcatrescue

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

VIDEO:  Funny Seth on Tiger Lake web cam 3/16/2017

VIDEO: Keisha Cuteness

VIDEO: Nikita Playing

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


 Quick Links

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