May 10 2017

Big Cat Updates

Sometimes I think my heart just can’t take it.  A couple days ago, as I was leaving for the day, I walked past Vacation Rotation where the three Texas Tigers were.  The sun was setting, and I was enjoying the sunset and straining against the light to see if I could catch a glimpse of one of the tigers before I left.  Way in the distance I could see the prone position, with head upraised, glorious golden fur ruffling in the wind, AND IT WAS OUTSIDE THE CAGE!!!

I stopped dead in my tracks, squinting to make it out better (like “is that Amanda, or one of the boys?”) Either way, this is going to be bad!

This is an image of Gabrielle Tiger when she was on vacation

I blinked a few more times against the sun, and moved to a better angle, to get a better look.  I was guessing that at least one of the tigers was still in the Vacation Rotation enclosure, because otherwise this one would have left the area and not be laying just outside the barricade.  My heart had stopped seconds ago and I was just running on adrenalin.  What seemed a very long time passed, as I stared at the barely moving form, but it was probably only fractions of a second.  And then my mind wrapped itself around what I was really seeing;  an intern laying on her stomach in the grass, reading a book.  Her hair was blowing in the wind.  If she noticed me at that distance, she didn’t let on.  I’m sure she has no idea that she had just been mistaken for an escaped tiger.


BigCatTV.com NEW VIDEO

Pharaoh the white serval LOVES enrichment. Check out some of his greatest moments. BigCatTV.com


CatRescue.biz

Bobcat Tennis Shoes Carole Wears


Facebook Live Video Replays

Rain WalkAbout Golf Carts – It’s finally raining at Big Cat Rescue after a 2 year long drought. Walk about and watch the cats get their evening meds. Gale test drives some new limo carts and a tiger striped butterfly reminds us that we are eternal.

Evening Meds with Kathryn Part 1

Evening Meds with Kathryn Part 2


 Projects

Tanzania Lion Illumination Project

In April 2017 Big Cat Rescue continued our support of the Tanzania Lion Illumination Project. The Tanzania Lion Illumination Project is a small, non-profit organization that works out in Tanzania installing “Lion Lights” on to livestock Bomas in areas where they are needed, to help rural communities protect their livestock and reduce retaliatory killings. “Lion lights” are a simple and effective method that involved the installation of LED lights around the tops of livestock bomas.

The flashing LED lights are solar powered and help to repel predators, by disorientating them and causing them to flee. To date the Tanzania Lion Illumination Project has installed lights on more than 70 Bomas and the result has shown a dramatic decrease in both livestock loss and retaliatory predator killings.

 

We donated a total of $6,000 to purchase, ship and install over 800 lights to Bomas in need. After our initial donation in 2016, we received feedback that the lights had a 100% success rate and the demand for lights was huge….we were more then happy to help!

 

 

 

 

 


People Often Ask

Q: Why do you use the automated Vox system for tours instead of having volunteers just talk to the tour?

Answer:  The following is an excerpt from an email I just wrote to a guest asking this.  We began using the automated Vox system in 2013.  You can hear the stories on our Tour App.

“Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with me. We’ve had feedback from people who have been here several times that they liked the volunteer tours better than the automated tours. The reason we switched, despite that feedback, is something that you touched on in your email.

You said, “…the guide we had that day was much less informative and informed than those we have had before” and that is the main reason for the switch to the recorded stories. We only have 90 minutes to make it clear to visitors why big cats should never be bred for life in cages. The only reason we have tours is to educate people so that they don’t patronize industries, like zoos and pay to play schemes, that cause so much suffering and abuse.

When people get the bigger picture they are willing to help us end the abuse at its root by asking their leaders to ban the private possession of big cats. See BigCatAct.com Making sure our guests hear the stories, told accurately, is our best chance at turning casual tourists into activists to protect wild cats.

The problem is that our tour guides are all volunteers. They are giving tours after only spending a few hours with us. The captive, exotic cat problem in this country is vast and complex and we have 75 or so cats’ whose stories illustrate those points that the guides have to learn.

To exacerbate the situation, almost none of our tour guides are volunteering here because they want to talk to the public. They want to feed and care for big cats, but they have to give tours. Most try to do a good job, but it’s really an impossible ask for them to wrap their heads around the situation, memorize 75 cat bios, and then deliver that in a compelling way. A lot of our volunteers are interns who come here from foreign countries, so even if they understand English well, our guests don’t always understand them due their accents.

I hope this helps explain why we have moved to this system. We don’t use the automated tours for the Kids Tour or the Private Tours. I’d change that if I could because I just never know what is going to be said on those tours. Heck, I found myself giving the wrong back story on a leopard once, and was shocked to read his bio again and learn that I’d been telling it wrong.  I was even there at his rescue, but I had forgotten the most important part of his story.

I appreciate that you seemed to have a real concern that this change will hurt our attendance, but the reverse has been true. We continue to have to raise our prices, just to keep the number of guests down to what we can handle with our volunteer staffing.

You might think that money could go into hiring tour guides, who could make accurate tours their goal, but sometimes we need a single tour guide at 3PM and sometimes we need 7 of them. There is just no way to have the right amount of staffing, because people frequently wait until the last minute to book a tour.

Like all things, we will continue to try and improve on the way we get our message across, and I do appreciate your feedback.” – Carole


 Big Cat Models

We LOVE our Big Cat Models!!  Keep the photos coming!!

Viewer Diana Blount: I love my Panthera Tigris shirt. It’s so beautiful and soft. I always order it larger because I like loose fitting shirts. Thank you for my awesome prize. I get a lot of complements on it and tell everyone to go shop at BigCatRescue.biz and catrescue.biz to get awesome shirts like this one and other great items.

Diana is looking especially enchanting sporting her Big Cat Gear!  Diana, is also always right there, quick with a link or an answer to other viewers’ questions.  She is always encouraging us here at BCR.  Happy Chuffs to our special friend, Diana B!!!!!

Get your Panthera Tigris shirt at:   https://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/products/shirt-womens-panthera-tigris-scoop It is available is MANY different colors.


 New Designs at CatRescue.biz

Matthew B created three more new designs for Carole to use at CatRescue.biz.  Check them out at:


Big Cat Challenge

Help us send this video viral!!!

This is a very important video.  We want every lawmakers to see this video.

Today’s Challenge:

  1.  Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8Iy3pI9qI8
  2.  Watch the video
  3.  Use YouTube’s “Share Video” feature to share this video everywhere.

How to Share a YouTube Video

Note to Viewers: If you want to upload this video (as is) directly to YOUR YouTube channel send an email to lawanna.mitchell@bigcatrescue.org and I’ll send you the video file.  You cannot make changes to the video, you have to upload it as it is.


Facebook Live Contest

When you purr-ticipate in Carole’s Facebook Live contest you need to put your answers in the special form at BigCatRescue.org/win

5/9/2017

Question:  Who was the first lead sponsor this session in Congress to champion The Big Cat Public Safety Act, H.R. 1818?

Answer: U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (or any variation thereof)

Winner:  Brian Grimes was the only person who answered correctly.


 Viewer Videos From Explore.org/bigcatrescue

Seth messing with the water bucket:  Seth likes to get a drink of water whenever he sees the keeper coming to refresh it….Before they can refill it to make them wait on him. Today he also decided to help them empty it. He is such a silly boy.

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


Where’s Waldo

How many tigers do you see? 

Matthew B submitted this photo.


  WANTED – Graphic Artists

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 cat@bigcatrescue.org


 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

Viewer Pix


BigCatTV.com


Keeper Corner


BigCatRescue.biz

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