May 7 2017

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Big Cat Updates

Dr Wade Gingerich brought internist Dr. Ron Altman from their S. Florida practice at to help Priya and Seth with their dental issues.  Dr. Justin Boorstein helped monitor the cats and kept up a lively conversation about dental care for big cats.  Operations started at 8:30 am and ended 8 pm as the cats were cleared as being safely awake.

Seth had 11 bad teeth extracted and still needs more work but he was at the 3 hour limit for anesthesia.  Priya had 3 root canals and still needs more work, but she was at her limit too.  Sedation is always dangerous for big cats, but at the three hour mark it becomes much, much more dangerous, so we try not to ever exceed that time span.

Priya woke up just fine and went back to her enclosure before dark.  Seth took a lot longer to wake up because he panics when confined.  Dr. Justin gave him drugs to cause him to wake up more slowly, with less thrashing about.  Honey, Becky and I sat with Seth and were very pleased that he was sternal and looking around without roaring and throwing himself at the bars.  The mosquitoes were eating Honey up (she must be sweeter than me) so Becky and I went off in search of bug spray.  A few minutes later I could hear the transport banging and we hurried back to find Seth quite agitated in the small space.

Now the dilemma:  He’s still really wobbly and it’s about 18 inches from the floor of the transport to the floor of his cage.  He has a bad ankle and we don’t want him to fall or injure it with a mis step out of the transport.  We also don’t want him to get brain damage from banging his head against the bars in his frightened and perhaps hallucinogenic state.  Which is worse?

I decide to open the transport door and hope for a soft landing…but he doesn’t go.  Seth just lays there, growling menacingly, looking out the door.  The door is heavy and I call on Honey to help me pull the handle down to the bottom where there is a hook to hold it, but I’ve pulled it at an angle and the handle is wedged between the transport and the wall of Seth’s cage.  The hook is flipped over the handle, but with 438 pounds of angry tiger rocking the transport, I’m afraid the hook will flip off the handle and cause the ridiculously heavy door to crash down on him.

Honey tries to pull some slack into the door rope but can’t get enough for me to pull the handle out flat against the wall.  I decide the only way to insure the door won’t fall on Seth is to hold the handle with one hand and hold the safety latch with the other.  My neck and shoulders feel like they are on fire, and I’ve been kneeling on rocks, so I ask Honey to fold up a blanket I was earlier wrapped in, to shove under my knees.  All the while Seth is breathing death threats right in my ear.  We are nose to nose there at the opening to the transport.  Gale is watching the whole thing from the Nest cam and drives back over to the sanctuary to help.

Gale is able to pull enough slack on the door’s cable that we get it flat against the wall of the cage and then she suggests that we bungie wrap the latch so that Seth can’t rock it loose.  Gale suggests everyone move away from Seth and shines her car lights on the opening, so he can see the ground ahead of him.  He still won’t go.  He’s mad, but not as crazy as before, so we replace Gale’s car lights with those of the dump truck golf cart so Gale can go home.  She isn’t gone two minutes before Seth decides to go for the opening.  He navigated the first door with the big step down just fine.  Then he stood there for a few minutes to stop swaying, before trying to navigate the second door.  That wasn’t as elegant, but he made it through.

By now it’s just Honey and I but we manage to get the doors shut, latched and locked.  We set up the Nest cam on his cage, watched Seth for a while, and then headed home around 10 pm.  Who knows how many of us checked the cameras throughout the night, but thankfully this morning there was good news reported by watchers that he was up and moving about.  Another stressful day is behind us all. – Carole

When the cats are sedated for medical procedures we use non toxic children’s finger paints to make an impression of their paws on canvas and give those to the Keepers and vets who helped.  The paint is then washed off.  Jamie texts Carole a photo of one of the paintings and merchandise is created right away to help fund our work.  Here is one of item from yesterday:

Seth Tiger Paw Print Necklace

Seth Tiger Paw Print Square Necklace


Facebook Live Video Replays

Seth Tiger gets a dental today thanks to Dr. Wade Gingerich, Dr. Ron Altman and Dr. Justin Boorstein. Watch LIVE at Seth weighed 438 meaning he’s gained about 100 lbs since arriving last Nov.

Seth Tiger got a dental yesterday thanks to Dr. Wade Gingerich, Dr. Ron Altman

HUGE shout out to Dr. Wade Gingerich for doing dentals yesterday!

Seth Tiger was born at a pseudo sanctuary where cubs were pumped out for pay to play sessions, much like a puppy mill. When pulled from their mothers for photos these cubs never get the proper nutrition so they end up suffering from paper shell bones and broken teeth. Seth was 10 years old when he was rescued by Big Cat Rescue and had probably never had received medical or dental care.

The problem was exacerbated because these backyard breeders commonly feed expired meats that are kept frozen so that people won’t know how rancid the meat is when fed. The cats fragile teeth are often broken off trying to gnaw off chunks of frozen, rotten meat, in order to survive. Find out more about Seth at

You can help by contacting your Representative in congress and asking them to co sponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act at

Seth was rolled outside and someone will sit with him until he is able to get out.  ~Keeper Afton

Priya starting to wake up.  Everything went well. ~Keeper Afton

Priya Update: She is in her enclosure, awake, and resting. She had three root canals.

Keeper Afton checked in on Priya, too. I checked on Priya before I left. She’s doing well, but it looks like she went to the wrong party.

The vets donate their time, however, there are still quite a few daily medical expenses to keep the cats well cared for.  Your donations at make what we here possible.  Several of the cats take daily meds which is a pretty big ongoing expense.

L@@K What YOU DID for the cats!!

By watching and sharing videos from our two YouTube channels you are actually raining money for sanctuary expenses.

Check out our two YouTube channels at:

  1. is the channel where Afton puts the shorter, edited, fun, and educational videos.
  2. is the channel where we put everything else like Carole’s walkabout videos, evening meds, and other random videos.

Do YOU want to help raise funds for the cats and the sanctuary?

  • You can do that by regularly sharing our videos on your social media pages.
  • On YouTube click to favorite them and comment on them so YouTube will show them to more people in the video suggestions area.

Don’t know how to do that?

Did you know that the photo jewelry sold in this store is lovingly made by hand by Jamie Veronica, our President?


S.A.V.E. Award March 2016

Per Viewer Request:  We are posting all of the 2016 S.A.V.E. Awards.

Scratch’s Award for Volunteer Excellence, the SAVE Award:  For outstanding volunteer service, the March SAVE Award went to Bonnie Farago! Bonnie has such a great attitude, always smiling and hard working. We appreciate all of the time you dedicate to caring for the cats as well as the sunshine you bring with you to the sanctuary! Thank you so much and congratulations!

A donation of $1000 has been made in your honor to the Black Footed Cat Working Group to fund the ongoing research needed to conserve the Black Footed Cat in South Africa.

With 23 years running this is one of the longest running small cat projects. More than 60 cats have been caught and collared. What is known today about the species has been found during this field study in South Africa. The study collects data on the ecology of the Black Footed Cat, including; home range sizes, home range usage, social organisation, food habits but also mortality, longevity, dispersal and reproduction of the population.


The Black-footed Cat Working Group was formed to publish and share findings from the project. The group consists of 7 biologists and veterinarians and acts as a central information source for the species.


We have a FREE BOOK about Black-footed cats.  It is available as an iBook, Kindle book, and as a PDF.

Free Books

Big Cat Models

Keeper Karma is sporting Serval Earrings today.

Big Cat Models 

Get yours at:

We LOVE our Big Cat Models!!

PLEASE, send us photos showing off YOUR Big Cat Rescue Gear!!  Email them to

Your purr-chases from go towards supporting our legislative efforts to get new laws that will end the abuse and exploitation of big cats and their babies.

Keeper Corner

Priya Tiger feeling the Florida heat.  ~Keeper MaryLou

Priya Tiger feeling the Florida heat

Seth’s Photos by Keeper Afton

Priya’s Photos by Keeper Afton

Keeper Afton:  May 4, 2017
Working with a film crew though Saturday!! We are out getting some good audio. Thanks Joseph!!

Facebook Live Contest

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


Question: Who is guest dentist from S FL?

Answer: Dr. Wade Gingerich

Winner:  Casey C

Prize chosen by winner:


Question: How much does Seth Tiger weigh?

Answer:  438 lbs.

Winner:  Christina Stang

Prize chosen by winner:  Shirt – I Heart Big Cats Women’s Scoop

Cole & Marmalade’s Corner

10 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Cat!

Adopt a Senior Cat! Older cats make purr-fect pets too! If you’re thinking of adopting a kitten, consider a senior cat instead… They are often overlooked at animal shelters and it’s hard to find them furever homes….

The mature gentleman featured in this video is Jack-Jack a cat that I looked after for over a year at Big Cat Rescue where I worked, he’s a great guy and now lives with a friend at a larger house with other cats and a pool! The kitten in the video is Marmalade who we adopted from a friend when he needed a home 🙂

  Viewer Videos From

Nikita’s Morning

Seth loves the hose

Seth being Silly

Hoover in the pond

Kitten Crazies

Seth getting ready to pounce

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

  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

 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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