Female Amur Leopard

4/6/01 – 4/27/2020 She was 19 when she was euthanized for bladder cancer.

Big Cat Rescue Collaborates with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to Bring a Jaguar and Leopard to the Sanctuary

Manny Jaguar
Manny Jaguar

December 13, 2017

For the second time in less than a week, Big Cat Rescue has new cats arriving at the sanctuary!

We are taking in and will be the permanent home for an 11-year- old male jaguar named Manny and a 16-year- old female leopard named Nat from Omaha’s AZA-accredited Henry Doorly Zoo. What a December to Remember for the sanctuary!

Jamie and her team of Big Cat Rescuers are driving the cats to the sanctuary in our new Dodge van that we just purr-chased thanks to the incredible generosity of donors like you who read about our desperate need for a new van in our July annual appeal letter! We are so very grateful to have this van that is not only bringing Manny and Nat to their forever home right now but will help us rescue many precious exotic cats for years to come!

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska is constructing expansive new natural habitats for many of their big cats and other animals. For this progress to occur, some of their current exhibits are being replaced. When Big Cat Rescue learned that the zoo was searching for a GFAS-accredited sanctuary to rehome Manny the jaguar and Nat the leopard, we immediately offered to take them.

Nat Amur Leopard
Nat the Amur Leopard

We are happy to have collaborated with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo to bring Manny and Nat to Big Cat Rescue, where they will remain for the rest of their lives. This type of collaboration between an AZA-accredited zoo and a GFAS-accredited sanctuary is not as common as similar facilities working within their own networks, which makes it even more special. We are delighted that the zoo has entrusted Big Cat Rescue with the ongoing well-being of these beautiful cats. We will make sure Manny and Nat continue to receive the best care possible and enjoy their retirement years at our sanctuary.

We sincerely thank everyone who has donated to the care of our cats during our 25 years in existence and those who have donated since July to allow us to purchase our new Dodge van! If you’d like to help us out by donating toward the food and care of Manny and Nat, we would greatly appreciate it!

Natalia Amur Leopard Update April 27, 2020

Natalia Leopard is in the Recovery Hospital after being sedated and seen by Dr. Liz Wynn yesterday.

When keepers reported that she wasn’t very hungry yesterday (4/25) or today (4/26) and she vomited and seemed to be straining we brought her in for diagnostics. Her white blood cell count is high which could be cancer or an infection. Her uterus seems a little fluidy on one side, so we are treating it like an infection. She has a mass in her rectum that was preventing stool from passing, so she will have to go on a soft food diet (no fur or bones). We don’t know if the mass is new and growing, or if it was just a perfect storm of infection, constipation and dehydration. Biopsies, blood work, x-rays and sonograms are all being sent out for a second opinion by our vet. (forgive my layman’s interpretation here)

Today she is barely cognizant of people around her and our other vet, Dr. Justin Boorstein, will do an exploratory on her at noon to see if it is the uterus causing this dramatic decline in her condition.  If it is, he will remove it and we will try to get her back on her feet. If not, there may be no good option for this 19 year old Amur leopard.

Natalia was Euthanized April 27, 2020

Natalia Leopard was euthanized when Dr. Justin Boorstein discovered so much wrong with her that was not operable. The worst of it appears to be the tumor discovered by Dr. Liz Wynn yesterday and during the exploratory surgery today it was seen to engulf the entire area around her bladder, urethra and colon which is why she was having trouble relieving herself. Her uterus was pulled down and out of place by it. Her kidney values today were even worse by far than yesterday and her kidneys were shriveled. Nothing could have been done given the number of organs involved. She passed peacefully. We will be sending out tissue samples for testing and took a number of photographs to document the extent of her disease.

I want to thank her keepers who noted her condition so quickly so that she didn’t suffer and I want to thank Kathryn Stapleton, Erin Carden, Jennifer Ruszczyk, Afton Tasler and Lynda Licht for catching Natalia yesterday because it was very hard to do given how awful she felt but thanks to their love and patience it went as gently as possible.  Natalia was fiercely independent to the end and we just loved her for it.

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