hear big catsNikita


DOB 2/3/01

Rescue 11/30/01

Nikita was found chained to the wall in a crack house during a drug bust in Tennessee. Because she had been confined to a concrete floor, she had huge swellings on her elbows that took months to heal.  She was so thin that you could carry her under one arm.  She would only eat white rabbits, so she had a plethora of nutritional issues to deal with as well.

The authorities took her to the Nashville Zoo at Grasmere, but she had been declawed and could not live with the zoo’s other lions.  They had to find a new home for her, so we received the call. Big Cat Rescue agreed to take Nikita in, as well as three other Bobcats who all arrived on 11/30/01.

Tee Nikita LionNikita has flourished under our care.  She has grown into a tall, lanky, healthy lioness.  She’s extremely playful and loves to roll on her back and grab her paws or try to do somersaults whenever she has visitors stopping by to talk with her.   Though we wish she had the freedom she deserves, we’re so happy that she survived her earlier ordeals to enjoy the blissful days we try to provide for her here.

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Watch Nikita Lion LIVE on

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Here is a list of pages on our site that you can find more information, photos, and videos of Nikita Lion.

See Chris & Gale setting up Piñatas for Cameron and Nikita the lions and Zabu the white tiger in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on April 25, 2014 –

Pumpkin time for Nikita Lion:

Nikita Lioness seized in drug raid! and

Nikita Lioness all grown up:

The walls start to go up on a new play yard for Nikita:

Nikita the lioness loves her new view and can’t wait for room addition:

The last couple wall go up:

Watch Nikita the Lion explore her new enclosure!

Photos of Gayle talking to Nikita Lion:

I wonder what Nikita is thinking while she watches the volunteers and Interns working?

LION VS Big Yellow Ball = Lion Wins! Watch our goofy lioness Nikita take on her new yellow boomer ball! Enrichment is an important part of our cats lives at the sanctuary they will never be free and wild, so we have to keep their minds stimulated with new toys and enrichment, ensuring the best quality life in captivity.

Another photo of Nikita:

Watch as our tigers and lions have fun destroying whole watermelons!

We didn’t think Nikita Lion would ever feel comfortable going into a confined space like one of our feeding lockouts, but she looks pretty content.

RNC visits Big Cat Rescue Lioness Nikita:

See photos – Dr Justin used a bent spoon to dislodge a stick that had gotten stuck across the roof of Nikita Lioness’ mouth.

Nikita Lion and her yellow ball
Nikita Lion and her yellow ball



Nikita Lion "I Haz Feets"
Nikita Lion “I Haz Feets”





Meet the rest of our exotic wild cats.


  • Show Comments (24)

  • Kylie Mosbacher

    I’ve been wondering; what percentage, do you think, of big cat owners are your odd, everyday, dangerous-animal-obsessed person, and what percentage of owners are criminals with several other crimes under their belt? Is that kind of a number impossible to determine?

  • Patty Hardtke

    I am a fan of The Big Cat Rescue Center and enjoy all of the video's that u all post for us to view, Nikita is lucky that she has a great place to live and lots of people that love her thank u for sharing her story she is truly a beauty…………..

    • Jan Badinski

      IMO all big cats and little kitties are beautiful, just some people don't see it right away.

  • Jan Badinski

    A cat is a cat is a cat. They all respond better to a loving environment and a gentle hand. She sounds like she's quite a character, she just needed a home for people to see it. May her and her kitty friends flourish, they will under Big Cat Rescue's knowledgeable loving care.

  • Jan Badinski

    Majestic kitties

  • Jan Badinski

    I can see why she adopted him. She seems to, identify with him, probably wants to be petted but that's really not a good idea. I'd bet part of her food time issues isn't just because of her nature, its because she was starved when in captivity before being brought to the rescue. Do lions like to eat deer?

  • Linda Varey

    keep up the great work.

  • Heidi M. Green-Carpenter

    enjoyed to see Nikis film, glad she is happy and has a great home…………….thank you for caring.

  • Jillian Wagner

    She is soooooo lucky to be there with you guys… 🙂

  • Nemia Capili Lumaino

    God bless you, BCR!

  • Heidi M. Green-Carpenter

    you need to check the BIG Cat Rescue out, the pictures are awesome…………..

  • Shondelle Naturallybossin Davies

    ok the white one was not playing games they r beautiful.

  • Diane Spencer

    The most inspiring story that against all odds and in the hands of good care, not only did she lived she blossomed into a beautiful Lioness all because you cared.

    Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL

    Thank you for giving me the sites to go and tell her story, she gives me so much hope and to never give up. <3 Thank you.

  • LaWanna Mitchell

    Thank you Heidi M. Green-Carpenter, for that comment!!

  • Lisa Hall

    She is adorable

  • Wendy Carew

    ???? What kind of a monster would declaw a lion? Horribly wrong

  • Michelle

    Is Nikita actually a lioness? Or a Ligress (Liger)? She looks like one.

  • MCKAYLAMyers

    I feel So bad for Nikita as she does Nothave Cameron eitherAnymore and to add to that somethings not with her either Zabou the white tiger is not around to be with her either Guys you really need to give her extra Attention because she doesn’t have Cameron or Zabu

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