October 23 2017

Big Cat Updates

The new gift shop is officially open for business!

All the cats who had dentals are doing well.  they are eating and happy.

Cameron is still smothering Zabu with attention.

 Want to work with Cats for a day?

If you want to work with the cats, have your company contact us about a group work day.

If you would like to arrange a work day for a group from your company contact info@bigcatrescue.org to get more information about projects we need help with.

 Big Cat Challenge

If you saw someone make a comment like, “Why don’t you just set them free?” How would YOU reply to that comment?

How would YOU explain to a newcomer why we can’t just set them free? Give it some thought and put your answer in the comments below. Explain the issue and give a link to back up your explanation?

Kali Tiger says, “Help and encourage each other without being critical of each other’s answers.”

HINT:  Check your answers at https://bigcatrescue.org/gofree/

 Remembering Mickey

We are devastated to announce that our beloved Mickey cougar has passed. http://BigCatRescue.org/mickey/

Yesterday the vet group was texting back and forth about Mickey’s latest challenge, which was a runny nose and congestion. Kathryn went to get photos and videos of the coughing, sneezing and mucous, but what her camera captured broke our hearts instantly when we witnessed it. When Mickey was rescued in 2014, Dr. Wynn did a routine exam on his joints while he was at her clinic. He was in such bad shape, and his knees were out of socket, and he had bad teeth, and was starved nearly to death. We wrestled for a long time as to whether the humane thing to do then would be to just end his misery.

We decided to call in an orthopedic expert Dr. Hay because Mickey had such a strong will to live. Two surgeries later, he was walking better than he’d been able to in a long time, but we knew, from the extreme damage to the joints, that we were only buying him a little time. Fast forward three years and Mickey has recently been having seizures, his front ankles have collapsed from years of shifting his weight forward to walk, and now he was sneezing and coughing.

Kathryn’s video showed his back left leg to now have come completely out of the joint. There were no more options for our sweet Mickey. Amputation of the leg would have put even more pressure on his collapsed front legs and his other badly damaged back leg. His body was just completely giving out on him and no matter how much we wish we could make him better, there was nothing left to do. Dr. Wynn euthanized him so that he wouldn’t know another day of misery.

Now he is free of pain and running toward his next big adventure on his now-perfect legs. Thank you to everyone who loved him, cared for him and who had the strength yesterday to do what was best for him.

ClipArt film Facebook Live Video Replays

Andy Tiger doing a little gardening. Watch more at http://explore.org/tigerlake

clipart lynx leaping Lakeland Bobcat Orphan Update

It’s impossible to know for sure, but I think I have a happy update on this orphaned bobcat kitten. Last night (10/23/17) a woman called me late at night saying that she lives on Grasslands Village Circle. Her domestic cat was going nuts about the interloper outside. Thinking her cat was reacting, as he usually did to stray cats, she went outside with a flashlight to see if there was a cat in her yard. What she saw instead was a bobcat who would be the right size now for the kitten we had been searching for in July. She had tried to get a photo with her phone, but due to the flashlight and the phone’s flash, she wasn’t able to get a photo, but she said she got a very good look at the cat and she described a young bobcat perfectly.

She said the bobcat looked healthy and that she’d found a squirrel tail in her yard earlier.

She asked if I wanted to have her coordinate with the trapper from the Lakeland SPCA but I told her that if the bobcat had survived 3 months after losing her mom, she was going to do just fine on her own.

While it is possible that it was another bobcat youngster, from another mom, bobcat typically have territories that are about 5 miles square. We know that the bobcat mom who died on 7/21/17 was crossing from the left side of Harden road to the right side when she was struck by a vehicle and killed. It makes sense that her kitten(s) would go back to the left side of the road where they grew up. There are so many ponds and great places for small prey to live there, that it’s feasible that the orphan(s) was able to feed themselves on frogs, lizards and bugs while improving their hunting skills.


 Cute “Rescue” Story

Several of you have asked for this story to be repeated, again.  It is from quite a while back which is probably why you couldn’t find it.

NOTE:  The cat in the above photo is Cooper and is NOT the “Bobcat” the story is about!

Okay, here goes ….. “All in a Day’s Work”

One of our volunteers rushed into my office one evening at dusk and said “I just heard on the radio that a bobcat was involved in an accident at Gunn Highway and Cosme Road!”

As I ran to load nets and a carrier into the truck, she asked if I’d need help, and I told her I’d call if the cat had survived.  After all, we do rescue, rehab, and release bobcats.   The intersection was only a few miles away and I was there in minutes.

Arriving on the scene I screeched to a halt amid overturned vehicles, wreckers and police cars.  The police cars were parked with the driver’s windows facing each other and were parked so close together that, net in hand, I leaped up onto the hood of one cruiser and thrust my head in the gap between the two windows.  I figured the cops were afraid of the injured bobcat and were thus huddled to figure out what to do.  Out of breath from the exertion I said excitedly, “I’m from Big Cat Rescue and I’m here to rescue the bobcat!”

One of the officers said, “You’re kidding, right?”

Obviously annoyed, I snapped back, “We’re a big cat rescue center and I’m here to save the bobcat, if it’s not too late!”

The officer replied “I’m sorry ma’am, but I’m afraid you’re too late!”

My heart sank.  If only I could save them all.  Every cat lost to human encroachment is a personal loss for me.  Lost in the grief of the moment, I almost didn’t get it when the officer continued

“I’m afraid that we already strapped the “bobcat” to the back of a flat bed wrecker.  It had a few scratches and scrapes, but we think it will live to lay sod again.”

By now the other officer was roaring with laughter.  I looked around the scene again to see that the overturned vehicles were lawn equipment and a trailer.

The bobcat involved in the accident had been a piece of MACHINERY called a BOBCAT and not an actual bobCAT.

This was the best rescue call we’ve ever had to answer.

Marked down for a limited time only to $15.00 and free shipping for Amazon Prime members. Be sure to choose Big Cat Rescue first at Smile.Amazon.com so that Amazon donates part of your purchase back to the cats too. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075NSHY17

ClipArt Cub in a cape Keeper Corner

Please join us in congratulating the following:

  • Devin Saari has been promoted to Master Keeper
  • Aleesa Salcido has been promoted to Level 4 Intern
  • Steven Becker has been promoted to Level 2 Intern

Keeper Afton: Cyrus and his bat 🦇

Keeper Afton: Since that scary and eventful weekend, I just cannot get enough of these two!!

Keeper Afton: This is part two of the video from yesterday. Zabu helps Cameron with a bath.

Keeper Afton: Have your volume up!!

Keeper Afton: I hope Kali is comfortable laying like that!

Keeper Lauren Buckingham: Before i left, something told me to say goodbye to you. As much as i didnt want too, i wanted you to know you were loved, so much by everyone. You were an inspiration and a reminder everyday of why we fight to end this trade. Love you Mickey, sweet boy ❤️ run free, you’re leaving behind a huge hole in alot of hearts 💕

 Viewer Videos

Big cat friend, Barb Colvin

 SAVE Award

Scratch’s Award for Volunteer Excellence, the SAVE Award

For outstanding volunteer service, the October SAVE Award goes to BethAnn Bluder! Bethann has volunteered for nearly 14 years along with her husband Rich. BethAnn is dependable and hardworking. Her love for the cats shines through her dedication. In addition to her keeper duties BethAnn is also a huge asset thanks to her career in the medical field. We are so lucky to have you on our team!

A donation of $1000 has been made in your honor to the Pallas Cat Study and Conservation Program.

The pallas cat is one of the least studied wild cats in the world despite having a large habitat ranging across Russia, Mongolia, and North-Western China. The habitat of the pallas cat has been decreasing over the years resulting in a dramatic population decline. Biology of the species and its adaptations to different landscapes have never been studied adequately. Data is lacking on the current spatial distribution, migratory patterns and habitat preference.

Currently the project is focused on studying factor influencing pallas cat distribution such as prey availability, habitat, and snow cover. In addition the team aims to identify potential threats to the species in different regions as well as carry out a snow tracking program to estimate population density.


 The STARS Award

Stars Prize: Each month volunteers who dedicate 25% over their minimum hourly requirements are put into a pool from which one partner and one keeper is randomly selected to win a prize. The prize for this year will be a paw painting from one of the cats.

Keeper – Phyllis Middaugh
Partner – Pam Rodriguez

Volunteer Hours:

September = 3,337 volunteer hours contributed by 92 volunteers. That means volunteers collectively put in the same hours as more than 20 full time paid staff would have during that same time.

September = 1,484 intern hours contributed 7 interns. That means interns collectively put in the same hours as more than 9 full time paid staff would have during that same time.

If you look to any other animal sheltering type group you will find that they usually have dozens of paid staff if they have our level of income. Thanks to you we only have to pay about 15 staff members because volunteers & keepers are doing all of the cat care and most of the guest relations. That means more of the money earned and donated can go to the cats and to ending the abuses that cause so many big cats to be discarded.

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