October 27 2017

Big Cat Updates

Update Summary: Cats get pumpkins & hay, Jaguars from Brazil, Remembering Mickey, Zeus’ snacks & meds, Max & MaryAnn playing, Apache, Babycakes, Keisha’s pumpkin, What is Operant Conditioning, Past Halloween videos and more.

A special big cat friend is working on a fire hose hammock project for the big cats. The estimated cost for it will be around $600. If this works, when the time comes we will do a fundraiser for this. We will keep you posted on this project. The littler cats LOVE their Coolaroos so hopefully the bigger cats will like the fire hose hammocks as well..

Keeper Afton: Grab your Kleenex, and then take action in honor of Mickey! BigCatAct.com We sadly had to say goodbye to our dear sweet Mickey. His fighting spiriting and inspiring will to live encourages our fight to end the abuse these big cats face in private hands. Help up fight in Mickey’s honor by visiting bigcatact.com.


ClipArt film Facebook Live Video Replays

Pumpkins & Hay for 27 cats

Pumpkins & hay for Little White Dove and Running Bear – Afton disappears inside their den, well except for her feet.

Keeper Devin Saari Giving Zeus his evening meds and snacks. Zues does not eat all his breakfast so he gets snacks like this a couple more times a day. The evening snacks are important because he needs his evening meds, which we hide in his snacks.

Max and MaryAnn playing on and UNDER the Coolaroo.  The big one is Max and the little lighter colored on is his beloved MaryAnn.


ClipArt Cub in a cape Keeper Corner

From Carole: Apache and I had a pact. Whenever I gave tours, I’d wait to talk about the cruelty of the fur industry until I got to Apache’s cage. I’d say, “It takes 20 bobcats to make a fur coat because they only use that little bit of white, spotted, belly fur…” at which point I’d make a sweeping motion toward Apache who would almost always, right on cue, stand up on his back feet, with his forepaws kneading at the wire to hold himself up, so everyone could see the belly fur. You might think it operant conditioning, but he was the one who started the little game, and I finally caught on that he was helping make the point. In later years I had to quit because he was too old for that pose and I didn’t want him to hurt himself.

Keeper Honey Wayton: Babycakes still LOVES his fan and Coolaroo. Those two gifts are his favorite gifts ever! THANK YOU!!


 Big Cat Photos

Keisha Tiger is in LOVE with her Pumpkin this year! She had a blast.

Photo by Keeper Michael Heap
#NationalPumpkinDay was yesterday


 What is Operant Conditioning?

Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which behaviors are altered by the consequences that follow them. The behaviors are not forced, but “caught”, reinforced and therefore trained. We train only natural behaviors, no entertainment types of behaviors.

Operant Conditioning can:

  • Reduce the stress loads imposed by captivity
  • Enhance keeper safety
  • Facilitate routine care
  • Improve animal welfare
  • Enrich the animal and volunteer experience

Big Cat Rescue’s Operant Training Program is intended for:

  • Eliciting calm behavior from each of our animals while they are in the presence of their keepers and veterinary staff
  • Training behaviors that are dependable regardless of the trainer present
  • Providing mental stimulation for our animals
  • Enabling safe emergency and non-emergency transportation of the animals
  • Providing public education

More Details about Big Cat Rescue’s Operant Conditioning Program can be found at: https://bigcatrescue.org/operant-conditioning/


 Jaguars in Brazil

We are loving the photos Jamie and Dr. Justin are posting of Jaguars in the wild in Brazil.  They are there studying them.  The best way to save big cats is by preserving and protecting wild habitats.


 Past Halloween Videos

Big Cats And Pumpkins – Published on Oct 20, 2015 – Halloween time means the big cats are getting pumpkins. Watch as the big cats play with or destroy their holiday pumpkin enrichment.

GROWLOWEEN! Lions Tigers & Bats! – Published on Oct 26, 2013 – Halloween at Big Cat Rescue! Watch Lions, Tigers, Leopards & more destroy their pumpkins, bats & spiders! 🙂

Lions, Tigers, Bearcats & Pumpkins! – Big Cat TV – Published on Nov 15, 2006 – The Tampa Tribune recently came out to do a story on how much the cats love to play with some donated pumpkins we recieved from a local church.
This is a 5 minute behind the scenes look at that story.


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