Big Cat Rescue Research Sanctuary
Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida houses approximately 80 cats of many different species who are normally found in the wild (i.e. lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats etc.). The sanctuary is focused on using its exotic animal care facility to conduct and contribute to research that falls into two broad categories:
– Conservation of big cats and other species in the wild. This includes identifying the habitat range and travel patterns, identifying specific animals to estimate populations, efforts to deter poaching and illegal sales of endangered species and their parts, rehabilitation of injured or orphaned cats in order to return them to the wild, and explanations of how exploitation of cats in captivity negatively impacts conservation in the wild.
– Best practices for caring for wild cats in captivity. This includes feeding, caging, medical treatment, emotional well being and safety.
Big Cat Rescue maintains a 10,000 page website that is the world’s most complete resource for information about big cats. It provides knowledge and direction to those engaged in both caring for the cats in captivity and conservation in the wild. This includes information on each of the 35 species of wild cat, including photos and the sounds of many species people have never seen, and information on the issues the animals face both in captivity and in the wild. This includes information on each of the 35 species of wild cat, including photos and the sounds of many species people have never seen, and information on the issues the animals face both in captivity and in the wild. Information on the website is frequently relied on, quoted or cited by those engaged in conservation research and efforts and in captive care.
RESEARCH ON CONSERVATION OF BIG CATS AND OTHER SPECIES IN THE WILD
- Fishing Cats in Sri Lanka: BCR donated funds to the small cat conservation Foundation to assist with two in-situ Fishing Cat projects in Sri Lanka. The programs aim to increase awareness about the endangered small wild cats by educating and including the local communities, reducing human-animal conflict and improving knowledge on the species ecology and behavior. The funding will help to buy field equipment such as radio collars and field cameras to track the cats, purchase road signs to decrease mortality through road collisions and educate/train locals through workshops for the cats and the research being undertaken. See: https://www.facebook.com/smallwildcatconservation/ for updates.
- Lion Guardians & Build A Boma: BCR donated funds from the 2015 Wildcat Walkabout event to the Lion Guardians and National Geographic: Build A Boma programs in Africa who work on finding and enacting longterm solutions to minimize human-lion conflict surrounding livestock. By educating locals about better protection for livestock from predators, retaliatory killings can be minimized.BCR donated funds to the Felidae Conservation Fund, to assist in two longterm studies they are carrying out in San Francisco on native bobcat and puma populations.
- The Bay Area Puma Project: a long term research and conservation project designed to conserve viable puma populations and minimize human-animal conflict in the San Franciso Bay Area. Urban Growth trends increase the zone of human-puma contact and increase human-animal conflict, consequently increasing puma mortality and a decrease in public tolerance. Knowledge regarding puma behavioural responses to human activity is lacking due to the vast majority of behavioural studies being conducted in remote wilderness settings, where behaviour is typically different from animals located near humans. As a result of this there is insufficient information available to develop educational guidelines, identify critical habitats for conservation or inform land-use planning.
- The Bay Area Bobcat Project: aims to evaluate the connectedness, viability and threats to bobcat populations over a 3 year period. Habitat fragmentation is a major threat to wildlife population throughout; bobcats sustain the ecological balance of both mesa-predator and prey populations, yet continued growth of human population and road networks increase mortality rates and isolate bobcat populations. I addition in parts of California, mange, a result of anticoagulant exposure, has caused some bobcat populations to crash. The Bay Area Bobcat Project will document movement and habitat use patterns; population densities, demography and genetic structure; signs of disease and bobcat exposures to anticoagulant rodenticides.
The money donated by BCR for these projects will go towards the cost of acquiring GPS collars, motion sensing field cameras and other field equipment to aid in data collection on the two native species.
- Sand Cats of Morocco: BCR donated money towards the first ever study on the ecology and behavior of Sand cats in Morocco, launched in 2015 by Dr Alex Sliwa and Gregory Breton, scientists from Europe. The researchers aimed to study the cats over several years to collect data, throughout the lives of individuals but also across generations. In an attempt to understand the species better the research aims to look at particular ecological aspects such as activity times, size of home range, territory, social and reproductive behaviors, prey species and different hunting methods. The method of the study is for researchers to actively search for Sand Cats. Once located, the animal are caught and sedated, to be measured and given a health check, then fitted with a radio collar. These animals will then be followed with an receiver and antenna to determine their movements.
- Clouded leopard paper. BCR website was a primary source for a paper written on the two species of clouded leopard. http://lutetimes.com/2013/05/2 0/clouded-leopard-new-species-offers-new-discoveries/
- Oldfield mice foraging. Urine from BCR male ocelots was used in research to determine if direct evidence of predators affects the foraging habits of oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus), which in turn affects seed distribution. Rodents Orrock and Danielson
- Pallas cat FIV study. BCR supplied serum samples from a wild-caught (Gobi, Mongolia) captive FIV positive Pallas cat held from 1999 to 2001 at Wildlife on Easy Street (BCR former name) for a research study about Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in wild pallas’ cats – Brown Pallas cat Vet Imm imm page 2.
- Canines trained for tiger and leopard research. Some of the most pressing conservation issues need to distinguish between multiple, concurrent pressures facing wildlife over a large geographic range. The Conservation Canines program of the Centre for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington addresses this need by combining the precision and efficiency of detection dogs to readily locate wildlife scat (feces) samples with the ability to extract a wide variety of genetic, physiological, toxicological and dietary indicators from these samples. These indicators enable researchers to ascertain species abundance, distribution, resource use, and physiological health all in relation to the environmental pressure(s) the species is encountering. BCR was asked to participate in a program by supplying much needed scat samples from BCR’s Asian leopards in order to train their Conservation Canines before they were sent to Cambodia to collect data on wild cats. The project was fronted by the Sr Programme Officer of World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Asian Species Conservation Program who asked BCR for assistance with this major initiative in tiger conservation. As a result of BCR’s input they were able to aid conservation projects around the world.
- Monkeys Know Leopards are Threatening. Even monkeys that have never seen predators, like leopards, still seem to recognize that leopards are dangerous. Dr. Melissa Burns-Cusato, a professor at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, asked us for pictures of leopards for monkey research (2014) She spent the past two years investigating residual anti-predator behavior in a population of wild green monkeys that live in the Caribbean. Despite a lack of predators in the islands, her research has shown that the monkeys still respond to ancestral alarm calls (Burns-Cusato et al., 2013, Behavioral Processes). She conducted a pilot study that showed, much to everyone’s surprise, that the monkeys still recognize an image of an ancestral predator (a leopard) as threatening. They inferred this from the monkeys willingness to eat peanuts located close to an image of a waterbuck, but refusal to eat peanuts near an image of a leopard. Dr. Burns-Cusato requested large leopard photos to blow up into life size cut outs to replicate this study for publication.
- Dear friend, I hope this email finds you well and happy.With great joy I can let you know that our manuscript titled “Responsiveness of cats (Felidae) to silver vine (Actinidia polygama), Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and catnip (Nepeta cataria)” has been published in BMC Veterinary Research. BMC Veterinary Research was our journal of choice because it has a relevant audience, is open-access and does not have a word limit. Thank you for your contribution to this paper. The full-text article is freely available (PDF and HTML version) here: https://bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12917-017-0987-6
With best wishes,
Sebastiaan Bol, Ph.D.
1) BCR Video Leopards Helping Tigers!
2) BCR pages:
3) The WWF website of the project:
4) The University of Washington website on the Conservation Canines program:
- Snow Leopard population count. BCR provided scat samples to aid in the extension of research done by Dr Tom McCarthy of the International Snow Leopard Trust (ISLT). Dr McCarthy worked alongside Working Dogs For Conservation to see if their dogs could be trained to confirm that scats collected by human searchers are indeed from snow leopards, and then to go one step further and identify which individual animal produced the scats. Listed as endangered in 1972, the snow leopard (Uncia uncia) ranges over 12 countries in central Asia, including Mongolia, China, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. Like many endangered species, the snow leopard is imperiled due to habitat loss, poaching, and loss of prey. The entire population is thought to consist of 3,500 to 7,000 animals in the wild, but researchers need to hone in on an accurate population count to be able to monitor population and range change. By using the dogs, the aim was to find out how much area was covered to find the scats, how many scats were collected, and which animals produced each scat to provide detailed population information for Dr. McCarthy and his colleagues. By building on the research using the scat from BCR, they could explore the effectiveness of dogs discriminating among snow leopard scats, and determine details which may be specific to snow leopards such as cost-effectiveness, proper study design, misclassification rates, and appropriate selection and maintenance of scent-matching dogs. See http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-rescue-helps-save-snow-leopards/
- Snow Leopard collar study. Big Cat Rescue has participated in a research project led by the Snow Leopard Trust by sponsoring a collar that allows researchers to study the elusive snow leopard to better understand its habits and determine its needs in the wild.
- Saving thousands of sea turtles. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is the largest indoor aquarium in the world. Ken Ramirez, EVP of Animal Care and Animal Training, included our video Leopard Helping Tigers (above) about training the dogs in the Conservation Canines program in a talk he gave a workshop called “The Art and Science of Animal Training.” His talk was on how animal training could be used to help wild animals through research and other means, like training captive animals for blood draws to aid in a study of wild animals etc. During his talk he showed part of Big Cat Rescue’s research video Leopards Helping Tigers and he said he used that video to convince US Fish & Wildlife Service that they could train scent dogs to find buried sea turtle nests during the gulf oil spill so that the nests could be unearthed and relocated to the east coast of Florida so that the babies wouldn’t be swimming in to an oily gulf. They gave him the go ahead and he got 8 dogs from Conservation Canines and trained them over 10 days to sniff turtle nests. They found 30,000 eggs in 3 days of work after they were trained. They had only found 14,000 eggs before that without the dogs.
- Research used to prevent poaching and illegal “derivative” sales. The two major threats to big cat populations in the wild are habitat loss and poaching of animals from the wild to sell their parts, or products made from their parts (derivatives), like tiger skin rugs, tiger bone wine and alleged aphrodisiacs and medicines. BCR is involved in two efforts to limit the sales of these products and catch offenders.
- eBay guide of cat skins. Ebay tries to prevent use of its auction site to make illegal sales. Buyers on eBay typically do not know what animal pelts are illegal. BCR has provided photo images of endangered cats with detailed illustrations of coat markings. This allows eBay to better police sellers to avoid illegal sales, and gives consumers a reference to determine if a pelt is illegal and both avoid buying it, which can be a crime, and report it to eBay.
- Manual for Polish customs enforcement. According to the US State Department, the illegal trade in exotic pets is third only to the market for illegal drugs and weapons. The vast majority of this illegal trade is sourced by poaching rare species from the wild. Cat skins have been seized every year at Polish borders. World Wildlife Federation of Poland (WWF), an international non-governmental wildlife conservation organization, has prepared a wild cat manual for Polish Customs and Police CITES coordinators. Big Cat Rescue has participated by providing photos and knowledge of big cats. The purpose of the manual is to allow officers to properly identify of all wild cat species – both live and their parts (skins, skulls etc.) The manual is distributed for free to the officers during a workshop which WWF organizes specially for coordinators in Poland.
- White tiger genetic inbreeding study. BCR research data was source reference material for a scientific paper proving through genetic data that all white tigers are related to each other and documenting the problems that arise through inbreeding. See Accumulation of Deleterious Mutations Due to Inbreeding in Tiger Population
Negative impact on conservation of captive breeding in US. Rampant breeding of tiger cubs in the US for the purpose of charging the public to pet, take photos with, or swim with the cubs has resulted in a large population of tigers kept in inhumane conditions that cannot be effectively tracked or monitored. This has negative consequences for conservation in three ways. First, the cub petting that supposedly “educates” the public about conservation sends the opposite message according to studies of perception of conservation after seeing humans with endangered species. Second, the message that we need to breed in captivity to “preserve the species” implies that we do not need to worry about preserving the animals in the wild (true conservation) because we have them in cages. Third, as the US State Department tries to urge enforcement of international treaties forbidding the sales of tiger parts and the breeding of tigers in Asian countries, our credibility and ability to influence other countries is damaged by the rampant breeding in the US and the lack of tracking which results in having no way to show that our own breeding is not resulting in illegal animal parts finding their way into the international market. Undercover operations conducted by US Fish & Wildlife Service have proven that there is an illegal underground trade in endangered species in the US.
BCR joined with large animal welfare organizations (Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, World Wildlife Fund and Born Free USA) to form a coalition to demonstrate that the cub petting is a significant problem that has these negative effects and to present a petition to USDA to urge banning the cub petting. BCR’s contributed by:
1) Researching the cub petting industry documenting the players and estimating the number cubs born.
2) Demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the regulatory scheme by having staff and volunteers review and organize into spreadsheets over 1000 citations and administrative law cases and analyze the outcomes.
3) Researching and documenting with photos the inhumane conditions that the cubs end up spending their lives in.
Output from this research includes:
- TRAFFIC research on captive tiger trade in US. Conservation International commissioned TRAFFIC, an organization that monitors illegal trade in animals, to conduct a study of the trade in captive tigers in the United States. Big Cat Rescue was a significant contributor to the report, titled Paper Tigers, based in part on our research documenting the lack of tracking of tigers and the transactions we could identify. See TRAFFIC – Paper Tigers
- Impact of sociality on cognitive development. There are two conflicting theories of how intelligence evolves, not just in animals but also in humans. One theory suggests that being in a social setting with other members of the species is the critical factor in evolving intelligence, the other discounts the role of sociality. To resolve this conflict, Natalia Borrego, a doctoral research student from the University of Miami, constructed a puzzle box to test big cat intelligence. She is testing lions, who live in a social structure, and tigers, who are asocial. She is testing tigers at BCR for this research. See Bengali vs The Puzzle Box
- Wild Track research on tracking tigers. Some years ago when well known researchers Zoe Jewell and Sky Alibhai were tracking tigers they saw that experienced guides could identify a specific tiger from its tracks. The guide could not explain how he did it, but Zoe and Sky posited that there must be identifiable characteristics that allowed the guide to do this. The large software company SAS agreed to work with them on a pro bono basis to develop a system that would identify tigers. The mechanism is to accumulate a database of tiger tracks that the computer can analyze for differences and similarities. The technique involves spreading fine sand in an area of the cage, luring the tiger across it, and then luring the tiger away so the tracks are not spoiled by more overlapping tracks. Photographs are then taken following very specific protocols and entered into the database. Five BCR tigers have been used to gather paw prints for this database. Once sufficiently populated with paw prints, the program will be used for basic research about tiger populations and migration paths. This technique, known as Footprint Identification Technique (FIT), is able to identify the species, individual, sex and age-class levels, so that captive animals can help protect their endangered free-ranging counterparts. For more information see wildtrack.org
- Jaguar range tracking in Guyana. Guyana is a sparsely populated country where unfortunately trapping and exporting parrots, big cats and other species has been a significant source of income for the population. Members of the native Amerindian tribes of Guyana and the Parliament realize that this depletion of this natural resource is self defeating. Project Guyana is a coordinated effort to work with the Amerindian tribes and the Parliament to develop alternative income in the form of ecotourism. In order to do that, science based recommendations must be made to the government regarding what lands should be set aside for the animals. This needs to be based on where they animals reside and their migration habits. To provide this basic research, BCR sent staff to join staff from Foster Parrots to set camera traps to capture the movement of the jaguars and taught locals how to interpret the images and maintain the traps.
- Pampas cat study. BCR donated funds to Dr. Jim Sanderson, Ph.D, a world renowned field biologist, to assist him in his study of the Pampas Cat in Brazil. The funding helped purchase the camera traps, telemetry collars, microchips and other equipment necessary to study the Pampas Cat in the wild, helped pay the local people that will be trained to monitor the equipment, helped in processing of samples and development of film, helped to supplement the diets and medical needs of the Pampas Cats in the program who are producing viable offspring. The purpose of this work is to learn about the needs of the Pampas Cat for survival in the wild so that the people of Brazil can incorporate those needs into their reforestation plans in order to preserve the species.
- Effect of habitat fragmentation on disease dynamics in large carnivore. This study by Colorado State University looked at the prevalence of a few different disease agents (FIV, leukemia, toxoplasmosis, and bartonella) in domestic and exotic felines. The study was evaluating whether domestic cats were reservoirs for non domestic cats (whether domestic cats were spreading the disease to exotic cats). Finally, the research was studying whether Bobcats and pumas were spreading the same strain of virus back and forth (cross species disease transmission). BCR provided valuable tissue samples from our bobcats. See http://goo.gl/pQA2Xd
RESEARCH ON BEST PRACTICES FOR CARING FOR WILD CATS IN CAPTIVITY
For over 20 years the sanctuary has served as a working laboratory to test and develop the best practices for captive care of big cats. In the wild most of the species live 10-12 years. According to the records kept by International Species Information Service, in most zoos the life span of the cats is about the same. At Big Cat Rescue our average age at death is 17, even though most animals come to us after years of malnutrition, and many of our cats live to over 20. We recently lost the oldest tiger in the world at age 25. 75% of our cats are now 15 or over, and 20% are 20 or over. This is a testimony to the care they receive here as a result of our persistent research to test and improve care.
- Nutrition. Big Cat Nutrition has been one of our longest ongoing research projects. From the early nineties, when we researched the best diets for captive big cats and self published a book on exotic cat care, to 2014 when we have applied that research by selecting a balanced carnivore diet, there have been many different diets tried, tested and rejected. Part of the challenge was the balance between proper nutrition and palatability. It is not functional to have a nutritious diet that is not palatable enough to induce the cats eat enough to be healthy, particularly as they age and lose appetite or are sick and lose appetite. One such rejected diet (1990’s) was a dry diet by Purina manufacturer called Mazuri for Carnivores. See our current diet: http://bigcatrescue.org/feed-cats/
- Parasite research. Feral cats contain parasites that can be transmitted to humans. Katherine Manning and Gabriel J. Langford of the Department of Biology, Florida Southern College, Lakeland FL designed a study to compare treatments for these parasites. There was no way to do the study on feral cats, but the best proxy for feral cats is big cats in captivity. So they conducted their study on cats at BCR and one other Florida big cat facility. In addition to providing guidance on dealing with feral cats, the study gave valuable information on preventive protocols for big cats. See Parasite research
- Hand rearing protocols. In the early to mid 1990’s, when BCR dealt with many cubs, experiments were conducted on the best methods and timing of feeding, different formulations for bottle feeding, changes to the formula week by week as the cubs got bigger, weaning formulas and timing. Procedures for detailed record keeping of the entire process and charting growth of the animal were evolved in order to measure the efficacy of changes to the formula and procedures.
In 2003 BCR used these protocols to develop a rehabilitation program for orphaned bobcats. The initial and highest risk part of the rehab process is the initial hand feeding. In addition, beginning in 2013 BCR worked with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to develop a foster program to save newborn domestic kittens brought to Animal Services. Many of these kittens were routinely destroyed because there were too few people available to do the time consuming work of bottle feeding them warmed formula every few hours. BCR staff taught our interns the techniques developed in earlier years and began picking up the kittens from HSTB on arrival. Many come to us seriously ill. We are told we have the best survival rate of any foster group that HSTB works with and have saved over 150 kittens to date.
- Bobcat rehabilitation and release. Traditionally when Florida bobcat kittens were orphaned, their only hope was a life in captivity. The challenge is that while they do have instincts, those are not enough to allow them to survive in the wild if raised without their mothers because the mothers spend 2-3 years teaching them the hunting skills they need to survive. In 2003 BCR developed a process to teach the young cubs to hunt. The process has been continuously improved by trial and error. In some cases we have been able to set camera traps in the area where the cats were released and have confirmed their successful survival. Our protocols are available to other rehabbers at no cost.
- Enrichment and operant conditioning. The big cats are intelligent and have a range of feelings, including boredom and depression. BCR has spent years by trial and error researching what forms of enrichment are most engaging for the cats, including testing various scents from perfume and spices. We have also continuously improved on the process of using “clicker training” to teach the cats to do natural behaviors on command, primarily for medical reasons. This information is available to other facilities on our website. See http://bigcatrescue.org/enrichment/
- Cage design. Research on cage design has been another significant part of our operations over the past 20 years. We have successfully built unique cages using 4×4 cattle panels with no poles, using the curvature of the panel for strength, which reduces the cost of the cage significantly. We have designed ways to build the cages leaving existing trees in them by using the panels as roofing material. More recently we have designed an open top cage with kick in and drape design that allows climbing cats to have more space because a roof is not required. As part of the cage design we developed a “lockout” attached to the cage with a raised water bowl framed in cage wire so the cat could easily access it but not remove and destroy it. Wild cats like to urinate in streams. The raised water bowl avoided the cats urinating in their water. See http://bigcatrescue.org/cages/
- Medical procedures and records. Detailed medical records are kept on 100+ exotic cats here in a cloud based database to document every aspect of medical treatment for each cat. Diagnosis and treatment for big cats is not generally available like it is for domestic animals. So documenting our efforts and successes and failures becomes the basic research from which we draw over time to develop the best diagnosis and treatment and share it with others. Medical and behavioral observations are documented continuously and the history of treatment is readily available for each cat, by species, or by symptoms. Some of the cats have charts that are updated daily to constantly evaluate the efficacy of treatment. Other sanctuaries are free to contact us when they are dealing with medical issues and we freely share our research.
- Lion anesthesia mask. There is no commercially sold anesthesia mask big enough for a lions. So BCR experimented with different household supplies to create the perfect gas mask.
- Research testing new medical treatments. When a bobcat became lame due to a blood clot choking off the flow of blood and sensation to her foot, we tried out different physical therapies to assist her healing. The best results have come from cold laser therapy never before used on big cats. The manufacturer has agreed to loan us this very expensive machine ($24,000) to test its efficacy on other species and other medical conditions. Our cats get the benefit of improved healing and the manufacturer gets the benefit of our research for showcasing their product to potential doctors and veterinarians.
- Surgery videos. We video our surgeries and those videos are showcased on the website of the World Veterinary Association to make them readily available to veterinarians around the world. See WorldVet.org.
SHARING THE RESULTS OF OUR ANIMAL CARE RESEARCH
Research is not meaningful unless the outcomes are shared in some fashion to create a benefit from the knowledge gained. BCR shares the knowledge gained in a number of ways:
- Websites. As mentioned and demonstrated with links above, many of the techniques developed through our research appear on our website.
- Personal instruction.
- On site seminars. BCR has held seminars for other sanctuaries at our property where we teach many of the techniques we have developed.
- Conferences. BCR staff are regularly invited to speak at conferences teaching the techniques. For example, BCR presented to about 60 animal sanctuary CEO’s November 2013 at the Big Cat Workshop sponsored by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
- Visits by other facilities. On a number of occasions, whenever asked, we have had staff from other facilities come to BCR to learn our techniques.
- Site visits to other facilities. When asked we will visit other facilities to provide guidance on the techniques we have developed. Within the last year we have made two international visits. One was to AAP Primadomus, a facility in Spain that housed other species and wanted to begin taking in big cats. The other was the Belize Zoo where we are assisting in redesigning their cages and teaching them enrichment techniques.
- Intranet site. All of the documentation that goes into recording our medical procedures and enrichment efforts are efficiently recorded in a cloud based internet site that BCR developed internally. BCR has replicated the site for 23 other animal rescue centers to allow them to efficiently keep similar records to better care for their animals. Below are screen shots showing the way the data is entered daily and appears on the site:
Operant conditioning (behavior research and modification) is done daily and logged on this intranet site:
BCR’s enrichment committee meets weekly to create enrichment for the cats, based on our daily observations and research into what they do and don’t like, as the enrichment is handed out each day.
Medical records are kept on 100+ exotic cats here in this database for research and application of that research into the best possible care for our cats and others that we assist globally.
Several of our cats have daily medical charts that are updated to evaluate efficacy of treatment.
Medical and behavioral observations are researched and documented daily so that we can determine trends and best care practices. In the screen shot below is an abbreviated list of our 100 + wild cats.
Clicking on their name brings up their entire medical history and a form for our people to fill in their observations. This one is for a pair of bobcats.
The types of observations that are recorded in their daily research are on the following three screen shots. By organizing the full range of observations in this way we create a searchable database that can be both analyzed and readily queried if we, or another sanctuary who inquires, are dealing with a particular symptom or behavioral observation. The list grows as we encounter new observations.
The data gathered from our research is compiled into tables to show the average lifespan of cats at Big Cat Rescue is almost twice the norm.
Big Cat Rescue is a facility dedicated to researching wild cat care and applying that research to our daily operations. We have created many clones of this site (23 as of 2014) for other facilities to use so they have the best tools available in big cat care.