Canada Lynx Shatia



Canada Lynx

5/17/93 – 4/14/09

Arrived at Big Cat Rescue 6/26/93


Shatia came to Big Cat Rescue from a game farm in Ohio. She has Cardio-Myopathy, a heart condition, so she will never be as big and beautiful as the other Canadians, but she has a lovely disposition. Although declawed on all four paws, she can climb any tree by leaping up to the first branch and then climbing like a monkey, wrapping her oversized paws around each branch. She was raised in the house and has the best house manners of any exotic we’ve known, but she was moved to a pen with two other tame Canadian Lynxes when she came into her first heat in 1995 and began, as they all do, to spray bucket loads of urine on everything. She now lives in  a huge pen next to  Dances With Wolves. The pen has a magnificent old tree as its centerpiece!

We tried introducing them back together but they didn’t get along and we had to separate them again.  They seem to like each other best as neighbors, rather than room mates.

Shatia died in her sleep at the age of 16 due to lung disease.

Game farms are places where wild animals are bred to be used and killed.  Please help us end these kinds of practices at


Shatia was “My BCR Love” I know they are all very special to all of us…but Shatia was the one who gave me so much love. There was not one day I wouldn’t go to see her first and scream to her “I LOVE YOU!!!” The love I had for her was so strong; it used to hurt, especially when she wasn’t feeling good. Even sick or tired, or for any other reason, the alarm clock would turn on in the morning, and my first thought would be, “I can’t wait to see Shatia!!!!” I would always go first thing in the morning to see her.April 14th, 2009, that day, that morning, the weather was terrible and when the sky turned all dark and it started to rain with strong winds, I got very, very scared and really thought that it was a sign that she was gone. I was afraid to go to her and find out. So, for the first time, I went to clean tigers first and, when I finished, I went from Nyla to her. That is when I saw her little body laying, in the rain, right where I used to click and treat her. Oh no… my heart stopped at that moment!!!! It really looked like she came to say the last goodbye. I felt so bad… so guilty, thinking that maybe she was waiting… and I wasn’t – nobody was there for her. I cried so much thinking that I let her down!!!! Why didn’t I go to her right away??? We quickly give ourselves pain when our beloved creatures die. We look for reasons to blame ourselves.

My good friends Daphne and Julie told me then – Shatia was ready to go, she was old and tired. Cats do not normally come out into the open areas to die; they prefer to hole themselves up, somewhere that they feel safe and happy. They felt that Shatia knew her time had come and she wanted to send me a message. They believed that maybe she came out to that spot to let me know that she trusted me and loved all the time she had spent with me doing operant conditioning there. That I was her special friend. They said, “Please don’t take her action as a negative, she was trying to send you a good message, to tell you how much she had enjoyed your time together.”

So now I think of her and smile… she is free and not suffering anymore…and my heart is always and forever with her!!!……Marie, Volunteer Senior Keeper


Shatia – gentle, quiet and very observant. I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with her when cleaning her enclosure on a number of occasions over the years. I would talk to her, and she would watch me, bright-eyed and interested in everything I was doing. Sometimes she came over to inspect my work, giving me a chance to see her true beauty close up. Canadians being my favorite Lynx species, I always spent longer with her and her neighbor, Dances, than I really should, when I was cleaning. It was a real indulgence, I know, but what a privilege to be so close to such a beautiful cat with such vivid, pale green expressive eyes!

When I last visited in early April 2009, Shatia was very old and seemed tired. I knew in my heart that it would probably be the last time we would see each other and made sure that I said a special goodbye before leaving for home. Less than a week later, she had passed away. Farewell beautiful girl, I will miss you…Daphne, Volunteer Keeper Trainee/Advocat


Is there not a sweeter face in the world than Shatia’s? Such an old, sweet, gentle soul. Those who took the time to get to know her knew how absolutely sweet she was. Such soulful eyes, and a spirit that could not be broken. Shatia was much loved and will be sorely missed by all that knew her…. Regina, Volunteer Senior Keeper


For years, it was always Dances (“Woofie”) and Shatia – the old Canada Lynx nursing home ladies, the red hat society, together forever. How strange it will be not to see them side by side now that Shatia is gone. When I took guests near their enclosures, they would have the darnedst time spotting those 2 reclusive lynx ladies. But when they did, they felt privileged.

I think the thing I loved the most about Shatia is the effect she had on the humans who connected with her. She knew how to pick them. She chose kind, patient souls to love and bond with. Those who didn’t care that she didn’t come running over to greet them, or purr for them, or sometimes even acknowledge them. They loved her for the wonderful cat that she was. She chose wisely who to leave her legacy with. How lucky are we to have shared a bit of our lives with her…….Julie, Volunteer Senior Keeper


Have you ever sat in the woods and watched the wildlife? It might have taken a while before you noticed how many creatures were stirring around you. If you had not been quiet, you would have passed them by. But once you noticed them, they made your heart jump with excitement. So, it was with Shatia.  Shatia, a Canadian Lynx, was generally quiet even though she was on the tour path. The Canadian Lynx are not as pretty as some of the other cats; however, what she may have lacked in outer beauty, she more than made up for with her inner beauty.  Shatia, like the other cats, had her favorite volunteers. Most of the time, you wouldn’t see her unless you were a favorite, and then you would get excited when she would come out to greet you. Even though she was old and her body was tired, she loved her enrichment. It would take her a few minutes to get up from under the heavy, dense foliage which kept her cool and come to see what you had left.  It was Shatia’s grace and inner landscape that had the most affect upon me. She didn’t have the WOW factor that some of the other cats have at the sanctuary. But she noticed everything and everyone that passed her way. She made a difference in my life and although she has left her physical body, her spirit remains reminding us to look beyond what the eyes can see. That which has no name is what is real. That was the essence of Shatia…Laura Lassiter, Former Volunteer Keeper
Shatia had her own way of showing her trust or affection but, once she did, she made you feel very special to be on the receiving end. I always made sure that she was part of the Expedition or Keeper tours. She would hear my voice (operant conditioning) and she would come for her treat. Even as her eyesight declined, she would trustingly come toward my voice. She was loved and will be missed……Susan, Volunteer Senior Keeper


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