1990 - 4/22/04
Sierra came to Big Cat Rescue on 5/1/93 from an Alabama Research Center. It is disturbing to contemplate what type of research would possibly be needed of African cats in the U.S. and why it made Sierra so fearful of people. He came with a general dislike for humans, but after two years he mellowed a lot. He will even come take food from our hands (glove and all). Sierra died on 4/22/04 from old age issues in his sleep next to his mate, Rupa.
TRIBUTES FOR SIERRA
Sierra loved Rupa dearly, but really disliked humans. Carolyne Clendenin and I used to sit with Rupa and Sierra quite a bit. I used to read to them but found that it seemed to stress Sierra out if I carried anything in my hands. So, I would sit on the ground and just talk nonsense to both of them. For a long time, Sierra would growl at me. But, he got to the point where he would just sit and look at me, not growling but still not trusting. Rupa would come over to the side of the enclosure and rub on the fence and talk to us and then just lay down to listen to us talking. Sierra never did learn to trust any of us, but I felt honored when he would just sit and listen without growling. After we lost Sierra, Rupa was still her sweet self, I remember going into her enclosure to pull the burr plants with Anissa and Carolyne and she came over to us and Anissa started saying “Oh no, here she comes, watch out.” She just came near us, walked around us and went and laid back down, talking the whole time. I know that Carolyne and I really miss the conversations with Rupa and her voice calling to us when we were near. She truly was the sweetest girl”….Becky, Senior Volunteer Keeper
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