Cougars at Big Cat Rescue


hear big cats
Female Cougar
DOB 3/1/91
Rescued 8/18/95

Died 10/22/15 at the old, old age of 24

Cougar-TobiShe is the perfect example of why it never works out to make a pet of a wild cat.  In her case there was a husband and wife who had lots of money, larger than usual cages and who fed their cats a decent diet.

But all in the same month the wife became pregnant and the husband discovered that he was terminally ill.  With two tigers and eight cougars as pets, where were they going to find forever homes for their animals?  We were able to take one tiger and all 8 cougars, but big rescues like that are very expensive and include taking on a lifetime commitment to the cats.  They did find another home for their male tiger, but good sanctuaries are all full and over flowing, so it is very rare that big cats can be rescued by places that don’t implode shortly thereafter.

Tobi is a very small and secretive cat, and is also very agile and active. She loves to hide in the palmetto of her cat-a-tat until a person has just passed and then rushes out to surprise them from behind. Tobi lives in an enclosure next to Hal, who is always vying for her attention.


Tributes to Tobi Cougar


Susan Bass: It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beautiful cougar Tobi. We rescued her when she was 4 years old and she lived at Big Cat Rescue for the next 20 years. She was an incredibly ancient 24 years old when she crossed the rainbow bridge on October 22.

Tobi was the perfect example of why it never works out to try to make a wild cat a pet. In her case, she was owned by a couple who had plenty of money, kept her in a larger than usual cage and fed her a decent diet. But during the same month in 1995, the wife became pregnant and the husband discovered he was terminally ill. All of their cats — 2 tigers and 8 cougars — needed new homes. We were able to take one of the tigers and all 8 cougars, including Tobi. It was a huge financial commitment for us to accept 9 cats at once for lifetime care. The remaining tiger did find a good home too.

Tobi was a small secretive cat who was very agile and active throughout her life.
This recollection by Carole sums up our girl best. “Tobi would always play the same game with me. Whenever I called her, she would come out of her den breathing fire and threats. But then she’d fall against the side of the cage, rubbing and purring so loudly it vibrated my soul.”

Run free Tobi. We will never forget you!

Sharon Henry Nov 2, 2015
I’ve heard stories about Tobi’s younger days and how she could be a little intimidating at times. I never knew that side of her. The Tobi that I came to know and love was a very sweet and very old cougar who could still vibrate one’s soul when she purred. 🙂
Miss you terribly old girl.

Carole Baskin Nov 2, 2015
Tobi would always play the same little game. Whenever I called her, to come out of her den, she would come out, breathing fire and threats, and then fall against the cage wall, rubbing and purring so loudly that it vibrated my soul.





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  • Show Comments (5)

  • Terri Sue Taylor

    Tobi is a beautiful cat. God bless you for taking such good care of her and all the other big cats you have. >^,,^<

  • Hunter Starr

    happy birthday pretty.

  • Jon Peterson

    it is sad that these Cats can not be released back into the wild , that is where they belong not in cages. But I "get it" they have had to much human exposure they would not last very long in the wild but it is where they belong, Keep doing good work and maybe we can bring back most of the big cats that on are on the brink of being gone for ever.

  • Cristina Plimpton

    gorgeous cougar….very dignified LadyCat.

  • Amy McKinley

    There's a wild cougar that lives on about 500 acres of state land that butts up to my back yard. It was scary at first, but now I find myself wanting to protect it during hunting season. It's an amazing thing to see them living in the wild.

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