Today at Big Cat Rescue was full of
Foster Kittens and Storm Preparation
Play the Ad for the Hamburger Mary's Event to Benefit Big Cat Rescue on July 1 and then RSVP to 813 241-MARY
Lovey Bobcat gets her stitches out and moves back outside, next to Thurston AKA Mr Howell
The cats are hunker down in their dens to ride out Tropical Storm Andrea
Can you see Tommie Girl the Bobcat in this photo?
Mr E takes to his fort for watching out for Tropical Storm Andrea
Shaniqua is too old and frail to survive Tropical Storm Andrea so we bring her into the on site Cat Hospital until it passes.
To the County Commissioners
Big Cat Rescue is the world’s largest accredited sanctuary that is dedicated entirely to exotic cats, such as lions, tigers, leopards and other wild cats. We began in 1992 with the rescue of a single bobcat and now have about 100 large felines representing many species.
Our mission is twofold: Caring for cats and Ending the Trade
One thing we have learned in our twenty years of rescuing big cats is that there is no way to humanely regulate the private possession of exotic animals. There are far too few inspectors and a patchwork of laws that result in rampant abuse.
Circus acts know that their days are limited. Many other places, including the China, England, Sweden, Austria, Costa Rica, India, Finland, Bolivia, Greece, Holland, Bogata, Columbia, Singapore and 55 U.S. communities have all banned or restricted the utilization of big cats in circuses. For the past two years there has been federal legislation pending to ban the use of big cats and elephants in the U.S. Bills such as these usually pass unanimously, if they make it to the floor for a vote.
You can help bring everyone else out of the dark ages by taking a stand against animal abuse.
And you can be sure that circus life IS abusive to animals. While they all say that they only use love and positive reinforcement, I can assure you that if the “show must go on” that is not how the animals are trained. We do positive operant training with our 105 cats for medical purposes, but if a cat doesn’t want to do it, we don’t make them. In fact, you can't make them, without using punishment. There are a lot of times when the cat would rather sleep than get treats. That kind of training helps us when the cats need to get shots or flea treatment but is not powerful enough to make them jump through hoops.
There is nothing educational about having wild animals treated like stage props. It defies everything that is true about their nature. These cats are bred, from inbred and crossbred stock that serves no conservation value. The cubs are ripped from their moms and forced to depend on their human handlers for every meal. If you see a big cat acting solicitous to his keeper, it is not because the cat loves the keeper, but because the cat learns quickly that they are at the absolute mercy of these often unkind humans.
I have been around enough circus folk to know that they know what the public wants to hear. They know they can’t openly beat or threaten the animals in front of the patrons, so all of the beating, shocking, starving and manipulation happens behind closed doors. They carry visual reminders to make the animals think they are still in possession of their weapons. With elephants it is the bullhook. With big cats is it the whip or a short stick. The animals cannot tell these from the shock sticks that are used to stun them when they perform poorly. Trainers typically will tie colorful streamers around the cattle prods so that when the cat sees the same shape covered in streamers in the ring, they will respond submissively. Sometimes the cattle prods are even shoved down their throats and set off to deter the cats from trying to bite.
They don’t call them carnies, shysters or hucksters for nothing. They are masters of deception and illusion and if they have convinced you that the animals are well treated, you are not the first that they have fooled. Please don’t be a party to animals in the circus any longer.
Bolivia Gets It. Do you?