2016 FunCation


We have been inundated with people griping about the “lack of trees” at the sanctuary where Big Cat Rescue is sending our cats. I think it’s mostly an excuse to be trash talking us because some people are mad that they can’t come to Florida for vacation and see their favorite cats here any more. No one who knows us, or who knows Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge would be making such baseless accusations as to say our cats won’t have shade or pools or platforms because if they knew us, they would know that neither organization will stop until they do.

Check out this personal video from Carole Baskin about the “lack of trees”.

It’s truly disingenuous for you to pretend you care about the cats if you aren’t willing to accept the fact that this move is what’s best for the cats. The fact of the matter is that some of the improvements take time and we have to make due until we reach our goals. If you want to speed it up, by investing tens of thousands yourself, be our guest.

We laid out the plans at BigCatRescue.org/moving so, if you didn’t read it before, please do so now. We have funded 1.8 million dollars to build cages at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge that are larger than our cats currently have at Big Cat Rescue. The concrete pads you see in their new space is just their den area where they can be fed or shut out of their 1/2 acre yards during maintenance.

We’ve paid for 60+ good size trees to be transplanted there, but after this brutal summer several of them died and we will have to wait until winter to successfully replace them. These trees are all much larger than the ones we planted here in the photos below and you know how shady it is now. Look around all the other cages at TCWR and you will see they have lots of shady trees, after the construction work was all done and a little time passed.

As for the pools, all you have to do is check in to their LIVE Facebook feeds, check out their social media, or go see for yourself. We have paid for all of our tigers to have pools, but it doesn’t make sense to spend time building those as we head into cooler weather when they won’t use them, since there is so much more pressing work to do.

Take a trip down memory lane to see how barren Big Cat Rescue was until we brought in trees. Mouse over each to see the year.

Before we had trees, we had shade cloth. We may have to do that in Arkansas for the small cats but the big cats just got expensive, huge canopies over their roofed den areas for that purpose.

And just in case you want to revel in “the old days” at Big Cat Rescue, this is what our cages looked like in 1995 and 1996. We have never stopped improving the conditions for our cats and the same is true for Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. If you are really concerned, please do some research, and then either donate to help, or come volunteer to get the work done. Complaining, and having us have to take the time to deal with whiners, just slows down the progress.

When these were built and used they were the largest in the sanctuary world. They were set on top of concrete U’s that made a base of approximately 10-12 feet wide and 16-24 feet deep, but were divided in half so that each cat had appx. 5-6 feet by 16-24 feet of space. The dens were discarded, wooden orange crates until we bought the tree stump dens. They were apps. 5-7 feet high inside and set about 2.5 feet off the ground. These were state of the art and far exceeded all of the state and federal standards of the time but we continued improving their cage space and construction and will continue to do so.

Similar Posts


  1. Thank you all for the years of blood sweat, tears and commitment you guys have put into these precious ones. I’m excited to see their enjoying exploring the new spaces.
    I have only done TNR and domestic cat rescue but even on the small scale it can be heart wrenching.
    I’ll be praying.

  2. Excellent comment ! Things take time, especially to grow, not to mention everything is so expensive. So as stated before, DONATE if you want things to happen quicker. Great work everyone ! So much thought and planning has gone into this move.

  3. Thank you for this. I, for one, am very tired of all the whining and complaining. Between BCR and TCWR these cats are well loved and very well taken care of. I am looking forward to the watching the progress.

  4. We are so proud of all the work Big Cat Rescue has accomplished through the years. We visited BCR in the beginning years and we visited the day before the first Tigers were moved to Turpentine Creek. We witnessed the growth and care with trees and shade and cage sizes and we witnessed the incredible care, hard work, dedication, hope, healing and love of the Big Cats by Carol Baskin and all at BCR. We consider BCR a Tampa Treasure and know that Turpentine Creek with Big Cat Rescue will and still cares for their animals 110%! As is often said….the best is yet to come….and it is already wonderful now! Encourage and support all who work and volunteer with and for the big cats and rescued animals, they deserve it! ❤

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *