September 11, 2008
Turpentine Creek Update
Babies, babies, babies….
Click the link above to view more photos of baby Spyke.
It has been exciting around the refuge lately. May 31, two baby tiger were born to a mother tiger (Tigger G) we rescued out of Missouri. Then on August 15 the new leopard (Santania) from New York had a baby black leopard . They are all growing and seem healthy. It is strange to go so long not having any babies to raise then suddenly out of two separate rescues having to go back to bottle feeding and caring for infants. The tiger cubs are now about 30 pounds. They are hansom boys but they are definitely a handful. They seem to have the attitude of their mother and are going to be as big as their daddy (Ziggy). Ziggy is about 700 pounds. We are very thankful for everyone that has donated to help us raise these unexpected miracles. The tiger cubs are named BB King and Mack. Their diet consist of a couple pounds of ground turkey a day and Esbilac. They are consuming about 2 cases a week. They can suck down a baby bottle full of the milk replacer in about 30 seconds.
Then they are looking for more. The staff is working to train the cubs to offer their paws for trimming the claws and their tails for blood draws. This will make future trips to the veterinarian easier on the tigers and on our staff. They are doing great so far. They are also getting a little leash training. Hopefully this will make it easier for us to care for them for the next 20 years. As they grow, we will stop the leash training for safety purposes.
The leopard cub was named by some wonderful people out of Houston, TX. His name is Spyke. It is a fitting name because his claws are little spikes. He is growing and is now close to 3 pounds. He is starting to look more like a cat than like an alien baby. He just cut his teeth and he knows how to use them. Babies are a lot of work. I almost forgot how much time and money it takes to care for babies, it has been 8 years or so since our last baby.
That is good news on the diligence of our staff to make sure that no breeding happens here due to the numbers of rescue calls we receive. If we did allow breeding of our animals then it would take all of our resources to care for the babies and no rescues would be possible. So take the opportunity to come to the refuge this Fall and see these beautiful babies for yourself because they will not be little for long. Who knows when there will be babies at the refuge in the future. Make your reservations in one of our accommodations and try to stay as long as possible. You will have a totally different experience when you spend the night. Or if you stay a few days. We look forward to your visit.
Destruction at Turpentine Creek.
Major destruction has been taking place at the refuge and we are so happy. After so many years of dirt, mud, rocks and gravel, TCWR has finally built sidewalks throughout the main compound of the refuge. This should make it easier for everyone to get around. Especially wheelchairs and strollers. We have always wanted to be able to provide sidewalks but rescuing cats is the priority. It will always be the priority but due to the fact that we are open
to the public safety is also a priority. They are done and look fantastic. TCWR bid out the building of the sidewalks to contractors but everyone was so high on the labor cost that once again we turned to our dedicated staff to make sure the job got done. Though the changing of the 12 interns we had a few extra hands and took that opportunity to take on this huge job. Now we are working on replacing our safety fence around the cages. Our people rail is now 48 inches tall. This is a big relief off of our staff because watching some of the visitors will give you a heart attack. With the old people rail I have seen people lean over as far as possible to take pictures or try and pet one of the cats. Scary, these cats, as wonderful as they are, would love to have a finger, hand or anything else put into the cage. They are predators and they feel no remorse if you put your hand in there cage and get it bit off. So far we have been fortunate.
Now we are more prepared for the people that do not consider the consequence of what could happen if they get too close. We are also tearing down some of the older cages that were in need of repair. This will open up the area closest to the gift shop so it is not so crowded when you are trying to get in or out of the refuge. It is our goal to tear the majority of these old structures down and replace them with beautiful large enclosures to give the animals more room and a better life. We cannot do any of these things without your support. Thanks for your help in every way possible. Click Here to make a donation today.
Posted on September 11, 2008
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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