Wildlife Waystation

Big Cat Rescuers Are on The Way to the Sanctuary with Precious California Cargo!

September 12, 2019

A team of Big Cat Rescuers led by Big Cat Rescue President Jamie Veronica has traveled all the way to California to rescue four exotic cats from the now-shuttered Wildlife Waystation sanctuary. The team flew to California, rented a large van and purchased transport crates and other supplies, loaded up their precious cargo and is now on the road for the 2500-mile journey home to Tampa!  Here is what we know about our four new charges as they make their way to their forever home:

Shiloh Bobcat

Shiloh is a male bobcat approximately 10 years old.

Philmo Bobcat

Philmo is a three-year-old male bobcat.

Tom Tom Bobcat

Tom Tom is a 19-year-old female bobcat.

Mouser Savannah Cat

Mouser is a 15-year-old male Savannah cat.

On the Wildlife Waystation website, Shiloh is described as a desert bobcat originally from Arizona; Wildlife Waystation staff often took him to offsite events. Philmo was a tiny, malnourished kitten apparently trying to survive alone when he was found by a homeowner who took him in as a pet. Philmo arrived at Wildlife Waystation at about 10 weeks old after the homeowner realized he was a wild cat, but it was too late to rehabilitate him as he had become accustomed to people. The only information we have about Tom Tom is that she is a feisty old girl. And Mouser the Savannah cat is a former pet who was declawed. Mouser achieved somewhat of a celebrity status at Wildlife Waystation after appearing on an Animal Planet television program.

Here in Tampa, volunteers and interns are readying four spacious, natural enclosures with big dens, platforms to climb, and lots of toys for the new cats in advance of their arrival. We are all very excited to meet them!

Some background: In August 2019 the board of directors of California sanctuary Wildlife Waystation voted to shut down the 43-year-old facility. In recent years the aging sanctuary struggled to survive after extensive damage in 2017 from the Creek Fire and flooding in 2019. Additionally, the founder left her position earlier this year. Now hundreds of exotic animals including big cats, bears, and chimpanzees need new homes. The California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife is working with numerous sanctuaries to place the animals.

This has been a highly rewarding but very expensive rescue for us. We have already incurred costs for the flights to get our team to California, hotel rooms for the first night, food, renting the van and purchasing gas during the 2500-mile trip, buying bedding for the pet carriers, water bowls, meat for the cats, etc. And then, of course, there will be the future costs of lifetime care for these cats. If you’d like to donate toward the rescue of these four new cats, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for always stepping up and allowing us to continue to rescue exotic cats in need!

DONATE HERE: https://bigcatrescue.salsalabs.org/Rescue/index.html

UPDATE September 13, 2019

Rescuers checking in from the road with 3 bobcats and a Savannah cat! Rescue team flew to California and rented a van to bring 4 rescued exotic cats back to Florida.

UPDATE September 14, 2019, They Have Arrived!

New cats! At 6 am the rescue team, Jamie Veronica, Afton Tasler, Karma Hurworth, and Maureen Calderon completed their two-day drive from California. Shiloh Bobcat (10+ y/o) is in Apollo’s old cage. He’s locked in the back so the Holleys can fix his ramp. He appears to have a bad left knee. Philmo Bobcat (3 y/o) is in Nabisco’s cage (Nabisco moved to Mrs. Claws’ old cage), Tom Tom Bobcat (19 y/o) is in the lakeside section of Lovey’s cage and Mouser Savannah Cat (15 y/o) is in the 2 x 4 section of Beacher’s old cage until we are sure the 4 x 4 wire will hold him.

The rescue team has made it safely back to the sanctuary with their precious cargo!

Welcome home to the four new cats and the rescue crew! Watch as they are released into their new enclosures.

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