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Big Cat Rescue: What to do with Twenty Dead Exotic Cats?

Subject: What To Do With 20 Dead Cats?
Source:  Bushnell Taxidermist, Zoning Board

On January 16th, 2006 Carole Lewis Baskin was seen at a taxidermist in Bushnell, Florida unloading "20 some" dead exotic cats. According to the taxidermist, Bo Reed, those cats salvageable were there to be skinned for their fur. This leads us to many questions.

How did these "20 some" cats die? Were their deaths reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) or the USDA? Isn't "20 some" a rather large number of cats to have die? When her USDA inspector was questioned, she said she never saw these dead cats and had no idea where they had been stored. 

What do most people do when a beloved animal dies? Do they give it a respectful burial, or do they throw it in a walk-in cooler somewhere like so much dead meat and wait for more to die so they only have to take one trip to the taxidermist?

What would a self proclaimed animal advocate want with the fur of "20 some" dead exotic cats? Did her board of directors vote to do this? Who paid for it, Baskin herself? Her corporate sponsors?  Her many unsuspecting financial donors? 

When Baskin found out that she had been discovered this statement appeared on her website:

"Our new zoning allows for a Natural History Museum so we took the remains of cats that have died over the years to be taxidermied so that these rare cats will still be able to educate future generations."

These cats were delivered to the taxidermist on January 16, 2006 and the zoning board did not meet until February 14, 2006...a month later! A call to the zoning board in February told us that the board of county commissioners would not vote to approve or disapprove the zoning changes until April 11, 2006...three (3) months after Baskin lied that she had been approved for a Natural History Museum that as of 2011 has never been built!

Even if Baskin's excuse for skinning 20 some dead cats was to educate future generations, why would she need 20 some pelts? The taxidermist said that many of them were of the same species. Wouldn't one of each be sufficient for educating future generations? Or maybe some nice high quality photos? 

When contacted for a statement, Lisa Wathne of the animal activist group PeTA said, "PeTA would never support the pelting of cats."

While some exotic animal owners have no problem with pelting a dead cat, what all of us do have a problem with are the lies told by Big Cat Rescue's CEO, Carole Lewis Baskin. 

It has been reported that Baskin has again in 2011 delivered dead cats to this same taxidermist. Over 125 cats have now died at Big Cat Rescue. No museum of natural history has ever been built.

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