Big Cat Rescue: BCR's Cats and Their Real Stories
Subject: Big Cat Rescue's Cats, Their Real Stories: Bought, Bred, Sold, Traded, Declawed, Exploited and Exhibited for Profit as Abused, Abandoned Rescues
Source: BCR Facebook, USDA Acquisition Records, WOES Safari Guide, Former Volunteers and Staff Who Were There
Carole Lewis Baskin, the CEO and marketing genius behind Tampa's Big Cat Rescue has come up with a new idea for her facebook page. Each day she is introducing us to a new resident of Big Cat Rescue. By clicking on the 'Cat of the Day' you are taken to it's biography page, with the ever present donation plea to 'Help Feed this Cat'. This reporter's question is, why would unsuspecting donors be asked or expected to feed cats that Carole Lewis Baskin bought or bred to stock her self-proclaimed sanctuary?
We thought it might be interesting to take a deeper look at the 'Cat of the Day' as well as other cats who's photos were posted to Baskin's facebook just in the month of June alone. Here is what we found.
Sassy the Caracal:
Born at BCR on 12/06/1994. Her parents are Hunter and Huntress who were bought as breeders. Send your money now to help Baskin feed this cat that she bred for her collection of cats at Big Cat Rescue.
Rusty the Caracal:
Born at BCR on 05/8/1994 of breeders Rupa and Sierra. We're told that this cat was sold for $1,000 in 1995 to Derwood Mantel of Alabama and later replaced by the current caracal of the same name. This second Rusty was also born at BCR, on 03/28/1997 of breeders Cachanga and Crackle. Cachanga was imported from Africa, along with his sister Cachinga, at 14 weeks old. Baskin writes:
"The "new" bloodlines are a valuable acquisition to help strengthen pedigrees in the U.S."
Rusty and his sister Rose grew up in Baskin's house and were used for educational programs. This Rusty wasn't sold, so push that donate button to feed him.
Bongo the Serval:
Born in 1990, Bongo was bought by Baskin at the WWAA auction in Ohio for $1,500. Baskin prefers to say she "paid his ransom" to "rescue" him, but she then bred Bongo to Cheyenne to produce Serengeti and Kalahari. Their 2007 bio does not mention these two were born at BCR, just that they "were unwanted pets after a divorce". You do not "rescue" cats from auctions and then use them to breed more cats. Reward Baskin for her lies and deceit. Click on that donate button!
Fluffy the Serval:
Born 06/16/1993, Fluffy was bought for $1,000 at a month old from Sandy Flattery of Grant's Pass, Oregon (503-476-4700) along with littermates Muffy for another $1,000 and their brother Tuffy, who's price and present whereabouts are unknown. Fluffy is one of the cats Baskin was caught lying about in the Bay News 9 interview. Fluffy's biography on the BCR website tells us that Fluffy "came as a result of the pet trade." Baskin says she has always been upfront about where her cats came from. Why then does Fluffy's biography not just say she was purchased by Baskin for breeding? Should BCR donors not have the opportunity to decide for themselves if they want to feed cats bought and bred by millionaire Baskin? Why the deceit? Have you mailed your donation for the care and feeding of Fluffy the purchased golden serval?
Shere Khan the Tiger:
Baskin's first tiger who she herself describes in her early promotional video as coming from "a loving and nurturing home". Baskin later claimed that Shere Khan was horribly neglected and abused as to beg donations for his care and feeding. This tiger was bought as a cub from Dennis Hill for $800. Abused cats raise more money than those raised in "loving and nuturing" homes. Abused or not, you are solicited to feed him.
China Doll the Tiger:
This tiger was bought by Baskin in 1995 from Deepwoods Exotic Inc., in Tennessee, as a mate for Shere Khan. Won't you please help to feed Baskin's China Doll?
Nyla the Leopard:
It's her birthday! Born on 06/06/1994, Nyla and her littermate, Simba, were bought as bottle babies from David McMillan of Tiger's Eye Productions in Ovieda, Fl. McMillan got in trouble for the sale as Baskin had no Class 1 permit at the time and purchased them illegally. Nyla is Sundari's mother. Nyla is one of many "rescued" cats that were then bred. This former breeder bought by Baskin is in need of your donations.
Sundari the Leopard:
Baskin insinuates that an abusive former owner wishing to keep Sundari as a pet had her declawed, yet Sundari (Read Bio) was born at BCR of breeders Nyla and Saber. It was Baskin herself who had this and many other cats declawed, including all the smaller cats used as "cabin cubs" for her bed and breakfast business. After the surgery Baskin passed Sundari's claws out to volunteers. Please send money for the tragic Sundari who cannot climb without her claws. See the cabin cubs at the link at the bottom of this page for additional info.
Jade and Armani, the Leopards:
Both born 06/17/1997, these two were bought as cubs from Mark McCarthy, McCarthy's Wildlife in Florida, who also sold Big Cat Rescue their Snow Leopards. Armani was used (or in Baskin's words, exploited) in commercials for Venus Swimwear as well as photo shoots for Glamour and People Magazines. Donations please for Jade and the beautiful model, Armani.
Saber the Black Leopard:
This cat was one of Baskin's breeders and is the father of Baskin's daughter's pet, Jumanji and his brother Majik. Their mother was breeder Lola. Please donate your hard earned money to support Baskin's former breeders and pets. These cats depend on you.
Jumanji the Black Leopard:
Jumanji was born at BCR on 02/23/1996 and was taught to walk on a leash by Baskin's daughter, Jamie and was often taken out in public. His parents, who were bought for breeding, are Lola and Saber. Jumanji and his brother Majik were offered for trade in the Animal Finder's Guide when they were less than a month old. Jumanji viciously attacked Mindy Harrel due to Baskin's negligence and Mindy required 451 stitches. Baskin had Jumanji "adopted" in 2009 by Chase Stockton of Panther International LLC, a software company in Clearwater, Florida for $20,000 worth of lifetime care. Wouldn't you too like to donate $20,000 to care for Baskin's personal attack cat? Was Chase Stockton told that this cat was not abused, abandoned, or rescued? Or was he led to believe that Jumanji was a "victim of the pet trade" who's abusive owner forced him to walk on a leash, as a BCR tour guide recently told her tour guests?
Raindance the Bobcat:
Raindance was bought on 05/26/1993 for $160 from Tom Kavan of Le Centre, MN. Raindance is one of the bobcat kittens Baskin claims she rescued from a fur farm, when in fact she bought them to sell. All but a few were sold but Raindance was one Baskin kept and used for breeding, selling Raindance kittens through the Animal Finder's Guide. Donate today to support Carole's breeder Raindance, or Rainy, as she is called.
Dancing With Wolves the Canadian Lynx:
This Canadian Lynx bought by Carole Baskin on 01/23/1993 for $450 from a gentleman named Mike Hughs, just passed away. Perhaps you could donate for his head stone.
Esmerelda the Serval:
Our featured cat this day was bought for $1200 on 04/22/1993 from Paula Roth of Tamarac, Florida. USDA papers show that she was then sold, so this Esmerelda was probably a replacement. Volunteers who worked there at the time said it was not unusual for a different cat to be substituted for one who was sold or died, and that Baskin's explanation was that she didn't want to change the cage signs that bore the cat's name and information. Baskin bought another serval for $1000 from Paula on this same day, a male named Cheyenne Medicine Man, who appears to have been sold for $1500 on 03/03/1995 although Baskin claims Medicine Man died from cancer. Was Medicine Man sold when Baskin discovered he had terminal cancer, or was it a replacement by the same name who died? Since this Esmerelda was not sold, won't you please pay for her care?
Nirvana the Ocelot:
Happy Birthday Nirvana! This cat born 17 years ago on 06/20/1994 was bought by Carole Lewis Baskin on 07/27/1994 for $3600 from Miami Reptiles. Millionaire Carole Lewis Baskin would like you to support this cat she paid $3600 for. She's so much smarter than you are. Why shouldn't you support her cats?
Enya the Cougar:
Enya and her littermate Fleetwood were born at BCR after Don disappeared and Baskin claimed not to be breeding. They were both bottle raised and taught to walk on leashes. Due to Baskin's negligence, Fleetwood's halter became embedded in his skin and he swallowed the buckle trying to free himself, causing medical problems requiring surgery. Enya's parents were breeders Glory and Cocoa. Glory was bought at an auction for $175 at just a few days old, and although very sickly with chronic kidney problems, Baskin greedily chose to breed her anyway. Glory raised her first litter of three (3) cubs along with Callie, who also had three cubs. Enya grew up in the house with Elijah, a male caracal kitten, also born at BCR to breeders Cachinga and Kenya. Enya was used as a "cabin cat" to entertain Baskin's bread and breakfast guests. This commercial enterprise was advertised while Baskin claimed she was a rescue and sanctuary. View the video now and then please make your check out to Carole Lewis Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue.
All the above information is taken from USDA acquisition forms filled out by Carole Lewis Baskin herself and from her early Safari Guide. All these are cats were featured on Big Cat Rescue's facebook in the month of June 2011. Let's help Big Cat Rescue feed these poor abused, neglected and abandoned cats by sharing this report with everyone who has nothing better to do with their money than to give it to a millionaire marketing genius to feed her private collection of breeders and pets. The cats are depending on you.
UPDATE: Cats mentioned on BCR's facebook after the month of June 2011.
Frosty the Serval:
Frosty was born at Big Cat Rescue in 1995 along with Purrsonality. Their parents are breeders Daisy and Mufasa. Please donate to the care of this cat who has been on display day and night for 16 years.
Zabu the White Tiger:
This is not Baskin's first white tiger as she claims. Please leave a donation for Baskin's second white tiger, Zabu.
Cherokee the Bobcat:
This cat was purchased at two months old at the WWAA Auction (tag #169) for $275.00. Featured on facebook in July. Won't you please donate to Big Cat Rescue so that they might continue to donate $50,000 a year to HSUS.
Tonga the Serval:
Tonga and his littermate Kongo were born at BCR of breeders Frosty and Nairobi. Tongo was one of the bottle-fed "Cabin Cubs" bought or bred and declawed to spend the night unsupervised in Baskin's cabins, after guests paid for their presence and signed a release. This practice was irresponsible and dangerous for both the cubs and the cabin guests. Would you allow a treasured pet to spend the night with strangers unsupervised? Baskin did not make enough money exploiting this cat as a cabin cub. Please send more.
Little Feather the Bobcat:
Featured in July was another of Baskin's breeders. Little Feather was bought on 05/16/1993 from Grady McGee for $200. Cats bought for breeding are not rescues. Little Feather's kittens were advertised for sale in the Animal Finder's Guide. Little White Dove is one of Little Feather's kittens who wasn't sold. Baskin would like for you to donate to help support her abused and abandoned cats.
Hallelujah the Cougar:
"Hal" as he is known is also featured in July. Hal was bought at a few days old on 09/20/1993 for $175 from Lolli Brothers Auction where Baskin says she "paid his ransom" to "rescue" him from being sold to an abusive owner, or God forbid, a breeder. Once Hal was too big to be Baskin's pet she used him as a breeder herself. Hal fathered two cubs in 1995, Taboo and Tamou who were then sold in 1996, one to Panggea Productions in Miami and one to Sheri Frost for $700. You do not rescue infant animals from auctions and you do not breed rescues. Please press that donate button for Hal.
Banjo the Binturong:
The binturongs were breeders. There were at least three babies born after Don Lewis disappeared in 1997. Banjo is left over from the days when Baskin wanted to become a zoo. After being turned down by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) twice because she could not meet their requirements, Baskin gave up on the idea and dumped the non-cats (lemurs, llamas, deer, etc), converted her private collection to "rescues" and concentrated on advertising and exhibiting her 16 to 22 species of exotic cats for cabin guests and tours. Make that check out for Banjo.
Windsong the Bobcat:
Windsong was Baskin's very first bobcat bought from an auction in 1992 and used for breeding. Baskin claims her non-profit rescue/sanctuary began with this kitten, but she herself will tell you that true sanctuaries or rescues do not buy, breed, or sell. Windsong kittens were advertised for sale in the Animal Finder's Guide. Although Baskin has admitted to buying "a few" cats and participating in "limited breeding", ads in the Animal Finder's Guide reveal that her business was not rescue or sanctuary, it was buying, breeding and selling exotic cats and it was much more prolific than Baskin has ever admitted. In Ad #33 you can see that Windsong, Raindance, and Little Feather all had kittens at the same time and all were for sale. Windsong passed away on 06/11/2010, but you may donate to one of Baskin's other "rescued" cats in Windsong's memory.
Majik the Black Leopard:
You will not find Jumanji's brother Majik at BCR but you will find an ad for him in the Animal Finder's Guide. Majik, born 02/23/1996 at BCR of breeders Saber and Lola, Majik was less than a month old when advertised for trade for an unrelated female (for breeding) in the March 1996 issue. Majik was born with genetic health issues and a condition called "star gazing." Many of the kittens Baskin bred and sold were sickly and as word got around she was soon unable to find a market for them. Luckily for Majik, he had a good life with former staff member Jim Moore before passing away from congenital heart problems on 02/17/2011, just days before his 15th birthday. Send money to reward Baskin for breeding these cats.
Rose the Caracal:
Rose and her brother Rusty were born at BCR of breeders Chacanga and Crackle on 03/28/1997. The siblings were hand raised and grew up in Baskin's house. They were used in educational programs at BCR. Donate to support these cats born at BCR.
Willow the Siberian Lynx:
Willow was purchased as a tiny kitten for $450 from Henri Paul Maurais of Quebec. She was one of the phony fur farm rescues. Another lynx called Sarge was also bought from Mr Mauris for $400 but it looks like he was quickly sold for $1200. You do not rescue animals from fur farms to sell them for profit, but Baskin asks you to support them.
Natasha the Siberian Lynx:
Natasha was purchased from Tom Kavan for $1200, also as a tiny kitten. Also purchased from Tom Kavan were Lynx cats, Boris for $750, Katmandu for $1000 and Stalker for 750, and bobcats, Little Dove for $160, Rain Dance for $160, and Saskwatch, price unknown. Please donate today for these cats bought, bred, or sold by Baskin.
Precious the Bobcat:
Precious was bought at Lolli Brothers Auction for $350 at about six months old. She lived in the house for a while but was never housebroken. She was bought and then bred. Running Bear is one of Precious' kittens. You do not rescue cats to breed them, unless you're Carole Lewis Baskin. Send her your donations please.
Indian Summer the Bobcat:
Indian Summer and Shiloh arrived at BCR together in 1996 from a breeder in Davie, Florida. They produced a litter of three (3) kittens on 07/24/1997. Catera was one of those kittens. Donate your hard earned money for cats Baskin bred.
Lucky the Serval:
According to page 78 of Baskin's Wildlife on Easy Street's Safari Guide, Baskin traded a "rescued" fur farm Canadian Lynx kitten for Lucky Lady, who came from Luis Bellmas of Hialeah Florida, at a couple months old in 1993. Lucky was used as a breeder and had her first litter 04/1995 and her second 06/1996. You do not rescue kittens to then trade them for kittens of another species to breed! The fur farm rescues were not rescues and the birth of BCR is a devious lie. Push that donation button for Baskin's breeder, Lucky.
Pharoah the Serval:
Pharoah was born at BCR on 04/22/1999. This was two years after Baskin claims that all the breeding stopped. Baskin was notably proud of this birth so it could not have been an accident. From her Safari Guide Baskin says, "The three White-footed servals shown below are world renowned for their unusual platinum color and wonderfully sweet temperaments. Only God (or Carole Baskin?) could produce such works of art"! Baskin talks about how the kitten was taken from his mother and raised in the house and then says, "There are only three WHITE servals in the World and all of them were born and live on Easy Street". There was actually a fourth white serval born in Canada that died as a kitten. White servals are not found in nature and there is no reason...other than greed or bragging rights...to breed them in captivity. The other two white servals are littermates Kongo and Tonga who's parents are Frosty and Nairobi.
Breeder Niarobi was one of the cats Baskin was caught lying about on the Bay News 9 expose'. While Baskin claims Nairobi was rescued from a pet shop where the owner feared a child would be bitten, an on-air call to the pet shop owner said that not a word of that was true, and that Niarobi was purchased by Baskin for $1000. The father of Kongo and Tonga, breeder Frosty, was also born at BCR, on New Year's Day 1995 along with littermate Purrsonality. Their parents were Daisy and Mufasa. Breeder Mufasa is one of over 125 cats that have died at BCR. Of breeder Daisy Baskin says, "She cost the highest price we have ever paid for a Serval, because of her reputation as a good mother". Daisy's price was $2,200 to John Aynes of Oklahoma on 06/30/1994, but another white footed serval, Sarabi was also bought for $2,200 at Lolli
Brother's Auction three (3) months later. Daisy and Mufasa were bought and bred to produce Frosty and Purrsonality. Frosty and Nairobi were bred to produce Kongo and Tonga. And then there is Pharoah. Several generations and thousands of dollars worth of cats to produce white servals. No wonder Baskin is proud! Mail your donation to BCR for Pharoah. It cost Baskin a lot of money to produce this cat for a life of exhibiting him for donations at Big Cat Rescue.
Purrsonality the Serval:
Today's featured cat is Purrsonality who was born at BCR along with littermate Frosty in 1995. Their parents were breeders Daisy and Mufasa. Won't you please donate your money to help Baskin care for Purrsonality and all the other "rescued and abandoned" cats at BCR.
Crazy Horse the Bobcat:
Today's featured cat was bought on 06/06/1995, along with at least nine other bobcat kittens, of which four were quickly sold. At the same time there were about six Canadian Lynx kittens purchased and sold. These cats were bought from Patricia Bodenstedt of Brunswick, Nebraska. (402-842-3345) You do not rescue kittens to sell them as pets. Crazy Horse was not sold, so you are asked to donate for his care at BCR.
Alexander the Bobcat:
Alexander was born at BCR in 05/1994 of breeders Nakita and Czar. In 04/1996 Alexander's mother gave birth again, to Despurrado and Ninja. Alexander was bred to Windsong to produce Windstar in 05/1998. These cats were not rescued or abandoned, but you are asked to support them by pushing that donate button.
Great Pretender The Bobcat:
Great Pretender and his littermate, Precious were bought at Lolli Brother's Auction in 1993 for $350 each. There is a "Help Feed Me Here" button on his page, followed by a note that tells us how Baskin "paid his ransom" to rescue him. The "ransom" excuse is laughable at best, but even more so when you consider that we have a whole list of cats that Baskin "ransomed" from auctions and either sold as pets, or bred. Because Pretender was not sold or bred does not mean he was rescued. If someone today were to go to an auction, buy some exotic cats, then bring them home and sell them, breed them, or worse yet ask the public to support them, do you think Carole Lewis Baskin would call these cats "rescues"? This is fraud. Contact us here for a list of the cats Baskin "ransomed" from fur farms and auctions only to then sell them at a profit or use them as breeders. And don't forget to send your donation for Baskin's ransomed cat.
Arizona the Serval:
USDA acquistion papers show three servals purchased from Pamela Morgenson of Rochelle, Virginia, in one day for a total of $5000. One of these was named Arizona. The other two were called Dakota and (looks like) Sumara. Donate at the BCR website.
Shaniqua the Jungle Cat:
Today's featured cat is Shaniqua, who was bought at Lolli Brother's Auction in 1994 for $450. Also swapped for at this auction for $200 and another Jungle Cat was her mate, Tarzan. Baskin did not "pay their ransom" to rescue them, she bought them for breeding. In her early safari guide she says, "They have been breeding for years, but have never produced any offspring." Baskin also bought other animals at the auction, including two coatimundi for $575 each and a wallaby for $800. These animals were probably sold when Baskin was turned down twice by AZA to become an accredited zoo. Please donate to care for Shaniqua.
Divinity the Bobcat:
Divinity was purchased in 1995 from a private owner at just a few weeks old and bottle raised in the house. Also purchased at the same time was an unrelated male, Takoma. Cats you buy and bottle feed are pets, they are not rescues. Please donate generously for animals bought by Carole Lewis Baskin.
Kalahari the Serval:
Today's featured cat was born at BCR along with littermate Serengeti. Their parents were breeders Cheyenne, bought for $1000 from D.C. Country Junction Zoo in Indiana in 1993 and Bongo, bought for $1500 at WWAA auction in Ohio. You do not "rescue" cats from zoos or auctions to breed them. Please reward Baskin for breeding these cats by donating your money.
Tiger Lilly the Bobcat:
Tiger Lilly was one of 17 bobcat and canadian lynx kittens bought from Patricia Bodenstedt of Brunswick, Nebraska (402-842-3345) on 06/06/1995. It looks as though the original Tiger Lilly was sold and replaced by another cat given the same name. Other bobcats purchased from Patricia Bodenstedt were Crazy Horse, Selena, Cloud Dancing, Apache, Levi, Pipsqueak, Two Toes and two unnamed, who were quickly sold. The lynx were named Picasso, Montana (sold in 1996), Mau (sold in 1995), two unnamed (which were sold) and one who died. Crazy Horse has already been counted. Won't you please open your wallet to feed Baskin's personal pets?
Cleo-Cat-Tra the Serval:
This cat was born at Big Cat Rescue. Please make a donation to Carole Lewis Baskin's Big Cat Rescue to feed one of the many, many cats she bred.
Cleo-Cat-Tra the Bobcat:
Carole Lewis Baskin loves this name for a cat; so much so that she actually gave four cats this name. Cleo the bobcat was born at BCR of breeders Windsong (who Carole "rescued" from an auction in 1993) and The Great Pretender. The serval mentioned above shares this name as did a bobcat purchased for $750 from Patricia Bodenstedt as "Pipsqueak" and renamed Cleo-Cat-Tra, and a Lynx kitten bought from Derwood Mantel in 1995 as "Vashti" for $800, then renamed Cleo-Cat-Tra before being sold for $1500 the same year to James Wilcox. I know, it gets really confusing. The point is, none of these cats were rescued. BUT you are asked to donate for the care and feeding of Baskin's Cleo-Cat-Tra(s).
Kanawha the Lynx:
There seems to be some confusion about today's featured cat. USDA acquisition forms tell us that Kanada, a female, was purchased from Unicorn Exotics in Micanopy, Florida on 09/21/1993 for $1200. The WOES Safari Guide gives the same date of purchase but lists Kanawha first as a male, but then refers to "her" as "she". Whether male or female, the point is "it" was not rescued or abandoned, Kanawha was bought. Please donate.
Serengeti the Serval:
Today's featured cat's bio tells us that Serengeti and Kalahari became unwanted pets after their owner's divorce. They were born at BCR of breeders Cheyenne and Bongo, but you should pay for their care. Push that button.
Apache the Bobcat:
Apache is the featured cat today. Apache was bought from Patricia Bondenstedt of Brunswick, Nebraska on 06/06/1995 at just four weeks old. Baskin claims he was a former pet, but he was purchased along with 17 other bobcats and lynx on the same day! Were they also former pets? Eight of these were quickly sold and one died. Most of these cats have already been counted...see Tiger Lilly.
Purr-Sistence the Ocelot:
This Ocelot was born at BCR of breeders Samantha and Oakey along with Purr-Fection. Zza Zza was born of the same parents a year later.
UPDATE: Other Cats Listed in USDA Acquisition Forms or WOES Safari Guide:
Shaquille the Black Leopard:
Shaquille, now dead, arrived at BCR on 03/04/1996. Baskin has always claimed that he was retired from a circus act in Las Vegas where he suffered severe beatings with a baseball bat and was forced to jump through flaming hoops of fire. These are all lies, but a "normal" leopard does not generate the many thousands in donations as does a cat assigned a phony abuse story. Read the real story of Shaquille here and please support Baskin's deceit and lies by donating your money in memory of Shaquille, who was never in Las Vegas, let alone a circus act.
Shera and Howling Moon, the Bobcats:
These two cats were born at BCR of breeders Shanda and Cerange'. Donate to BCR to reward their breeding.
Broken Arrow the Serval:
Baskin traded a unamed bobcat for Broken Arrow in 1993 to Virginia Spiegel of Clearwater, Florida and then sold him in 1995. Donate your money to BCR to reward them for trading and selling exotic cats and calling them rescues.
Shatia the Lynx:
Born on 05/17/1993, Shatia was purchased from Woods and Water Auction for $450 on 06/26/1993. Baskin claims this cat was rescued from a game farm, but we don't think a three week old kitten would be in any danger of being hunted. Send money.
Little Dove the Bobcat:
Little Dove was one of the phony fur farm rescues of 1993. She was bought and then sold and later bought back. You do not rescue cats to sell them...not even when you buy them back. Donate here.
Bobby "Blue" Rose the Bobcat:
This was another cat bought from a fur farm to be sold and later bought back. See above, and don't forget your donation to Baskin's abused and abandoned cats.
Aztec the Bobcat:
It looks like there were actually two cats named Aztec. One may have replaced the other when the first was sold, which happened often according to volunteers who worked there. Aztec #1 Was bought from Grady McGee and sold in 1995. Aztec #2 Baskin says was purchased from Georgia in 1994 for only $100 because he "is such an ugly, nasty cat." Please help support ugly, nasty cats.
Elsa the Bobcat:
Elsa was purchased at an auction in 1992. This must have been shortly after Baskin bought the first 56 bobcat kittens from the fur farm to sell and to breed. Donate to BCR for cats bought at auctions and fur farms.
Saskwatch the Lynx:
This is still another cat bought from a fur farm that you are asked to support with your donations. This brings our total to 116 cats so far that were bought, bred, sold, or traded to stock Carole Lewis Baskin's Big Cat Rescue. Some of these cats may have been sold and others may have died. That's immaterial. The point is that none rescued from abuse or abandonment.
Aruba the Caracal:
Aruba was purchased from an auction in 1993 as a possible breeder. In the WOES Safari Guide Baskin says she was "too fat to be exhibited in a zoo" and was on a strict diet. She also tells us, "(Aruba) has never conceived kittens and could well be older than we were originally told." Aruba is possibly the same "very fat female" on a strict diet that Baskin advertised for sale in the Animal Finder's Guide in 1995, describing her as a "proven breeder". Send money.
Candy the Caracal:
Candy was bought from an auction in 1994. Even though she was just six years old, Baskin says, "If we had not purchased her, she may have ended up in the hands of a Taxidermist due to her advanced age." Baskin was so used to buying and selling kittens she actually thought six was "advanced age". Donate here.
Kenya the Caracal:
This cat was purchased for $400 from World of Reptiles in Pennsylvania on 04/22/1995 for $400. On the same day another unnamed female caracal was purchased for $400 and sold at the WWAA auction in Ohio for $950. This brings our total of cats bought, bred, or traded to stock Baskin's Big Cat Rescue to 125 and counting. Send money.
Stormy and Breezy Asian Leopards: These two leopards are believed to have been purchased illegally from Henry Tramel of Hickory, North Carolina at two and a half months old. They were then confiscated by the Florida Wildlife Commission and given to Vernon Yates, initiating years of slander against him by Baskin.
Sebastian the Siberian Lynx:
Sebastian was bought at the WWAA auction in Delphos, Ohio for $500. He was then sold for $1000 to Jim Wilcox of Plymouth, Indiana. Sanctuaries do not sell cats.
Andre' and Kahluha, the Margays:
These two cats were bought from Jim Anderson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 06/06/1993 for $2500 each. Sanctuaries do not buy cats.
Mufasa the White Footed Serval:
Mufasa was bought at the Lolli Brother's Auction for $2000 in 1994. He has since passed away. Mafusa is the father of Frosty and has already been counted.
Tribal Princess the Serval:
This cat was born at BCR and sold to Dan and Barbara Goles of Whitehall, Montana for $2500. Sanctuaries do not sell cats.
Electra/Kita the White Siberian Tiger:
Although Carole claims that she never had a white tiger before Zabu, USDA acquisition forms show that she bought a white female in 1995 from Lawrence Jeffreys (dba Alligator Town) of High Springs, Florida. On the same day it looks as though Baskin also bought this cat's littermate, Delilah/Elke. The two names may be the one they arrived with and the one they left with, as neither seems to be at BCR today.
Burma the Clouded Leopard:
Baskin paid $5,500 to add this cat to her collection in 1996. He was bought from Jim Anderson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the WOES Safari Guide Baskin tells us, "At the 1999 Felid Tag meeting it was revealed, by a study conducted on 32 Clouded Leopards, something we have believed all along: Cats that are hand raised are much happier and less stressed in captivity".
Zazu the Asian Leopard Cat:
This cat was bought the same day as Burma for $1,750 from the same Jim Anderson who sold Baskin the Clouded Leopard.
Shalimar and Ace, the Asian/Amur Leopard Cats:
These two cats were bought from Jan Giacinto of Tarzana, California in 1995.
Draikko the Amurian Leopard Cat:
Draikko was bought from a breeder in California. Carole says of him in her WOES Safari Guide, "This cat was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, and we tried to buy him at two weeks, but the zoo refused to take him from his mother until he was much older. He will never be tame and handleable because of this, but he was raised with domestic cats and so is invaluable for breeding".
Hafas, Zulu, and Unnamed, the Bengal Cats:
These three littermates came from breeder Grace Lush of Mount Forest, Ontario. It was Baskin's plan to breed exotics with domestics to create a hybrid cat that could be sold as a pet without requiring a permit. Unnamed and Hafas were sold. Grace Lush told us, "I bought a caracal from them years ago for a pet. They also bought an Asian Leopard Cat from me to use in hybridization".
Shanghai the Asian Leopard Cat:
This is most likely the cat bought from Grace Lush above to be used for breeding hybrids. He had sired three litters before coming to BCR and was housed with Zulu, the female bengal.
Pisces and Aquarius, the Fishing Cats:
In a 2006 interview with investigative reporter Chris Hawes, Carole Lewis Baskin stated that there were no cats bought or bred after husband Don Lewis disappeared in 1997. These cats were purchased from a broker on 02/04/1998 for the purpose of breeding. Although Aquarius was permanently stunted from improper nutrition according to Baskin, she was bred to Pisces and produced at least one kitten in 2001. The birth was hidden from all but a few trusted staff members and the volunteers were lied to.
Aspen the Cougar:
Aspen was born at BCR of breeders Catrina and Hallelujah. Cats bought for breeding or born from breeders are not rescues, but please support them anyway. Millionaire Carole Lewis Baskin needs your hard earned money.
Morgan the Cougar:
You will not find Morgan at BCR. She was on a breeding loan from Barbara Hoffman of Hoffman's Exotic Endangered Cats of the World show. After producing four cubs Morgan was returned to Hoffman's who complained that she was malnourished and nothing but skin and bones.
Oakley the Ocelot:
This cat was traded/bought from Barbara Hoffman of Hoffman's Exotic Endangered Cats of the World show for a Lynx kitten and $600. Baskin had pestered the Hoffman's for some time for the cat which Baskin said they needed for their "collection". According to Barbara the Siberian Lynx she received in trade was malnourished, had a broken leg, and died within days. Over and over again we were told stories of Baskin breeding and selling sick kittens.
Catrina the Cougar:
Catrina was purchased from John Ritchie of Birmingham, Alabama for $650 and used as a breeder. According to USDA Acquistion forms prepared by Baskin, littermate Max was given away to Carol Stevenson of Gibsonton. Since Baskin is not know for giving animals away without something in return, this transaction is in doubt. Donate your money for purchased cats please.
Scratch the Cougar:
Scratch was a third cougar (along with Catrina and Max) purchased for John Ritchie on the same day for $650. Baskin noted that he was very ill and came there to die. Apparently he was not to ill to be bred to Catrina, which produced two cubs.
Toby the Cougar:
Toby (with a y) is not to be confused with Tobi (with an i), who is listed below. This cat came from Nancy Sue McPherson in Fort Myers and was sold to Sherri Frost.
Tobi the Cougar: Tobi (with an i) is still at BCR. He was purchased from Deepwoods Exotic, Inc. on Route 2 in Oneida, Tennessee on 08/18/1995, the same day as five other cougars and four cubs. The other five were Lakota, Callie, Sugar, Shadow, and Apache. Some of these cats were sold. A few were bought back later. Please open that wallet wide to help support Tobi, the abused and/or abandoned cougar and all the other cats that Baskin was unable to sell. It is your duty to support them.
Two Unnamed Cougars:
These two were bought from Michael Walz and quickly sold at the WWAA auction. Although Baskin claims she "paid their ransom to rescue unwanted cats dumped at auctions" she bred or sold many of these cats...some to auctions! She has an excuse for everything, but we would love to hear this one! Send your money to Carole Lewis Baskin to reward her lies and deceit.
Cody and Missouri, the Cougars:
These are the two cougars that Carole had her staff search for in order to film a "rescue" for Jack Hannah's TV show in 2000. Although Baskin claims to turn down up to 300 cats a year we have the actual emails she sent out to her staff to try and locate something she could "rescue" for publicity.
This brings our total of cats bought, bred, borrowed or traded to stock Baskin's Big Cat Rescue to approximately 170 and counting. 170 cats that were not rescued!
Some of these cats have died or been sold. The point is that none were rescued. You do not rescue cats to sell or breed them. If anyone finds this information mistaken, please leave a comment with the name of the cat(s) who's findings you are contesting and why. We have spent many hours researching USDA documents as well as statements by Baskin in the WOES Safari Guide and subsequent website postings and want to be sure our information is accurate to the very best of our ability. Those cats still living and on exhibit at Baskin's Big Cat Rescue tourist attraction are right now being touted as abused, abandoned or victims of the pet trade in order to part well-meaning donors from their money, while the Baskins continue to insist that "a few cats were purchased" and there was "limited breeding". This is fraud. See it here.
From the Wildlife on Easy Street (now Big Cat Rescue) Safari Guide Baskin writes, "Many people assume that because so many of the adult exotics we have were unwanted by their previous owners that they were free, but of 144 cats we own, only a few were given to us".
In this early version of "How we got started" Baskin admits that all but a few of the 144 cats she started out with were bought...and that's not counting the ones that were born there! We have shown you at least 170 bought, bred, sold, or traded. Is this what Howard Baskin refers to as "a few" in his 2008 interview for a fund-raising magazine? Is this what you'd call, "A few cats of other species were purchased in those early years, and there was a limited amount of breeding?" Is this the truth? Or is this deceit and fraud to gain your donations for animals bought and bred by Carole Lewis Baskin?
Baskin claims the cats were "rescued" because they were "Unwanted by their previous owners"? If they were for sale, the owners were obviously not wanting to keep them, but that doesn't make them rescues does it? Baskin bred and sold many cubs and kittens as well as breeding pairs and trios of adult cats. She didn't want to keep them, they were "unwanted" by Baskin, but that doesn't mean that the people who bought these cats "rescued" them does it? (See Report # 2)
In one article Baskin claims that she and then husband Don Lewis went to auctions to buy every "abused, dying, maimed" cat they could to "rescue" them, but if you look at the USDA records you see that they bought newborn kittens and young cats that could be sold or bred. We even found cats Baskin bought from one place and then sold at one of these auctions! Do you sell cats to auctions and then claim to rescue the ones you bought? Do you "pay their ransom" to "rescue" cats and kittens from auctions only to take them home and breed more cats? Once Carole had her "epiphany" and proclaimed that buying and breeding was wrong, she simply converted her breeding stock and pets to "rescues" and her Big Cat Rescue tour attraction was born.
All but a few of the 144 original cats were bought as pets or breeders or born there. They were not rescued. They were not abused. They were not abandoned. Big Cat Rescue did not begin as a rescue or a sanctuary and these cats that survived are still there, assigned stories of abuse and neglect and presented as "victims of the pet trade" or rescues.
Baskin can not place the blame for buying and breeding these cats on her dead husband, who was against anyone supporting his private collection of exotic cats. Breeder Carole Lewis Baskin decided she could make more money by becoming a non-profit "sanctuary", advertise and promote her tours (26,000 visitors in 2006 and growing by the year) and having the public support her 144 cats.
That is the only true version of, "How we got started." The true history of these cats bought and bred for many years supports what we have been telling you all along. Baskin did not rescue 56 bobcat kittens in 1993 to become a sanctuary/rescue. She incorporated in 1995 as a breeder and she has never admitted to this lie or to the extent of her breeding. Here is the link to the original articles of incorporation.
Watch cougar cubs bred and declawed for commercial use frolicking here with Baskin's cabin guests. This is another commercial enterprise that Baskin ran along with her tours, all the while claiming to be a sanctuary and rescue since 1992, as she continues to do to this day.
To support Big Cat Rescue is to support fraud.
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