Sunday, March 20, 2011

Big Cat Rescue Update

Just over a week ago, I wrote a post about Big Cat Rescue (BCR) using live, domestic rabbits as prey for its bobcat kittens. At that time, I posted a YouTube link that showed the practice in action. The video showed a tame rabbit approaching a bobcat, and the bobcat proceeding to chase the rabbit around its enclosure and finally killing it.

This video incensed many rabbit advocates, who began a campaign on facebook asking BCR to discontinue its use of live rabbits as prey. A series of emotionally charged events unfolded over the next few days with many rabbit advocates posting on BCR's facebook page, and many BCR supporters feeling like their organization was under attack.

One local news station posted the following video regarding this issue:

BCR has since removed the original video from YouTube, as well as any related photographs and wall posts from its facebook page. However, the organization continues to maintain that feeding live prey is necessary for the rehabilitation of its bobcat kittens.

Gainesville Rabbit Rescue (GRR) has spoken with a veterinarian who does wildlife rehabilitation in Florida. The veterinarian informed GRR that his organization never uses live prey because bobcats are born instinctively knowing how to hunt.

As in my previous post, I am asking that the staff of BCR meet with GRR to discuss this issue and reach a mutually acceptable solution. I am not a staff member, board member or volunteer of either of these organizations - just a concerned animal lover.


  1. I can see where this would be very upsetting! If GRR is correct, in that the cats instinctively know their prey, then BCR should most definitely consider alternatives. Isn't it true that animals that are hand-fed lose their instincts? BCR's intentions seem sincere, though; hope this is resolved soon!

  2. I can understand both sides to dis debate. I do, however, hate to see any animal used as live bait. There has to be another way!

  3. fanks Kim & Mario - dis issue is so tough because it's two passionate groups fighting for what dey believe is right. as a bunny myself, i don't like to see other bunnies used as food - but if it is necessary, i would prefer dey find a more humane way to do it. as mom has said before, dis is not an issue dat can be resolved by da supporters of both groups fighting it out over da internet.

  4. I find the photo extremely disturbing....thanks for bringing this to our attention

  5. Caren - it's from da original video dat was posted on YouTube. i'm sorry it's so disturbing, but mom wanted people to know why da rabbit advocates are so upset. fank you for your support.

  6. Please stop by the show this Sunday 4/15/12 at 12 noon (Eastern) for a discussion on the Live feeding of domestic rabbits to bobcats at in rehab.

    With Special call in quest:
    Exotics Animal Educator - Vera Newberry Chaples
    and a personal message about live feeds from the Executive Director of The National Bobcat Rescue and Research Foundation and other Experts in Rehab and Biology.