Yesterday marked an exciting milestone for one rescued big cat at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida! Tiger Lilly the bobcat turned 24 years young! She has lived with the good people of Big Cat Rescue since she was just a baby, and she’s called this wonderful sanctuary her home since 1995.
Here’s a brief story on Tiger Lilly and how she came to be a part of such a loving family:
Tiger Lilly was merely two months old when she arrived at Big Cat Rescue. She was rescued from a fur farm in Minnesota along with twenty-two other exotic cats, which included bobcats and lynx, in 1995. They were born destined to be harvested for their beautifully spotted belly fur. Today, Tiger Lilly is the last living of the group that she was rescued with.
The fur trade is completely ruthless. It claims the lives of more than 60,000 wild bobcats and countless commercially bred bobcats in the United States annually. Because of this, the bobcat has become THE most heavily traded wild cat species in the world.
One high quality bobcat pelt can sell for $1,400, and a full bobcat coat, which is made from as many as 70 pelts, can cost as much as $150,000. While furs have fallen out of fashion, in places such as the United States, China, Russia, and Europe, they are still considered a symbol of wealth and luxury. These countries have become the biggest importers of bobcat furs because of it.
Tiger Lilly is one of the lesser known cats at Big Cat Rescue because she is so shy.
She came to Big Cat Rescue along with Selena, Levi, Crazy Horse, and several others. Divinity bobcat was sold from the very same fur farm as a pet but ended up at Big Cat Rescue a month later than the rescue of the twenty-two cats from Tiger Lilly’s rescue. It is possible that Divinity and Tiger Lilly were litter mates. They both have silvery fur that looks nearly identical to one another. Despite looking alike, they had very different personalities. Divinity was fearless, whereas Tiger Lilly is elusive and shy. Over time, with operant conditioning, Tiger Lilly became more outgoing.
Tiger Lilly has been fortunate to have lived a nice and healthy life while in the trusted hands of those who dedicate their time to Big Cat Rescue, and she went more than 20 years before ever needing veterinary care. According to those affiliated with BCR, Tiger Lilly has needed to receive extensive medical care in these past few years. After all, 24 in bobcat years is over 100 in human years!
Here is what they’ve shared with people on their Facebook group, Big Cat Rescue Units:
“Tiger Lilly was only two months old when she arrived at the sanctuary. She has been healthy her entire life and as a result she has not needed a veterinary exam in more than 20 years. She has never been sick, had a parasite infestation (from eating frogs and lizards), been injured, or had any dental issues. Feeding time is the best time to observe the cats. Keepers are trained to observe the cats and note any limping, abnormal behavior, as well as observing the cats’ reaction to food (appetence & chewing).
In August 2016, Tiger Lilly’s mouth bothered her when she bit into meat with bones. She was brought to the Windsong Memorial hospital on property and got a full exam, x-rays, and blood work. Tiger Lilly’s blood showed signs of kidney disease, she has decreased muscle tone and her eyes are aged with cataracts. Dr. Justin removed three bad teeth. Since her dental surgery Tiger Lilly has made a full recovery and she’s back to eating her favorite foods. She’s a remarkable little old lady.”
We would like to wish this beautiful little old lady the very happiest of birthdays on her special day. If you’d like to consider sponsoring Ms. Tiger Lilly, we can tell you that every penny counts!
Here’s how you can do so should you be interested in making a difference in her life:
Sponsor Tiger Lilly Bobcat at Big Cat Rescue
Did you know you can sponsor/adopt Tiger Lilly for as little as $25.00?
All kits include the following appreciation gifts:
- A four-page color fact sheet about your chosen species
- Big Cat Rescue logo window decal
- Registration Card you use to select the cat of your choice. The card has the link to our website to see the cats and their bios
- 8×10 color photo of the cat you choose to sponsor with the cat name and your name as sponsor printed on it
If this interests you go to https://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/products/bobcat-sponsorship
A little view of the enclosure that Tiger Lilly calls her home, which wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of kind people who donate towards the Big Cat Rescue’s tireless efforts to help these big cats in need…
A special video message from the people at Big Cat Rescue, who shared with their Facebook fans their birthday video message to the “sweetest girl” at the rescue, take a look!
Isn’t she just the most precious little thing you’ve ever seen? I know I’m smitten! I’ve even had a chance to “meet” her in person at the rescue, and I assure you, she’s always just as precious in person–from any angle! Happy birthday to Tiger Lilly, from your friends at Cole and Marmalade!
REMEMBER: BIG CATS DON’T MAKE GOOD PETS; THEY BELONG IN THE WILD!
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