Our First Cougar Vacation: What Went Wrong?

Published by Darron Toy on



this episode of big cat rescue is brought to you by audible go to audible podcast.com slash big cat TV to get a free audiobook download of your choice when you sign up today sassafras was the first cougar to go out into the vacation rotation we were really excited for sassafras convocation enjoyed two and half acres of an open-air enclosure here he would be provided with new tunnels platforms and smells to explore Oh keep your hand off we use a tunnel system to allow the big cats to walk to the vacation enclosure this is less stressful for the animals to walk there instead of doing any trapping or crating sometimes the tunnel can be a bit confusing especially for first timers but bribery always helps guys on a radio back in January we switched our feeding time from the evening to first thing in the morning being located in Florida it gets really hot when the big cats are hot they don't want to eat as much so by switching the time they eat made a difference in the amount that they were eating also the change in feeding time made it more compatible for our tours ever since we changed the feeding time we have had an infestation of vultures here in Florida we have two types of vultures turkey vultures and black vultures we are having issues with the black vultures which are under state protection we are talking about 20 or even 50 vultures it's more like hundreds of them these big birds roost in the evening and into the night and when we were feeding at that time they were never created a problem black vultures are more aggressive than turkey vultures and may occasionally kill and injure people's lambs calves and other livestock as you can see these vultures are causing a threat to our big cats sassafras cougar is 17 years old and has arthritis in the joints of his legs spending all this time chasing the birds off really exhausted sassafras we tried everything we could to call him back over to the tunnel so that he could walk home and be safe from the birds but he was way too hot and tired to move the last thing we wanted to do was leave sassafras in this enclosure with all those birds ganging up on him desperate times call for desperate measures since sassafras cannot jump to the back of the truck because of his arthritis Gail and Jamie were safe up there he seems hot and wore out and was panting pretty hard we wanted to provide him with water and we wanted to put a crate near him in hopes that he would go in it and we could get him out of there Wow to go we could put the water think that's enough well it's all I can really maybe I'm here she's like that's fine I'm the one that's out of the truck guys I have some bungee cords in here if you guys need them to lower it down go to let him drink yeah yeah these are coming back yeah now I gave him a bucket to hopefully drink it's right it's right in front of him but he didn't do it it's he's been completely shaded he actually went skidding through the water his whole belly and underarms are wet you get that Jason yeah we waited for sassafras all afternoon and into the evening doctor Borstein came just in case we needed a vet on hand can you see a breathing yeah after sassafras rusted out we got him back over the tunnel and back home safe and sound put it on the ground you are so good you


32 Comments

indefinate zill · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Tqvm. all animals love ๐Ÿ’– #bigCatRescue

Sk P · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Poor Sassafrass got his vaca cut short! Dang vultures…

Marla Calandra Designs · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I think it was so touching to know you wanted to give this old fella a little โ€œvacationโ€ with new smells and things to explore! A little R&R. Sorry it didnโ€™t goes as planned – I live is Sarasota FL so I know exactly what you mean by those annoying vultures.

Ive Chang · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I wonder how much the cats dream of chomping on the lush greenery just past the enclosures? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ’ญ๐Ÿ˜ป๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ˜ธ

indefinate zill · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Thanks. Is this mickey

beccabunny09 · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Bad birds

James Clouse · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I wouldve gone in there and helped him chase off those Damn vultures, he seems like a harmless sweetheart.

Katie Caufield · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I think I know how to take care of those birds* starts putting bow hunting gear on*

Sally Fair · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

how about just changing the feeding times of whoever is in the Vacation enlosure to evening when the vutures are gone?

Trehan Creek Outdoors · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Do you have a couple of young cheetahs at your sanctuary? Let them out into the open yard and they will catch a few of those buzzards for you or at least make the buzzards too uncomfortable to stay there. Heck, even a few Servals will weed out those buzzards pretty fast.

Erinydwi · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I thought his name was South of France. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Praamsaga · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I don't know where the narrator is from, but living in south Texas there are millions of turkey and black vultures and i have never heard of anyone's livestock being attacked by vultures! I think she should consult with the writer and omit the part about vultures attacking livestock. Hahahahaha! What a wing-dinger! Whew! City folks just don't know a whole lot about wild animals.

Lacey Star · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Maybe adding a motion detector sprinkler system to chase off the birds?

Jessie Mccaull · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Can you not build a top to cover

mbr715 · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

so beautiful

Autumn Swift · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

There is a amount of time something should be under state protection. When birds like that are becoming a legitimate problem, you should be allowed to do something about it.

Bella Meyer · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I'm being a leopard for Halloween

Man Hattan · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

This was like watching the Keystone Kops trying to solve a crime…

jelly puma · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY SWAMP!

Clay Robert · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Stick some young lions out there to show those bullies whatโ€™s up.

MAKE OUT HILL · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I got s cell phone ads for a a video like this ? Why lol

JKL · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

He's so handsome!

face Lenny · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Have you ever release any cougar ?

Aidan360 · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

1:15 gliches

niceguy217 · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Realize this is old (and so is Sassyfrass and I ) but at least you tried, and darn those buzzards! Also aware the role they play in taking care of dead things, but the state needs to understand how you're being over run with them too!
And also want to say a Big Well Done about the tunnel system and the work that went into making "Vacation home" place and the tunnel to allow the cats to walk to it, as you're correct, much easier on them normally, than the alternatives. As someone who has worked with big cats also, and other large animals, your work is appreciated, and even recommended to others. People aren't aware of the commitment and sacrifice it takes to care for these animals humanely, and the manpower.

Sweetie cakes · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Poor sassyfrass

SpikyTuber · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Poor guy!

Small KawaiiJelly · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I have a cat named sassyfrass! She is a Russian blue.

ElfHighMage · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

This is where I wish I could win the Powerball/Megamillions lottery. The donations I could do for projects like this.. Unfortunately, I'm up to my ears in student loan debt…

Brazilian American Patriotic Soldier · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

Shoot them with a pellet guns eventually they will get tired of getting Hit!

Larissa Adams · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

I have a question, how are ligers made? Is it because people forced them to breed?

Pat Stokes · July 26, 2019 at 11:22 am

It's amazing to see what lengths you go to to insure the comfort and safety of your cats.

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