Zoonoses Vs. Cat Noses by Jessica McColl

To avoid the suspense, Zoonoses is the scientific name given to a disease that is carried by animals and can be passed to humans.  As a parent, this one comes up a lot. So let’s cover the two that seem to pop up the most, ringworm and toxoplosmosis.

Ring Worm

Is not a worm. I repeat THIS IS NOT A WORM! Ring worm is a fungal skin infection [think tinea] which can be passed from infected animals to people. It can be spread through contacted with an infected animal or through contact with microscopic spores which have been shed. It is not limited to cats. Active ringworm infection presents as a rough, scaly patch of skin which is often raised. It is typically round and itchy. In animals, it causes their hair to fall out where the lesion is.

An interesting fact is that you are more likely to catch it from an infected child, than the cat. The cat is also more likely to catch it from your infected child than vice versa. Ringworm spreads rapidly amongst children as they often use public playgrounds and come into rather close contact with many other children. The lesions take 3-4 days to come out, so the children they are playing with may have an active infection with no visible outward signs.

I have come into contact with animals who have ringworm, and have not caught it.

In humans it is treated with a topical ointment applied to the lesions. In animals the vet will usually prescribe antibiotics which they will need to take for a few weeks.

Toxoplosmosis

This is a serious zoonotic disease by which a tiny organism passes it’s eggs through the cats faeces. An effected cat will often show no symptoms, an infected adult may have a slight cold at best. The larger concern is amongst pregnant women, for whom toxoplosmosis infection may have serious effects on the unborn child.

Toxoplosmosis can be passed from the cat for three weeks after it has come into contact with the organism. If your cats are indoor only cats, the risk is virually zilch. If you have lived with cats for a period of time, you are also highly unlikely to catch it.

The best way to avoid it is, would you believe, through practicing good hygiene. If you have been picking up your cats poop bare handed and are pregnant, now is the time to STOP!

Good hygiene practices include washing your hands after you pet your cat and especially before you eat. You can ask someone else to change the litter box, however you can do it yourself so long as take precautions such as wearing gloves and washing your hands thoroughly once you are done. Another nifty solution is to use litter pan liners. These are like a bag which sits inside the tray, when it is time to change the litter you simply remove the liner, it holds the contents of the tray and you come in no contact whatsoever.

Toxoplosmosis being transferred from cats is not as common as fear mongering parenting websites and the media would have you believe. The most common way to contract it is through consuming uncooked/ partially uncooked meat and unwashed fruit and vegetables. So if you are pregnant it is a good idea to be especially vigilant in your food preparation. I would also err on the side of caution and not feed my cats raw meat, if this is what you would usually do, I would slowly introduce them to a high quality, commercial wet food or cook their meat.

Now about cat noses. Don’t they just have the cutest little noses! I am going to be biased and say my Macy wins the most beautiful nose category with her Marilyn Monroe esque beauty spot.

Comment with your kitties’ cute nose – I’d love to see them!

Giveaway!

Want to win one of my ceramic cat heads?  All you need to follow my art account on Instagram: @_sarahmenzies and repost the photo below with #catsandclay. For a second entry, subscribe to my art blog by clicking here. Easy peasy!

I’m not lion… by Alison Lee Rubie

Walking peacefully through the savannahs of South Africa, Kevin Richardson (The Lion Whisperer) and Bobcat the Lion were exploring the surrounds while Gabby the Lioness ventured off on her own. Sitting in the truck with the other volunteers my attention turned to Gabby and her adventure. Gabby had found a herd of wildebeest and was stalking them as potential prey. She crept towards them before one of the herd noticed her. Startled the wildebeest galloped forward to the rest of the herd. Gabby continued to walk towards them, her intentions clear. Then without warning, the wildebeest outsmarted her (very rare!), they turned on her as a group and started to walk, almost charge towards her. Gabby thinking the situation through thought it best to retreat and returned to Kevin and Bobcat for the remainder of the walk. Her confidence was shaken a little but she continued on. It was very exciting to witness that first hand. All of Kevin’s lions are fed meat that has been prepared for them by Kevin’s team and volunteers. The meat is donated from farms around the area where animals pass away from natural causes. Kevin does not require his lions to do their own hunting and it is rare for one of his lions to go on a hunt like this so it was pretty awesome to watch even though she was unsuccessful.

Gabby on the hunt

Gabby on the hunt

Did you know that the lioness will do the majority of the hunting for the pride? The lioness will generally hunt either first thing in the morning or around dusk. They are nocturnal animals choosing to sleep during the warmth of the day and be active at night most of the time. Being careful not to expose their cubs when hunting they hide their cubs in dens before going out to hunt for them and return with food. On the menu is anything ranging from rabbit to zebra to wildebeest (if they are brave enough!) While lions are excellent hunters they are also known to be scavengers as well, electing to not exert the energy required to hunt if they find a suitable feed that requires much less energy to obtain.J The majority of the feline species are nocturnal with the exception of some cats like the cheetah that are diurnal (day time animals).

If you would like to volunteer in South Africa, I couldn’t recommend Kevin Richardson’s Sanctuary more. It is an ethical place to volunteer and the experiences you will have will last with you for a lifetime. If you would like more information you can go to their website www.lionwhisperer.co.za and click on the contact list. Let them know you heard about them through the Feline Foundation or Lobby for Lions or myself. It will be the start of an adventure. You won’t regret it.

Shelter Cat Sunday

Say meow to Erich, a gorgeous fair-haired man from Sydney's Cat Protection Society.

With the fair hair and chiselled features that would make a Viking jealous, the gorgeous Erich will have you swooning from the moment you meet him. Erich has an inquisitive nature which helps him quickly adapt to his new surroundings. He has decided that he doesn't want to become friends with any other cats and would prefer to be your one-and-only feline.

If sweet Erich is the one for you, check out his profile or call (02) 9557 4818.

Leopard Research in Namibia

I'm very excited to announce we have collared our first big cat in Africa! By that I mean that we have funded the cost of a GPS tracking collar, and together with our partner charity, N/a'an ku se Foundation in Namibia, we have put it to good use on a young leopard caught by a farmer. The information below is the report I was sent from N/a'an ku se last week. 

The research department at N/a’an ku sê Foundation received a call for assistance from a Namibian landowner, located 170km west of Windhoek, on the 29th of July. After losing several cows to what was suspected to be spotted hyenas, trap cages had been set out in an attempt to catch the offending livestock raiders. However it was not hyenas that got caught but a leopard instead.
The research team travelled to the site the day after receiving the call. Upon arrival we found a very healthy young male leopard approximately 3-4 years old. The landowner reported that he has not experienced any problems with leopard attacking his livestock and was therefore enthusiastic to help; giving permission for the leopard to be fitted with a GPS tracking collar and released immediately.
This leopard (N082) is now the 82nd large carnivore to be fitted with a tracking collar by the research team. The landowner joins the list of Namibian farmers who receive daily updates on the movements of the collared animals in a co-operative effort to understand and conserve the large carnivores of Namibia.
The researchers sincerely thank The Feline Foundation (CAT TEE MISSION) for sponsorship of the GPS unit that enabled the immediate release of this leopard. Without such external support our conflict mitigation work would not be possible.
— Stuart Munro, Research Department
Our leopard being collared

Our leopard being collared

A quick health check for our young man

A quick health check for our young man

The coolest thing for me in this whole process, apart from the fact that we gave this leopard another chance at a wild life, is that I was given the opportunity to name him. I decided on Ollie, after my own little-big cat. He will still be called N082 most of the time for research purposes, but that is also cool in itself because I was born in November of 82!! Seems like it was meant to be...

The Feline Foundation is so proud to be partnered with N/a'an ku se who are doing an amazing job in the fight to save Africa's great cats. Please help us help them by buying some merchandise or by purchasing a raffle ticket to go into the running to win an original cheetah drawing by renowned artist Nafisa. 

Shelter Cat Sunday

Meet Paris, a very dignified young lady in need of a home in QLD. She is being cared for with Animals In Need Rescue.

Paris was brought in as a stray and not claimed. Now she has had all her vet work done and is looking for her forever home. She has become very friendly and loves to be near you. She will be a great companion. Initially we thought she would be better as an only cat but she has blossomed in foster care and is now happily sharing with four other cats!

If you've always dreamed of visiting Paris, why not let her come to you instead?! Check out her online profile or get in contact via the contact sheet to find out more about this gorgeous tortie.

When Baby Makes Five - Part 2 by Jessica McColl


Oh you will hear them all when you are pregnant, every terrifying cat myth conceived in the mind and passed down through generations by a million old wives. It really gets my goat, cats end up with a one way ticket to the pound/ shelter over this.

However, I can empathise.

Some deep, biological impulse kicks in when you are pregnant, and you will do anything, absolutely anything to keep your new little progeny safe. This does not mean giving up your cat. I wish more prospective parents realised this. I have even read baby books where they suggest giving your cat to a friend to mind for the first year * face palm*.

So here are my two favourite myths debunked, from my own first hand experience.

CATS STEAL THE BABIES BREATH

Everyone reminded me of this. If I had one dollar for everytime someone said this to me, I would be writing this post on the back of a postcard from my chalet in the South of France.

I never suspected my cats to be the breath sucking demons they were pitched to be by my well meaning grandmother, however I still brought the ‘cat net’ which covered Young Miss’ bassinet.

Let me just say that my cats would have rathered been fried alive than sleep next to the unpredictable, sqauling, ticking time bomb that resided in the bassinet. They will sacrifice the warmth of another human body for peace and quiet.

Oh, and as for smelling the milk on the baby’s breath, puuhleeaase. My cats don’t drink milk. Neither should yours. It is not good for them.

JEALOUSY

Why would they be jealous, pray tell? You read PART I, I prepared them for months and months before Young Miss even arrived. Apart from having a new housemate [ which came with the added benefit of their much adored Mistress was on leave from work], the rules were still the same. They still got attention, still got spoilt, still are included, still are members of our family.

Seems obvious to me.

Now baby has turned into toddler. She simply adores the cats. Macy, being the wiser of the two keeps a safe distance. She bears no malice towards Young Miss, but is not interested in being friends just yet. She also doesn’t really like my husband, but don’t tell him that.

Mr Bean on the other hand, is thrilled right down to his little white socks to have another person to shower him with affection. We constantly reminded her to ‘be gentle,’ and ‘Bean’ [as she calls him] as has been exceptionally patient while learns, letting out the tiniest of mews to let her know what he doesn’t like. He is also thrilled at the prospect that Young Miss tries to feed him everything she has as she exclaims ‘share.’ My cats have never been allowed table scraps, trying to keep it this way is… challenging.

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Some time after her first birthday, I took Young Miss to the Cat Protection Society of NSW to meet the shelter cats. I want to instill within her a sense of compassion and stewardship, so I am starting young.

Now let’s all have a good laugh, share your best cat myth below!

The Feline Foundation Welcomes Sarah Preuss

Because of the big name change, we skipped Artist Exchange last month, but this month we're very excited to welcome Sydney based designer, mum and cat-lover Sarah Preuss. Sarah created the beautiful digital artworks below for her friend Antonia, and is also lending them to us (hoorah!) so get these awesome limited edition items while you can.

We're a few days late with this post, so we'll keep this design in the shop until mid-September. They're available now on tees, totes, mugs and phone covers in our Australian, US and EU shops, AND you can get 50% off phone covers in our US shop right now with coupon code TAKECOVER50. 

Huge thanks to Sarah for being a part of Artist Exchange! Make sure you head on over to her Etsy shop to have a little look at all her lovely things.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This is Arry, a sweet girl who was destined to a life on the streets until she was rescued by the Homeless and Abused Animal Rescue Team in Western Australia.

Arry is a shy kitten, but she can be affectionate and especially loves you at dinner time! Arry was trapped with her mum and 3 siblings from an industrial area at a very young age, she has adjusted to homelife very well but she would suit a quiet home better. Arry's best friend is her sister Dany HC-226 and if the two could be rehomed together that would be fantastic, as they have been together since birth.

If you're interested in meeting Arry (and perhaps her sister Dany too), click here to view here profile or call 08 6336 9410. 

When Baby Makes Five by Jessica McColl

I'm so excited to introduce to you the second of our new bloggers, artist, teacher, cake maker and mother of fur and fur-less babies, Sydney-based Jessica McColl!


We adopted our two rescue cats in the early days of our marriage, Macy [supermodel tuexedo] and Mr. Bean [silver tabby boof] while living in a trendy harbourside suburb of Sydney. They were referred to as our furrbabies, by us and all who encountered us. Even the landlord treated them with a sense of reverence. They were a little * ahem * spoilt.

A few years, a move to the suburbs and two pink lines later meant we would be bringing a non furry baby into the mix. We were excited, terrified, everything.

People always ask about how the preparations are going; which pram will you choose, which baby carrier, how many nappies, how many tiny outfits and mini baby booties, what will go in the hospital bag, cot or bassinet, have you painted the nursery, when will you finish work  and my personal favourite : Oh God, what will you do with the cats? [commence inward eye roll].

My first preparation, at three months pregnant, when most people didn’t even know there was a tiny fetus on board, was to prepare my furry babies. I slowly began changing the rules of the house. Here are some of the preparations I made:

1. First thing I stopped doing was allowing my two very much lap cats, to jump on laps at will. Sometimes I would let them, sometimes I wouldn’t. I hated it, but it was important for them to understand that there were times they couldn’t be on my lap. Macy took this with good grace. It is simply her nature. Mr. Bean on the other hand took much longer to get the hint. Once rejected from my lap, he began sitting across the back of the couch and draping him self over my shoulder. As you can see, that did not change once Young Miss was born.

2. The room that would become Young Miss’ nursery became off limits during the day for a few weeks. I was concerned about this the most as the cats always slept in there at night – which is why I started making it off limits during the day first. After a few weeks I made it off limits at night too, by this point they were used to the door being shut part of the time and didn’t really care once it was closed full time.

3. We got them a rather tall cat tree. I wanted them to have a high place to retreat to should they need it. Again this is an environmental change, all these changes should happen gradually and spaced well apart.

4. I tried playing them the baby noises. They cared about as much as you would imagine. I am not sure why that always gets suggested by the baby books etc. Even boofy Mr. Bean can tell the difference between the ipad and a newborn.

5. I invited young children over, to which the cats hissed and hid on each occasion. I was a little concerned about this but figured if it was still an issue when Young Miss was born we would work on it then.

6. A few weeks before Young Miss was due I organized my Sister Inlaw to come look after the cats while I was in hospital. We had a set of keys cut and gave them to her, I also showed her where the food was kept an wrote out some feeding instructions which I taped inside the cupboard door. As I suspected, once labour hits, you don’t want to be dropping off keys. It was as simple as sending her a quick text “Please feed and cuddle my cats”.

7.While I was in hospital I got my husband to bring home little outfits and receiving blankets which had Young Miss’ scent on them. He reported back that they were ‘mildly interested.’

8. When we came home from hospital I was very nervous as to how they’d react. I also had been missing them a whole lot and didn’t want them to be upset with me. I got my husband to carry Young Miss inside in her capsule so that I could greet them without them thinking I’d ditched them for someone else for the past five days.

Did they notice the capsule? Of course.

Did they care? Of course not. Their Mistress, formerly M.I.A was returned, she smelt funny and hadn’t given a good pat in an eternity.

They did look like someone had given them an electric shock when she wailed for the first time , and it did take them a few weeks to not run and hide everytime she cried.

Tune in for Part II soon…

In the meantime I would love to hear how you prepared you furry babies for your hopefully not –so-furry baby/s!

LION by Alison Lee Rubie

I'm so excited to introduce to you the first of our new bloggers, Big Feline Expert, Sydney-based Alison Lee Rubie!


I remember back to when I got my first stuffed lion toy. It was in a supermarket and I can remember that when I squeezed its belly, a roar sound came out. It was the start of my fascination with big cats. I had $4 on me and I distinctly remember going to the counter by myself to buy it with my pocket money. When the checkout lady scanned the toy it came to $4.95. I was almost heartbroken. However the lady behind us in line kindly offered me the extra $1 to buy that stuffed lion that day. I was ecstatic and I will never forget the kindness of that lady. I still have that lion today and he sits proudly on my bedside table as the beginning of my fascination. (Mind you he is now a part of a bigger pride of stuffed lions, approximately 20 in total I think!) He no longer roars but his roar is echoed in my actions and obsession since that day. I was 5 years old.

I am now 33 years old. My name is Alison Lee Rubie and Sarah has kindly asked me to write about some of my experiences with big cats. I make no claim to being an expert here on big cats but I do have some stories and can share some wisdom with you so I hope you enjoy my blog posts. If you’d like further information on lions you can follow my Facebook and Instagram page Lobby for Lions.

A little more about me. I am a volunteer zookeeper, currently volunteering at Taronga Zoo in the Primates and Ungulates division. I hold a Certificate III in Captive Animals that I obtained last year and since then I have had the privilege to travel to South Africa to work with lions, cheetahs, black leopards, servals and caracals. I am going back in October and I’m sure I’ll have plenty more stories to share but to kick us all off, here is a photo of Bobcat the Lion. Bobcat is a lion that resides at Kevin Richardson’s Kingdom Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. I took this photo while on a walk with Bobcat. By that I mean we were safe in the game truck while Kevin and Bobcat walked in front of us. It was a magical experience seeing this lion walk majestically through his natural habitat. 

The African Lion – Panthera leo – is currently listed on the IUCN Redlist as a Vulnerable species. There are four classifications of a threatened species (before they reach extinction) – Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered. While the African lion is only classified as Vulnerable the rapid decline in numbers suggests that it should fall in the Endangered classification. Numbers have declined from 300,000 to just under 20,000 in the last 20 years and this number continues to fall. But there is always hope and I hold this hope along with the Feline Foundation that through spreading awareness, not for profit organisations supporting the big cats of Africa and many passionate people around the world that we can contribute to building their numbers. We hope that you will join us in this quest by spreading the word, becoming a member of the Feline Foundation and helping to conserve the world in which we live in.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This is Bobo, and this handsome young man is looking for his forever home with Bendigo Animal Welfare and Community Services in Victoria.

Bobo is a delightful little man that will bestow heaps of love and affection on you. He has blossomed since coming into BAWCS care. Always quick to greet you, he is such a friendly boy. He loves playing and getting up to mischief with his other kitten friends but he is also just as happy having a snuggle with them. He is also quite the model, as you can see by his photos, he loves the camera!! A loving home environment will see Bobo continue to grow into a confident and happy adult cat.

If you're interested in meeting sweet Bobo, check out his online profile or call Liz on 0400 979 280. Good luck cutie!

bloggers wanted!

Are you a cat-loving blogger or writer? If so we want you! The Feline Foundation is looking an elite group of bloggers, to contribute pretty much anything kitty related, on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.

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What we’re looking for:

Arts & style editor: Home and personal style tips, arts and crafting tips, or just plain old kitty finds. Decorating, painting, photography, sewing, upcycling and just having a great eye - if those things describe you, contact us!

Little Feline expert: Do you know a lot about our domestic friends? From rescue, to introducing a new cat, to feline health and anything in between. If so we'd like to hear from you!

Big Feline expert: Calling cat big kitty enthusiasts! Have you travelled the world just to see big cats, or volunteered with them aboard? Or do you work with them at a sanctuary or zoo closer to home? Or perhaps you have a degree in wildlife behaviour or zoology? If you know a lot about big cats and how to conserve them, and you'd like to regularly write about it, please get in touch.

Cute specialist: If you're all about kitty cuteness, we need you! This project is all about love, and if you can find that love among the millions of photos and videos of kitties, then we need you!

Giveaway guru: We like to offer our feline fans the chance to win some cool kitty bits from time to time, so if you know how to secure an awesome feline find then you're the one for us!

 

If you're interested in joining our team you need to keep in mind that this is a volunteer position and you will not be paid. You will also need to become a member of the Feline Team and be willing to submit something on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis. Please email writing samples and a bit about yourself to hello@felinefoundation.org.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This SCS post is urgent. This gorgeous ginger boy is at Renbury Farm Animal Shelter in Western Sydney and is 'due' tomorrow :(

The descriptopn from the Renbury Facebook page reads: Domestic Short Hair m Ginger gorgeous affectionate natured boy who gets along well with other cats.

Please share this special boy who only has 24 hours or so. If you are interested in adopting Cobie, please call (02) 9606 6118 or email info@renbury.com.au. He is available for adoption or foster. All info here. Praying for this life to be saved!!

Also, please check out my friend Jessica's new Facebook page, she is painting cats and dogs on death row in the hopes to spread their plight. She just finished painting Cobie last night.

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Shelter Cat Sunday

Ahoy, matey! Say hello to Sailor, a very handsome chap looking for his forever home with the RSPCA in Canberra

Adorable Sailor will warm anyone's heart. This affectionate and loving boy wants nothing more than someone he can cuddle up with on a cold winter night. Sailor is quiet and settled he should adjust to his new home quickly and he is friendly with everyone he meets.Sailor has won quite a few people over already and will not take long to find his forever home.This is definitely a special boy who has so much love to give to his new family.

Sailor is 10 years young and ready to love. If you can offer him a home, check out his online profile or call Jane on (02) 6287 8100.

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Shelter Cat Sunday

This is our first SCS post here on the new blog, hoorah! Say hello to a very handsome chap by the name of Legolas! A 1 year old champagne boy looking for his forever home with Sydney's Cat Protection Society

Legolas is more than just a handsome fellow – he’s active and energetic, then once he’s worn himself out from play Legolas will be happy to stop for cuddles. His confident nature will allow Legolas to settle quickly in a new home and greet your visitors with glee. He can be a bully with other cats so could be best on his own or with a boisterous feline friend.

If you think Legolas is the one for you, check out his online profile or call CPS on (02) 9557 4818.

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The Last Blog Post at catteemission.com

The last Cat Tee Mission blog post, posted on Monday 30th June 2014:

Guys, we've made a big decision. A decision some might think risky, but a decision we feel needed to be made none the less. WE ARE CHANGING OUR NAME!!!

That's right, very shortly, Cat Tee Mission is going to become The Feline Foundation. The reason for this change is because WE have changed. When I first launched CTM, we were literally just about tees. My goal was to sell tee shirts with a message about the plight of domestic cats. Not too long after that we started selling other products too, then welcoming other artists on board to give you a whole bunch of other cool kitty merch with a wide range of designs to choose from. And then not long after that we started supporting big cats too. We also started holding online fundraisers and raffles, and I'm constantly trying to come up with ways to raise more money for cats. Something that couldn't be done through tee shirts alone. So I've been thinking about this for a long time, and we've finally gone ahead and made the decision to make the change.

We also feel that The Feline Foundation has a more professional ring to it, I wont have to spell out our web address to people anymore and it gives us a much more broad title, one we have room to move under, should we decide to expand even further and start holding events and dinner (which I would love to do). We will have a new website and logo soon, and hopefully Facebook will let me change the name of our current page too.TwitterPinterest and Instagram can all be changed at the type of a few keys, so that will happen over the coming days too.

If you're sitting here reading this thinking "but what about my tee shirt with the website on it?" never fear! catteemission.com will be re-directed to the new website and will stay that way indefinitely.

I always like to take opportunities to thank you for your support, and this is no different. THANK YOU guys, I couldn't do this without you. Make sure you're following us on FBTwitterPinterest and/or Instagram to stay up to date with all the announcements and name change-overs!

Lots of love,

Sarah xo


Design Our Logo!

We held a Design Our Logo competition before we launched our new name, and we had some brilliant entries! It was very hard to choose, but in the end we went with our amazing logo by Heidi Glasson of Hide and Create Graphic Design. Heidi captured exactly what we're all about with her design, its simple, modern, professional with an arty twist, and I especially love the back end of the kitty with her leopard spots! Congrats to Heidi and a huge thanks for giving us a bunch of different versions and our FB banner. 

The other entries we had are below, which are all amazing and you may even see one or two of them in our shop for Artist Exchange later this year too! 

Entry by Charlie Dear of charliedoodles

Entries by Sarah Preuss Design

 

Entry by Jen Moules

 

Huge thanks to everyone who expressed interest and entered our competition, we really appreciate the support!

 

Zambi Wildlife Retreat

A few weeks back I had the privilege of meeting a little rescue lion cub by the name of Sukari, who's residing at Zambi Wildlife Retreat in Western Sydney. Zambi Wildlife Retreat is the first and only animal welfare establishment in Australia that rescues, rehabilitates, re-homes and offers shelter to a wide range of species.  

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Sukari fell asleep suckling my finger. As you can tell by the look on my face I'm melting!

  From their website: "While our focus is on exotic animals needing retirement from zoo breeding programs, circus and private ownership, we also provide care and shelter to domestics, farm animals and native wildlife.  Emergency rescue is available across all species. Managed by highly qualified staff and volunteers, Zambi Wildlife Retreat ensures the health, safety and dignity to all animals in our care. LOTL Rescue, established in 2010, is the founding company of Zambi Wildlife Retreat. ZWR operates as a registered charity in NSW (Australia)."

 

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My friend Lisa (left), Sukari and my mum

  They were offering encounters with their little cub Sukari (only while she was little!) in order to raise funds to run their amazing organisation. They also hope to be open to the public soon, to raise further funds for the animals. Being a charity, they rely entirely on donations and fundraising in order to operate. Click here if you'd like to make a donation. I asked one of the keepers, Donna, to answer a few short questions about their organisation and she was happy to oblige...

 

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Belinda (one of the other people at the encounter who is keen to get involved with us here at CTM - there were 6 of us which is the maximum!) letting Sukari suckle on her finger too

 

me: Are the encounters still running? If so for how much longer?

Donna: Encounters are still available for another week only. (contact them if you'd like to meet Sukari)

me: How can people sign up for your mailing list to stay up to date about when you guys will be open to the public for special viewing etc?

Donna: You can sign up for our e-news on our Facebook page. We also sell memberships for $15.

me: What is the future for Zambi (another cub) and Sukari? Will they stay at Zambi Wildlife Retreat or are they part of a national breeding program?

Donna: The lion cubs will live their lives out together at ZWR.

me: Will you guys continue to breed lion cubs? If so for what reason?

Donna: We have no plans to breed cubs. We are a retreat for retired animals from the zoo breeding programs, circus, private ownership etc.

me: Are you guys fully funded by donations? How can people donate?

Donna: We are solely donation based. We are a registered charity. People can donate on our FB page, website or by mail. Click here for more info on how to donate.

 

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A pretty amazing place huh?!

 

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And just a public announcement: While I wouldn't normally recommend cuddling lions cubs if you're travelling to places in South Africa for example, that are often guises for the awful canned hunting industry, there are obviously times when this does not apply (no such thing as canned hunting in Australia!) and not every single sanctuary in Southern Africa that has cubs is in fact involved in canned hunting. When I volunteered at Harnas in Namibia in 2012 they had a cheetah cub and have had lions cubs in the past. All the animals at their sanctuary have come to them as orphans, because sadly, big cats and other predators are often shot in places like Namibia if the farm owners feel they are a threat to their livestock. This is a problem in itself, but in most cases they contact Harnas, or their sister organisation and our partner, Nannkuse, to hand over any orphans left behind. If places like Harnas, Naankuse, and others, didn't exist, nor would these animals. You can usually tell the good organisations apart from the more sinister ones, by the fact that they don't breed any animals, which Harnas and Naankuse do not, and if they have a release-into-the-wild program, which both Harnas and Naankuse do. That's my two cents on that serious issue!

 

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If you can help out Zambi Wildlife Retreat and the amazing things they're doing for all animals, please check out their website for ways you can help.

 

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