Feline Rescue

Kitten Development & Care

Big Cats Getting Live Prey – FAQ Friday

Big Cats Getting Live Prey – FAQ Friday

Hey everyone and thank you for tuning into one of Big Cat Rescue’s Fact Friday! Today I’m going to tell you three reasons why we don’t give our big cats live prey. Number one; Our tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, and other wild cats will never be suitable for release into the wild. Therefore there is no reason to teach them or force them to hunt for their own food. Number two; The live prey could easily escape through the enclosures through the cage wire. Now our big cats are left without a meal and we’ll have a bunch of pests running around. Number three; These big cats were taken from their mothers shortly after birth and never learned that they hunt, kill and eat their prey. Our native wildlife enter in and out of the enclosures every single day. More often times than not the big cats just ignore them and leave them alone but sometimes they’re interested and want to play with them until they accidentally kill them. There’s no need to put animals through that kind of torture. Then they leave the dead animal fully intact for our keepers to pick up. Eww. Not our favorite job! That’s all for this time so stay tuned for next times Fact Friday. EDITED-CRM-DQ

100 thoughts on “Big Cats Getting Live Prey – FAQ Friday

  • If I was several hundred pounds of killing machine, I would ignore the ducks too. Those things are scary.

  • Just like a house cat who brings home a variety of uneaten dead animals. I still think they're expecting the human to skin, clean and cook their catch.
    I imagine with so many of the cats being older it would not only be nearly impossible to teach them to hunt and kill their food, it would be too hard for some. In addition many have health issues compounding the problem. Then there would be stress and unrest, as some would be able to hunt and the cats near them would have instinct triggered but would not be able to act. Perhaps it would make them more aggressive to the humans who care for them and other cats in their enclosure.
     The idea sounds good, allowing the cats a more natural life, but in the end it would be a gigantic mess.

  • 0:45 that's just a lizard XD

    It's a cute lizard, but still

    Just a 🦎 lizard



    Don't let mr lizard drown in the comments 🦎

  • I always thought it was funny how the ducks at the zoo were never concerned about being three feet away from a leopard.

  • That's interesting. You would think they would have that natural animal instinct to hunt small animals like those ducks and turtles. Because when you keepers go up to them next to the cages they try to attack you.

  • Oohohoho, Tiguuur!
    Oh look at that Cougar muzzle!

    But yeah, I don't see much point with giving them live prey. After all, they're at retirement home!
    Lakeside view, taking a bath, and then getting served a tasty meal or maybe even a ice meat-cream-ice by beautiful wommim and mennin.
    Perfect life for a Tigur! And the occasional Duck that says Quack is just a fun neighbor.

  • didn't you feed those bobcat kittens live mice? I guess that's a special case they were being released back into the wild presumably…

  • Hi! Ooh, first comment! A question actually – For the cats who DID catch a stray animal, did they exhibit any wild tendencies to actually eat it or just play with it? Even in the wild, some cats have been known to play with their food first then eventually eat…

  • Aww, the tiger swimming with the ducks, so cute. I know that some animals have to die for other animals to live but I for one am glad not to see goats and chickens being let into the enclosures to be torn apart. 🙂

  • I believe I heard mention on the Nova update video that there is a system to feed them live prey to the bobcats though to help rehabilitate them. Could you, in a video or just as comment, elaborate on that please?

  • Not to mention the risk of danger to the cats if the prey fights back, depending on what is given. These cats are clearly given enough enrichment to not need the 'thrill of the chase'.

  • if they don't now that they kill why they wanted to attack you when you turned your back to them? huh?

  • Thank you for the info. Since they do live their lives in a contained area and do not have to hunt for food, I think it's neat that they live in harmony with the wildlife, pretty much. <3

  • Biggest reasons: you do not want the big cats to understand what killing is, plus it is incredibly inhumane to subject the prey animal to such terror and pain. The only time live feeding is ever justified is if you are going to release the animal back into the wild and it needs to learn how to hunt. What they do in Asian zoos may be enriching for the tigers but is incredibly barbaric, not to mention dangerous because now you have turned all your animals into ferocious hunters. Worst of all the Asian public seems to enjoy watching Tigers tear live chickens, turkeys, and cattle to pieces. What sort of society are you promoting when you treat Roman like games with intense animal violence and suffering as normal, exciting and fun? So, so many reasons not to feed live…….

  • "But sometimes they get interested and wanna play with them until the accidently kill them." Uh, that's…interesting.

  • I could never work at Big Cat Rescue because I'd be that idiot who couldn't resist petting the kitties. :/

  • hey! i was curious about this very same thing, thanks for posting the vid. i have a question: do you have biographies of the cats on the website? i looked and looked and couldnt find anythign. also, like for the enrichment stuff, do you encourage them to do laps?

  • You guys are wonderful! I love what you do. And you have one of the absolute coolest jobs on the planet!

  • what do you guys do with the sadly passed on cats bodies? do you guys bury them or send them off somewhere?

  • Could another reason be that there is no need to make elderly arthritis battling cats work for their own food when they already have been rescued to come to BCR Heaven to live out their lives in comfort and joy?

  • I love the turtle. "In my shell…and try to flee, nope! back in the shell."
    I also never really considered the whole "mammals are taught to hunt by their parents" and therefore these big cats wouldn't know how to hunt. I guess I'm more used to reptiles that instinctively "hunt" their food even though it's dead (the snakes I had still retracted and pounced on the dead mice I'd feed them).

  • You guys are truly amazing, love what you do for the animals, keep it up, and never lose passion or focus for your "job"

  • Makes perfect sense, but a lot of people may not realize how much damage captivity does to a wild animal.

  • "they never learn to hunt and kill their prey"
    lol what are you talking about. they dont learn, they are already taught. it is in their dna.

  • I read in the news once that at a Russian Zoo they fed their Tiger a live Goat but the Tiger and Goat became friends xD

  • They are not telling you about the day one 'TIGER" actually killed one of those black birds and walked away with it,in it's mouth. Chuckles. Just watch all of the videos. Eventually you will come upon it.

  • These reasons do make sense for the cats who are permanent residents at the sanctuary, but what about all the ones that are brought into you that you intend to release back into the wild? Like many of the bobcats you guys have had? Those that are brought in orphaned or injured, like Hope the bobcat that was orphaned? You guys had live mice released into her enclosure for her to hunt. Were there any problems there? Don't you guys do any of that stuff anymore, at least for the ones that are intended to stay wild?

  • I have been recently watching your videos and I LOVE them! I Want to see a video where you show us all of the cats but I'm sure that will be alot of work! Anyways I just wanted to say keep up the good work! (p.s I subscribed)

  • bullshit reasons. these animals have an instinct for hunting they dont need to be taught. Just say its to much work for us.

  • Pretty sure you don't need to force a cat to hunt, lol.
    These guys may not know how to hunt and ignore the native wildlife because they're well-fed and happy, but that doesn't mean you'll have to force them to hunt if you decided to feed them live prey.

    But I get it, I've never seen the point of feeding live prey to captive predators. Hunting is perfectly fine in the wild, that's nature, that's how it's supposed to be, but putting living prey animals through that kind of trauma on purpose in captivity is just unnecessary.

  • Interesting I always want to suggest a remote control toy for them big cats. Maybe that can be also used for security purposes too.

  • If there was Queen Nikita playing with that live turtle, I would hate to see the video on how that encounter turned out.

  • What goes into determining if an animal is suitable for reintroduction into wild life? They are exactly that “wild” animals. You can’t justify an animal not suitable for wildlife, when evolution has created, and ingrained into them, the necessary skills for survival. There is always two sides to a coin, and saying the cats don’t eat their kill is kinda invalid. Why would they ‘want’ to eat a kill, when they can get bigger, fatter, meals by doing nothing. I know some of the cats are actually physically handicapped to have a successful reintroduction, but that can’t be true for all of the cats. Seems like you just want to keep the cats for show, or your own personal reasons, but that’s just my opinion.

  • I believe that even if they do get live prey that are too big to escape the enclosure, it won't suddenly make them expert hunters, they just learned to kill something that can't run in the first place, they don't really get any experience like that. This leaves them in a terrible middle spot where they can't be handled by humans, but can't survive in the wild either.

  • They r not meant to be like this. Why don't we understand. There's a reason God made them like this to maintain natural food and life cycle and not to be a pet to humans. Common

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