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Collection: Illithia

Species: African Serval (Leptailurus serval
DOB: January 1, 2009
Sex: Female
Arrival Date: December 28, 2023

Rescue Story: In 2023, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) took in 34 cats from Big Cat Rescue, an accredited Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) sanctuary in Tampa, FL. Big Cat Rescue (BCR) was founded in 1992 to safeguard the world's exotic wildcat species through a multifaceted approach with conservation efforts to protect them in captivity and their natural habitats. BCR championed the fight on Capitol Hill, which aided in passing the Big Cat Public Safety Act in December of 2022. With united missions, BCR and TCWR have collaborated in rescuing exotic animals nationally, and both are founding members of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA). BCR has been a leader in captive wildlife advocacy for over 30 years, and with the new Act passed in Congress, its mission has shifted to focus on conservation efforts in the wild. BCR approached TCWR in 2023 about relocating their remaining animals to the beautiful Ozarks. TCWR broke ground on the new habitat expansion, Freedom Field, in 2023, where BCR animals will reside. Illithia is one of the 34 cats relocated from BCR.

Original Rescue Story: Illithia was privately owned and purchased from a Missouri breeder in 2016. Her previous owners had received a Class II permit from the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission and permission from their Home Owner’s Association to own Illithia. Illithia had been four-paw declawed at the age of 12 weeks. Declawing is a painful surgery that involves removing the claws and fragments of bones of the toes of these predators. These fragments of bone serve an essential purpose: to provide support and aid in mobility as an animal ages. Without this support, joints become arthritic because of displaced pressure, forcing the animals to become flat-footed. 
Despite her declaw procedure, her previous owners provided proper veterinary care, which included preventative vaccinations, micro-chipping, and spaying Illithia. Additionally, her previous owners provided her with a raw meat diet despite the over-the-counter cat food the breeder had suggested to follow. As Illithia grew and started to look more like a full-grown apex predator, so did the concerns from her previous owner’s neighbors. Due to the widespread complaints received, Illithia’s previous owners opted out of renewing their permits and felt it would be best to place her in a reputable sanctuary. At three years old, BCR rescued Illithia from her Florida home and has enjoyed the luxury of the outdoors and fresh air. 
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  • Freedom Field T-Shirt
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  • Illithia Adoption
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    $ 150.00
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