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FWC 3/28/12 – Response

April 22, 2012 in Admin

From: Menendez, Sabrina <sabrina.menendez@MyFWC.com>

Date: Thursday, June 7, 2012, 2:12 PM

Good afternoon Linda,

Please see updates in “green.”

Thanks…Sabrina Menendez

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Attention: Sabrina Manendez

Can you please provide updates regarding the two following complaints on Big Cat Rescue Tampa?

FWC Jason Marlow was previously in charge of the BCR complaints but has not responded to many emails sent to him requesting updates over the last few months.
Emails have also been sent to the FWC website attn:(Nick Wiley) as well as emails to the Inspector Generals office of FWC, all with no responses.   I am not understanding why the emails and questions are being ignored.

1.  Complaint filed on 2/26/2012, wildlife undergoing rehab or medical treatment shall not be exhibited, but were displayed on BCR Hospital Live Stream online.  A case number was not given and no updates have been provided.  Please advise.

The case number is as follows and has been administratively closed per the Region: FWSW12OFF2758.  The findings of the complaint was that the bobcats from North Carolina were brought in under the ESB (Exhibition and Sale License) and were never under the Rehab Permit, therefore the Rehab related rules did not apply and the animals could be exhibited.  This is to include their care.  I have spoken to BCR and most of the current live feeds are suppose to be password protected in order to allow only BCR staff viewing capabilities to monitor the status and progress of the cats under any medical care. 

2.  Previous complaint Case no. FWSW11OFF9131, filed 12/2/2011, videos of wildlife being fed live animals in rehab are still online Today and available over the internet – after Jamie Veronica Murdock was issued a warning on March 17, 2011 for a violation of FAC 68A-9.006.   Please advise.

Lt. Delacure has advised that the videos of the three particular bobcats that were under Rehab status and are in question have been removed from any website that is under the control of BCR.  Videos that make it onto the internet sometimes are not retrievable by the parties and therefore remains accessible by searches on the web.  We are not aware of current violations regarding the 3 bobcats that the warning was issued for at this time. 

Regards,

Linda

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Date: Sunday, March 4, 2012, 5:09 PM
3/4/2012

Captain Marlow,

May I ask for the case number for the current complaint filed on 2/26/2012?

Can you please advise on the following responses you are sending out to the public that are filing complaints on BCR?

Captain Marlow Response 1.

“The rehabilitation complaint has already been received and is being addressed. My understanding is that the animals in question are not in rehab status, but we will check and verify that there are no violations”.

Captain Marlow Response 2.

“Relative to the complaint of rabbits (prey)being feed to cats (predators) in rehab status was deemed an acceptable and necessary process for rehabbing wild predators in order to create the necessary instincts. It is also supported by many rehab studies, guides and rehab organizations. I have attached the investigations response into last year’s allegations to assist you in any questions that you may have”.

Regarding Response 1:

According to BCR the injured baby bobcat is in the Hospital receiving medical treatment.
Under Florida Law: Florida Fish & Wildlife regulations do not permit Wildlife undergoing rehabilitation or medical treatment to be exhibited.

The FWC regulation reads undergoing rehabilitation OR medical treatment. Can you please advise if the injured wild bobcat receiving medical treatment is permitted to be on exhibition Live stream on the internet or can you please clarify the FWC regulation above otherwise.

Regarding Response 2:

Last year’s investigation did not reference any rehab studies, guides or rehab organizations.

a. Can you please send me a link or document to the rehab studies you are referencing that promote the feeding of specifically live domestic rabbits to wildlife predators in rehab?

b. Can you please send me a link or name of the rehab organizations you are referencing along with the guidelines that specifically promote the feeding live domestic rabbits to wild predators in rehab?

Attaching Factual & Professional References below:

1. The Executive Director of the National Bobcat Rescue and Research Foundation does not promote live feeding to bobcats in rehab:

“We do not use live prey here. Their natural instincts take care of that. We do, however, place small bowls of dog food and mouse food so that the wild rodents will enter the cages on their own and have a natural fighting chance. We ONLY work with Bobcats and other native species”.

2. The Clinical Director of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. in Florida does not promote live feeding to bobcats in rehab:
” We don’t use any live prey for feeding bobcats. I feel very strongly that the vast majority of our patients are very instinctual, and don’t need the live prey stimulus to tap into their wildness or train them to be hunters”. I don’t feel that the white mouse or domestic rabbit as prey is a true test of hunting ability, as those aren’t the same prey that these predators will find out in the wild – and the act is far from fair to the mouse or rabbit. I feel the same way about these as the bobcats…I feel that they have the instincts to be hunters and don’t need us to teach them”.

3. According to Sandy Woltman, President of National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association:
“NWRA neither condones nor condemns the feeding of live domestic rabbits to bobcats undergoing rehabilitation for release into the wild”.

In conclusion,
With your response; I would appreciate an update on Case # FWSW11 OFF9131 filed on Friday, December 2, 2011.

Regarding Case # FWSW11 OFF9131: Can you please also advise why the videos of wildlife being fed in rehabilitation status remain posted on the internet on numerous websites today – after this complaint was filed in Dec of 2011 and after Jamie Veronica Murdock was issued a warning on March 17, 2011, for a violation of Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) 68A-9.006 by FWC?

Thank you in advance,

Linda

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