Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

Reise, an 18-year-old cougar, latest addition to Big Cat Rescue

TAMPA — Reise, an 18-year-old cougar, had likely never placed her paws on soil before tentatively entering her new home Sunday night at Big Cat Rescue.

The cougar was transported from South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Homestead after the owner of the facility was diagnosed with cancer and had to find homes for dozens of animals. The animals were kept in concrete pens. Workers who transported the cougar estimated her enclosure there to be about 20 by 40 feet.

"It's quite likely the first time she's ever walked on the earth," said Carole Baskin, founder and chief executive officer of Big Cat Rescue, as she watched the cougar adjust to her new enclosure, full of grass, trees and structures to climb on.

Big Cat Rescue near Tampa is an accredited sanctuary dedicated to rescuing and providing a permanent home for abused and abandoned exotic cats. The rescue has 106 cats, including tigers, lions, panthers and leopards. The operation is largely volunteer-driven, including the veterinarian who assessed Reise early Sunday and helped transfer her to Hillsborough County.

Veterinarian Justin Boorstein and a group of four others spent a couple hours in Homestead trying to get Reise to enter a cage on her own but had to resort to sedating her. Sedating large cats is risk — the drugs affect each cat differently.

"A lot of times, the drugs will kill them," Baskin said. "Sedating and transporting them is very dangerous."

Boorstein said Reise seems generally healthy after volunteers evaluated her teeth and claws and assessed her for injuries.

Reise was originally from Texas, where she was de-clawed as a cub. But whoever did it botched the job, and her nails continue to try to grow back and cause pain. Boorstein said she will be sedated again to trim back her claws, administer vaccines and give her a microchip.

Each year the Big Cat Rescue acquires about five or six cats, depending on space. In recent years, it has had to turn away about 15 to 30 cats each year.

"We're happy to give Reise a good home," Baskin said. "She seems to be healthy and adapting nicely."

Caitlin Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2443.

Comments
Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

TAMPA — Shaquem Griffin wakes up knowing each day will be better than the last and barely unable to wait until tomorrow."It's just a whirlwind,'' Griffin said.On Thursday, he will walk the red carpet with his family, including his twin brother,...
Updated: 2 hours ago
After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

TAMPA — Confronted in late 2017 with reports of misconduct by substitute teachers hired through a contractor, Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins said he would ask tough questions and demand answers. He had his lawyer, Jeff Gibson, ...
Published: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

DUNEDIN — After losing a four-run lead thanks to a bad sixth inning, it would have been easy for Clearwater Central Catholic to fold against Dunedin in the final of the 49th annual Dunedin Spring Tournament. But quality relief pitching from Gar...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — Roughly four hours before taking the field against his former team Friday, Rays outfielder Denard Span spoke admirably about the Minnesota Twins, their organization in general, even hometown icon Joe Mauer.But business is busin...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

BRANDON — Ryan McDonagh blocks shots. He competes for pucks in the corners and wins those battles. He moves the puck up the ice well. He can join the rush. He can shoot from the blue line. He kills penalties."It was a great pickup by (Lightning...
Updated: 10 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 20

Friday’s scoreboardSoftballSpringstead 15, Central 0
Updated: 10 hours ago
St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

St. Pete says discharge never reached the bay. Its own report says otherwise.

ST. PETERSBURG — The city said not one of the 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water released on Jan. 18 reached Tampa Bay.There was no mention of the waste released from the Northeast Water Reclamation Facility ever reaching the bay in the city’s notice...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Friday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining oth...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Updated: 12 hours ago