One of the first black leopards you will see at Big Cat Rescue (BCR) is the stunning 19-year old leopard named Jumanji. Upon seeing him you may wonder what is his story? Was he abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into a fur coat, or retired from a performing act? I and others wonder why his story is nowhere to be found on Big Cat Rescue’s website? Why is an organization that claims to be so transparent keeping his story a secret?
By using archived web pages we have been able to determine that Jumanji was in fact born at Wildlife On Easy Street (Big Cat Rescue), along with his brother Black Majik, to breeders Saber and Lola. He was raised by Jamie Veronica, the daughter of Carole Lewis Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue. Jumanji was also leash trained and often taken out in public.
Here is what was exactly written on BCR’s archived WOES website
“Jumanji was born at Easy Street, along with his brother Black Majik, to parents Saber and Lola. He was adopted and bottle-raised by Jamie Veronica, Carole Lewis’ daughter. He is leash-trained and loves to go out and meet the public. He will go anywhere that there is air-conditioning and is perfectly content to lay around and let everyone make a huge fuss over him. Jumanji participated in a fundraiser for African big cats in Chicago in 1997 with Jim Fowler, the animal handler best known for being the narrator on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom show. Due to his brother's birth defects, Jumanji has been nuetered.” - WOES 1999
That is the true story of how Jumanji came to be at BCR. So why does BCR now hide that story? Could it be because many people would be furious that they were led to believe Jumanji was rescued? One man sponsored Jumanji for a whopping $20,000. Was he told that Jumanji was not a rescue? How many people would knowingly donate money to care for a millionaire’s pet? To make matters worse, two BCR tour guides were even filmed lying to visitors about how Jumanji arrived at BCR. If one of those visitors donated money to sponsor Jumanji based on the guide’s lie, that is fraud.
Jumanji’s true story was posted on Big Cat Rescue’s website until around 2004, right about the time Howard Baskin joined BCR. From around 2004-2006 he was then referred to as “born into the pet trade”. From 2006 to the present-time his story had disappeared completely from BCR’s website.
From 2006 to the present time Jumanji’s story has gone from,
“Jumanji speaks to us of the Raccoon medicine people who are the protectors of the underdog and the providers for the young, infirm and elderly. Jumanji asks that you contact your inner warrior to become a protector and generous provider for those in need. Like the chiefs of old, Raccoon takes care of the tribe before taking anything for themselves. Chiefs earn their Eagle feathers when they promote every creature's right to dignity and acting in this way honors you and your family that includes all Creation. Jumanji urges you to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and share your bounty of time and energy with those who are less fortunate.” - BCR (2006)
“Since he is one of the first black leopards you see at the sanctuary, Jumanji is used to quite a bit of attention. Most days, he can be found in the shadiest part of his cat-a-tat lounging on his fern-covered tree log. It is very easy to see how well black leopards camouflage themselves in the jungle since most people walk right by without noticing him there. People magazine certainly noticed Jumanji though. His photo was featured in an article written about Big Cat Rescue.” - BCR (Present)
Again, why does an organization that claims to be transparent feel the need to omit the truth? Jumanji has even attacked a former volunteer of Big Cat Rescue causing her to receive 451 stitches but you will not find that story on BCR's website. Will Big Cat Rescue ever disclose Jumanji’s true story or will they keep it hidden until the day he passes away? How many people sponsored Jumanji believing he was rescued?
Jumanji’s true story is not the only story kept a secret. Find out the truth about BCR’s cats HERE
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