To those who excuse Big Cat Rescue's shortcomings as being in their past, we say you're completely wrong. Big Cat Rescue is severely lacking when it comes to transparency and honesty. They continue to deceive the public today just as they have done for the last 20 years.
On April 8th, 2015, Big Cat Rescue made a Facebook post telling their followers that Arizona, a serval, had turned 26 years old. A serval living for 26 years is quite an amazing feat, but is it actually true?
According to USDA acquisition documents, Arizona was born in 1989 and was 1 of 3 servals purchased from Pamela Mogensen on December 9th, 1994. That would make Arizona 26 years old, however, there is evidence suggesting that this serval is completely different than the serval we know today.
According to Big Cat Rescue's inventory sheets, Arizona was sold in 1997 along with the two servals that had been purchased alongside her.
So unless the buyer returned the serval, it's reasonable to conclude that Big Cat Rescue had replaced the original Arizona with a different serval. Our conclusion is further solidified by what we discovered on archived copies of the Wildlife On Easy Street website.
According to the 1997 archive of the Wildlife On Easy Street website, the original Arizona was born in 1989 and arrived at Wildlife On Easy Street in 1994 (emphasis added):
Arizona was shortly removed from the list of servals on the Wildlife On Easy Street website despite being listed a few months prior.
Her name does reappear again, but with a missing date of birth and a completely different date of arrival as shown in the 2000 archive which now mentions that Arizona is "thought to be quite old" (emphasis added):
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, obviously didn't know how old the Arizona impostor was, but if this new Arizona was already "quite old" in 1997, 18 years ago, it's doubtful that she would still be alive today.
Anyway, getting back to the inventory sheets, you will see that the 2nd Arizona was purchased for $500 on June 17, 1997. This Arizona matches the arrival date of the one just mentioned, who if "quite old" in 1997 would surely be dead by now.
If 2nd Arizona is the same serval that Big Cat Rescue is now claiming to be 26 years old then Carole must have replaced it with a 3rd serval because 18 years ago she described Arizona 2 as being "quite old". We were told by former staff that Big Cat Rescue often replaced a cat that died or was sold with a completely different cat which was then exhibited as being the same cat. The fact that there are two Arizonas listed in the inventory sheets is further proof of this.
So what have we learned? The Arizona born in 1989 was sold and is not the cat Big Cat Rescue is claiming to have turned 26 years old. Arizona 2, the cat that was thought to be "quite old" 18 years ago is likely not the same cat Big Cat Rescue is currently claiming to be 26, seeing as they didn't know when it was born and this "quite old" cat would have died long ago.