Ripley, a female Canada lynx, was approximately two-years-old when she arrived at the sanctuary.

Months ago, we received a call from Humane Society investigators regarding a large Minnesota case. A breeder possessed no permits, was not compliant with county or state laws, and had 80 breeding animals in rows of small filthy cages.  The 80 animals included bobcat, lynx, wolves, fox and other wildlife. All would need permanent placement if a seizure ensued.

From that first call, we committed to taking all 9 bobcats and 2 Canada lynx from the property. Our goal was to get them out of the breeding pool as fast as possible. We didn’t want them sold as pets.

The first pictures we saw were heart wrenching. Tiny, filthy cages. Only plastic dogloos for shelter. Piles of meat, carcasses, and feces. And very skinny cats.  And yet, sadly, none of this met the criteria for a cruelty case by state statute. So, authorities moved forward with this as a contraband case.

This meant giving the owner time to sell or move his cats to another breeder or game farm to come into compliance.  After several site visits over several months, it was apparent this breeder was not going to adhere to removing the animals.

He finally agreed to civil surrender of some of his animals but refused to give up the remainder of his bobcats or lynx because they’d just become of “breeding age.” The seizure of the remaining animals was going to move forward.  Our team coordinated working alongside the Humane Society, DNR and county officials to remove the remaining animals from the property.

The day of the confiscation is a day our staff will always remember. The smell.  The mess.  The tiny cages filled with breeding animals, debris from feeding carcasses, feces.  A dogloo and hand-ripped tarp was the only shelter. There were no platforms, toys, or enrichment of any kind.

This was their horrible life.

Though originally there were 11 bobcats and lynx reported, when we arrived, there were only 3 bobcats and 2 lynx left on the property. Our staff was able to easily and safely coax them into transport crates without sedation.  Because they were thin, they were extremely motivated for food.

Once in the transport trailer, they calmed down quickly. Finally in a warm and clean place for the first time in their lives, they went right to sleep.

Life at the Sanctuary

When she arrived, Ripley came out of her crate quite quickly to sniff and explore her new space. Right away, we could tell how confident, independent and brave she is!

Being so young, we’re happy to see she’s a very active cat and the more outgoing of the two. In fact, she tends to be very pushy compared to Meeko.

Ripley’s observant and far more fixated on her surroundings. Although she’s enjoyed some enrichment, she’s usually more interested in people or her environment.

Ripley was spayed after her arrival. She and Meeko will move into their permanent habitat in the spring, though she’s already enjoying the feeling of grass under her feet, enrichment to play with, and a diet tailored specifically for her that’s already allowed her to put on much-needed weight.

From this point forward, all’s good in Ripley’s life!

How You Can Help

Caring for a wild cat for life – even a medium sized wild cat like Ripley – can be very expensive. Our sponsorship program helps support the cats and allows you to form a special bond with them. Would you consider being Ripley’s sponsor parent?

Or even a one time donation toward her care would be so appreciated. It’s easy to do using the buttons at the top of this page.

Thank you for your compassionate support!