Shizzy's Wildcat Rescue is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2013. We are building a sanctuary in Fair Bluff, NC. #BigCat #Tiger #Lion #Leopard #Jaguar
I had the privilege of having a meeting with Scott Kayser (@scottiekay24) at the Birmingham Zoo today. Scott is one of the predator keepers at Birmingham Zoo. I appreciate the time Scott! It was wonderful to meet you and pick your brain about various conservational issues.
As we get closer to building our own sanctuary it is so important to build relationships with other reputable organizations and see what works for them. Scott took us behind the predator habitats to answer some questions I had.
We have the privilege of building our own facility the way we want and the Birmingham Zoo had some wonderful structures for us to keep in mind for when we begin building our own.
Collaborating with other animal welfare organizations is so vital. It gives you an opportunity to learn and to see things through a new lenses. I look forward to continuing my travels and building relationships with others who have the mindset that animals need our help and that nothing will stop us from making this world a better place for them. #shizzyswildcatrescue#Swrclub#shizzyswildcatrescuenc
I have had the privilege to speak to many incredible conservationists all over the world. The main topic we always discuss is "what can we do to preserve the habitats for these animals?' and although the answer is always different, it is rooted in the same concept. The answer is typically a form of leaving the ecosystem alone because it will begin to get better on its own.
When I spoke to Soumyajit Nandy (@swamptigerchaser) about the tigers in the Sundarbans and how we can protect the ecosystem his response was "My opinion is to leave Sundarban to itself. This forest is self-sufficient and strong enough to protect itself." When I spoke to Kartik Patel (@wildpixelsbykartik) about how to preserve the Gir National Forest which is home to the lions of India, his response is that the government protects the animals by giving farmers compensation for any animals that are taken by the lions. Again, this is incentive to simply leave the animals alone.
Other conservationists also have similar beliefs. If you stop others from poaching you are leaving the animals alone, if you do not purchase products with conflict palm oil you are leaving the animals alone, if you contribute towards ending the exotic animal trade then you are working towards leaving the animals alone.
Ecosystems are built to be self sufficient and eventually balance themselves out as along as there are still both predators and prey in the area that are capable of managing the forests and populations on their own.
Image was taken by Soumyajit Nandy and can be found on http://www.goingwild.in/blog. You can also visit http://www.shizzyswildcatrescue.org/sundarbans-conservation-.html to read the article we posted about Soumyajit Nandy.
Hey guys here are some updates! :) 1. The land owners we are acquiring the property from decided to donate an additional 8.4 acres of land to us that connected our property to theirs. We would like to thank David Small, Carl Meares JR, and Willard Small for gifting the additional acreage. It creates a wonderful buffer for us and allows us to own a portion of land that will serve as a boundary.
2. Our attorney has started the title paperwork which is incredibly exciting to see things moving forward!
3. The survey on the property to now combine the 7 parcels of land is well underway and should be completed before the end of this month.
4. Our site plans have been submitted to the Fair Bluff Planning Board and we are still waiting for approval.
5. We will be re-doing our entire website to allow people to click on specific items/fencing/etc that we need to be able to build as a way of generating funds. There is still a lot of fundraising to do but we know we will get it done!
6. We have received some landscaping/timber quotes so that once the survey is completed and we get the title we can begin breaking ground immediately.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us, we appreciate it more than you know! #ShizzysWildcatRescue#ShizzysWildcatRescueNC#SWRCLUB@wildpixelsbykartik
SWIPE THROUGH to see all photos and videos!
I had the opportunity to speak to the Cheif of Fair Bluff Police Department Chris Chafin, had a meeting with the Head of Economic Development of Columbus County Gary Lanier, and stopped by to visit some friends at the museum in the county on the way home.
Cheif Chafin expressed his excitement for our sanctuary coming to Fair Bluff. Sanctuaries ALWAYS need the support of the local police department and we are very excited to see Cheif Chafin’s excitement for our organization.
Gary Lanier and I met up to talk about landscaping, which trees to keep, the most efficient way to remove them, planting new trees that would provide more shade for the animals, perimeter fencing, adding brush, adding visual barriers between the general public and the animals, and other USDA regulations.
The county seems to be very excited to have us and we are excited to have a home for our sanctuary. Currently we have started the survey on the property, submitted the site plan, and are awaiting closing on the property. We will keep everyone updated! #ShizzysWildcatRescue#ShizzysWildcatRescueNC#FairBluff
Social media is such an incredible tool, especially for an organization such as ours. I met @wildpixelsbykartik on social media and him and I have become close friends.
Kartik is a conservationist who lives in India and he documents various big cat habitats and behavior. I’ve seen many sanctuaries in the United States but Kartik brings a different perspective to the team with his knowledge of wild terrain in relation to the various national parks he visits.
When building a team for ANY business or organization you always want to surround yourself with people who are strong in areas that you may not be.
Kartik brings conservational knowledge to us about what goes on in India for lions and tigers. He is also a big cat behaviorist and shares his knowledge with us about big cat behavior for wild animals. It is always good catching up with you brother! I hope you have fun in Ranthambore this week! #ShizzysWildcatRescue#ShizzysWildcatRescuenc#catsofinstagram#KartikPatel
On assignment for @shizzyswildcatrescue to document big cat behaviour and habitat for the development of big cat rescue sanctuary in the Fair Bluff county.
One of the cub of T19 a.k.a Krishna from Ranthambore National Park.
This is beyond cool. One of my mentors always told me that the one key to success in leadership was to “build a relationship with everyone you meet” and I’ve used that as the basis for my entire organization.
Jermaine has become a close friend and mentor of mine and I ended up meeting him when I opened up this organizations business bank account and he took interest in me and my goals. When I opened that account up all I had was $150.00 and some pretty big goals.
Jermaine is the founder of a nonprofit that promotes school leadership to teach students to learn to read at an earlier age. He saw there was something special about me and how motivated I was to make this happen. He believed in me before I was able to travel and meet the founders of sanctuaries and before so many other people of influence decided to back us up. He even believed in me before I had any donors or supporters. I appreciate you big bro! It’s been a blessing to have you in my corner since day one! #Brotherhood!! #ShizzysWildcatRescue#IPromiseWeWillGetThere
Today is #EarthDay! Did you know that you can help protect the Earth every single day by paying attention to the products that you purchase! Vote with your wallet! Be an informed consumer and pay attention to what products you purchase. Every dollar you spend is a vote to support a company and if that company does harm to the planet, then your money also goes towards helping that company to harm the planet.
Start by avoiding products that contain palm oil. #ConflictPalmOil comes from Indonesia when companies burn rain forests with animals still inside the forests. They then use the burned land to plant palm oil to grow for products such as snack foods such as candy and chips. Burning rainforests is also one of the leading causes of climate change. This directly impacts Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, rhinos, sun bears, and elephants.
As a consumer you have all the power to help save their species and their home. If you support the companies that burn their home then you are unknowingly supporting the Leuser ecosystem being destroyed. Vote with your wallet, the small decisions you make in the grocery store make a big impact on these species!#VoteWithYourWallet#ShizzysWildcatRescue photos by @paulhiltonphoto
I just wanted to give you guys an update on whats we are working on! We are currently working on numerous things including:
1. Getting a survey on the property to combine all 6 different parcels of land into one for tax purposes.
2. Having our attorney finalize the title search and closing on the 48 acre property.
3. Working on a site plan to present to the Fair Bluff Planning Board for approval to finalize rezoning.
4. We are also working on getting someone out to the property with a drone so we can show everyone the entire landscape before and after we begin building and landscaping.
5. We are going to update our website and create a "wish list" of materials that will be needed once we begin building on the property. We will share with everyone what we need in the coming weeks but if anyone would like to contribute towards our habitat Fund you can do so by going to shizzyswildcatrescue.org (link in bio) and clicking on the "Make A Donation" tab. #ShizzysWildcatRescue#SWRclub#ShizzysWildcatRescueNC#KartikPatel photo by @wildpixelsbykartik
A little trip down memory lane!
Last night I appeared before the Fair Bluff Town Council and after a safety presentation, economic development discussion, and animal welfare conversation they approved our request to change their zoning and allow us to operate the sanctuary on the property we have under contract.
This is one of our biggest accomplishments as an organization and what we have been working towards for over 6 years. All those years of traveling, volunteering, various meetings with executive directors, founders of large organizations, etc seems to have paid off.
To my wonderful friend @jamahedgecoth who is the founder of @noahsarkclub who continues to support our efforts and guides us through so much I can’t thank you enough for your phone call yesterday and the excitement you showed for our success. I would also like to thank Howard Basin who is the Chairman of the Advisory Board at @bigcatrescue for writing a letter addressing the concerns that Fair Bluff had.
I have seen such a change in the climate of Columbus County and there is so much excitement for what we are bringing to their county. To anyone who has ever supported us, thank you! #ShizzysWildcatRescue#WeAreGettingThere
Tomorrow night we will have our final public hearing and will appear in front of the Fair Bluff Town Council to seek approval for our big cat sanctuary ordinance that is needed for us to take over the 48 acre property in Fair Bluff. If you are in the Columbus County area in North Carolina and would like to come and show your support we will hold the public hearing at 6:00 PM at Town Hall in Fair Bluff.
After the public hearing the Fair Bluff Town Council will vote to either change their ordinance and allow us to operate the big cat sanctuary or to vote no to the ordinance change. We are excited to have the support of the Head of Economic Development Gary Lanier, the Columbus County Jobs Foundation, Mayor Hammond, and other people of influence in Columbus County.
We are also so grateful to have the support of other sanctuaries who we have continued to seek counsel through. Thank you to the media outlets who have covered us thus far in support of our efforts to help animals and to help Fair Bluff. We will have updates for all of you guys tomorrow after the meeting! #ShizzysWildcatRescue#IPromiseWeWillGetThere
I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Justin McKee of WWA-TV who did a story on us last night. Thank you Justin for reaching out to us and showing your support for our efforts to bring a big cat sanctuary to Columbus County!
We were very excited to hear the kind words from the Mayor of Fair Bluff along with others who spoke positively about the sanctuary!
For anyone who would like to watch the video the link is in our bio! #ShizzysWildcatRescue#IPromiseWeWillGetThere#ShizzysWildcatRescueNC#BigCatsOfInstagram
What an incredible accomplishment, I couldn’t be any prouder of our organization and the incredible people who came to show us support last night.
There were many people in the room who had reservations about us coming to their county and they had many safety concerns but ultimately it was unanimous among the Fair Bluff Planning Board to make the recommendation to the Fair Bluff City Council to allow a second public hearing on April 3rd.
Here is a snippet of the article: “The action came at the end of a 90-minute public hearing during which some concern for safety was expressed by planning board members, but Shazir “Shizzy” Haque, who hopes to locate the sanctuary on the former Fair Bluff Ford property on Main Street, was able to alleviate those concerns.” I am so humbled by not only the support we received from the people of Columbus County but also the incredible support you guys have provided over the years through our success and our failures you have encouraged us to keep pushing forward. It seemed as though last night everything came together and we felt welcomed by the county. None of this would be possible without your support and the support of all of affiliate sanctuaries who believed in us to get this far. We will keep pushing and will plan for our next meeting on April 3rd!
The article is in the link in our bio! #ShizzysWildcatRescue#ShizzysWildcatRescueNC#SWRclub#IPromiseWeWillGetThere