Talk:Big Cat Rescue

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Find sources[edit]

Find sources: "Big Cat Rescue" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference

BCR's start, credible sources?[edit]

As an IP editor has correctly asserted, BCR started in less honorable conditions than now. It'd certainly be worth reflecting that, but we need good sources for it. tedder (talk) 22:21, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Here you go:
There are more sources that show that the owner used to engage in pet trade herself. The snow leopards BCR used to keep were originally purchased as pets by the Lewis/Baskin family. I can provide proof if necessary. --Serval5412 (talk) 15:47, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Provide more. Certainly the origins of BCR is clear, and adding that was good. tedder (talk) 20:50, 10 October 2015 (UTC)


Many of the edits of this page reverted in the past as "vandalism" contain very valid accusations supported by several sources. I think that a major reason for those edits being reverted were POV issues and the fact that they were not marked as "criticism" or "controversy". I would like to create a "Criticism" or "Controversy" section where these accusations are listed in a more neutral format, e. g. "BCR has been alleged of ..." instead of stated as a fact. If this is alright with the admins, I would like to request "confirmed" status for my account or the removal of semi-protection for the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 16:00, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

POV's definitely the issue. It seems there are axes to be ground. In reality, the controversy section is simply the origin story with a few specific sources that point to a POV without balancing it. I've tried to add neutrality to that. As a new user, how do you know so much about POV and semi-protection and such? tedder (talk) 20:49, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
You reverted and said it was "factually wrong", yet the changes I made are supported by the sources you gave. Please explain rather than pushing a POV. tedder (talk) 07:50, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
- The title "Controversy" suits the section well (although "Criticism" may also fit), as it contains allegiations of wrongdoing that occured AFTER BCR became a sanctuary. Please take a closer look at the News 10 video. The only thing that might have ceased by 2001 were the animal acquisitions. I already explained this to you on a post made on your talk page. If you have noticed anything in this video that indicates that all discovered questionable activities ceased by 2001, please explain rather than reverting my edits. For the same reason, removal of the accusations by the former volunteer is factually wrong because this former volunteer clearly was featured in the second part of the video. Thus, this line is backed up by the sources I provided. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 08:02, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Do you have more sources to back up the allegations aside from the youtube clip? That clip isn't dated, which is one problem. The "disguising it as a rescue operation" part is only partly backed up by that source. One of the foundations of Wikipedia is verifiability. If BCR paints cats blue, there's probably more than a bootleg copy of a local news segment available that discusses it.
Second, the whole "controversy"/"criticism" thing. It's preferred to "inline" this type of content; it's part of the history of the operation, not a "he said/she said" section on its own. tedder (talk) 16:55, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Responding from the NPOVN post: I agree that the currently removed material should remain out. Titling a section as "Controversy" is to be avoided. Self-published, unreliable sources should not be used at all. Can we get full citation information for the YouTube clip please? It's sensational, aimed at attracting and retaining the attention of viewers that might otherwise stop watching. If there was never any follow-up reporting, we need to take care how much weight it is given. It may be helpful for editors to review WP:BATTLE and WP:COI if they are not already familiar. --Ronz (talk) 17:29, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Serval5412 (talk · contribs), you found a source for the local news site, linked to BCR for some goals, and added text that doesn't appear to come from any source. None of that resolves the comments above. tedder (talk) 23:02, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
It does resolve all of these points. Firstly, the reference I added shows that the USDA violations and other dubious acctivity occured after 2001 (2010 and 2011 for USDA violations). So, my first edit is clearly warranted because now it is clear that the activities didn't cease in 2001. Secondly, I added another concern. BCR's own website certainly is a reliable reference for the organization's goals, and the page I linked to confirms that BCR indeed aims to end private ownership in general. The page specifically says that permit laws don't work in their opinion and a total ban is the only option. I left the second sentence without sources for now because I would have to use self-published and/or anti-BCR websites for this (obviously, this kind of criticism comes from there). Thridly, the changes I made make the title "Origins" unwarranted for the section. Concerns raised by 10 News originate from after 2001, and BCR's anti-ownership stance continues to this day. Naming this section "Origins" would be misleading.
By the way: Here you have another news report about BCR from 2007, one that features several volunteers calling BCR a "private collection disguised as a sanctuary": [1]. This report confirms a sentence I added earlier, but which you removed. Unfortunately, while the report itself was aired by Bay 9, it is hosted under a rather radical and inappropriate name. If this is no problem, I will use it as a reference for further edits. --Serval5412 (talk) 23:33, 20 October 2015 (UTC)


I've cleaned up the article quite a bit. I will note for the record that the local news sources, though we at Wikipedia would consider them reliable, are tabloidish, especially the WTSP (News 10) story, which is terrible journalism. YMMV. And just a reminder--it's entirely possible there is something controversial going on at this facility, but we are here to build an encyclopedia, not condemn or promote any particular organization. Valfontis (talk) 02:19, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

sanctuary vs FWC[edit]

I stripped the ref tags so this will appear inline, it's what Serval5412 (talk · contribs) added today:

a commercial exhibiting facility[1] in Tampa, Florida that calls itself a sanctuary.

I removed this. The citation is to a screenshot from Weebly with no context. It's not exactly a reliable source. If it's taken on face value, it appears to be an email from BCR that says basically "FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) does not consider us a sanctuary". I'm having trouble finding information on how FWC classifies places. However, BCR is accredited by Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries source. I do note they aren't accredited by ASA nor by AZA but can't find a reason why. tedder (talk) 17:31, 18 October 2015 (UTC)


The reason for BCR not being accredited by ASA is their extensive, fee-based tour program. Sanctuaries in their usual form are open to the public on at most a very limited basis. And even when they do offer tours, they may ask for donations but do not charge entrance fees. What BCR does has commercial character and is closer to a regular exhibiting facility than to a sanctuary. FWC's classification is based on the same reasoning. BCR has been repeatedly denied AZA accreditation, SSP participation and ASA accreditation for various reasons. You can Google them easily. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 20:29, 18 October 2015 (UTC)


Re: My reversion. For starters, we need the original news story instead of a Google Plus page that doesn't link to the story, and we need something other than an anti-BCR blog as a source for the inspection report. Also can we please work to keep the citation style consistent? Valfontis (talk) 18:50, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

I have corrected the reference to the news story. The wrong link somehow snuck its way into it. Regarding the second reference: While the report is hosted by an anti-BCR blog, it still is an original document. If necessary, it could be verified by contacting FWC directly. While this kind of sources will be hosted by opposing organizations 99% of the time, that doesn't make them invalid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 18:59, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
@Serval5412: can you please sign your posts? Like this ~~~~. Valfontis (talk) 19:05, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
I understand the limitations of finding a neutral online source for the inspection report, but linking to the anti-BCR site may introduce bias. Could you read up on WP:RS and WP:CITE? Valfontis (talk) 19:05, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
In general, this might be true. However, I think that this particular source is appropriate because the link leads only to the document itself. I know several other articles at such anti-BCR sites that contain reliable scans as proof, but these are embedded in an article with further accusations against BCR which are not backed up by the scan. I refrain from using them as a reference (and consequently, from adding the material in question at all because no other verifiable source is available). As for reliability, this document is not more or less reliable than any document hosted online, except for documentation hosted by the agency in question. If anybody had the desire to falsify a report, he could also upload it somewhere else other than his own website. Thus, there is no difference between a document hosted at an anti-BCR site and the same document hosted, for example, at a one-click hoster. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 19:14, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Have you read Wikipedia's Five Pillars? When Valfontis uses terms like "reliable" and "verifiable", it's in relation to those terms. They are slightly different, or at least more specific, than the dictionary definitions of the terms. Using poor sources or sources with a clear bias fall afoul of several principles of Wikipedia- specifically, aiming for a neutral point of view and avoiding undue weight. Republishing a few small incidents that are only covered on "anti-BCR" sites is a good example of that- if the tiger cage was unsafe, there'd be more than a primary source mention (on the Fish & Wildlife site) and mentions on various small-time blogs/forums. Likewise, if a local news crew covers one ex-employee discussing concerns, "verifiable" means there should be other coverage to back it up. tedder (talk) 19:46, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't call a 14-page inspection report with more than 80 non-compliant items a "small incident". Apart from this, if the same types of incidents with the same type of sources are listed on pages from opponents of BCR or targets of their campaigns (e. g. Joe Exotics' page) it doesn't seem to be a problem (and neither is a dedicated "criticism/controversy" section). By the way, regarding the concerns raised by an ex-employee: I already provided another news video in a different section of the talk page from a different local agency that raised the same concerns from several ex-employees. I just didn't put it into the article because it's hosted on YouTube and accompanied by a radical and inappropriate title and description. However, if you wish to verify the claims from the other news agency, you can watch the video. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 19:54, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
"Watch the video" doesn't address what verifiability means. It doesn't help the video is a copyright violation either. If the BCR bits are not a "small incident", why aren't they covered by reputable sources? Finally, when it comes to "other pages don't follow the guidelines", that's not a valid argument. tedder (talk) 20:13, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
As I said, it is not my intention to use this video as a reference directly. However, such sources can be useful for determining the reliability of other, acceptable sources. The fact that it's not a viable source for direct referencing doesn't mean that it cannot be used as evidence in support of other references. Regarding the FWC report: Not everything note-worthy achieves a massive media presence. According to your logic, evidently false incidents reported on by several sources would be more reliable than evidently true incidents reported on only by opponents. As I said, original documents from enforcement authorities can definitely be considered reliable sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 20:19, October 21, 2015‎

Sanctuary status of BCR[edit]

I found a better reference for BCR's sanctuary status. It is a more complete version of the reference I attempted to use earlier. The version I found now contains information on how FWC classifies sanctuaries. You can view it here:

If it is alright, I will incorporate this information into the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 20:13, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

The accreditation is given in the article. A private email on a non-notable website doesn't mean much- I'd suggest expanding the FWC article to discuss how they generally categorize sanctuaries. There's no wide discussion in reliable sources indicating BCR's status with FWC is in any way interesting or newsworthy. tedder (talk) 20:20, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Discussion in blogs not belonging to opponents of BCR[edit]

I recently made an edit to add a reference from a blog which is clearly not an anti-BCR site or even a resource belonging to an opponent of BCR in general (in fact, a Google search reveals that the same blog also had articles in favor of BCR). I did so in an attempt to prove that these issues are being discussed not only anti-BCR pages - a point that was raised by Tedder previously. Nevertheless, he deleted it. Here it is again:

And here is another post on blog that does not belong to BCR's opponents and also discusses the same (and similar) issues:

So, first you raise concerns about incidents not being discussed on pages other than anti-BCR ones, and then you prevent me from proving that this is not the case by deleting such references as "irrelevant"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 20:35, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

@Serval5412: Please learn to sign your posts with 4 tildes. Like this: ~~~~.
Per Tedder's edit summary (be sure you click through and read all the bluelinks provided here, on your talk page, and in the edit summaries), blogs are generally not considered reliable sources here at Wikipedia. I see the "goldeneyes" blog is actual a copy of a WFLA news story. A bit of research should turn up the original news story. Valfontis (talk) 22:29, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
As I already said, I'm not trying to use blogs as a primary source, but only to back up the relevance of the content I am adding. My edits have been criticized for being based on information hardly discussed outside of anti-BCR websites. I am providing these blogs as proof that such coverage does take place. As for signing my comments: Wikipedia seems to have a very nice bot doing it automatically and even using smaller font for it, which I think looks better than the results of a manual signature. The only downside being that this bot has to rub everybody's nose into the fact that it is an automatic signature for an unsigned comment, instead of just quietly adding the missing signature... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Serval5412 (talkcontribs) 22:35, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Re: Sigs. Well, that's an interesting attitude. The autosig via bot does clog up our watchlists needlessly and I think it looks kind of tacky. And although we are not supposed to bite the newbies, it does make you look like one, which may make it harder for some editors to take you seriously. You can custom design your signature more to your liking. Let me know if you need some help with that.
Re: Worldpeacemeet. I am absolutely not seeing how this is anything but an anti-BCR source. The links to the FWC forms are useful, however, though it would be good to also link to some sort of official page where they can be obtained.
A couple more reminders. Please check out WP:CHERRYPICK and WP:NOTSOAPBOX. Cheers, Valfontis (talk) 00:47, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Worldpeacemeet might host a lot of material against Big Cat Rescue, but it certainly isn't a dedicated single-purpose anti-BCR site like BCRWatch. It also cannot be considered a website owned by opponents of BCR, as there is no indication that its owner keeps exotic felines or otherwise is a target of BCR's campaigns in any way. From all the sources on such documents that are out there (besides the occasional document accessible directly from the agency's website), this source is the most reliable one. --Serval5412 (talk) 00:58, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

AZA Source[edit]

@Serval5412: [Putting aside for the fact that the organization failed to be certified almost 15 years ago, which may or may not be currently relevant, and/or may give undue weight to the allegedly negative aspects of this organization.] Do you have additional source information for the article you posted to the Internet Archive? Such as the name of the publication? Remember that sources need to be verifiable so we need as much source information as possible. Internet archive itself is not a source, just a repository. Is it from WOES'/BCR's own newsletter? WP:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT Valfontis (talk) 20:15, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

The article came from BCR's newsletter, according to this source:
I think that it is absolutely relevant, because it very well might have shaped the goals and course of the organization. I know that there is material somewhere that proves that after WOES renamed itself to BCR, the founder wanted to phase out not only private ownership of big cats, but also keeping and breeding at AZA zoos. I will insert it into the article as soon as I have a reliable source for this. — Preceding signed comment added by Serval5412 (talk) 20:25, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
UPDATE: Here you have a source for this. Please scroll down to the end of the page for the relevant paragraphs.
— Preceding signed comment added by Serval5412 (talk) 20:29, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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"80 concerns and violations" link incorrect[edit]

The link for the "80 concerns and violations" sentence is incorrect. It links to a single violation report about a leopard being in their vacation area without the proper licensing. There's nothing in there about 80 violations. -- (talk) 19:53, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

I've removed the paragraph given it has no independent sources. --Ronz (talk) 16:22, 25 October 2017 (UTC)