Back to Stop "White Oak Conservation Center" From Using Domestic Rabbits as Live Food

About the Cause

This is an appalling story about another wildlife rehab that uses tame domestic rabbits as live prey and live deer SEE MORE..

The absurd, ignorant notion that wild predators need trained to hunt is carried to the extreme by this facility. How could they ever defend the use of defenseless animals, thrown into an enclosure as an example of learning to hunt? There is no way the facilities can create a natural hunting environment, where the "hunted animals" have their own defenses to protect themselves from becoming prey.

Wild rabbits have holes to hide in; deer would avoid the panther because of the scent. They would run and hide. But when they are put into a false environment, one designed to keep the panther enclosed, they are already terrified because of the unfamiliarity of the environment, have no means of fighting, and are an easy kill from their fear and helplessness. How is this teaching a wild animal to "hunt?"

Tame domestic house cats have natural prey-chasing, capturing, and killing instincts. As a result of this and the large numbers of them in Florida, cats and dogs have the potential to severely impact local wildlife populations. Florida’s endangered beach mice are due to domestic cat predation. Are we to seriously believe that ferocious big cats need killing training?

Domestic rabbits do not mimic the behavior of wild prey by any stretch of the imagination. Do the FWC Biologist Staff honestly believe that contact with a domestic rabbit in any way prepares a panther for pursuit of a speedy wild rabbit? (This in fact alone could be more detrimental to the cat as far as survival). If so, they have no knowledge of the biology or natural history of the wildlife they purport to “rehabilitate.” This Ignorance is Appalling.

Wildlife Rehabs in Florida that choose to practice live feeding of Domestic Rabbits claim they are either following Florida Fish and Game and Florida State feeding procedures (see Home Page for Details) or IWRC / NWRA. We have received no evidence to support these claims from FWC, IWRC or NWRA.

This is a Barbaric & Serious Animal Cruelty Issue and a promotion of animal cruelty as well as the danger of training wild big cats to hunt down domestic animals in the back yards of families and farms.

Using Animals that are being commercially produced for food purposes does not justify or give special permission by Law to Wildlife Centers for the unnecessary barbaric live feeding of domestic animals to wild animals under rehab, nor does it justify you as a citizen to torture rip apart and eat a live animal for dinner and it Most Certainly does not give special privilege or exclusion to anyone regarding the Florida Animal Cruelty Laws.

There is no logical reason to feed Live animals to captive wild predators.
Domestic rabbits cannot survive in the wild, are not found in the wild nor are they a part of a wild panther or big cat natural diet. Domestic rabbits are docile beings and easy targets that have no means of fighting back causing them a torturous and painful death.

We are asking that this practice of Feeding Live Domestic Rabbits be stopped immediately at these wildlife centers by FWC and USDA who have authority over them, we also ask them to recognize that this is deliberate intentional animal cruelty as referenced under the Florida Animal Cruelty Laws.

FWCC has not responded to complaints sent in on White Oak Conservation using Live Animals As Food.

White Oak Conservation:

Contact: [email protected]
FWCC Commissioners: (

USDA: [email protected]

Please sign the PETITION below:
Help Educate & Stop Un-Ethical Wildlife Rehabs From Using Live Animals As Food in the name of "Rehab & Release" (


White Oak Conservation Center Claims to be one of the world's premiere wildlife breeding facilities through innovative training, research, education, breeding and field programs that contribute to the survival of wildlife in nature, however, tragically in this story the domestic rabbits are not the only sad fact, the four panthers, one male and three female, who were released, should have been better managed. While the females had the opportunity to socialize with one another, the male could only socialize with the females and so had no way of knowing how to react with other males. He had no way of knowing about territorial fighting. He was doomed to encounter his first fight in the wild and doomed to death.

A professional rehabber should have known the terrible risk of releasing a lone male orphan into the wild, because the knowledge of socialization is something they cannot teach to him. Unless, he is raised among other wild panthers and can learn to fight. The rehabber had to know that the male orphan was doomed to death from his first encounter with another male in the wild, and yet they released him. For this, we believe they should be charged with animal cruelty, for they caused the unnecessary death of this young male panther.

Why are FWC Biologist not properly educated in rehab procedures and why do they continue to teach and practice unnecessary barbaric live feeding?

Three females did all right, Darrell Land of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the St. Petersburg Times. However, he said, the other one "was a male and he only lasted (I think) about six weeks before he met an adult male and was killed."


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