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Esmerelda Serval

3/1/92 - 10/10/11

Arrived at Big Cat Rescue 4/30/95

Esmerelda came to Big Cat Rescue in April of 1995 with her mate, Medicine Man. Their previous owner gave them up because Medicine Man had terminal cancer. We named him Medicine Man and, despite all our efforts with both traditional and holistic medicine, he died a year later.

Esmerelda has been a long time favorite of guests and volunteers at Big Cat Rescue. She was one photographer’s favorite subject since she posed with such enthusiasm, as if to say, “Look at me! I’m gorgeous!” When keepers or guests approached her enclosure, she'd prance over to say hello with a chirp and a thundering purr. Esmerelda was also one of our most playful cats; playing with anything - her boomer ball, enrichment, sticks, bugs, even a single blade of grass fluttering in the breeze.

"Essie" was adored by all the keepers who were lucky enough to know her and help with her care over the past 16 years.  Even when her time had come to pass on and she was so weak, Esmerelda still purred at the sight of her friends who comforted her as she slipped quietly to sleep.  

Video by Senior Keeper Julie Hanan

Video by Senior Keeper Meredith Pennino