(PRWEB) July 25, 2005
Preparations for the annual Feline Conservation Federation Convention take nearly a year to complete.
As the July 27 starting date for the four-day Miami extravaganza approaches, convention chairman Robert 'Bobby' Bean says, ÂThis is definitely going to be the coolest convention ever."
A statement like that means a lot to the throngs of feline enthusiasts that make the cross country trek each summer to convene with their peers in various locations, amongst a back drop of social mixing, kitten sharing, educational speakers and entertaining events.
The Hilton's Doubletree Grand Hotel in Biscayne Bay, is the headquarters for one of the most exotic of gatherings. Making it especially unique are the four-legged attendees.
Bean reports that this year there will be everything from the tiny South American Geoffroy's cat, and brightly spotted African serval, to the big-footed Siberian lynx present for members and guests to enjoy.
Convention pre-planning includes special arrangements approved by the Hilton Doubletree Grand and the Florida Freshwater Fish and Game for the exotic felines to attend.
ÂOur members are professionals, and our safety record at conventions is 'purrfect', says FCF president Robert Turner.
The convention is more than fun, it is an opportunity for learning. On Wednesday the 27th, an 8-hour Wild Feline Husbandry course kicks off the agenda. Certified course instructor Carol Bohning of Ohio, teaches students an array of subjects from regulations to caging to contingency planning.
Bohning says, ÂI enjoy helping the next generation of keeper get off on the right foot. Safety is so important.Â
Thursday evening special guest Jim Sanderson of Conservation International will entertain and inform with an encore presentation of his globe trotting adventures while he camera traps some of the rarest feline species on earth.
Friday morning everyone will bus to the Everglades and experience the natural wonders of Florida's world-renowned 'river of grass' on airboat rides. Then they will be dazzled by the lush botanical gardens, colorful birds and glitzy animal shows at Parrot Jungle Island.
Bhagavan 'Doc' Antle, international animal trainer and featured performer at Parrot Jungle will be presenting a private showing of his ÂWild EncountersÂ with his trained tigers, ligers and other exotic animals for the FCF attendees. Afterwards Doc and the other FCF members will enjoy a cookout at the Tree Top Ballroom.
In addition to having fun, attendees are serious about conservation of these wild feline species. Saturday is devoted to speakers and presentations such as the virtual tour of the FCF supported Playa de Oro Reservea de Tigrillos. This 25,000-acre Ecuadorian rain forest provides habitat for six species of wild feline. Members will also hear an update on wildcat research in India partially funded by the FCF. Cheetah expert Ron Magill, of Metro Miami Zoo will present the 'Cheetah Challenge in Africa'.
The Feline Conservation Federation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and the responsible captive husbandry of all species of wild feline.
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