EFBC’s Feline Conservation Center is a breeding zoo and research facility, and home to over 70 cats from some of the world’s most endangered felines. Among the cats at the center are some feline species that most are unfamiliar with including the Jaguarundi, the astonishingly cute Manul, Serval, Margay, and the Geoffroy’s Cat.
Taking care of so many animals is a huge undertaking, with a large chunk of the staff’s time spent keeping the cats engaged and entertained. Among the tools to keep the cats amused are giant “boomer” balls, swimming tubs, truck tires for swatting, logs for scratching, and meat or mice frozen into ice cubes for the cats to gnaw on. The cats also enjoy such stimulants as ground allspice (similar in effect to catnip) and giving them herbs like rosemary and gourds provide sensory and taste stimulation for the curious felines.
Open to the public and nestled near the historic Tropico Mine and Willow Springs Raceway, visitors are given the chance to view these unique and beautiful animals very close up in a quiet setting.
Visitors can also feel good about supporting an institution dedicated to the conservation and breeding of these endangered animals and for every dollar donated, “94 cents goes toward our breeding, research, educational outreach programs as well as upkeep and improvements around the center,” according to the center’s website. The EFBC was recently rated in the top one percent of all non-profit charitable organizations in the United States.
Know Before You Go
From Los Angeles take the 5 or 405 north to where the 14 (Antelope Valley Freeway) begins, just south of the Valencia area. Take the 14 north about 60 miles to Rosamond (which is about 10 miles north of Lancaster). There is only one Rosamond exit, which is also the exit for Edwards Air Force Base. Exit Rosamond Blvd. and go west (left turn, from L.A.). Go 3.5 miles to Mojave-Tropico Road; there is a stop sign, a large colorful sign on the corner. Turn right, go about one mile to Rhyolite, and turn left. EFBC's driveway begins where Rhyolite ends.