Sunday, 23 April 2017

ARTICLE: Counting the Tiger, Correctly: Will the Govt Use the New Method?

Researchers at the Indian Statistical Institute, Bengaluru, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have come up with a new methodology that has the potential to revolutionise the way tigers and other big animals are counted over large geographical areas.


How many tigers are there in India?

According to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, in 2006, the number was estimated at 1,411 and in 2010 it was 1,706. In 2016, the world rejoiced when India announced that it had nearly 2,500 members of this critically endangered big cat.

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VIDEO: Stunning Rare Footage Reveals Elusive Snow Leopards

The snow leopard scented the herd of Siberian ibex on the strong wind blasting over the ridgeline at more than 11,000 feet, high in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, on Russia’s remote border with Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan. With its gray coat and black spots, the big cat was nearly invisible against the rock of this arid landscape. It padded confidently toward its quarry through deep snow on wide, insulated feet, watchfully moving down an eroded draw above the frozen Chaganburgazy River.

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

NEWSLINK: As Tony the truck stop tiger's health fails, his advocates fight harder to free him

Efforts to free Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger who is being used as a living attraction at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, La., have been going on for years, but things just took an urgent turn over concerns that his health is failing.


Tigers have been an unfortunate feature at the Tiger Truck Stop since the 1980s, but over the years Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin has racked up numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), ranging from mishandling tigers and failing to provide veterinary care and proper shelter to unsanitary feeding practices and not having properly trained employees – and he may soon be facing more.

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SIGHTING, UK: Warwickshire 'panther' video and photos

The "panther" was seen by a mum enjoying some sunshine at Crowcombe Park Gate, in Somerset's Quantock Hills.


The 32-year-old, who was with her daughter, 14, said sunlight was glinting off the animal's fur and it prowled through a patch of long grass.


The woman, who did not wish to be named, said she immediately took a photo of it.

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NEWSLINK: Tigers are on cold shower, special diet to beat heat

As the temperature in Mumbai soars, spare a thought for the tigers and lions of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and Byculla Zoo. And the authorities who take care of the animals are doing their best to keep them cool.


“We are giving regular cold water showers to the tigers, lions and leopards that are in cages,” Vikas Gupta, director of SGNP, told Free Press Journal.


The park is not just a habitat for animals, but is also the green lungs of Mumbai city as it acts as a purifier for much of Mumbai’s pollution.

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VIDEO: Family of big cats cross a busy road bringing cars to a standstill

A pride of lions stunned motorists when they brought traffic to a standstill by crossing a busy road.


Drivers were left speechless on Saturday night when they spotted the big cats crossing the Pipavav-Rajula highway in Amreli, a district in the Indian state of Gujarat.


Once they appear on the highway from the nearby Gir Forest National Park, the world's only natural habitat for Asiatic lions, the big cats patiently wait on the highway for the vehicles to pass by.

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

PHOTOS/VIDEOS: Hero mother Bary boosts population of rarest cats in world with 2 healthy cubs

In recent years, the Siberian - or Amur - leopard almost died out: in 2007 there were as few as 30 in the wild.


Recent estimates suggest a figure of 80 of these big cats in the Russian Far East as they edge their way back.

These cubs, caught by a wildlife camera, are the first proof that leopardess Bary - aged 4 - has given birth in the Land of the Leopard National Park, set up by the Russian government to ensure the survival of the most threatened cat species on the planet.


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NEWSLINK: Key leopard population 'crashing', study warns

The leopard population in a region of South Africa once thick with the big cats is crashing, and could be wiped out within a few years, scientists warned on Wednesday.


Illegal killing of leopards in the Soutpansberg Mountains has reduced their numbers by two-thirds in the last decade, the researchers reported in the Royal Society Open Science journal.


"If things don't change, we predict leopards will essentially disappear from the area by about 2020," lead author Samual Williams, a conservation biologist at Durham University in England, told AFP.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

NEWSLINK: SGNP officials help big cats cool down even as mercury continues upward swing

Residents are not alone in their struggle to cope with the rising mercury and humidity. Officials of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) said the big cats housed in the park are also showing signs of heat stress.


"The first thing we did this year was to install a digital thermometer in the cages of all big cats, including leopards, lions and tigers. We have been able to monitor heat levels, and take immediate action if temperatures soar," said Dr Shailesh Pethe, Veterinary Officer, SGNP.

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NEWSLINK: Leopard scare in Maharashtra village after people find half-eaten calf

Panic spread across Vedi village of Palghar district after a villager discovered a half-eaten carcass of a calf preyed upon by a leopard. However, the forest department officials have asked the villagers to stay clam and alert. They said the big cat might have strayed into the village looking for water and food, as the number wild boars, its natural prey, is dwindling in the wild.


“The calf belonged to Jitendra Mhatre, a resident of Vedi village, and its half-eaten body was found a few metres away from his field,” said Dinesh Desale, range forest officer, Saphale.

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Sunday, 16 April 2017

VIDEO: Former circus lions making themselves at home in Alpine

A rare, male white lion and two female lions who spent their lives as circus entertainers have a new home this week at a sprawling animal sanctuary in Alpine.


The big cats arrived at Lions, Tigers and Bears Wednesday night after being picked up from north of Los Angeles where they were being boarded while awaiting the trip.

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NEWSLINK/PHOTO: UK 'big cat' sighting a domestic tabby, says wildlife expert

An animal expert has poured cold water over possible sightings of a big cat on the outskirts of Inverness.


Douglas Richardson from the Highland Wildlife Park believes the black cat spotted in Milton of Leys this week was a domestic tabby.


He said: “The posture, tail position and apparent thickness, size of the animal and its apparent shoulder height in relation to the grass are consistent with this.

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

SIGHTING/PHOTO: Elusive Arkansas mountain lion is spotted again

A photo was sent to me this week of an obvious mountain lion that had wandered in front of a game camera in Randolph County. The validity of the photo looked real, as did the source, therefore I tend to believe it was a real cat sighting.


I forwarded the photo along to my contact at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) for them to verify and they had already been in contact with the originator of the photo. If verified, this would be one of about 10 confirmed sightings of mountain lions in our state.

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NEWSLINK: Will Congress Finally Step Up to Protect Big Cats?

Animal advocates are applauding members of Congress for taking action to protect big cats from cruelty, abuse and neglect by reintroducing a big bill that would make it illegal to keep them as pets in the U.S.


It’s currently estimated that there are more than 10,000 privately owned big cats in captivity across the nation. While some states have laws banning the private possession of big cats, others have weak or no laws in place at all, leaving big cats to suffer in any number of situations that can range from simply not meeting their needs to being downright abusive.

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NEWSLINK: Mountain lion transient but making presence known in state

Although mountain lions were common in Oklahoma and elsewhere in the plains prior to European settlement, they were eradicated during the 19th century.


As the countryside was settled and developed, the large predators were shot. People also killed almost all of the deer, the mountain lions’ primary food source.

Because mountain lions are reclusive animals, it’s hard to know exactly when and where they are present.

Most mountain lions in Oklahoma are transient — just passing through. There is no evidence of residential mountain lions in our state. They can come from the Dakotas and tend to follow river systems down through Colorado and the panhandle of Oklahoma and continue into New Mexico.

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NEWSLINK: Forest dept confirms five tigers at Mhadei

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary of Sattari is again in the news for the presence of almost five tigers in it. 

This area is not easily accessible and has tough geographical terrain and using camera trap techniques was a big challenge. The camera trap technology used by the forest officials of wildlife division took pictures of five different tigers.This time the authorities, with the help of trekkers, put the camera trap in areas where tiger movements were most likely. 

Vitthal Shelke, an activist with Wildlife Rescue in Sattari said, "There is no doubt that tigers moving in the Mhadei region are residents, since repeated camera trap pictures have indicated that the area is a favourable natural habitat for the big cats". We had planned our strategy to protect and conserve the tigers.

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

NEWSLINK: Sabre-toothed tigers in ice-age Los Angeles had bad back trouble

The big sabre-toothed cats that roamed Los Angeles 12,000 years ago had bad backs and shoulders, it seems.


Meanwhile, the other apex predator that shared its southern California habitat, the dire wolf, was more likely to suffer from headaches and leg pain.


The discoveries come from an analysis of thousands of bones from skeletons of these extinct creatures, with the injuries probably sustained as a result of their dining habits.

Like other cats, the sabre-toothed Smilodon fatalis ambushed its prey and wrestled them into submission. Modern big cats suffocate their prey, by either biting down on the victim’s snout to clamp it shut or squeezing its throat to crush its trachea so it can’t breathe.

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NEWSLINK/PHOTOS: Secret heartache of Longleat cheetah cubs

Their little mohicans are growing out fast and they may have longer limbs but these two adorable cheetah cubs are as mischievous as the day they were born.


Twins Poppy and Winston are the first cheetah cubs to be born at Longleat Safari Park, in Wiltshire, and were part of a breeding programme to boost numbers of the big cats.

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Sunday, 9 April 2017

ARTICLE: A history of North East big cat sightings - and why 40 years of them could soon come to an end

Big cats still prowl the North East - but for how long will be they be spotted?


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the event which many feel led to the spate of sightings which have captured the public imagination.

However sightings seem to be less numerous these days and some wonder if the animals, which were always limited in number, and the few offspring they had are dying off.


It was in 1977 that the Dangerous Wild Animals Act came into force to deal with the fashion then of people keeping interesting or exotic pets which were often from the more dangerous species.

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NEWSLINK: Ghodbundar, India: ‘Leopard has become a part of our neighbourhood’

A week after the incident wherein a leopard fell into the broken rook of their hutment in Ghodbundar Village, it's life as usual for the Wede family as well as their neighbours, who continue to live in perfect harmony with their feline neighbours from the SGNP.

As the locals of this area who are all accustomed to seeing the big cat as it leaves its territory and visits Retibundar area at night for a sip of water from the creek or an easy catch as the area has plenty of dogs, cats and rats. The locals were not very startled when the big cat fell into the roof of the hutment of the Wede family late last Sunday.

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Thursday, 6 April 2017

NEWSLINK: CAT Publications meets Big Cat Sanctuary

CAT Publications staff took a paws from the office to pay a visit to the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent as part of the company's milestone 30th anniversary.

News, sales and marketing staff from CAT Publications were taken on a private tour of the facility - which is home to 15 species of big cats including lions, white tiger, jaguar and lynx - to see first-hand the positive work that is being carried out.

The Kent facility is the key charity partner for CAT Publications #CATis30 campaign, through a number of initiatives. The sanctuary breeds big cats, the majority of them in fast-declining numbers, and takes in castaways from zoos or circuses.

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NEWSLINK: Dead tiger suspected to be 'celebrity' big cat 'Prince'

A tiger which was found dead in Kundkere range of Bandipur forests on Sunday is believed to be Prince, the celebrity big cat which had attracted thousands of tourists.

The dead tiger's stripe marks and those of Prince match 90 per cent, according to Forest Department. The forest authorities said they will carry out a combing operation for 4-5 days from Wednesday to confirm whether it is Prince or not.

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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

NEWSLINK/EVENT: Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge Set to Celebrate 25 Years of Rescuing Big Cats and Exotics

Mark your calendars, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) is celebrating their 25th anniversary on Sunday, April 23, 2017. 

Join them for a day filled with fun, food, family, and felines. Come visit with the TCWR team, current interns, past interns, and many individuals who have made the last 25 years possible. Celebrate all of their accomplishments and see the amazing animals that they have saved through their mission and dedication.

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NEWSLINK/PHOTOS: Black panthers exist in Australia, expert says

Topics reported last week about the elusive and mysterious black panther.


There’s been loads of sightings of big black cats around the Hunter, according to readers.


These sightings have been at places including Minmi, Wallsend, Munmorah, Freemans Waterhole, Morisset, Swansea, Kurri Kurri, Cessnock, Singleton, the Watagan Mountains, Medowie and Stroud.


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