Wednesday, 31 May 2017

PHOTOS: Leopard walks into Gurgaon village, six of a family trapped for hours

A leopard was caught after five-hour drama at Durga Colony of Sohna locality, 25km from Gurgaon. Locals said the leopard had been around the locality since 3am and entered the residential area at 9am. The big cat was tranquillised and caught at 2.30pm by forest officials. The animal had attacked a youth and a child before entering a house where it was caught later.

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NEWSLINK: Tiger mauls British zookeeper to death in ‘freak accident’

By the time the other zookeepers got to the tiger enclosure, screaming and throwing pieces of meat as a distraction, it was too late.

Rosa King, a zookeeper at Hamerton Zoo Park, 80 miles north of London, had gotten trapped in the “Land of the Tiger” enclosure with at least one of the zoo’s big cats, according to local police and the zoo.


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

NEWSLINK: 11 Captive Big Cats Killed Instead of Transferred to Sanctuary

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates there to be between 5,000 and 7,000 tigers in the United States, even though they’re endemic to Eurasia, not North America. Meanwhile, tigers are endangered, and there are only around 1,500 to 3,500 remaining in the wild. 

That’s right, there are more tigers living in American’s backyards than exist in the wild because a lofty 95 percent of big cats – which include lions, leopards, bobcats, and lynxes, in addition to tigers – aren’t found at the nation’s public zoos, but instead are privately owned. And sadder still, Federal and state laws that govern how these big cats must be treated and cared for are extremely lax. As a result, their well-being isn’t often a huge priority for their owners, and a recent incident in Elbert County, Colorado is just the latest in a string of events that shows how true this unfortunately is.


NEWSLINK: Camera traps to track leopards at IIT

Over the new few months, a wildlife researcher will conduct the first-ever camera-trapping survey of the Indian Institute of Technology at Powai to capture images of leopards on campus.

Nikit Surve of the Wildlife Conservation Society-India is currently carrying out a similar exercise at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) for monitoring the density of leopards. This is the second phase of the initial study conducted between December 2014 and April 2015 to estimate the density of the leopard population as well as its wild and domestic prey. and to determine the big cats' food habits. The study will track the diet of leopards in the campus to check if it is the stray dogs that are attracting the big cats.


NEWSLINK: New wild home for Vladik, the Siberian tiger who got lost in Vladivostok

Last autumn, a male Siberian tiger was spotted wandering the streets just a few miles away from downtown Vladivostok. Several other sightings followed, making residents in the Russian port city more than a little nervous. The big cat was eventually captured, and now, many months later, he's been re-released into the wild, well away from civilisation.


ARTICLE: Is the snow leopard actually 3 distinct subspecies?

New research published in the Journal of Heredity suggests that there are three subspecies of snow leopard, which researchers say could create new conservation opportunities for the elusive species that inhabits remote, high-altitude habitat across Central and South Asia.

All snow leopards were believed to belong to one monotypic species, Panthera uncia, prior to the present study. Though the cats’ range is immense, extending across 1.6 million square kilometers (more than 600,000 square miles) and 12 Asian countries, while also being largely inaccessible to humans, as it includes some of the highest and coldest mountain ranges in the world, hunting and poaching still pose such a serious threat to snow leopards that an estimated population of just 3,500 to 7,000 individuals remains in the wild today.


Friday, 26 May 2017

NEWSLINK: Forest dept studying leopards in, around SGNP

The Forest Department, in order to know the exact locations of leopards in and around Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), and to know their population, is doing a study on the movements of leopards. The study is being done in order to reduce the chances of a human-animal conflict in the area surrounding the SGNP.

While the study is currently being conducted in IIT Bombay and Aarey, the fieldwork will end on June 4 and be concluded by July this year.


Thursday, 25 May 2017

VIDEO: Jaguar slips into stealth mode to take down giant crocodile

Footage shows the large, spotted cat swims through the murky water towards a river bank, looking for prey.

The adult male then spies a giant alligator sitting on a tiny sandy island and slips into stealth mode.

The huge cat carefully steps through the river towards it, treading its paws quietly as not to alert its potential dinner.

Once it has reached a perfect position behind the croc, the jaguar then crawls back into the water and rapidly paddles towards it.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

ARTICLE: Protein rich diet kills 10 tigers, 5 lions in Bannerghatta Park. Why?

More than 10 tigers and five lion deaths in the Bannerghatta Biological Park had vets worried. For the past few months, zoo veterinarians noticed that a number of big cats passed away as a result of kidney-related problems. But now, zoo officials seem to have understood what’s causing the deaths.

A protein rich diet caused a number of complications for the wild animals. According to zoo officials, the diet led to renal failure among many of the big cats, resulting in their death. For months, veterinarians studied the visceral samples of tigers and lions and found that the animals’ liver was unable to process the waste products of protein synthesis and this put further pressure on their kidneys.


ARTICLE: Threat to Big Cat: 7 tigers, 36 leopards died in just 4 months

Despite the tall claims of Maharashtra government for tiger and wild life conservation, there has been a significant rise in the number of deaths of big cat species. At least 6 tigers have died during last 4 months and 36 leopards lost their lives within 3 months.

On May 18 a tiger cub was found in Nagbhid tehsil in Gadchiroli district, taking the total number of deaths of tigers to 7 in just a span of 4 months.

Ironically about 80 per cent of these deaths were reported in Vidarbha region. The alarming trend has exposed the ignorant take of state government towards tiger conservation.


ARTICLE: After four years, Mukundra reserve awaits its first tiger

Four years after its creation, the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR), still awaits relocation of tigers.

Ranthambore National Park (RTR) in Swai Madhopur and Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) in Alwar were the only two reserves in Rajasthan when in 2013 the state government announced a third tiger reserve — the Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve.

The reserve was formed to cater to the spillover tiger population from RTR, which at present is reported to be around 65 tigers.


SIGHTING, UK: Big cat spotted creeping through St Albans field

Sharon Smith, 53, was stuck in Hatfield Road traffic on Friday evening at about 6.30pm, when she glanced out the window and saw something moving in the field by the thoroughfare.

She said it was big, sleek, cream, and moving towards the car.

Doing a double-take, Sharon tried to alert her partner - but he was driving and concentrating on the road.

She said: “I could see its back and it was creeping along and I thought, ‘that doesn’t look like anything I have seen before’.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

NEWSLINK: Pugmarks near Amoni create panic among villagers

Pugmarks of tigers near Amoni village in the vicinity of Sukhi Sewaniya close to the State capital created panic among the villagers. They are of the view that the big cat might have moved near to human habitat in search of water as there are possibilities that due to intensive summer conditions water bodies in the forests might have shrieked or dried up.

Bhopal District Forest Officer (DFO) SP Tiwari while talking to The Pioneer said, "There are 28 tigers in the Ratapani Sanctuary besides about a dozen more striped felines move around the sanctuary in the forests of Kerwa, Kathotiya and Mandora while there are two big cats in the forests of Amoni."

"The population of tigers in the stretch between Ratapani Sanctuary and Kerwa dam has risen to around 28 from 19 in 2013. There were only 9 tigers in the area in 2006," said Tiwari.


NEWSLINK: Rajasthan lioness that gave birth to 5 cubs gets parenting tips from BBC, Nat Geo

Tejika, an Asiatic lioness at Nahargarh Biological Park who recently gave birth to five cubs, was shown documentaries of cats bringing up their cubs in forests of South Africa and Gujarat’s Gir National Park to teach her about motherhood.

This was done after her sister, RT, littered two cubs in Jodhpur’s Machia biological park and accidentally killed one of them earlier this month. RT had picked up the cubs in her mouth and pierced the body of one, killing him instantly. The other was seriously injured.


Sunday, 21 May 2017

PHOTO: “Black panther" captured on TX game camera? (via Richard West)

“Black panther” reports are common in the American South.

Accounts of mysterious black cats crossing the road in front of motorists or seen by hunters are frequent but rarely backed up by photography.

In my 25 years of wildlife journalism I have learned most people assume the animals they are seeing are black (melanistic) cougars. The problem is cougars do not produce melanistic offspring and there has never in history been one documented by science.

So, what are people seeing?


NEWSLINK: Lions, Clouded Leopards Face Same Threats As Extinct Ice Age Relatives, Study Shows

The lion and the Sunda clouded leopard are facing the same threats that led to the extinction of several big cats during the Ice Age, researchers say.

These two big cats are most at risk from extinction because of a lack of food, according to a new study published in the journal Ecography.

The study, conducted by scientists in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and the United States, first analyzed whether the loss of prey was a cause of extinction in seven big cats, including four types of saber-toothed cats, the cave and American lions as well as the American cheetah. The research team discovered that if these animals were alive today, a majority of their preferred prey would be gone.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

PHOTO: Camera captures image of big cat in Jones Chapel

A wildlife camera on private hunting land in west Cullman County captured an image of what appears to be some type of large predatory cat.

The 705-acre property, known to many as the old James Tucker land near Crooked Creek in Jones Chapel, is being leased for deer hunting and has wildlife cameras set up in various areas, said Cullman resident Greg Donnelly, who provided the photograph from one of his cameras.

"I have bobcats on camera, so I'm familiar with their appearance," Donnelly said. "We were thinking this one resembles a mountain lion by its size. Some other people say it looks like a lynx."


NEWSLINK: Puma is 'purr-fect' friend for shy panther

On Bank Holiday Monday, Lincolnshire Wildlife Park introduced Zuri, a melanistic leopard (black panther), and Nigel, a puma, to the sanctuary.

Zuri and three-year-old Nigel are living in an enclosure which has undergone a £10,000 refurbishment.

Visitors can get up to 39 milimetres away from the big cats and admire them through glass.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

NEWSLINK: Scientists Discovered Three New Sub-Species Of Snow Leopard

Panthera uncia aka the snow leopard is considered as the monotypic species on Earth, but in a recent study, scientists have three new sub-species with the same genus. The large big cat family is known to inhabit across 12 countries in Asia covering almost 1.6 million square-kilometer.

A research team from Duquesne University started studying on the poop of snow leopard from different wildlife trails and marking sites. In the Journal of Heredity, researchers published that they have found three primary genetic clusters which were differentiated by geographical location. For the first time in history, scientists made a genetic analysis of wild snow leopard population.


ARTICLE: African Lions Are Facing The Extinction Threats As The Prey Of These Big Cats Are Declining Rapidly

A recent analysis has discovered that the African lions and also the Sunda clouded leopard are facing the risk of extinction. Lack of food is the key cause behind this situation.

Previously, seven big cats that include the sabre-toothed tigers also went extinct due to the loss of prey or shortage of food. According to BBC News, scientists reveal that this extinction took place towards the end of the last Ice Age. Shockingly the trend still exists that now threatens a number of existing big cats, the Sunda clouded leopard, and the African lions.


VIDEO: Large 'cat' spotted in Cullman County

One man is wondering what type of large animal is roaming the woods of his Cullman County hunting camp.

"I was flipping through the pictures and we had pictures of deer, and of course crow, and raccoons. And I went through the slides and I hit the big cat, and I went whoa," said Greg Donnelly.

Donnelly was going back through clips from his game camera when he spotted the predator.


ARTICLE: Using dogs to find cats—overcoming the challenges of tracking cheetahs

Cheetahs are Africa's rarest big cat. Only an estimated 7,000 individuals are thought to survive in the wild. They're spread across 32 populations covering a vast area of more than 3 million square kilometres. Cheetah densities are never higher than two or three cheetahs per 100km2 and can be as low as one cheetah per 4,000km2. Lion density can be up to about 16.85 lions per 100km2. What's more, in areas where cheetahs are persecuted, due to conflict with livestock and game keepers, they may flee before you are ever likely to even see them.


NEWSLINK: Lions enjoy new-found freedom at sanctuary

Two lions have recently started a new phase in their lives at the Born Free sanctuary at Shamwari Game Reserve.

Nelson was rescued from a French zoo in April 2015 when it fell into liquidation and Ciam made international headlines in November 2015 when he was confiscated from a cramped cage in a garden in Southern France.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

VIDEO: A lion defends his brother from a crocodile attack

This is the tense moment a valiant lion saved its younger brother from a horrific crocodile attack in a river.

Stunned tourists captured the two big cats scampering into the water on their mobile phone in Africa last month.

But the fierce crocodile spots the animals and rushes towards them in Wilderness Safari's King's Pool in Botswana.


ARTICLE: Why big cats in a zoo can get bored

When you visit the zoo the next time, observe how a tiger or leopard behaves. If the animal paces up and down on a straight path and pauses for a while, rotates its head, gnaws at its paws and snaps at other animals, then the prized prisoner is displaying stereotypical behaviour of a big cat that is it is bored and suffering from stress.


Sunday, 14 May 2017

NEWSLINK: Wildlife officials checking on reports of big cats

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officers have been investigating several reports of cougars prowling in and near Monroe.

“It’s not unusual, especially this time of year,” said Vance Mumford, DWR biologist. “We live in a narrow valley surrounded on both sides by beautiful habitat.”

Mumford said while there have been several reports of possible cougar sightings in the past two weeks, none of them have been confirmed. He said oftentimes, cougars will travel through the valley without becoming a nuisance.


NEWSLINK: Rescued puma joins Minnesota Zoo's other big cats

A 60-pound male puma made his debut Friday at the Minnesota Zoo, six months after being rescued as an orphan outside Port Angeles, Wash.

Sequim, named for his Pacific Northwest roots, came to the Apple Valley zoo as an injured kitten in October. Zookeepers nursed him back to health, treating him for a variety of parasites and other ailments.

Through constant care, Sequim pulled through. On Friday, he joined the zoo’s older puma on the Medtronic Minnesota Trail, where they will rotate within the exhibit.


Thursday, 11 May 2017

NEWSLINK: Tamil Nadu: Mudumalai hotspot for tiger poaching

Poachers are now targeting drought hit Tamil Nadu for wild animals. Particularly the tigers in Sathyamangalam and Mudumalai are vulnerable with forests and water holes drying up this summer making it easy for the poachers to follow, said a forest department official responding to the recent case of tiger being poisoned to death at Sathyamangalam tiger reserve.


NEWSLINK: Big cat count increases in Assam's Orang Tiger Reserve

Orang Tiger Reserve (OTR), about 150km from here, has an estimated 28 tigers in the 492.46 square km area, according to the latest big cats' count. In 2013, Orang had an estimated 24 tigers. OTR field director Sunnydeo Choudhury said that the estimation exercise carried out between January and March this year in 78.8 square km core area of the reserve found tiger density to be 35.44 per 100 square km, which is the highest in the country as well as in the world. Choudhury said although the present density figure is subjected to further evaluation, the preliminary estimation has strong indications about Orang having "highest tiger density in the country.""Our estimation says 35.44 tigers per 100 sq km. This figure will go through special software for further evaluation.


NEWSLINK: Ninth tiger death in Uttarakhand in just five months

An 18-month-old tiger, which was rescued from Kota range of Ramnagar forest division on May 1, 2017 died on Sunday. Officials of the forest department told TOI that the tiger succumbed to dehydration, injuries and infection. With this, the number of big cats which died in Uttarakhand this year has risen to nine.


VIDEO: Trainer knocked out and bitten by massive lion after letting it pounce on him

Terrifying footage shows the trainer standing in a cage in the sun beckoning the lion towards him.

The giant cat creeps in his direction as the man opens his arm with a welcome smile.

But he recoils in shock as the lion jumps up towards him with its claws out.

The carnivore's paws wrap around the trainer's face as he tumbles to the ground with the heft of the huge cat on top of him.

As the man rolls onto his side, the lion the grabs his leg and sinks its teeth into his thigh.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

NEWSLINK: Could huge paw print be proof that leopards are in suburban Australia?

A man has claimed leopards are stalking Australia's suburbs after finding a massive cat-like paw print in the bush.

Sydney man John Geragotellis, 44, spotted the 8 centimetre imprint in bushland in northern Wollongong.

Mr Geragotellis is convinced the footprint left in the mud – which he photographed with a cigarette lighter for scale – was left by a big cat.


NEWSLINK: Swings placed for lion cubs in Etawah Safari

The authorities of Etawah lion safari have placed swings in the enclosure of cubs Sultan and Simba to keep them fit and active.

The cubs, both male, born in October 2016 to Jessica and Manan, now weigh 25 kg each.
Jessica was brought in December 2015, Manan in 2014 from Gujarat. Jessica had conceived in May 2016. She gave birth to two male cubs on October 5, 2016.


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

ARTICLE: Why leopards are changing their hunting spots

In the last six months, there have been five incidents of human-leopard conflict in Haryana; officials are finally attempting to understand why the big cats are leaving the forests and straying into towns and villages

Increasing instances of leopards straying into inhabited areas has prompted the Haryana Forest Department to seek a detailed study from the Wildlife Institute of India on why wild animals, especially big cats, are leaving the safety of the forests to enter populated areas.


NEWSLINK: Ahead of translocation, Rajaji Reserve sets up tiger cell

Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) authorities have constituted a seven member Tiger Cell that will exclusively monitor, plan and ensure safety of translocated big cats. A Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) is also in the making.

The step comes three years after the plan to translocate tigers to the western part of the reserve, home to only two tigresses, was mooted. The western part, spread over 570 sqkm, hasn’t reported breeding since 2003. A 1.2 km long and 3 km wide corridor splits the reserve into two halves preventing the movement of tigers between the eastern and the western sides.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

NEWSLINK: Gurgaon: Four leopards rescued successfully in last five months

The wildlife department has successfully conducted four leopard rescue operations in the last five months. The big cats that strayed into civilian areas were rescued and released into the wild.

These operations are important as in November 24, last year, a two-and half-year-old leopard was beaten to death at Mandawar in Sohna area in the presence of staff from wildlife department officials and the police.

After the first incident, four more cases — December 28 in Malaka, February 16 in Palwal, March 17 in Sohna at a village near Mandawar and the latest in Durga Colony of Sohna — have been reported.


ARTICLE: The Big Fight of Big Cats: Fight for Space in Indian Reserves

Tiger poaching has again been detected in the Uttarakhand forests of North India driving the Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat to order an inquiry, writes Priyanka Bhardwaj.

The matter pertains to the seizure of five tiger skins and 130 kg tiger bones belonging to Corbett Tiger Reserve in March last year.

Initially the Minister instituted tiger monitoring to be conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to verify all about tigers gone missing or killed in more than one year.

The member of the State Wildlife Board, Rajiv Mehta came out with a report in which all fingers pointed to the neglect of top wildlife officials and also the involvement of Chief Wildlife Warden D.V.S. Khati, the then Corbett director Samir Sinha and head of anti-poaching cell Dhananjai Mohan – and demanded transfer of these officials for an impartial probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.


ARTICLE/VIDEO: Bengal Tiger Population Faces Crisis: Limited Gene Flow

The populations of the Bengal tiger are gradually decreasing due to the limited flow of the genes between these endangered species. The crucial fact surfaces in the western Himalayan foothills.

The Bengal tiger is one of the most numerous tiger subspecies in the world. A recent study explores that the gene flow of this wild creature in the two reserves situated in the Terai Arc Landscape is very slow. The said Terai region is located in the foothills of the western Himalaya. According to WWF, these wild animals basically exist in India and a small population is present in Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, and Bhutan.


PHOTO/SIGHTING, UK: Is this the Beast of Quantock Hills?

A family has captured these amazing images of a "big cat" on the prowl at a picturesque picnic spot.

As big cat fans speculate it could be a panther or puma, a mum has revealed how she and her daughter were at Crowcombe Park Gate in the Quantock Hills, Somerset, when she saw the "big black" animal .

The 32-year-old mum said the sun was glinting off the animal's fur as it skulked through the long grass metres in front her and her 14-year-old.

She pointed her camera at the massive feline and zoomed in to get a better view, taking a photo to give herself a closer look.


Thursday, 4 May 2017

NEWSLINK: Paralysed and starving, 18-month-old tigress rescued by villagers

At a time when reports of people killing big cats that venture near human settlements is all too common, an act by residents of Balaun village in Ramnagar district of Uttarakhand may go on to save the life of an 18-month-old tigress.

The sub-adult big cat, whose hind quarters is paralysed, could have died of hunger, but for the locals who found it lying in the bushes Sunday evening and immediately informed the forest officials. The animal was rescued by the foresters Monday morning.


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

VIDEO/SIGHTING, UK: Stunned mum spots wild ‘black panther’ prowling around Brit countryside

Lisa London, 43, is the latest person to come across the creature in broad daylight.

The mum-of-two said she was driving from her home in Bicester to Oxford when she had the encounter.

She said: “You go down a country road and what I saw was maybe 100 yards in front of me: it essentially strolled across the road from the right to the left then leapt into the bushes.

"It looked like a black panther — it was shiny black and there was no way it was a dog or a deer or a domestic cat, it was too big."


VIDEO: Amazing Video Reveals The Secret Life of Wyoming Mountain Lions

Just last month a mountain lion was tranquilized in a neighborhood in Gillette Wyoming. That must have had neighborhood mom’s on edge even after they captured it.

Then there was the one spotted inside Riverton city limits, just after they got the one in Gillette. Police think it may have been attracted by the smell of mule deer that were grazing in nearby alfalfa fields.

Back in July of 2016, we ran a story on this website with the screaming headline: Mountain Lion Spotted in Casper-May Still Be Around. That story comes with a photo of a big cat walking across a neatly manicured Casper golf course, past a pond, with some homes in the background.


NEWSLINK: Tiger cub rescued from Corbett dies, 8th big cat death this year

A four-and-a-half-month-old tiger cub died after being rescued from the Corbett Tiger Reserve on Monday. The cub which had been abandoned by its mother was found injured and was rescued by the forest officials from Kota forest range in Ramnagar to provide medical attention. Postmortem reports suggested that the big cat, around 8 yrs old, died after being involved in a fight with another animal. Another tiger was found dead on January 19 and reason was cited as territorial fighting by the forest department. The body has been cremated following the guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority .