Tuesday, 30 July 2019

VIDEO: Warden battling to keep orphaned tiger cubs alive in Indian reserve after mother was poached

The heartwarming dedication of park rangers in India is documented as they fight to conserve the wild tiger population, in ITV documentary Counting Tigers - A Survival Special.

The show, which airs on Tuesday evening, shows a warden, Yogendra Singh, who adopted two young abandoned tiger cubs Bhandhav and Bhandavi, whose mother is thought to have been poached for the illegal fur market.
The cubs were just 10 days old when they were found battling the wintry elements and hours away from death, before they were taken to the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in central India.

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NEWSLINK: Big cat killed in road accident in Bandipur National Park

A four year old tigress was found dead after being hit by an unknown vehicle probably in the early hours of Saturday on the edge of Melukammanahalli check-post, close to Jungle Lodge outside Bandipur National Park on Saturday morning and the necropsy indicates the tigress died from multiple injuries around its neck and its shoulders.

The last time, a tiger was killed in a road mishap was in Moolehole range of the Park in 2003 while a leopard was a victim of road kill also in Moolehole a couple of years back.
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NEWSLINK: Saving the Malayan Tiger Will Require Global Support

The Perak State Park Corporation issued a call for global support to mark World Tiger Day 2019 to save the critically endangered Malayan tiger.

Once estimated at 3,000 animals in Peninsular Malaysia, recent studies have shown an alarming drop in tiger populations. Even as the Perak state works with conservation groups to create larger habitats for tigers, the greatest threat to the Malayan tiger is poaching.

WWF Malaysia had previously warned that the "influx of foreign poachers into Malaysia'sforests is alarming." This followed an earlier warning that a "quiet invasion by poaching syndicates from Indochina" is due to the disappearance of the wild tiger in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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NEWSLINK: Bangladesh 'extremely worried' over low male tiger population

A lower-than-expected population of male Bengal tigers in the world's largest mangrove forest has sparked fears about the long-term viability of the endangered species in Bangladesh, officials said Tuesday.

A poaching crackdown by authorities in the Bangladeshi part of the Sundarbans mangroves saw an increase in the big cat population from 106 to 114 four years ago, according to a census published in May.

But closer analysis of the data found the number of male tigers was lower than the typical ratio of one male for every three tigresses, with the figure now at one male for every five females, officials said

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PETITION: Support the Big Cat Public Safety Act to End Big Cat Ownership!

Big cats are wild animals, not pets. Yet in the United States, it’s estimated that there are thousands of big cats being kept as pets or in roadside zoos. Not only are animals in these conditions suffering greatly, but those keeping them captive are putting their entire communities in danger. Only some states have laws that ban private ownership of big cats. That’s why Representative Mike Quigley reintroduced Bill 1380, the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

This bill would amend the “Captive Wildlife Safety Act to prohibit the possession of lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars, or any hybrid of these species by individuals who are not licensed by the US Department of Agriculture.” The bill does not include sanctuaries, universities, and zoos. Although these can also have terrible conditions for wild animals, the bill is still a positive and necessary step.

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NEWSLINK: India’s Tiger Population Booms, But Problems Persist

India this week announced some amazing news: The country’s wild tiger populations have increased by 30 percent in just the past four years. Buoyed by intense conservation efforts, India is now reportedly home to an estimated 2,967 Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris).

To put this in context, India’s tiger population was estimated at 2,226 in 2016, when the wild population of all tiger subspecies was placed at 3,890. That was a big increase over 2010’s estimate, which placed the world population at just 3,200 after several years of rampant poaching for the animals’ skins and body parts, which are all too often used in traditional Asian medicine.

India credited increased monitoring and stricter wildlife policies for the population increase, which puts the country four years head of its goal to double its wild tiger populations.

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

NEWSLINK: Persian leopard spotted in Northern Iran

The Managing Director of Environment Department of Qazvin, Hassan Pasandideh, said the image of the big cat was captured by camera traps in the no-hunting area on Saturday.

Referring to the fairly high population of wildlife species in the region, Pasandideh said the rare species has been observed for several times in the past months, raising hopes for the environmentalists and those caring for the endangered animal.

Tarom habitat is home to diverse species of wild animals, including leopards, wolves, bears, and boars.

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NEWSLINK: Jaguar reintroduction plan in Argentina represents rare good news story for big cats

Driving along the rutted dirt track into Iberá National Park, it is not hard to see why this vast subtropical wetland stretching from horizon to horizon makes for ideal jaguar habitat.

Capybara the size of sheep seem to be chewing the tall grass everywhere. Some even snooze in the middle of the path and only move grudgingly after vehicles stop in front of them.

These outsize rodents, the world’s largest, might be a curiosity for visitors. But for jaguars, they spell something very different — lunch.

That abundance of prey makes Iberá the perfect setting for the groundbreaking Jaguar Reintroduction Project. The brainchild of the late Douglas Tompkins, an American conservation philanthropist better known as the co-founder of the North Face clothing brand, it represents the first attempt to repopulate the big cats, which are highly aquatic, into an area in which they were previously hunted into extinction.

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VIDEO: Vet catches big cat in Benoni home

A Gauteng veterinarian received an unusual callout on Monday morning when he was asked to remove a leopard from a Benoni home.

Dr Cliff Bull from the Craig View Veterinary Clinic said he was out darting nyala when the SPCA contacted him about a stray leopard that had apparently been spotted in someone's garden harassing their worker and dog.

But when he heard the size of the animal described as "between a labrador and a pitbull" he initially thought it had been misidentified.

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SIGHTING? UK: Poultry keeper from Gloucestershire speaks out after big cat attack

It was the sound of chickens screaming that alerted a Gloucestershire man to something unpleasant taking place in his back garden in the early hours.

He grabbed his torch and went to investigate the disturbance and he was shocked at what he found.

When he opened the door to the garden and shone his torch he saw that a big cat had pinned one of his chickens down on the lawn.

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NEWSLINK: Heavily-drugged baby leopards and tiger rescued from ‘black market smuggler’

Two were baby leopards, just six weeks old and recently taken from their mother.

The Bengal tiger cub is around ten weeks old, and had suffered from malnourishment, say zoo experts in Krasnodar, Russia.

Heartbreaking pictures show the animals which were found in small plastic containers hidden inside luggage.

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NEWSLINK: Rare wildcat kittens born at Highlands field centre

Two Scottish wildcat kittens have been born at a centre involved in a captive breeding programme.

The mammals have been described as "functionally extinct" in the wild.

Their numbers are now so low that new research has concluded there is "no longer a viable wildcat population living wild in Scotland".

The two female kittens were born at the Aigas Field Centre near Beauly in the Highlands. The centre has had a breeding programme since 2011.

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

NEWSLINK: Wife of Italian circus tamer killed by one of his tigers reveals how she watched him die in a second when the animal slashed his throat - but begs officials not to euthanise the cat

The widow of a famed Italian big cat tamer killed by one of his own tigers says he died in a second after the animal's claws severed his jugular vein.

But Loredana Vulcanelli has begged authorities not to put the tiger that killed Ettore Weber two weeks ago to sleep.

She insisted that her husband made a false move with the tiger, Sultan, that cost him his life.

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SIGHTING? AUS: Victoria man shares pictures that claim it’s a “big cat.”

A man claims to have taken pictures of a “big cat” eating a wallaby.

The pictures were sent to a Facebook page showing a large black animal with the remains of a wallaby in its mouth.

The pictures were allegedly taken by a man named Daniel in East Gippsland, Victoria, on a five-acre hobby farm.

When Daniel first came across the animal, he quickly started taking pictures, then yelled at it and the “big cat” ran away.

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REPORT: Demand for 'traditional' Asian medicine is wreaking havoc on wild cats

World Animal Protection (WAP) has released a report documenting the heartbreaking suffering inflicted on big cats farmed throughout South Africa and Asia for the traditional Asian medicine industry.

“Trading Cruelty – how captive big cat farming fuels the traditional Asian medicine industry” describes how thousands of big cats are bred and killed every year only to be made into wines, capsules, gels, and balms — products that have never been proven to have any healing properties.

“Does the life of an animal mean nothing at all,” asks Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, global wildlife advisor at WAP. “These big cats are exploited for greed and money – and for what? For medicine that’s never been proven to have any curative properties whatsoever. For that reason alone, it’s unacceptable. At each stage of their lives they suffer immensely – this makes it an absolute outrage.”

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NEWSLINK: Cradley Heath legend Lew Foley 'released pet lions onto Malvern Hills'

Black Country eccentric Lew Foley – who kept a pride of lions at his Cradley Heath home – unleashed the beasts on the Malvern Hills, a close friend claims.

What’s more, Lew also liberated big cats for other people whose collections of downright dangerous pets flew in the face of the newly introduced Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

Lew’s friend, Norman Catton, has broken his silence about the secret Malvern Mission following last week’s appeal in our sister title, the Sunday Mercury.

We revealed how Channel 5 are considering a documentary on the man who regularly took his three lions walkies and even brought them to his local pub.

Norman, who now lives in Halesowen, was one of the few Lew confided in after the big cats disappeared from his back garden.

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SIGHTING? UK: Fresh 'Surrey puma' alert after devoured deer carcass discovered in Redhill field

The discovery of a devoured deer carcass in a Redhill field and presence of a lynx-like creature in the area has reinvigorated the "Surrey puma" legend.

Cass Elbourne was walking her dog in the fields off Brambletye Park Road on Friday (July 12) when she spotted the grisly carcass.

The 55-year-old, from Redhill, said: "It made me think wow, it didn't look like it had been eaten by a fox, it was like it had been thrown into a lion's cage - it was completely devoured and stripped bare, it was like something you would see at the zoo.

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CARL WRITES: Rewilding the Lynx - how might this affect cryptozoology?

Rewilding the Lynx. How might this affect cryptozoology? 

Lynx are likely already inhabiting areas of Britain! There have been numerous eyewitness reports, not to mention specimens collected (E.g. the 'Canadian' lynx shot in 1903 that's now housed at Bristol Museum, 'Lara the Lynx', captured alive in 2001, and 'Lillith the Lynx', unfortunately shot and killed in 2017). I myself have found physical evidence in the Forest of Dean that suggests at least one Felid, comparable to a lynx in both size and shape, was at least at that time residing in the forest. Escaped Lynx do turn up on occasion, and as there is growing evidence the genus is active in Britain, how might this eventually effect the reintroduced animals? As all 'British lynx' are likely either escaped or released animals, and not necessarily of the same species, I predict the possible presence of hybrid genetic markers occurring in the bloodlines of the reintroduced lynx following the rewilding program, and if so, this may present strong molecular data in favour of the animals former presence in the UK. 🐾🐾 


  • 'Canadian' Lynx (1903), Max Blake et al: https://www.academia.edu/11969894/Multidisciplinary_investigation_of_a_British_big_cat_a_lynx_killed_in_southern_England_c._1903 
  • 'Lara the Lynx' (2001): http://scotcats.online.fr/abc/realcats/larathelynx.html 
  • 'Lillith the Lynx' (2017): https://theconversation.com/fact-check-was-it-right-to-kill-lilith-the-escaped-lynx-87543

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

NEWSLINK: The huge cost of taking this popular travel selfie

Hordes of tourists who visit Asian hot spots are unknowingly supporting a cruel and unethically rare animal trade that breeds and kills lions and tigers on a massive scale.

World Animal Protection today released a report revealing thousands of big cats are being farmed in large-scale operations, many of which are marketed as conservation projects to unwitting travellers.

They are anything but, with one expert telling news.com.au it is “very unlikely, almost impossible” for any form of tourism involving wild animals to be operated ethically.

Instead, those cute lion and tiger cubs that make enviable selfie companions eventually grow up and are used for breeding before being slaughtered and sold as part of a booming multi-billion dollar traditional Asian medicine industry.

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NEWSLINK: Circus tamer mauled to death by four tigers

A circus tamer has been killed by four tigers during a training exercise in Italy.

The 61-year-old man was attacked and mauled to death by the tigers who were part of his circus act in Triggiano, a small town near Bari (at the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’) on Thursday.

One of the tigers allegedly began to attack the trainer before three others joined in.
Reports suggest that the big cats played with his body for a while in their cage before paramedics and circus staff could eventually intervene.

The tamer, Ettore Weber, was taken to hospital immediately but later died due to his injuries.

The incident has sparked fresh calls for a ban on the use of animals in circuses.

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NEWSLINK: Indian tigers in distress: Death of three outside Tadoba reserve exposes skewed laws, territorial crunch in safe havens

A tigress and her two cubs dying outside the boundary of Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra early this week, by several accounts an instance of revenge poisoning for having killed a village cattle, is actually a big optical illusion at play. The fact is the ghastly incident has as much to do with official apathy as with the booming tiger population all over India.
Add to this the lackadaisical legal system which is woefully inadequate to nail the culprits, a marked failure to pursue the case against the accused till their conviction and virtually letting them walk free. There are reasons why people are getting more emboldened to kill the big cats once they step outside the tiger reserve.

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NEWSLINK: Lion and tiger farming may be inhumane, but we don’t know if it increases poaching

It is never pleasant to see wild animals caged and abused. A new report by the NGO World Animal Protection suggests that captive-breeding operations for lions and tigers have expanded to meet an increasing demand for big cat products used in traditional Asian medicine. While this is clearly bad news for the captive cats themselves, confined in often horrible conditions, we are not convinced by the report’s findings on what this means for wild populations.

Animal welfare organisations often suggest that farming wild species will lead to an increased loss of animals from their natural habitats. Either this is because animals are taken from the wild to stock the farms, or because the sale of farmed products increases demand for the wild version, leading to more illegal killing (also known as “poaching”).

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Tuesday, 2 July 2019

NEWSLINK: Zoo owner said “in his opinion” keeper left tiger in paddock overnight and then re-entered enclosure to clean

Coroner Nicholas Moss asked Andrew Swales, the founder and current director of the company that runs the zoo, near Sawtry, to refer to a statement he made just after Rosa died on May 29, 2017.

Rosa, 33, senior carnivore keeper at the zoo, suffered traumatic injuries after being mauled by the male Malayan tiger called Cicip.

Mr Swales said slide [gate three] was open, which gave the tiger free access to the paddock area which Rosa then re-entered to clean a visitor's viewing window just after 9.30am.

Mr Swales explained the tiger should have been shut in its den overnight and Rosa would have been unlikely to have let him out first as she would have been aware of the difficulties of letting him into the paddock, then attempting to coax him back to the den to allow the cleaning to take place.

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NEWSLINK: Wildlife Groups Seek Endangered Status For California Mountain Lions

Two wildlife advocacy groups have petitioned California to grant endangered species status to the state’s mountain lions to help protect them from encroachments that threaten to drive them to extinction.

“Our mountain lions are dying horrible deaths from car collisions and rat poison, and their populations are at risk from inbreeding,” warned Tiffany Yap, a biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity, which presented the petition with the Mountain Lion Foundation. “Without a clear legal mandate to protect mountain lions from the threats that are killing them and hemming them in on all sides, these iconic wild cats will soon be gone from Southern California.”

The striking apex predators that roam the hills of Southern California are critical to the region’s ecosystem yet are increasingly threatened by development and a crisscross snare of highways. If cars don’t kill the animals, the roadways tend to keep populations isolated, significantly reducing mating opportunities and the big cats’ genetic diversity, which affects their health.

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NEWSLINK: Residents fear for safety after council allows two lions and a puma to be kept in Notts village

Residents in a Nottinghamshire village have labelled it a "travesty of justice" that a man has been allowed to keep two lion cubs and a puma there.

Earlier this week, Broxtowe Borough Council's planning committee went against the advice of the planning officer by allowing Reece Oliver, 28, to keep the animals in an enclosure at his home in Strelley Village - close to the M1 motorway.

Mr Oliver, who is an international show jumper and is fully licenced to own big cats, punched the air in the public gallery as the result was read out on Wednesday, June 26.

His animals include Rogue, a two-and-a-half-year-old Canadian puma, who weighs up to 65 kilos and is knee height.

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SIGHTING, SCOTLAND: Expert claims animal likely to be exotic breed

An experienced photographer claims to have spotted a "big cat" near Alves.
Gazette snapper Eric Cormack was out on a shoot near Alves Old Parish Church with a colleague on work experience when he spotted something dart across his vision in his viewfinder.

He said: "It bounded across the field around 300 yards away - it's tail was really long and moved differently to a domestic cat. It swallowed up the ground really quickly with its long legs."

Eric immediately changed from a wide-angle lens to a zoom but the animal was only in view for 30 seconds.

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NEWSLINK: Gir lions affected by deadly virus last year, vulnerable, may never be freed in the wild

"A course comprising three cycles of vaccination has been completed. All the big cats are now virus-free and fit," said chief conservator of forest Dushyant Vasavda told Hindustan Times.

But there is chance of lower immunity, their presence can possibly put the lives of other big cats in danger if they catch CDV again and hence the forest department has decided not reintroduced the Lions to the wild.

However, they are mulling a plan to use these lions for gene pool research, breeding, and animal exchange programmes between zoos.

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VIDEO: Motorcyclists in India escape death after tiger chase

It was possibly the scariest ride of their lives -- a tiger hot on their heels as they travelled near a national park in Kerala, India.

The big cat dashed out of the forest and chased after two men riding a motorcycle on the road.

The pair were officials from the forest department, which has been recently patrolling the area after receiving a tip-off of a tiger sighting, the Hindustan Times reported.

Find the animal they did -- it was running right after their vehicle.

Fortunately, the tiger did not continue with the pursuit and leapt into the surrounding woodwork.