Tuesday, 27 August 2019

NEWSLINK: $87M wildlife bridge in California will be a haven for mountain lions

Mountain lions in Southern California will have a safer place to roam by 2023 thanks to an $87 million bridge being designed northwest of Los Angeles and spread out above the busy 101 Highway.

California is the only state in the country where shooting the creatures for sport is banned. But a March study published in the journal Ecological Applications suggested mountain lions could be extinct within 50 years if changes to their environment don’t happen.

"Animals were able to move around through different parts of the mountains until humans cut them off with giant roads,” said Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation. “GPS tracking shows that the animals are largely isolated in their own small areas, unable to mingle. Segmentation impacts animals both large and small: lizards and birds up to mountain lions.”

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Monday, 26 August 2019

SIGHTING, UK: Mystery beast photographed prowling beauty spot near Castleford

An amateur photographer captured more than he bargained for - when he snapped what could be a large wild cat at a nature reserve.

John Pearson had been taking sunrise snaps at St Aidan's Nature Reserve at Allerton Bywater on Saturday when a strange movement caught his eye in the distance.
So the 46-year-old quickly tried to focus in on the mystery creature and was shocked by what he saw.

The fibre optic engineer, who lives at Rothwell, said: "It was about 5.30am, I like getting there early doors, I do it regularly getting pictures of the sunrise.

"I was roughly about 200 metres away and I never thought it was a cat, I looked through my lens and thought it was a dog at first because it was about that size.

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NEWSLINK: Estero man believes a panther is to blame for his cat's disappearance

An Estero man thinks a panther snatched his missing cat straight from his back lanai.

A trail of blood and fur led to his ripped lanai screen in the back of his house. He told his neighbors he thinks it happened Wednesday morning and hasn't seen his cat since.

His Bella Terra neighbors say they have seen an uptick in panther sightings in the past few months.

Now, his neighbors are worried this is only the beginning.

"What happened to these people is awful, and I just think that it's a big tragedy waiting to happen in a community filled with animals and children," said his next door neighbor Tamara Trovato.
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PHOTOS: Rare strawberry leopard spotted in South Africa

A couple have made the ultimate spot after they caught the world's rarest leopard on camera - in astonishing never before seen photos.

The rare strawberry leopard - or erythristic species - was snapped by a motion triggered camera pinned to a tree in Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve in South Africa.

Reserve owner Alan Watson, 45, and his Irish wife Lynsey, 41, had seen the elusive pink hued species skulking around the reserve but had never been able to catch it on film.

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NEWSLINK: Big cat trade driven by demand for traditional Asian medicine, according to report

Traditional Asian medicine is driving the growing international trade in big cat products and leading to the mistreatment of thousands of animals, according to a recent report.

Bones, blood, and other body parts of big cats are made into products such as balms, capsules, gels, and wines that practitioners of traditional Asian medicine believe to be able to cure ailments ranging from arthritis to meningitis, though in fact they’ve been found to have no provable health benefits. Even before the cats are killed, however, they’re treated more like products than living, breathing creatures, according to the report, released last month by the London-based NGO World Animal Protection.

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NEWSLINK: Mystery illness makes Florida panthers stagger and fall

The Florida panther is an endangered species with only between 120 to 230 adults in existence

Two panthers pace a sandy path, looking lithe and light on their feet. A younger cat staggers after them like a drunkard, lurching in and out of the undergrowth and falling several times.

Wildlife officials fear that the stumbling cat, caught on camera, may have a mysterious neurological disorder that appears to have affected panthers in several counties of Florida, where the big cats are a state symbol.

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SIGHTING, UK: Big cat sighting on Devon coast path 'was a puma'

A man who didn't believe Devon big cat sightings is now convinced they are true after watching and photographing what he says was a puma on an isolated clifftop location.

Holidaymaker Max Tennant was shocked when he spotted the 'massive' reddish brown creature 100 metres ahead of him strolling up and down. He watched it for 30 seconds on the cliffs above Lee Bay, near Woolacombe in North Devon on Tuesday afternoon, August 20 and took a series of blurry pictures on his mobile phone before his dogs disturbed the creature.

It is the latest in a spate of big cat sightings across Devon. Earlier this month, a man was left shocked after seeing what he described as a 'Cranbrook Panther' wandering through a field.

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NEWSLINK: Decomposed big cat carcass recovered near Deuni dam

A decomposed carcass of a big cat was found floating in Devha river near Deuni dam under Amaria block on Wednesday. The carcass was recovered by the forest staff after receiving information from locals.

Owing to extreme decay, it could not be immediately ascertained though whether the dead big cat was a leopard or a tiger. The wildlife veterinarians feel that the big cat was hunted for its hide. This is the first instance of a big cat carcass being recovered in Amaria area. The region is reportedly home to at least 10 stray tigers.

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Tuesday, 13 August 2019

NEWSLINK: Tigress Priyanka dies at Nandankanan Zoological Park

Tigress Priyanka died due to old age complications at Nandankanan Zoological Park on Monday. Now, the zoo has 26 tigers and tigresses.

Zoo authorities said Priyanka was 19.5 years old. “Priyanka was born to Tiger Ashok and Tigress Tanuja on March 25, 2000,” Zoo Deputy Director Jayant Kumar Das said. “Priyanka was under old age care and treatment for the two years. She was not suffering from any disease.

The average lifespan of a tiger or tigress is 16-18 years,” said zoo authorities. The zoo now has five normal coloured tigers and eight tigresses, four white tigers and five tigresses and four melanistic tigers.

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VIDEO: Another Big Cat Spotted in Britain

For the fifth time in the last two weeks, another big cat sighting has occurred in Britain. This particular encounter reportedly took place as Anthony Dickinson and his family were en route to a holiday cottage in North Devon. As they drove up a hill, the group were stunned to suddenly see a sizeable-looking black cat appear at the crest of the road.

In a video of the puzzling run-in with the creature, a number of passengers in the car can be heard wondering what they were seeing in the road ahead of them. One of the witnesses jokingly declares that it is the 'Beast of Bodmin,' one of the more notorious big cats said to lurk in England. This seems to have set off something of a debate in the car as Anthony marvels that "it's massive," while a more skeptical member of the family dismisses the animal as merely a cat and another concedes that she thought that it was a dog due to its size.

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PHOTO: 'Rare’ cougar photographed by Upper Peninsula trail camera

A cougar captured by a trail camera in the Upper Peninsula is the 39th confirmed report since 2008.

The cat was photographed July 7 in daylight hours northwest of Ironwood, in the far western portion of the Upper Peninsula.

“This is very close to where a cougar was documented on a Deer Movement Study trail camera last year,” said Cody Norton, a large carnivore specialist with the Bear and Wolf Program of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

NEWSLINK: Bobcat spotted in Glenville section of Greenwich

A Glenville resident got a surprise visit from a bobcat late last week.

The photo he took depicts what appears to be a bobcat streaking across his backyard.

The bobcat population has been growing for the past several decades, and the sighting of a big cat in Greenwich should not come as a surprise, said Pat Sesto, the town’s director of environmental affairs.

She said there was no immediate concern for public safety.

“Bobcats and people rarely, if ever, have contact. They stay clear of us,” she said. Small pets, especially domestic cats, can be viewed as prey, so it was advisable to keep them indoors at night.

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SIGHTING, UK: Big cat 'size of Alsatian' caught on camera in Cornwall days after 'panther' sighting

A woman in Cornwall has captured video footage of what she believed to be a big cat.
The unknown animal - described as being the size of an Alsatian dog - was spotted by Becky Abrey in a field near Praa Sands, Cornwall, at the weekend.
The sighting comes just days after a dog was reportedly attacked by a big cat in Callington.

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ARTICLE: A map of where big cats have been spotted in Devon and Cornwall

We have put together a map of reported sightings from data released as part of a freedom of information request made to Devon and Cornwall Police, revealing all the force's logs for big cat sightings in the last few years.

In 2016 the Herald also reported on a big cat that was spotted near Ottery, prompting a slew of residents to share their sightings on social media - which we have also added to our interactive map.

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Friday, 9 August 2019

ARTICLE: Reports of mountain lions and pumas stalking Irish countryside

Today is International Cat Day, a day dedicated to showering even more love and affection on our (usually uninterested) pet felines.

Irish people are cat lovers through and through—an example of which can be seen in this Irish woman’s adoption of a sick street kitten in Athens—but the only cats found in Ireland are the domesticated pets.

Or at least that’s what we’ve been told…

For years Ireland has been plagued with the odd unexplained sighting of big cats.
And when we say Big we don’t mean the neighbour’s cat Snowy is looking a bit overweight— some people are convinced they have seen panthers, leopards and pumas roaming around the Irish countryside.

Most recently, in 2018 there were several sightings of a mountain lion in areas around Cork—these sightings were coupled with increased livestock killings and less foxes around the area, and led to the Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals putting down traps and cameras near the places the big cat was spotted.

They didn’t catch anything.

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NEWSLINK: Deformed Mountain Lion Found in Idaho, Remains a Mystery

After an Idaho hunter killed a mountain lion, he was in for a strange surprise.
First, the Idaho Fish and Game confirmed that the rare, deformed mountain lion photo wasn’t a fake, according to the East Idaho News.

The Idaho State Journal reported that the hunter, Tyler Olson, said the mountain lion was attacking his dog near his front porch in Western Canyon. A group of hunters then congregated at the scene after the attack, which left his dog injured. The cougar was later tracked in the area before it was killed by another hunter, who was not named.

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SIGHTING, AUS: Large, black, panther-like animal seen near Rosebery, Tasmania

Helena Croker and Graham Darby, of NSW, got the shock of their lives last weekend when they saw a very large panther-like animal in Tasmania.

The couple, who were visiting Mrs Croker's daughter, were driving back from Burnie at about 7pm last Saturday.

"We were getting close to Rosebery," Mrs Croker said. "It was cold, there was misty rain and it was wet. There was no-one on the road. We were driving down the hill about a kilometre from the town.

"Suddenly a huge black cat leapt from the bank onto the road. It was enormous - the length was amazing. Between the tail and the head it was almost the full lane width, and about a metre tall.

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SIGHTING, UK: 'Leopard' spotted by local man in West Country field in yet another possible big cat sighting

These pictures appear to show what could be a big cat wandering through a field in the West Country.

The photos were snapped by a man who had pulled over his car to top up his phone in Clyst Honiton, just outside of Exeter.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was on the phone when he noticed the creature lurking through the field.

Devon Live reports that he 'swore' it was a panther after taking a longer look at the beast, and even called his friend, an specialist in big cat sightings, to tell him what he was seeing.

He said: "I got out of the car expecting someone to walk past because at first I thought it was a dog.

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NEWSLINK: Woman uses Metallica music to save herself from cougar attack

Blasting Metallica songs out loud has many benefits: those ear-splitting riffs are all you need to get your blood pumping, your mind focused and your mood lifted. You're also probably more likely to get done for speeding, but y'know – swings and roundabouts.
Now, an unusual new benefit has been added to the list: blasting Metallica in the face of an unsuspecting animal will officially help save you from rogue wildlife attacks.
When Canadian woman Dee Gallant was out walking her husky just outside of Duncan, British Columbia, she came face-to-face with an unexpected adversary.

"I looked over to the right and there it was," she told local site KelownaNow. "I couldn't make it out at first and thought, 'Oh, that is a strange colour. That's not a tree.'"

That's when Gallant realised that the not-a-tree was, in fact, a cougar. "It was crouched down, doing that kind of prowl, predator walk that they do – that was when I waved my arms and yelled ‘hey, you stop!’ and it did.”

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ARTICLE: Fossils redraw picture of the fearsome saber-tooth tiger

Until about 10,000 years ago, the saber-tooth cat Smilodon fatalis was a fearsome predator in what is now the American West. More than 3,000 fossilized cats have been pulled from the acrid ooze of the La Brea tar pits in California, and researchers studying them have long pictured Smilodon as a lion-like hunter, chasing bison and horses out on open grasslands.

But now, analyses of hundreds of teeth from La Brea are painting a vastly different picture of this prehistoric terror, which could weigh up to 600 pounds and sported seven-inch-long canine teeth.