Tuesday, 31 December 2019

NEWSLINK: 'Feline leukomyelopathy' causing neurological issue in Florida panthers

Scientists still don't know what is causing some Florida panthers to display signs of a neurological disorder, but they've given it a name: feline leukomyelopathy.

"They (biologists) gave it a name they can use while they’re talking about it," said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson.
FWC is the state agency in charge of protecting wildlife like the panther, the state animal and an endangered species.

Several Florida panthers were stricken with the neurological disorder earlier this year, which caused the cats to walk with a strange gait. Some of the cats had to be euthanized.

"They’re not sure if it’s different toxins in the environment or infectious disease or related to nutritional deficiencies, so there’s still a lot to be learned," Segelson said. "But there’s no ‘aha’ moment."

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NEWSLINK: Woman born at an animal sanctuary has such a bond with big cats, she sleeps among the cheetahs

Kristen Kerr was raised among lions, cheetahs and other wild animals. The 21-year-old, from South Africa, was born on an animal sanctuary and they have always been a huge part of her life. Describing herself as a real-life Dr Dolittle, she even chose to be home-schooled at the age of 10 because she missed the animals too much she was at school. 

Now an adult, she works full-time at a sanctuary, looking after cheetahs, giraffes, meerkats and zebras, among other things – no animal is considered too dangerous or small for the sanctuary. Kristen said: ‘My dad Barry, 54 raises lions and other big cats he has taught me everything I know. ‘We rescued three of our current cheetahs from a breeding farm, where the owner got into financial problems and lost his farm, one of which was pregnant, so I raised the cubs from birth. 

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NEWSLINK: Forest team to restart search for injured tigress today

Search for the injured tigress in Sehore forest division would begin on Monday.

Forest officials said that tigress has escaped herself inside den after being disturbed with the movement of elephants and sniffer dogs. As the feline has not killed any prey for a few days, she might be hungry. The team has stopped search for the tigress to make her come out of den. The team was making strict patrolling in suspected areas for one week but the tigress did not kill any prey for a week. The team has spotted ten different tigers during the search but failed to find out the injured tigress.

Talking to ‘The Hitavada’, Chief Conservator of Forest Ravindra Saxena said, “There are several dens round Veerpur, Kathotiya Jhiri and Karry Mahadev area where big cats can easily escape. It is very difficult to run four wheeler vehicles in the area and elephants are too unable to walk here. We have to wait for another movement of tigress when she moves on the field.” He further informed that tigress T-21 was not being trapped for past few days around Kathotiya range and now she has been traced on Obedullaganj division during the haunt.

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NEWSLINK: After 5 deaths, farmers stage protest to demand capture of killer leopardess

Farmers staged a dharna outside the divisional forest officer’s office on Monday to press for the capture of a leopardess that is suspected to have killed at least three of the five people who have died in big cat attacks in Bijnor district since November 27.
Famers are demanding that the “killer leopardess” be captured, fearing for their lives, especially when they go to their cane fields for harvesting the crop. Leopards are known to lurk in cane fields and attack people.

The forest department has set up three more cages to capture the leopardess near the sugarcane fields where its presence was captured on a camera trap. In the past one week, people have reported 20 leopard sightings in the area.

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SIGHTING, UK: Elusive 'Fen Tiger' spotted by dog walker in countryside

The elusive Fen Tiger - a near mythical beast said to wander Cambridge's countryside - has been spotted again.

Raechel Waldon, 45, was out walking her three dogs with her partner when she saw the mysterious creature.

She described seeing a cat "about the size of a Labrador" as she walked behind Abbotsley golf club, near St Neots, last Wednesday (December 18).

She told CambridgeshireLive: “I saw basically what I can only describe as a large cat. It was about the size of a labrador.

“It wasn’t the size of a puma, but it was a very large, wild-looking cat, and it was a brown or black colour.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019

NEWSLINK: What drove the charismatic cheetah to extinction in India?

"I was out on leave by myself, chiefly after lions. My native shikari (game tracker) came into my tent with an auspicious grin, just as I was finishing my breakfast, and said, ‘Sahib, I think I have got the big lion for you at last today; I have marked a big beast under a tree about four miles off; what it is I do not know…,’” Colonel E.A. Hardy of the 21st Hussars wrote in 1878, in his book Our Horses. The Colonel set out for his hunt, and some 30 yards away, he saw what he thought was a single large beast lying fast asleep. “I fired. To the shot up sprang six cheetahs, beautiful brutes, growling and rushing over each other, one evidently severely wounded. I was really so taken aback myself, I was stupid for a moment; but before I could determine whether to fire my second barrel or to bolt, the old shikari yelled out, ‘Come quickly for your horse, they are cheetahs, you can spear them; we’ll kill them all!’”

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NEWSLINK: Tigers Deaths in Nepal Threaten Recovery

Nepal recently announced that its tiger population had increased from 121 animals in 2009 to as estimated 235 in 2018, putting it firmly on track to fulfill its goal of doubling the number of big cats within its borders by the year 2022. The country has the largest number of Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) outside of India.

But there’s a dark side to this population increase: More tigers in Nepal are dying.
According to a letter published recently in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, 55 adult tigers died in Nepal between 2009 and 2018. Tiger mortality was so high that the number of cats in the supposedly safe stronghold of Chitwan National Park dropped from 120 in 2013 to 93 last year.

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NEWSLINK: Leopard cub dies at Van Vihar

One year old leopard cub that was brought to Van Vihar National Park after being rescued from Balaghat, died on Monday due to prolonged illness. Autopsy suggested that cub died of infection in lungs. The female cub was abandoned by mother and was brought to Van Vihar on March 13. The cub was under treatment of veterinary doctors from December 12. After a few days, the cub started taking food and showed improvement in health conditions. Ashok Jain, Deputy Director of Van Vihar, said, “the cub was under treatment and she was showing improvement for a few days.

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VIDEO: Tigress charges at tourist vehicle at Ranthambore Park in Rajasthan

A dramatic video has emerged from the Ranthambore National Park where a tigress could be seen chasing a tourist vehicle. The tigress has been identified as Sultana, by the code T-107.
However, animal lovers say that the big cat was just trying to play and not chase the vehicle.

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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

NEWSLINK: Leopard mauls shepherd to death in Kunigal, search on

Forest personnel have spread out across 15 villages in Kunigal taluk of the district to capture a leopard which has created a panic among villagers after it killed two people in the last one month.

The search to trace the elusive leopard did not yield any result on Saturday. While the search was on, the big cat killed a sheep about a kilometre from where it had mauled to death Ananthaiah of Doddamalawadi village on Friday.

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NEWSLINK: Tiger Returns : Spotted near Infosys in Mihan

Even as the talks over the presence of full grown tiger in Mihan campus were yet to die down, the news got another spark with yet another sighting of wild cat in the premises. The tiger which has been eluding the foresters who were tracking his activities resurfaced in camera again. He was spotted moving through the bushes on Friday morning in the dense area near a canal in an abandoned Infosys premises.

The big cat appeared after a gap of 8 days when it was thought the animal would have strayed out of the area.

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NEWSLINK: Noida residents on edge after guards spot ‘leopard’

Residents of a housing society remained on tenterhooks on Saturday as forest department officials and wildlife experts from Meerut launched a combing operation to locate a leopard allegedly sighted in the area.
The big cat sighting at JKG Palm Court in Noida Extension was reported to the police and forest officials around 8am on Saturday by the building’s security guards. They said that the leopard jumped into the society premises before moving to the basement around 1.40am. While officials have not confirmed that it was a leopard, pugmarks bearing resemblance to a leopard or a jungle cat were found.
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NEWSLINK: 'Roar' makes UP villages open defecation free

What the officials of two Uttar Pradesh districts in the arid Bundelkhand region of the state could not do despite trying their best was achieved by a 'roar'.

A tiger, which has strayed into Hamirpur and Mahoba districts in UP, about 250 kilometres from here, has ''ensured'' that more than half a dozen ''errant'' villages in the two districts become 'open defecation free' (ODF).

According to the officials, the tiger, which might have strayed from the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, was seen prowling in Kunehti and Gyoda villages in the districts. Mahoba shared borders with MP.

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Tuesday, 3 December 2019

NEWSLINK: Mystery cat spreads panic in Greater Noida West, hunt on for the feline

Panic gripped Greater Noida west over the spotting of a fishing cat even as the forest officials are still frantically searching for the wild cat.

The cat was said to have been sighted near JKG palm court in sector 16 C on Saturday morning. Ever since the residents of the society are living in fear. While many of them claimed that the cat’s movement was caught on a CCTV camera, footage of the same is yet to be found.

According to the residents, the wild animal had entered society at around 6 am. It was also said to have been seen by a few labourers near a location adjacent to Shani Mandir on late Friday night.

While sleuths from Bisrakh Police Station and forest officials have reached the spot in the hunt for the medium-sized cat, the residents are avoiding any movement in the society.

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NEWSLINK: Female leopard gets trapped in fence, dies

A leopard that got trapped in a fence of a paddy field, near Golihole in Byndoor taluk, died on Saturday morning.

The big cat is said to have strayed into the human habitat in search of food.
The three-year-old female leopard was severely injured in its legs. The fence was made from iron objects, it is said. The post mortem of the leopard was conducted as per the procedure.The trapped leopard was unattended for hours together and in the struggle to get out its legs, the feline severely injured itself, sources said.

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NEWSLINK: How advancements in DNA technology can help save the tigers

Tiger DNA expert Uma Ramakrishnan gets special permission to wander India's protected forests on foot, following the same trails the big cats tread. While she enjoys coming across tigers and their cubs and watching them with binoculars, those sightings aren't the treasure she's after. What she loves most is to find tiger droppings — "almost like gold to me," says the molecular ecologist at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore.

Territorial tigers oblige by leaving scat regularly, as a warning to other tigers that this space is occupied. These nuggets contain genetic material that scientists like Ramakrishnan use to understand tiger populations: How many are there, and what kinds? Where did they come from, and how far do they travel?

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NEWSLINK: Animal lover raises wild pumas in her mum and dad’s house in Devon

Laura Thompson is a major cat lady – but nothing like the one you’re picturing.

The 22-year-old from Plymouth raises wild pumas in her mum and dad’s house in Devon.

Lauren started taking in orphaned wild cats when she volunteered at The Cornwall Nature Conservancy, and kept seeing kittens being rejected by their mothers.

To date, she has fostered five big cats at home, including fishing cats, servals and jaguarundi.

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NEWSLINK: Aussies tell of frightening big cat sightings across the country

The story of black panthers secretly roaming in the bushland is a decades-old tale of Aussie folklore.

But despite being tinged with controversy and steeped in a history of conspiracy theories, the legend is flourishing, as hundreds of sightings continue being made across the country.

Big cat spotters, certain of what they’ve seen, continue to make dozens of reports of mysterious, large black cats roaming in bushland, or bounding across highways with continued frequency.

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NEWSLINK: Land of the Big Cats: China and Russia collaborate in comeback

In 2000, the Amur leopard was hurtling to extinction. There were only about 30 left in Russia, and just two in China.

Today, the picture is more hopeful. Though it remains the world's rarest big cat, there are now close to 90 living across both countries.

Siberian tigers, who have also been roaming the Russia–China border since before those nations existed, have seen a similarly impressive recovery. In the 1940s, there were as few as 40 still alive. Now there are as many as 540.

The remarkable comeback is largely due to shared work between China and Russia, cemented in February when the park administrations on both sides of the border signed a memorandum of understanding for further cooperation.

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NEWSLINK: Ecuador’s vanishing jaguars: the big cat vital to rainforest survival

Across the American continent, from the north of Mexico to Argentina, the jaguar has long been revered for its strength and power. But in some parts of Ecuador, the largest cat in South America is increasingly at risk as roads, mining and agriculture take over the rainforests.

The loss of habitat is the biggest threat to jaguars in Ecuador, particularly along the coast, where more than 70%of the original forest cover has been lost. The vast majority of this destruction has taken place over the last 50 years with the expansion of the logging and agriculture industries, including coffee, cacao, palm oil and bananas, one of the country’s largest agriculture exports.

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NEWSLINK: Leopard spotted in Deolali Cant area

A leopard was spotted in Deolali Cantonment area late on Monday triggering fear among the residents.

“The leopard was sitting on the boundary wall of a private firm for sometime before moving away,” a local resident said.

The forest department said that this is the fifth incident of a leopard being spotted in the last few days.

“We received complaints in this connection from the residents and have deployed staff to find out the presence of the leopard,” a forest department official said.