Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In lieu of "Your Daily Cat," some final thoughts for 2014

Big Cats Initiative


Regardless of what you read, or see, if you do not become involved, you are just as guilty of eradicating species from the earth.   

What prompted Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo Tigress to eat cubs?

Tigers about the House: What Happened Next

Big cat expert Giles Clarke takes time out with Spot in Tigers about the House: What Happened Next.
Big cat expert Giles Clarke takes time out with Spot in Tigers about the House: What Happened Next.

The last time we saw Spot and Stripe they were gambolling around Australia Zoo with big cat expert Giles Clarke, who along with his wife Kerri, had gone the extra mile by opening up their house to the pair. 

In this two-part follow-up, we catch up with Spot, Stripe and the Clarkes as the tigers approach their first birthday and impending adulthood. With teenage rebellion building, surrogate dad Giles has his hands full guiding them from adolescence into the realm of “big” tigers, while Spot faces uncertainty about his eyesight and his relationship with Stripe.

With tigers facing extinction in the wild, the Clarke family make a big decision in an effort to safeguard Spot and Stripe’s wild cousins – it’s time to hit the road.

Kerri and nine-year-old son Kynan join Giles on the road trip of a lifetime through Indonesia, where they see first-hand the challenges facing tigers in their natural home in the rainforests of Sumatra. The family gets up close and personal with some of the jungle’s most iconic species, from orangutans and elephants to tigers.

Giles and his family have to get back to Australia Zoo so Giles can continue his hands-on relationship with the cubs, but not before he donates two new vehicles to the tiger protection unit, vehicles paid for by Spot and Stripe’s activity at the zoo. And Giles’s ambition doesn’t end there. He vows to set up a wild tiger rehabilitation unit in Sumatra with the ambition to release wild tigers maimed by snares and injured by persecution back to the wild.

“In an ideal world all tigers would live in the wild and I would hope, there would be a way for people to see them. But of course this isn’t an ideal world and Sumatran tigers in particular are staring down the barrel of a gun,” says Clarke.

“The tigers in our zoo are part of an international breeding programme as an insurance policy against extinction, and of course this also allows us to show off Sumatran tigers to our visitors.

“Seeing tigers in the wild is incredibly difficult and beyond most people’s reach, so zoos are very important places to see these wonderful big cats. I want the tigers in my zoo to have the best possible quality of life, so my approach is to give them as much stimulation as possible.

“One of the greatest benefits, in my view, from our husbandry approach is we’re able to take our cats out of their enclosures and give them daily walks on leashes in the hundreds of acres of private bushland we have at the zoo. I believe this physical stimulation is hugely important, but even more so is the mental stimulation.”

Tigers about the House: What Happened Next, December 31, BBC2, 7pm


Animals go wild over old Christmas trees

The Knoxville Zoo and Tiger Haven both have found a great way to use up live (and undecorated) Christmas Trees—use them as toys for animals from Big cats to elephants. 

As the Christmas season comes to a close, many Christmas trees are left behind. The old Christmas trees may not have been sold to be used for decorations but now they're finding a new purpose: Play toys for wild animals.

The Knoxville Zoo recently received a shipment of unused Christmas Trees from Lowe's near Knoxville Center Mall (The Zoo is unable to accept trees that have been decorated).

The Christmas trees are used as part of the zoo's enrichment program for various animals at the zoo.
Zoo officials say the gorillas, chimps and other primates search for hidden treats zoo keepers have put in the branches for them to discover. Elephants, goats and sheep find the trees to be a delicacy and eat the needles and bark. Some animals, like the red pandas and lions, like to explore the trees and it's inhale the fresh tree scent.

At Tiger Haven in Kingston, the big cats that call the sanctuary home received a belated Christmas Give from Mayo's Garden Center in Knoxville.

"It's really nice because the trees last for several days and give them a lot of enrichment," said Tiger Haven founder, Mary Lynn Haven. "We usually give them pumpkins at Halloween but this year we called and they (Mayo's) graciously donated all of the leftover trees."

Tiger Haven received it's first cat in 1991 and incorporated in 1993. Today, over 250 cats roam the property in Roane County. The trees are great treats for cats that have been rescued.

"They probably will chew and eat a little bit of it, but mostly it's just scent marking like your cats that are rubbing on things, marking scents. They like that smell, kind of like cologne," said Mary Lynn.
Tiger Haven is always looking for donations.

For more information visit their website


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

China #tiger eater jailed for 13 years

China tiger eater jailed for 13 years   2014-12-30

NANNING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- A man sentenced to 13 years in jail for purchasing and eating three tigers had his sentence upheld by a court in China's southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The man, surnamed Xu, ordered 14 people to deliver the dismembered body of a tiger to his hotel in Nanning, capital of Guangxi, according to Qinzhou City intermediate People's Court, who oversaw Xu's second trial.

He then treated his friends to a meal of tiger meat.

Investigations found Xu witnessed the tiger's death by electric shock in Longmen Township, Leizhou city in Guangdong province on March 13, 2013.

Another two tigers were killed in the same way on April 21 and May 20, 2013, with Xu buying the flesh, bones,internal organs and blood at the scene.

He told the police he had bought the tigers for 440,000 yuan (70,957 U.S. dollars) each. The origins of the tigers are unknown but are suspected to have been smuggled into the country.

He was arrested after police found a video recording of Xu witnessing the first tiger's death. At his home, police found animal skeletons and meat, which were later confirmed to be those of a giant gecko and cobra, both endangered animals under government protection in China.

On April 30, the Qinbei District People's Court sentenced Xu to 13 years in jail for illegally transporting precious and endangered animals giving him a 1.55 million yuan as penalty for the first instance. The other 14 who participated in the transport of the tiger's body received jail terms ranging from five to six years and a half years.

On Monday, the Qinzhou City Intermediate People's Court rejected Xu's appeal and upheld the sentence of the previous trial.


Your Daily Cat

Leopard between light and shadow 
Leopard between light and shadow by Tambako The Jaguar

Could #Cat Cafés be the next big thing in 2015?

Monday, December 29, 2014
Could Cat Cafés be the next big thing in 2015?
A new cat-themed café has just opened in Shenyang in China’s Liaoning Province.
And if you are wondering whether there are any real cats playing host at these novel establishments, the answer is yes.
A cat-themed cafe in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province.
A Siamese cat at the newly-open cafe (Yao Jianfeng/Landov)
Not just one, there are 40 different types of kitties walking around, just waiting to fall asleep on your lap or gently rub across your leg while you sip your cappuccino.
A cat-themed cafe in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province.
Customers enjoy playing with the cats (Yao Jianfeng/Landov)
Apparently cat-themed cafés have been a rising trend in China and Japan in the last decade.
The reason? The rising popularity of these places has been attributed to many apartments forbidding pets, and to cats providing a somewhat relaxing distraction in what may otherwise be a lonely and stressful urban life.
A cat-themed cafe in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province.
The cafe has been kitted out with cat memorabilia (Yao Jianfeng/Landov)
And of course, you have the added bonus of enjoying a cat-themed latte while you stroke and listen to the gentle purr of the friendly pets.
A cat-themed cafe in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province.
You can sample their signature cat-themed coffees (Yao Jianfeng/Landov)
If all the cats are busy attending to other customers, you can admire their adorable portraits while waiting for your turn for feline cuddles.
A cat-themed cafe in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province.
Cat pictures adorn the walls (Yao Jianfeng/Landov)
Apparently, cat-themed eating establishments have been around for more than a decade – the world’s first feline café opened in Taiwan in 1998 and the world has caught on to the trend.
Don’t worry if Shenyang’s out of your reach… any of these 12 of the world’s coolest cat cafés could be right at your doorstep.

1. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Shoreditch, London

2. Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa in Singapore

3. Cat Cafe Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia

4. La Gatoteca in Madrid, Spain

5. CatCafe Budapest in Budapest, Spain

6. Pee Pees Katzencafe in Berlin, Germany

7. Le Café de Chats in Paris, France

8. Ailuromania Cafe in Dubai


9. Catmosphere Cat Café in Chiang Mai, Thailand

10. Denver Cat Company in Denver, USA

11. Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, California

12. Café Chat L’Heureux in Montreal, Canada

Scotland will open it’s first cat café next month. Maison de Moggy is expected to open its doors in Stockbridge, Edinburgh and a few more moggy-themed shops are expected to be open for business across the UK next year.


Christmas Trees Get Second Lives At Jacksonville #BigCat Sanctuary

Catty Shack Ranch Executive Director Curt LoGiudice scratches a lion.
Catty Shack Ranch Executive Director Curt LoGiudice scratches a lion.
Credit WJCT Hometown
A Jacksonville wildlife sanctuary has gotten its Christmas wish—and then some—after asking for discarded holiday trees. The Catty Shack Ranch finds itself turning down hundreds of hopeful evergreen donors.

After Christmas, the Northside wildlife refuge located near the Jacksonville International Airport asked for Christmas trees to use as toys for its big cats. Coordinator Jordan Joseph says the response has been overwhelming. “We’ve had people in Maryland, Port Orange, Orlando, Atlanta, asking us if we make pickups there, so it’s been wonderful," she says, "and also, Severt’s has donated quite a bit of their leftover trees to us as well.”

Joseph says more than 250 trees have arrived, and there’s no room for any more. The volunteer-run big cat sanctuary is having to answer hundreds of e-mails with “Thanks, but we’re full.”
And thanks to people’s generosity, visitors should be able to see lions, tigers and other cats playing with the trees through the end of February. “The smell of the pine just doesn’t get old for them; it’s almost like catnip," Joseph says.

Catty Shack is open Thursdays during the day and Friday and Saturday evenings to the public.
And for people who wanted to support Catty Shack but didn't get to donate a tree, Joseph says they are invited to make a tax-deductible $1 donation instead.


Poor diet causes major health issues for #bigcats in captivity, says UAE study

Poor diet causes major health issues for big cats in captivity, says UAE study
Scientists and activists have long held that a diet of chicken meat lacks the minerals and vitamins that a cheetah needs to stay healthy. Andrew Henderson / The National
DUBAI // A study on how cheetahs and lions kept in private collections are cared for has confirmed scientists’ suspicions that feeding big cats the wrong type of food causes serious health problems for them.

Samples examined from 61 cheetahs and 15 lions revealed a strong correlation between an improper diet – of mostly chicken meat – and a host of neurological and physical disorders. The animals were tested between 2002 and last year at the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) in Dubai.
As The National has reported previously, scientists and activists have criticised the practice of feeding captive cheetahs – an endangered animal unlawfully obtained by private individuals – a diet of chicken meat as it lacks the minerals and vitamins the animals need to stay healthy.

In the wild, cheetahs hunt a variety of animals and habitually eat the skin, fur, feathers, internal organs and bones of their pray, taking in much-needed vitamins and minerals in the process.
“Captive animals cannot care for themselves, so it is our responsibility to optimise their lives in captivity,” said Dr Claudia Kaiser, the lead author of the study who worked at CVRL from 2012 to last year.

Also collaborating on the project were the Cheetah Conservation Fund, a non-governmental organisation in Namibia, the Institute of Animal Nutrition, Vetsuisse Faculty Zurich, and the Centre for Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine at the University of Zurich.

The study analysed pathology findings and tissue and serum results of cheetahs and lions, and examined the link between the animals’ health and their intake of vitamin A and copper, a trace element required for a number of bodily functions such as haemoglobin synthesis, mineralisation of the skeleton and many others.

The animals in the study, which originated from various private collections within the UAE and were aged from 11 months to 12 years, were divided into three groups depending on their diet.
Group A consisted of 17 cheetahs regularly fed whole fresh quail and pieces of carcass from herbivorous animals as well as supplements.

In group B there were 18 cheetahs and six lions that were fed whole chicken with the bones but no internal organs or feathers, as well as pieces of animal carcass.

The 26 cheetahs and nine lions in group C received whole chicken or chicken muscle meat only, with no additional supplementation.

Out of the 76 animals, 23 had some sort of neurological disorder, such as lack of muscle control during voluntary movements, lack of coordination, swaying gait and hind-limb weakness. In the final stages some were unable to stand, developed hind limb paresis or partial paralysis, and died or were put down.

None of the animals in group A were affected with neurological problems, while three animals from group B were affected. In group C, where chicken was the only food source, a total of 20 animals were affected by hind limb paresis and other neurological problems. Copper deficiency occurs when the mineral is lacking in the animals’ diet and can also be affected by excessive intake of zinc. High stress levels can also contribute to copper deficiency.

Dr Ulrich Wernery, the scientific director at CVRL, said the study sheds light on an important problem seen in captive felines world wide and also in big numbers in the UAE. “We have seen this problem since many years in felines – mainly in lions, cheetahs, tigers and leopards,” he said. “Chicken does not have enough nutrition for a growing animal and the main problem is the damage is irreversible.”

Due to extensive awareness drives, more owners know of the need to feed their animals a proper diet, he said. Another step is to explain to owners the negative impact of capturing animals from the wild.
In Sharjah, owning exotic predatory pets was recently banned by a decree from the emirate’s ruler, with only licensed public and private zoos and research centres allowed to do so.


Mountain lion spotted for 2nd time in Hillsborough neighborhood

Residents of a Hillsborough home are on edge after spotting a mountain lion for the second time in just a few days.

Heather Tappan said she heard the animal jump on her roof early Monday morning, and then climb on her big oak tree.

She recognizes the sound. She thinks it's the same mountain lion that killed a deer in her yard four nights ago.

"It does make me uneasy," Tappan said. "I feel very concerned for children. I saw a child just passing on their own, recently this afternoon, and I thought, that child has absolutely no defense."

Mountain lions like these aren't uncommon in woodsy bay area neighborhoods.

Fish and wildlife officials haven't tried to trap the mountain lion prowling this Hillsborough neighborhood since it hasn't threatened humans.

Mountain lions target deer as prey and authorities encourage residents to "deer-proof" their properties by avoiding plants that deer like to eat. Residents can also trim brush on their properties and install motion-sensitive lights to reduce hiding places for mountain lions.

More information on mountain lions and tips to stay safe in their habitat is available online at


Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 cougar hunting season will hinge on cats’ population, another repeal attempt in Legislature

This young male mountain lion was found northeast of Harrison, Nebraska. Shot by 16-year-old Holden Bruce, it was one of two cats killed on Jan. 2 during the opening days of the state’s first cougar hunting season. In all, hunters killed five cats in 2014, and 11 more were killed by other means. Nebraska Game and Parks biologists are now left to consider cougar population data to determine if there will be another hunting season in 2015.
Posted: Monday, December 29, 2014
LINCOLN — This was the year of the mountain lion in Nebraska — from the ridges and canyons of the Pine Ridge to the halls of the State Capitol. But the landscape is shifting in 2015. After a year in which more female mountain lions were killed than what wildlife biologists say may be good for the population, prospects for continued hunting are uncertain.

Meanwhile, in the Nebraska Legislature, legislative lion Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha plans to try again to repeal the law giving the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission the authority to establish cougar seasons. “Wildlife belongs to the populace of the state,” Chambers said. “I don’t think the best interests of the public or wildlife have been given proper consideration.”
Regardless of any legislative action, cougar hunters won’t be in the field again next year unless the commission authorizes a season. And the commission is stepping back to analyze the impact of this inaugural year of mountain lion hunting that saw hunters kill five cougars. At least 11 cats died by other means, including from illegal hunting, traps and being hit by vehicles.
Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas said wildlife biologists have a lot to learn from the state’s first regulated mountain lion hunting season. He is preparing a report to brief commissioners in January, and he declined to say whether he thinks there could be a season in 2015. “Non-hunting (mountain lion) mortalities were high this year. Were they a new normal?” Douglas said. “What additional research or mountain lion population estimates do we need?”
One important factor is the deaths of eight female cougars (by hunting and other causes) this year in the Pine Ridge of northwest Nebraska, the center of the state’s cougar population. The relatively high number of lost females reduces the resiliency of the estimated population of 22 cats in the Pine Ridge to withstand additional mortalities, biologists said.
Douglas’ report will be a starting point for wildlife biologists and commissioners for eventually determining if and when to sanction future cougar seasons. Douglas said Game and Parks biologists are working closely with game agencies in South Dakota and Wyoming — both of which conduct mountain lion hunting seasons — to develop a more geographically comprehensive management plan. Game and Parks views mountain lions as a valuable part of the state’s ecosystem and has intensively documented their return in Nebraska.
Mountain lions were a native species to the state, until being driven out in 1890. They started recolonizing northwest Nebraska in 1991. Kittens have been born in the Pine Ridge every year since 2007. There also is recent evidence of reproduction in the Wildcat Hills near Scottsbluff and the Niobrara River valley near Valentine.
Wildlife biologists and lawmakers navigated a trail of social and political issues to establish this year’s mountain lion seasons after then-State Sen. LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth shepherded the cougar hunting bill through the Legislature in 2012. His bill allowed the commission to start selling cougar hunting permits at some point in the future. The future arrived in late 2013, when permits went on sale via auction and lottery for use in 2014.
Interviews with Game and Parks officials and agency emails obtained by The World-Herald indicate commission biologists and others acknowledged there were people who would never support hunting mountain lions. They also pledged to limit the number of cats taken to sustainably manage the species.
Nearly two years ago, Sam Wilson, carnivore program manager, emailed a Lincoln woman who said she didn’t accept the argument that “we need to kill mountain lions in order to save them.” “We understand,” Wilson said, “that the people of Nebraska have strong opinions regarding mountain lion management ranging from wanting complete protection to complete eradication.”
Wilson explained that Nebraska’s cougars are not an isolated population. They are genetically interconnected with mountain lions in South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado. Nebraska’s cougars are at the eastern tip of an estimated population of 25,000 to 50,000 mountain lions extending from Nebraska to the Pacific Ocean.
Wilson said that the cats freely migrate back and forth among the states and that his surveys have indicated a small “sustainable harvest” of a few mountain lions could be held in Nebraska without endangering the population. Since 1995, when mountain lions were first listed as a game animal, they had been protected from hunting in Nebraska. “This is what allowed the western population to establish itself in our state,” Wilson said.
Some cougars set off across Nebraska in search of new territory. Wildlife biologists have confirmed more than 100 sightings of mountain lions outside of the Pine Ridge since 1991. Wilson said any cougar hunting in Nebraska can be considered an extension of the hunting allowed in South Dakota, Wyoming and other western states. The cougar recolonization of the South Dakota Black Hills, North Dakota Badlands and Nebraska Pine Ridge over the past two decades is a testament to reasonable mountain lion management in western states, he said. Populations increased despite hunting.
In another email to a hunting opponent, Wilson said regulated hunting is better for the species than people taking matters into their own hands. “This issue ... really boils down to the premise that mountain lions have to be accepted in Nebraska by the public, especially private landowners (and) livestock owners who live with them on their land,” Wilson wrote.
Wilson acknowledged that many ranchers see mountain lions as a liability, posing a risk to livestock and children. He said the “shoot, shovel and shut up” solution some ranchers use to deal with mountain lions is illegal, although some landowners may prefer it to state laws governing how to handle a lion that poses a threat. Nebraska law allows cougars to be killed if they are stalking people or behaving aggressively. Ranchers and farmers also may kill one if it is hunting or killing livestock.
There has been one documented incident of a cougar killing livestock in Nebraska. It happened this summer in the Sand Hills.
There have been no incidents of a mountain lion attacking a human in Nebraska. Several mountain lions that strayed into cities or were discovered around ranch and farm buildings have been killed by law enforcement officers over the years to ensure public safety.

Still, not every encounter with people ends badly for a mountain lion. One evening in August 2013, Ted and Susan Vastine watched a cougar cross a pasture toward their house nearly 3 miles south of Chadron. The big cat came into the yard, drank twice from a small pond and reclined nearby in the shade of several trees. Two Dawes County deputy sheriffs arrived and joined the Vastines in watching the mountain lion from about 25 yards away for an hour. The couple told the officers they didn’t want the animal harmed. The observers took photographs, some with flashes to illuminate the scene. The lion ignored the activity. They watched until it left the yard toward dark.
Greg Schenbeck, a Game and Parks biologist at the Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area near Crawford, said it was the first time the Vastines had seen the cougar on their property, although it appeared that the cat was familiar with the yard and available water. Game and Parks’ goal in establishing the Pine Ridge cougar seasons this year was to provide hunting opportunities while allowing a slight to moderate reduction in the population. Nebraska conducted two 45-day seasons in the Pine Ridge earlier this year for hunters with permits won in a lottery or at auction. Cougar hunting is currently closed in the Pine Ridge.
Unlimited hunting continues, however, in the Prairie Unit across most of the rest of Nebraska, where habitat is not considered suitable for mountain lions. The season remains open there through Wednesday for Nebraska residents who obtain a $15 permit.

Chambers won legislative approval of a bill earlier this year to take away Game and Parks’ authority to establish mountain lion seasons, only to have it fail when he couldn’t muster enough votes to overcome a veto by Gov. Dave Heineman. Chambers said will try again when the session opens next week. “It’s immoral,” he said.
Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala, who wants to keep the state law allowing mountain lion hunting, expressed doubt that Chambers can succeed in ending mountain lion hunting, even if there is no season in 2015. Schilz is running for chairman of the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee, which would take up Chambers’ repeal bill. “I think it will be a challenge once again to pass a ban,” he said.
World-Herald staff writer Martha Stoddard contributed to this report.

#BigCat News from India 12/29/2014

Forget NGOs, forest officials to bell big cats

HUBBALLI: The radio-collared tigress wreaking havoc in villages in Jamboti forest of Belagavi seems to have taught the forest department a hard lesson. For, the department has decided to take upon itself the responsibility of putting radio collars on tigers and other animals.

Absence of signal from the radio collar around the maneater's neck is a major reason for officials not being able to track it.

Currently, NGOs put radio collars on animals, which results in forest officials not knowing about the type of radio collar, how it works and other details. Consequently, during emergencies, forest officials have to depend on the NGOs to get information about the movement of animals. This, an official said, slows down the process of catching the animals.

Vinay Luthra, principal chief conservator of forests and chief wildlife warden, said the forest department is contemplating taking over the responsibility of putting radio collars on tigers and other animals. "NGOs are now doing this job voluntarily, but it is sometime creating problems for us when radio callers fail to respond," he said.

He added, "We will not put radio collar belts on all animals. If a tiger, elephant or any other animal is involved in conflict with humans or other animals, such animals will be caught and released into forests after putting a radio collar."

He said a radio collar cost around Rs 1 lakh and NGOs have bearing the cost till now.

The forest department plans to buy radio collars and train its staff, particularly vets, in putting radio collars on animals. "If we take this responsibility, we will be able to get all details. We will soon send a proposal to the forest department seeking its approval for our plans," he added. 

Captured leopards live in cramped cages

Chandrapur: Seven leopards, captured from conflict areas, are kept in inhuman conditions in small trap-cages, in gross violation of norms in Chandrpaur district. NGO Eco-Pro has strongly condemned the dismal condition of caged leopards and warned of agitation if the big cats are not shifted to larger enclosures.

Escalation of man-animal conflict in buffer zone of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in summer 2013 had led to caging of five leopards. Three of the five leopards responsible for menace have been held captive since then. Two more leopards were caged in Mamla and Adegaon, recently. These leopards being responsible for attacks on humans are not going to be released back in the wild.

"Of the seven leopards, three were captured in TATR buffer, two in Bramhapuri and one each in Chandrapur division and FDCM. All of them have been kept in the small trap cages, where there is hardly any space to move. NTCA guidelines hold that if leopards are to be kept caged for a period of one month or more, they should be kept in more convenient and spacious facility," said president, Eco-Pro, Bandu Dhotre. He claimed to be pursuing the issue since last many months.

"I had voiced the issue in district tiger cell meeting in June this year. Accordingly, Superintendent of Police, who is president of the tiger cell, had directed the related forest divisions to build large enclosures to keep such captive leopards. But no steps have been taken so far," he said.

CCF, Chandrapur, Sanjay Thakre claimed it is quite difficult for the department to build and maintain such facility at their level. "Building large enclosures is not enough, there is a need of veterinary doctor and other staffers to look after the caged predators. Hence, we are inclined to send such leopards to recognized zoos. Process to send two leopards kept at Bramhapuri to a zoo in Bhopal is underway," he said.

He, however, held that there are not many takers for leopards. "All zoos in Maharashtra have refused to accommodate these leopards. We managed to send two leopards to Bhopal and are pursuing the same zoo to take two more. The transit treatment centre coming up in Chandrapur would be helpful in tackling the problem of such captured leopard," Thakre said.

He claimed that treatment centre will have its own veterinary doctor and staffers specially appointed to look after captive and stressed wild animals. Department can build some additional enclosures there for such leopards being kept in prolonged captivity, he suggested.


Five leopards were caged in 2013 after escalation of man-animal conflict in TATR buffer

These leopards being responsible for attacks on humans are not going to be released in wild

All of them have been kept in the small trap cages

NTCA guidelines hold if leopards are to be kept caged for a period of one month or more, they should be kept in more convenient and spacious facility


Forest department officials cage lioness near Gondal village

RAJKOT: Lions have come knocking at the doors of Rajkot. Cases of the big cats preying on cattle in villages near the city are on the rise.

In the latest incident, Gondal forest department caged a lioness on Saturday night from Betvada village. Officials said that the lioness is about two years old.

A lion and a lioness were spotted after they had strayed into Betvada village which lies 35 kilometre away from Rajkot, a week ago. The forest department had set up cages across the village in the hope of capturing the pair.

"The villagers reported incidents of lion attacks and their sightings around the village. The pugmarks suggest that it is a pair of lions. We are yet to cage the lion," said a forest department official. The official added that similar sightings have been reported from Jamkandorna during the last week.

In October this year, a scribe and photographer duo were attacked by a lion in Bildi village of Gondal taluka. They were in the area to report about similar incidents of cattle being killed by lions.

Forest department officials said that lions are now regularly spotted in villages of Jasdan, Gondal and Kotda-Sangani and Jamkandorna talukas.

A few months ago, lions had killed cattle in Bildi, Vinjuvadi and Sanala villages in Gondal taluka and Bhadva village in Kotda-Sangani taluka. These villages are about 25 kilometre from Rajkot.

The data analysis of direct and indirect evidence including sightings, prey and pugmarks shows that the kingdom of lions is now spread over 1,100 villages in three districts of Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar alone in the Saurashtra region. At present, lions are spread over an area over 16,000 square kilometre in the region.

Big cats in decline as demand from China intensifies

Jumping Siberian Tiger, Tatiana

By Tim Sandle    
18 hours ago
Tiger and wild cat trade from Myanmar to China is growing at an unprecedented level according to a new report. Shops selling products from big cats are said to have trebled their trade in eight years.

The new study, about the threats faced by 'big cats', is based on two decades of research. The results give cause for alarm for anybody who is concerned about big cat conservation. The big cat in greatest demand is the tiger, which accounts for some 80 percent of the products available at the main trade sites. The new studies recorded a total of over two thousand wild cat parts being freely sold.
The epicenter of trade is Mong La, a Myanmar (formerly Burma) town bordering China. The next most popular animal parts come from clouded leopards. While such trade is illegal in Burma, according to the BBC, Burmese authorities have no control over the town, which is run by an armed group following a peace deal with the government.
Earlier this year, the Chinese government publicly admitted for the first time that it allowed trade in tiger skins, although buying and selling tiger bones was banned. Time Magazine argues that the illicit trade for endangered-species parts is fueled by demand for traditional Chinese medicine. Despite the concerning rise in big cat trade with China, data from another region is more encouraging.
Results relation to another Burmese town, Tachilek, on the border with Thailand, show a decline in the trade. This probably reflects a recent change in policy on behalf of the authorities in Thailand, where greater enforcement action by the government of Thailand has taken place. The survey results have been published in the journal Biological Conservation and the study is titled "Trade in tigers and other wild cats in Mong La and Tachilek, Myanmar – A tale of two border towns."
In related news, Digital Journal recently reported that there are fewer than 240 hirola antelope remaining in the world. A new conservation project has established a conservation project to protect the last remaining animals.


Your Daily Cat

Yawning Sumatran tiger 
Yawning Sumatran tiger by Tambako The Jaguar