National Geographic Exposes Liger Breeding for the Scam It Is

You may have heard of a liger—the lion-tiger hybrid is, after all, Napoleon Dynamite’s favorite animal—but nowa Russian zoo has released photos of a so-called “liliger” named Kiara, the offspring ofa liger mother and a lion father. (See liger pictures.)


“Liliger” Born in Russia NoBoon for Big Cats

Unnatural mix-and-match felines have no conservation purpose, experts say.


A ''li-liger'' in a Russian zoo.

This baby liliger cub may be the only one in existence.


The cub, born last week at Novosibirsk Zoo, may be the only liliger in existence. But charming as the cuddly cub appears, ligers, liligers, and other mix-and-match felines raise serious concerns for advocates of big-cat conservation.


Ligers are the result of a male lion mating with a female tiger. Craig Packer, director oft

Rescued tiger cub debuts at Tigers for Tomorrow

Rescued tiger cub debuts at Tigers for Tomorrow


Indian, a 12-week-old Siberian tiger mix rescued from Wisconsin, is making his debut appearances at Tigers for Tomorrow at Untamed Mountain.

Indian, a 12-week-old Siberian tiger mix rescued from Wisconsin, is making his debut appearances at Tigers for Tomorrow at Untamed Mountain. (Special to The Times)


In a news release, Tigers for Tomorrow Executive DirectorSusanSteffens

Son of Utah Fur Farming Family Tells His Story

“But the unspeakable misery of their animals cannot be denied.”


The Beckstead family is one of the biggest fur farming families in Utah and Idaho. They are said to own two farms, one in each state.


One of the Beckstead clan does not support the bloody work of his family. In 2001, son Scott Beckstead published this damning indictment of his family and the fur farming business. The article was published in The Oregonian (the largest newspaper in Oregon),


The Oregonian

December 9, 2001


Misery on the Mink Farm


by Scott Beckstead


These cold, gray days stir vivid memories for me, childhood images I shall live with forever. Strongest among them are those of pelting season on Grandpa’s mink farm.


My grandfather, gone now for more than a decade, raised minks in Franklin, Idaho. Every fall, my family traveled to Franklin to help my grandparents with what we called “the pelting season.”


I remember the smell. Like all members of the weasel family, minks are equipped with powerful scent glands. They sprayed their musky stench while in the throes of death. That smell permeated everything. Our clothes. Our hair.


I didn’t have the manual dexterity to do the skinning, so I helped with the killing. We killed the females by breaking their necks. The males were not so lucky. They were too big to have their necks broken, so they were g

Animal Intervention on NatGeo Wild Launches Oct 2 2012


Emotions Run High at Roadside Zoos, Private Ranches and Midwest Magic Shows

Where Exotics Are Kept in Cramped, Neglectful or Dangerous Environments

and Owners Are Reluctant to Change

New Series Animal Intervention Premieres Tuesday, October 2, at 9PM on Nat Geo WILD

(WASHINGTON, D.C. — September 5, 2012) Owning a wild animal is no small task. Full-grown tigers, lions and monkeys are powerful, unpredictable and extremely dangerous. They need a lot of food, a lot of space and a lot of attention in order to live comfortably and safely in captivity. It takes more than a love of animals to make a good owner. And when owners are unwilling or incapable of acting in the best interest of their animals, it takes an Animal Intervention.

Enter animal advocate Alison Eastwood and animal expert Donald Schultz, who confront overwhelmed and out-of-touch wildlife owners who house exotic animals in confined and potentially hazardous environments. Some of the owners breed their animals, further crowding their facilities and increasing the overall population of exotics living in captivity. Alison and Donald approach owners at private ranches, roadside zoos and even magic shows to assess the conditions in which they keep their animals. Emotions run high when Alison and Donald recommend changes, sometimes as drastic as relocating full-grown wild animals to safe and clean animal sanctuaries. Their work is chronicled in the new series Animal Intervention, premiering Tuesday, October 2, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD.

Alison and Donald receive tips from concerned organizations and individuals about potentially problematic animal enclosures, and set out to investigate. They catch up with a Louisiana couple harboring four capuchin monkeys in their RV. The monkeys live in cramped cages and take turns sleeping with the couple in bed at night. Then duo tours a makeshift zoo in upstate New York run by an owner who is physically and financially strained battling multiple health problems. His family must consider the heartbreaking decision to find sanctuaries for the bobcats, macaques and mountain lion they have loved liked family. And they visit central Ohio and meet an animal lover who created a rescue for unwanted big cats in her home, only to struggle both financially and emotionally to keep up with the massive responsibility. She and her husband continue building cages both inside and outside of their home to take in new animals, while at the same time pawning all of their valuables in a desperate attempt to keep the cats fed and cared for.  (more…)

Tiger Tourism India Supreme Court Bans Tourists In Preserves For Conservation Reasons

From Mother Nature Network’s Josh Lew:


India’s supreme court recently extended a month-old ban on tourism within the country’s tiger preserves. The two judges overseeing the case said local governments and government ministries have not been enforcing a law in place since the 1970s designed to protect tiger breeding grounds from tourism. By many estimates, about half the world’s tiger population — which is a little more than 3,000 — lives in India.


On the surface, the judges’ decision seems logical: The easiest way to address worries about tourist traffic is to stop it. However, people who make their living from eco-tourism inside the dozens of tiger conservation areas in India oppose the ban. The areas that are supposed to be off-limits to tourists make up only a portion of each preserve, yet the preserves have been shuttered completely. Surprisingly, some conservationists also oppose the ban, saying it is an over-simpliflied simple solution to a complex problem.


Leading tiger advocates, such as the tiger-focused group Wildlife Protection Society of India, say the ban will hurt the country’s tiger population more than help it. According to the group, regular tourist traffic and the presence of tour staffers in the preserves reduces the chance of poaching, which along with deforestation has been blamed for the rapid decline in the subcontinent’s tiger population, down to less than 1,500 from tens of thousands less than a century ago. Also, the tourism industry boosts the economies of the rural, generally impoverished areas where the preserves are located and provides jobs to local people who might otherwise consider poaching or logging as a means of income. In turn, this provides an incentive to protect tiger