Family’s Siberian lynx still missing – Martin Co., FL

Note:  “Friendly” is not a word that describes any of the the Siberian lynxes at Big Cat Rescue!
By Monique Mattiace
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
PALM CITY — Tina Love’s pet Siberian lynx has been missing for four days now. Every day the cat is gone, Love begins to believe more firmly “Simba” might have been stolen or might never come home.
Now, Love and her friends are asking for help.
Rick Meyers, one of Love’s friends, has been helping try to locate Simba. A trapper from Miami came to Palm City to help the Love family set three traps by Love’s home on Wood Creek Drive, Meyers said.
But, three traps won’t cut it, he said.
“The bottom line is we need more traps that we can borrow and a local trapper that can assists us,” he said. “We only have one shot of catching her. Once she enters a cage once she will never go back into one.”
Love last saw the 4 1/2-foot-long, 50-pound animal early Saturday morning after a storm. She removed Simba from her cage and put her in the screen-enclosed patio. When she awoke later that day she discovered a hole in the screen and Simba missing, Love said.
“I just don’t understand why she isn’t home,” Love said. “I’m starting to think she was walking down the street and someone could have taken her she is so friendly.”
Six years ago, Love bought Simba from a breeder in Wisconsin for $2,500 after she gave away her bobcat because it was too wild. Love decided to buy a lynx because they are the friendliest and easiest felines to train next to domesticated cats, she said.
Simba became apart of Love’s family of five when she was 6 weeks old, Love said. Love has a permit through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to keep Simba.
“I just love wild cats,” Love said.
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Iberian Lynx still under threat

By h.b. – Oct 8, 2008 – 6:46 AM
The Iberian Lynx is the feline most under threat on the planet.
The Iberian Lynx is facing extinction unless the famous cat can be introduced into new areas of the country. That is the opinion of Urs Breitenmoser, the Swiss joint president of the Specialist Cat Group of the World Union for the Conservation of Nature IUCN.
He has been visiting the Sierra Morena and the Doñana nature park in Andalucía this week where the last two Spanish Lynx populations still survive in the wild, and said that the animal was the ‘most threatened cat on the planet’. There are less than 200 cats across both groups in the wild currently.
A program of reintroducing the animal to the wild would also help ease the genetic isolation which the race has suffered over recent years and needs to follow the successful plan to raise lynx in captivity.
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N.M. approves cougar hunt changes, ID course

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 10/06/2008 05:46:19 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Mountain lion management in New Mexico is changing and wildlife advocates say it’s for the better, with new protections for female cats and their kittens and the end of a cougar-snaring program.
But the changes aren’t sitting well with ranchers and others in southeastern New Mexico.
The state Game Commission, at its meeting last week, approved a voluntary hunter education course to teach hunters the difference between male and female cats to ensure that more breeding females are left in the wild.
Commissioners also voted in favor of setting a limit on how many cougars can be harvested around the state and how many of those can be female cats. If the number of female kills comes within 10 percent of the limit in a given hunting unit, conservation officers can shut down hunting in that particular area.
“New Mexicans and the Game Commission understand that cougars are icons of majesty and wildness. These hunting reforms not only enhance conservation of the species, but reduce the ethical dilemma associated with orphaned cougar kittens,” said Wendy Keefover-Ring of WildEarth Guardians.
The commission also approved a department recommendation to end the preventative cougar control program in southeastern New Mexico, which was aimed at reducing depredation of livestock.
Environmentalists criticized the program, saying the state was spending tens of thousands of dollars a year to benefit a few livestock owners.
But Debbie Hughes, whose family ranches along the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico and holds the contract to snare the cougars, argued that the program has helped ranchers maintain their livelihoods and it has led to an increase in the area’s once-declining deer population.
“To get this program nearly 24 years ago, we had to suffer extreme economic losses,” Hughes said. “We went to hundreds of meetings and took hundreds of pictures and wrote hundreds of letters to prove and document all of these losses. And it was like none of that mattered, they just threw it all out the window.”
Hughes said she fears depredation of livestock and deer will increase without the control program. She noted that the Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Carlsbad Caverns National Monument do not allow hunting and that cougars often fan out from the parks to the nearby ranches.
Hughes, who also serves as executive director of the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, said safety is another concern.
“We have had in this state three human attacks by mountain lions in the past six months,” Hughes said, referring to cases near Albuquerque, Taos and Silver City. “That right there tells the whole story. The mountain lion population is totally out of control.”
Wildlife activists, however, couldn’t disagree more.
WildEarth Guardians and Animal Protection of New Mexico contend that the number of cougars killed on private land has more than doubled in recent years and too many female cats are being killed during hunting season, resulting in abandoned kittens and lost breeding opportunities for the species.
The groups also dispute the idea that cougar control programs would increase safety. Keefover-Ring said several studies have found no evidence that hunting or snaring reduces human attacks.
Game Commission chairman Tom Arvas acknowledged that ranchers are concerned about the cougar management changes, but said he believes the game department is doing a good job at managing the species’ population.
“I think in some of the public’s eye, we’re still not doing enough,” Arvas said. “We try to make everyone happy.”
New Mexico Game and Fish Department:
Animal Protection of New Mexico:
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Florida Panther Update for October available online
Contents include:
* What is the total number of Florida panthers and how are they counted?
From the Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge:
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Eastern Cougar Foundation newsletter for Sept. available

Contents include:
* Do wild cougars inhabit the eastern United States?
* Two new confirmations from the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec
* Florida: Reintroduction timeline needed
* Wild Felid Workshop in the Berkshires
* Introducing our new science Advisor John Laundré
* Book Review: Where the Wild Things Were
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Tiger kills woman in Kanha reserve

Tiger kills woman in Kanha reserve

Tue, Oct 7 06:01 PM

Bhopal, Oct 7 (IANS) A tiger is believed to have killed a middle-aged woman in Kanha Tiger Reserve, an official said Tuesday.

‘The partially eaten body of a middle-aged woman, Sukhna Bai, was recovered by forest department staff and villagers in the Supkhar range of tiger Reserve Sunday,’ additional principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) H.S. Pabla told IANS by phone.

Sukhna Bai, a resident of village Sukhdi in the Supkhar Range of the Tiger Reserve, went Saturday into the forest to collect leaves to make bowls. But an animal attacked her and dragged her away while she was plucking leaves.

‘Other villagers, who accompanied Sukhna Bai, heard her shrieks but could not do anything to help her. They, however, came back and informed the forest department staff which launched search operations Sunday and recovered the body,’ Pabla said adding that ‘pug marks found at the spot suggest that she was killed by a male tiger’.

This is the fourth incident of attack on human beings in the area in the last year and a half. In 2007, three people – one each in May, September and October – were reported killed by wild animals from the same area. Then too, a male tiger was cited to be the animal behind the attacks.

The forest department has announced a compensation of Rs.100,000 for the next of kin of the killed woman.