Margay Facts

Margay Facts

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MARGAY


Common Name: Margay
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felinae (Leopardus)
Species: wiedii

Misc: Of all of the felines, the Margay is most adapted for a true arboreal life. It is the only cat to possess the ability to rotate its hind legs 180° , enabling it to run head first down trees like squirrels. It can also hang from a branch by one hind foot!

Size and Appearance: This cat is often confused with its near relatives the Ocelot and the Oncilla. Their coats are very similar, and like the others – the Margay’s is a tawny background patterned with black-ringed rosettes and elongated blotches. The fur is thick and plush, and their tail is quite long – averaging 70% of its head and body length. The tail is used as a counterweight to aid in balance. Size wise – the Margay is right in between the Ocelot and the Oncilla weighing between 9-20 pounds and reaching lengths of 34-52 inches. The Margay also has extremely large eyes, which aids in its nighttime vision.

Habitat: The Margay is associated with forest habitat, both deciduous and evergreen. They have occasionally been spotted in shady cocoa or coffee plantations and riverine forests.

Distribution: Mexico, the Amazon Basin, Argentina, Uruguay, Belize and Brazil. Extinct in Texas, USA

Reproduction and Offspring: After a gestation of approximately 76-84 days, females produce a litter of 1 kittens. They weigh 2.75-6 ounces at birth and will open their eyes at around 2 weeks old. They are weaned around 2 months of age, and captive females reach sexual maturity around 6-10 months, although they may not reproduce for several months after that.

In captivity, Margays have lived up to 20 years.

Social System and Communication: Unknown.

Hunting and Diet: The primary diet of this cat consists of small arboreal mammals such as big-eared climbing rats, squirrels, opossums, small birds, porcupines, marmosets, capuchins, three-toed sloths, birds and even fruits. Their terrestrial diet consists of various rats and cavies.

Principal Threats: The biggest threat has been the exploitation of its pelt for the fur trade, which reached numbers of 14,000 per year. That number is believed to be greatly underestimated as it was seldom verified which spotted cat the pelts originated from. Sadly, in some areas, illegal hunting for domestic markets or underground fur trade still presents a problem for this little cat. Its greatest threat today, however, is deforestation of its natural habitat. Because of the Margay’s inability to produce large litters (or litters with multiple births!) combined with the fact that they only reproduce once every 2 years and the kitten mortality rate is 50%, their outlook for survival, both in the wild and in captivity, is grim.

Status: CITES: Appendix I. IUCN: Insufficiently known.

Felid TAG recommendation: Margay (Leopardus wiedii). Although popular with zoos and private owners, the margay is more difficult to breed than other small, spotted neotropical felids. The present population in North American zoos is likely nonviable. Given their conservation status and the lack of captive reproduction in range-country zoos, this species is recommended for Phase-Out.

How rare is this cat ? The International Species Information Service lists 64 worldwide, with 26 being in the U.S.

Information reprinted With Permission from the IUCN Wild Cats Book.

 

Big Cat Rescue Wants to be the Only Big Cat Sanctuary

Big Cat Rescue Wants to be the Only Big Cat Sanctuary

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That is the lie that animal abusers tell everyone to try and change the subject from protecting exotic cats to a message of mere competition.

Lion vs Tiger

 

They trot out their modified version of our 20 year plan to back up their ridiculous claims, but they leave out the most important part of the plan, which is that there no longer be big cats suffering in captivity, and thus no longer a need for sanctuaries, including Big Cat Rescue’s sanctuary.

As the public becomes better educated about why it is so wrong to breed wild cats for life in cages, they will cease to support industries that breed them as pay to play props, for circuses and other abusive purposes.  There will temporarily be an increased need for real sanctuaries, which are those who meet the following standards.

1.  Real sanctuaries do not breed exotic cats for life in cages.

2.  Real sanctuaries do not buy wild cats.

3.  Real sanctuaries do not sell their wildlife.

4.  Real sanctuaries do not let the public, nor their staff or volunteers handle the big cats, other than for veterinary purposes.

5.  Real sanctuaries do not endanger the public and the big cats by taking them off site for exhibition.

 

Big Cat Rescue LOVES real sanctuaries and helps them by:

 

1.  Providing guidance on best practices to help the sanctuary qualify for and obtain accreditation through the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

2. Hosting workshops and conferences for those who want to do the right thing for wild animals.

3.  Training volunteers and international interns in understanding that each animal is an individual who is to be respected and treated with dignity.

4.  Sending work groups of our own volunteers out to help after disasters and when other sanctuaries are short handed.

5.  Sharing the secrets of our success with those who demonstrate clearly that they are putting the animals first.

 

Those who exploit wild animals for their own gain hate us because they don’t want the public to know that:

 

1.  There is no reason to breed big cats in cages, as none of them in private hands can ever be set free.

2.  There is no captive breeding program that benefits conservation, other than AZA administered SSP programs.

3.  Paying to play with a cub or see one on display actually harms conservation efforts.

4.  Tigers could disappear from the wild because of the smoke screen caused by their legal breeding of generic tigers.

5.  A ban on private possession is the first step toward saving tigers in the wild.

Exploiters claim that if the Big Cats & Public Safety Act were to pass that they would be put out of business and wouldn’t be able to help “rescue” lions, tigers, leopards, ligers and other exotic cats, but that isn’t true.  Big Cat Rescue is one of the most successful sanctuaries in the world and we do it by being open, honest and treating the cats with kindness and respect.  We want sanctuaries to thrive, and they can do that if they employ the same attitudes and behaviors that we have in being a real sanctuary.

Any real sanctuary, who is doing their work for the animals and not their own sense of satisfaction, will share our goal of a world where all wild cats live free.

Now at Big Cat Rescue Oct 3 2014

Now at Big Cat Rescue Oct 3 2014

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Genie the Sandcat is rushed to the vet when her keepers note that she is acting weird.

Vet-Genie-Sandcat_1094

Genie Sandcat was sedated in a glass box used for domestic cats.

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat_1099

This was to make sedation easier on her since she is only 3.3 pounds and 14 years old.

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat_1103

Dr. Wynn keeps a close eye on her vitals.

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat_1104

The monitors are just all over the place, so she has to rely on feel, sound and instincts.

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat_1105

For such an old and tiny cat, Genie Sandcat has some fearsome teeth!

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat_1108

The tiniest mask straps are too big, so Carole holds the gas mask in place.

 

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Sandcats are the softest of the exotic cat species.

 

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No spinal issues and her lungs don’t look terrible, but she has a case of bronchitis.

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat_1112

This is good news, because Genie Sandcat is given a long lasting antibiotic shot and has a good chance at recovery.

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat_1113

Dr. Wynn gives her fluids, steroids and antibiotics to help tiny little Genie fight off her symptoms.

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat-paw_1106

Genie Sandcat’s paw is the size of the tip of Jamie Veronica’s finger.

 

Vet-Genie-Sandcat-paws_1102

 

Sandcat paws are fully furred on the bottom for running on desert sands.

 

Violations at Big Cat Facilities 2011-2014

 

The USDA site doesn’t work most of the time and when it does it is so slow that most browsers will time out and quit before you can download the information you are looking for.  This information is current as of Oct. 3, 2014.

USDA Facilities with big cats who have had citations

USDA Facilities with big cats who have had repeat violations

USDA Facilities with repeat violations for all animal species

 

 

Today at Big Cat Rescue Mar 2 2013 on NatGeo Wild

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Big Cat Attacks and the Big Cat Club

 

http://youtu.be/7HvGi5apL14

 

Zabu at 2:56, can you pick out our other big cat stars?

NatGeoWildBigCatAttacks2013a NatGeoWildBigCatAttacks2013b

Margay of Big Cat Rescue

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Big Cat Rescue’s Margay

Kahlua

Female Margay

Date of Birth: 6/6/82 – 1999

Kahlua came to Big Cat Rescue on 6/6/93, with André, a male Margay. She was supposed to be six years old when we got her, but one of our volunteers had known her for at least twelve years when she lived Kahlua.JPG (41031 bytes)at Savage Kingdom. She was already missing half her teeth when we got her, but she has always been a strong cat and this doesn’t seem to hamper her. She was too rough with André to leave them together except when she was in heat, which is only a few times a year, for a few days at a time.

 

Sadly, Andre died of old age and Kahlua died in July of 1999 at the age of 17.  She will be greatly missed by all of us here at Big Cat Rescue.  She was the last of the Margays living at Big Cat Rescue.

 

Even though they are gone now, they still speak to us in the wind that rustles through the trees that were their home.  They understand that all that is, or was or will be is made up of energy.  Some people describe God the same way;  All the was, All that is and All that will be.  margayEnergy can never be created nor destroyed and it lives in all things and through all things as the silver thread that connects all of us. We are all a part of this energy and our thoughts are what shape the physical world.

 

Humans only use 5% of their mind’s amazing ability.  The power of the mind is the last frontier and using it to your fullest capacity will teach you that there is nothing that you cannot do or be or have.

 

In 2005 we donated to Margay Conservation in Brazil and in 2006 began a Conservation program in South America to save the margay.

Kahlua

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Kahlua

Female Margay

Date of Birth: 6/6/82

Kahlua came to Big Cat Rescue on 6/6/93, with André, a male Margay. She was supposed to be six years old when we got her, but one of our volunteers had known her for at least twelve years when she lived at Savage Kingdom. She was already missing half her teeth when we got her, but she has always been a strong cat and this doesn’t seem to hamper her. She was too rough with André to leave them together except when she was in heat, which is only a few times a year, for a few days at a time.

 

Sadly, Andre died of old age and Kahlua died in July of 1999 at the age of 17.  She will be greatly missed by all of us here at Big Cat Rescue.  She was the last of the Margays living at Big Cat Rescue.

 

Even though they are gone now, they still speak to us in the wind that rustles through the trees that were their home.  They understand that all that is, or was or will be is made up of energy.  Some people describe God the same way;  All the was, All that is and All that will be.  Energy can never be created nor destroyed and it lives in all things and through all things as the silver thread that connects all of us. We are all a part of this energy and our thoughts are what shape the physical world.

 

Humans only use 5% of their mind’s amazing ability.  The power of the mind is the last frontier and using it to your fullest capacity will teach you that there is nothing that you cannot do or be or have.

 

In 2005 we donated to Margay Conservation in Brazil and in 2006 began a Conservation program in South America to save the margay.  Your donations help us care for the cats we have rescued and save wild places for wild cats: