Elusive wildcat species believed extinct, spotted by camera traps

London, Jan 17 (IANS) One of the world’s most elusive wildcats, believed extinct after 2003, has been spotted in pictures from camera traps.

The Bornean Bay Cat, similar in size to a large domestic cat, has a long tail and either a reddish or grey coat.

Three pictures showing two or three of the Bay Cats were taken in the northern highlands of Sarawak state in Borneo, Malaysia by researchers working for the forestry department, the Telegraph reports.

The last pictures of the Bay Cat were taken in Lanjak Entimau wildlife sanctuary in southern Sarawak in 2003 and it had since been classified as extinct.

The new images, clicked in 2009 and 2010 but released after a wildlife study was completed, raise fresh hope as much of the primary rainforest had been cut down by illegal loggers devastating the natural habitat.

Researcher Wilhelmina Cluny said the Bay Cat was extremely secretive, so the new images represented a highly exciting development.

‘I do feel encouraged… this photograph was taken in a logged forest. When we saw this it made us wonder whether this kind of habitat can sustain wildlife, even for rare and important species like the Bay Cat,’ she said.


LaCrosse, FL Woman Healing After Rabid Bobcat Attack

Woman exposed to rabies recovers

The LaCrosse resident was bitten by a bobcat

By Cindy Swirko

Published: Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 4:35 p.m.

A LaCrosse woman is recovering physically from an attack by a rabid bobcat, but finding the courage to go outside her house is another matter.

Diana Vaughn, 51, was bit on the hand on Dec. 28 by the 25-pound bobcat as she put her hands to her neck to protect herself from the springing feline.

Vaughn has gotten rabies shots and spent nine days in the hospital because the wounds became infected. She’s on the mend but skittish.

“It was scary. I’m paranoid to go outside. I saw my life flash in front of me because it could kill you, especially since he was going for my face,” Vaughn said. “I got admitted to the hospital because my hand got infected. The pain was excruciating, especially when it got infected.”

Anthony Dennis, Alachua County Health Department environmental director, said a rabies alert was not issued for the case because it was the only rabid animal found in the area. He said alerts are typically issued when at least two are found.

Dennis added that he determined that the bobcat had not been in contact with Vaughn’s husband or with the family’s pet cat.

“We have had no other reports out there,” Dennis said. “If we get two animals we would consider doing a rabies alert. This appears to be isolated. If you have multiple cases in a certain area we would, but we haven’t had anything else from over there.”

Vaughn said the bobcat was by a picture window at the front of the house trying to get the family cat, Simon, which had jumped onto a wood pile. Vaughn’s husband, Steve, got a gun.

Vaughn went out the front door to get Simon, and the bobcat saw her.

“He charged at me and jumped through the air at my neck. I put my hand up to protect myself and he bit my hand,” she said.

The bobcat charged again, and Steve Vaughn said he used his rifle to keep it off his wife before shooting it.

“It was very aggressive,” he said. “I’ve been hunting for many years and have never seen anything like that, ever.”

They took the bobcat with them to the emergency room. An officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission got the bobcat from them.

The bobcat’s body was later tested and found to be rabid, forcing Vaughn to get a series of rabies shots in addition to the nine days in the hospital because of the infection.


Big Cat Sanctuary Started in N Carolina

By James Carli II

For the Salisbury Post

On a small road between Rockwell and China Grove lies a big cat rescue named Suzie’s Pride.

Abutting the property on which stands the more well-known Tiger World, Suzie’s Pride is a nonprofit started by former Freightliner employees Bill and Char Cook.

In 1998, the Cooks were approached by a friend about keeping a lion named Suzie in their sanctuary. From that point forward Suzie’s Pride has developed into a no-kill, no-breed facility for unwanted, abused, and neglected big cats from private owners, commercial entities, zoos and other sanctuaries.

Presently, Suzie’s Pride is home to five lions and one tiger, all female. Bill Cook explained the couple has plans for more cats, as he is certain the need will arise.

“Until we control the breeding, stop cub photos from making millions — where people keep a cat until they reach 50 pounds, then dump them — there will be an exploitation problem,” he said.

And while they only have lions and tigers now, the Cooks are anticipating a future to include more energetic cats like mountain lions.

Big cat rescue is no small feat, and until February of 2010, the Cooks were shouldering the entire costs of food, maintenance and veterinary care themselves. However after getting laid off, the couple is turning to the public, and said attention is something they will have to get used to, even though they would prefer to maintain a low profile.

The sanctuary is not generally open to the public like a zoo. However they do have events often that serve as fundraisers. Information about these events, and about the cats and the organization itself, is available on the rescue’s website, www.suziespride.org.

Along with the costs of food, which neighboring Tiger World helps with, and veterinary care, there are strict rules and regulations about keeping “exotics.” Within three months, the rescue achieved nonprofit status, and according to the Cooks, Suzie’s Pride complies with all county laws and has a Class C USDA license.

The facility is inspected at least once a year, and Char Cook invites anyone who suspects anything is wrong at the sanctuary to call Rowan County Animal Control.

“Because it’s Joe Public who keeps us on our toes,” she said.

The couple also pointed out that they have had no complaints or issues with the public, and that they are very grateful to Rowan County for all the assistance it has provided.

What inspires the couple to keep going at such a demanding endeavor?

“I’m not going to turn away a big cat, stand by, and let it get put down,” Bill Cook said.

Suzie’s Pride is located on Cook Road in Rockwell.


Will the Utica Zoo replace Minona the tiger?

Story Created: Jan 15, 2011 at 4:26 PM EST
Story Updated: Jan 15, 2011 at 6:49 PM EST

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) – One of the most popular exhibits at the Utica Zoo is now empty. Minona, the zoo’s only remaning Siberian Tiger had to be euthanized this week due to illness.

Zoo spokesperson Beth Irons announced on Friday that Minona had to be put down due to the advanced stages of kidney disease. She lived to be eleven years old. Minona came to Utica with her sister Wingra from a zoo in Wisconsin when they were just two years old back in 2001.

Irons says both lived beyong their life expectancy. She said “seven to nine years is the expected life expectancy for siberian tigers, we have been blessed, that they get such exemplary care here, that they enjoyed an extended life with us.”

The zoo has had its financial woes over the past few years, as funding has often been cut, but zoo officials have managed to keep the quality of the zoo up, but now the question, will this tiger be replaced?

Irons says she hopes so. She said, “the exhibit originally was through the generosity of Senator Donovan. We were able to build the exhibit back in the 90’s, and it is one of our showpiece exhibits so we will be fielding some new projects to wrap it up for a new species.”

Irons adds, “The Utica Zoo is involved in what are called SSP’s which are Species Survival Plans. They’re global breeding programs designed to help propagate endangered species, which unfortunately all of the currently existing tiger species in the world are endangered, so it’s not just a matter of clicking on a website and ordering a new tiger.”

Irons says the zoo is hoping for possibly another species of tiger to populate the tiger exhibit sometime later this year.



Two arrested in tiger”s killing at Sariska

PTI 10:01 PM,Jan 17,2011

Alwar, Jan 17 (PTI) Two more persons were today arrested by a forest deapartment team in Sariska for their alleged involvment in the killing of a translocated tiger in the national park last year. “Bhagwanya and Kailash Gujjar were involved in the killing of ST-1 in November last year. They were caught from near Tehla village,” an official said, adding the duo were being interrrogated. ST-1, one of the five tigers translocated to the reserve, was poisoned to death and the carcass of the big cat was found on the night on Novermber 14 in Sariska. The forest officials had earlier arrested the main accused, Parsadi Gujjar, last month.