Sabre was 3 years old when he arrived at Big Cat Rescue on 7/20/95. Though he was only supposed to be here temporarily, his former owner moved and left no forwarding address.
This could have been another sad ending as most are in the exotic pet world. Luckily, we had taken Sabre in and he will have a home here for life. He is very playful and fun loving and always has a mischievous look on his face. He loves to act very silly, running about his cat-a-tat and jumping on top of his mountain den.
Sabre, like many of our cats, has been relocated to new cat-a-tats a few times. The change of scenery and new neighbors to interact with provide another form of enrichment for our big cats. Sabre has enjoyed the time he has spent among other cougars, tigers, leopards and bobcats. The only thing Sabre probably hasn’t enjoyed is his recent neutering. But now he is back to his old energetic self loving his new location.
Sabre the Black Leopard Tumor Removal
Sabre the black leopard is 22 years old, which is about 10 years longer than most leopards live, but a tumor has begun to grow under his chin and could make it hard for him to swallow, so the difficult decision is made to remove the mass surgically. The surgery could kill him, but the mass could too. This is graphic surgery video so don’t watch if you have a weak constitution.
Since he is one of the first black leopards you see at the sanctuary, Jumanji is used to quite a bit of attention. Most days, he can be found in the shadiest part of his cat-a-tat lounging on his fern-covered tree log. It is very easy to see how well black leopards camouflage themselves in the jungle since most people walk right by without noticing him there. People magazine certainly noticed Jumanji though. His photo was featured in an article written about Big Cat Rescue.
Jumanji is also known as quite the superstar achiever in our Operant Conditioning Program. He learns very quickly and always wants to please, especially when treats are involved. If the keeper is not quick enough with the reward, Jumanji will offer other behaviors to see if maybe the keeper wants something else. He makes it easy to capture and reward other behaviors, which he will then subsequently remember. The adage that leopards have the longest memories truly applies to Jumanji.
Jumanji was born here back before we learned that no privately held exotic cats serve any sort of conservation purpose. Back then, in the pre-Internet era of the 90’s, the only people we could turn to for advice were breeders and dealers who lied to us about the necessity of breeding exotic cats to save them. As soon as we learned better we stopped breeding and began campaigning to end the abuse of breeding wild cats for life in cages.
On 2/3/09 Panther International pledged to donate $20,000 to Jumanji’s life time care.
February 15, 2016 – Jumanji is sedated for treatment. http://bigcatrescue.org/jumanji-leopard-and-bongo-serval-surgeries/ Jumanji had dental surgery, as well as had the mass on his forehead removed. The mass was sent to lab for testing. It appears as though Jumanji got a stick stuck across the roof of his mouth causing two of his molars to go bad as well as neighboring molars. So now he does not have any upper molars and cannot chew. He will be on a soft food diet forever. His food must be cut up in pieces small enough to just swallow. He will recover in the concrete hospital cage for five days before returning to his enclosure. This will help keep his stitches clean. Also found during his exam was significant spondylosis, arthritis, in his spine. He will be on pain medications for the next week to see how it helps.
Since the 1960’s it has been considered politically incorrect to call a black cat a black panther. The big black cats are black leopards or black jaguars and are not referred to as black panthers by anyone who knows anything about big cats. Some people claim to have seen black cougars, which are sometimes referred to as Florida Panthers (despite the fact that they are not in the Panthera category) and thus extrapolate the term black panther, but Florida Panthers are always tan.
Black panther may refer to:
Black panther, a big cat (of any species, but most commonly a jaguar or a leopard) whose coloration is entirely black. This may have originated from the Latin name Panthera for the big cats and was probably shortened from Black Panthera to Black Panther.
Black Panther, a member of the Black Panther Party, a revolutionary Black nationalist organization in the United States formed during the 1960s.
Black Panther, a member of a group of Israeli Mizrahi Jews inspired by the Black Panther Party in the United States.
Black Panther, the nickname for the British criminal and murderer Donald Neilson.
Black Panther, a comic book superhero in the Marvel Comics universe, and a member of The Avengers.
Black Panther, an underground newspaper.
Black Panther, a well-known Chinese rock band
A song by Mason Jennings from his 2000 album Birds Flying Away
Black Panther, the symbol for the Filipino Special forces, The Scout Rangers
The nickname of the U.S. 761st Tank Battalion, after their unit’s shoulder sleeve insignia.
The Black Panther
The black panther is the common name for a black specimen (a melanistic variant) of any of several species of cats.
Zoologically speaking, the term panther is synonymous with leopard. The genus name Panthera is a taxonomic category that contains all the species of a particular group of felids. In North America, the term panther is commonly used for the puma; in Latin America it is most often used to mean a jaguar. Elsewhere in the world it refers to the leopard (originally individual animals with longer tails were deemed panthers and others were leopards; it is a common misconception that the term panther necessarily refers a melanistic individual).
Melanism is most common in jaguars (Panthera onca) – where it is due to a dominant gene mutation – and leopards (Panthera pardus) – where it is due to a recessive gene mutation. Close examination of one of these black cats will show that the typical markings are still there, and are simply hidden by the surplus of the black pigment melanin. Cats with melanism can co-exist with litter mates that do not have this condition. In cats that hunt mainly at night the condition is not detrimental. White panthers also exist, these being albino or leucistic individuals of the same three species.
It is probable that melanism is a favorable evolutionary mutation with a selective advantage under certain conditions for its possessor, since it is more commonly found in regions of dense forest, where light levels are lower. Melanism can also be linked to beneficial mutations in the immune system.
Black Jaguar cubs. In jaguars, the mutation is dominant hence black jaguars can produce both black and spotted cubs, but spotted jaguars only produce spotted cubs when bred together. In leopards, the mutation is recessive and some spotted leopards can produce black cubs (if both parents carry the gene in hidden form) while black leopards always breed true when mated together. In stuffed mounted specimens, black leopards often fade to a rusty color, but black jaguars fade to chocolate brown. The black jaguar was considered a separate species by indigenous peoples.
In Harmsworth Natural History (1910), WH Hudson writes:
The jaguar is a beautiful creature, the ground-colour of the fur a rich golden-red tan, abundantly marked with black rings, enclosing one or two small spots within. This is the typical colouring, and it varies little in the temperate regions; in the hot region the Indians recognize three strongly marked varieties, which they regard as distinct species – the one described; the smaller jaguar, less aquatic in his habits and marked with spots, not rings; and, thirdly, the black variety. They scout the notion that their terrible “black tiger” is a mere melanic variation, like the black leopard of the Old World and the wild black rabbit. They regard it as wholly distinct, and affirm that it is larger and much more dangerous than the spotted jaguar; that they recognize it by its cry; that it belongs to the terra firma rather than to the water-side; finally, that black pairs with black, and that the cubs are invariably black. Nevertheless, naturalists have been obliged to make it specifically one with Felis onca, the familiar spotted jaguar, since, when stripped of its hide, it is found to be anatomically as much like that beast as the black is like the spotted leopard.
The gene is incompletely dominant. Individuals with two copies of the gene are darker (the black background colour is more dense) than individuals with just one copy whose background colour may appear to be dark charcoal rather than black.
A black jaguar called Diablo has been crossed with a lioness at Bear Creek Sanctuary, Barrie, Canada resulting in a charcoal coloured “black jaglion”. The gene is therefore dominant over normal lion coloration.
A melanistic black leopard, or “black panther.” These are the most common form of black panther in captivity and have been selectively bred for decades as exhibits or exotic pets (this inbreeding for the sake of appearance has adversely affected temperament). They are smaller and more lightly built than jaguars. The spotted pattern is still visible on black leopards, especially from certain angles where the effect is that of printed silk. Skin color is a mixture of blue black gray and purple with rosettes. A black panther (leopard) is able to hunt and kill animals outweighing them by more than 1,350 pounds but this is rare because of competition from tigers and lions.
Black leopards are reported from most densely-forested areas in south-western China, Burma, Assam and Nepal; from Travancore and other parts of southern India and are said to be common in Java and the southern part of the Malay Peninsula where they may be more numerous than spotted leopards. They are less common in tropical Africa, but have been reported from Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia), the forests of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares. One was recorded by Peter Turnbull-Kemp in the equatorial forest of Cameroon.
Adult black panthers (leopards) are more temperamental (nervous or vicious) than their spotted counterparts. It is a myth that their mothers often reject them at a young age because of their colour. In actuality, they are more temperamental because they have been inbred (e.g. brother/sister, father/daughter, mother/son matings) to preserve the coloration. The poor temperament has been bred into the strain as a side-effect of inbreeding. It is this poor temperament that leads to problems of maternal care in captivity as the proximity of humans stresses the mother. According to Funk And Wagnalls’ Wildlife Encyclopedia, black leopards are less fertile than normal leopards having average litters of 1.8, compared to 2.1. This may be due to their high-strung nature.
In the early 1980s, Glasgow Zoo, Scotland acquired a 10 year old black leopard from Dublin Zoo, Ireland. She was exhibited for several years before moving to Madrid Zoo, Spain. This leopard had a uniformly black coat profusely sprinkled with white hairs as though draped with spider webs. She was therefore nicknamed the Cobweb Panther. The condition appeared to be vitiligo and as she aged, the white became more extensive. Since then, other Cobweb Panthers have been reported and photographed in zoos.
Hear our roars, chuffs, hisses, snarls, calls, and growl sounds HERE
There are no authenticated cases of truly melanistic pumas. Black pumas have been reported in Kentucky, one of which had a paler belly. There have also been reports of glossy black pumas from Kansas and eastern Nebraska. These are known as the North American Black Panther (NABP). None have ever been photographed or shot in the wild, and none have been bred. There is wide concensus among breeders and biologists that the animal does not exist and is a cryptid. Sightings are current attributed to mistaken species identification by non feline experts, and memetic exaggeration of size.
In his “Histoire Naturelle” (1749), Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, wrote of the “Black Cougar”: “M. de la Borde, King’s physician at Cayenne, informs me, that in the [South American] Continent there are three species of rapacious animals; that the first is the jaguar, which is called the tiger; that the second is the couguar [sic], called the red tiger, on account of the uniform redness of his hair; that the jaguar is of the size of a large bull-dog, and weighs about 200 pounds (90 kg); that the couguar is smaller, less dangerous, and not so frequent in the neighborhood of Cayenne as the jaguar; and that both these animals take six years in acquiring their full growth. He adds, that there is a third species in these countries, called the black tiger, of which we have given a figure under the appellation of the black couguar.”
“The head,” says M. de la Borde, “is pretty similar to that of the common couguar; but the animal has long black hair, and likewise a long tail, with strong whiskers. He weighs not much above forty pounds. The female brings forth her young in the hollows of old trees.” This black couguar is most likely a margay or ocelot, which are under forty pounds, live in trees, and do occur in a melanistic phase.
Another description of a black cougar was provided by Mr Pennant: “Black tiger, or cat, with the head black, sides, fore part of the legs, and the tail, covered with short and very glossy hairs, of a dusky colour, sometimes spotted with black, but generally plain: Upper lips white: At the corner of the mouth a black spot: Long hairs above each eye, and long whiskers on the upper lip: Lower lip, throat, belly, and the inside of the legs, whitish, or very pale ash-colour: Paws white: Ears pointed: Grows to the size of a heifer of a year old: Has vast strength in its limbs.– Inhabits Brasil and Guiana: Is a cruel and fierce beast; much dreaded by the Indians; but happily is a scarce species;” (Pennant’s Synops. of quad., p 180). According to his translator Smellie (1781), the description was taken from two black cougars exhibited in London some years previously.
In the US, the most likely explanation for black puma sightings is the jaguarundi, a cat very similar genetically to the puma, which grows around 30″ of body and 20″ of tail. Their coat goes through a reddish-brown phase and a dark grey phase. While their acknowledged natural range ends in southern Texas, a small breeding population was introduced to Florida in the 1940’s, and there are rumors of people breeding them as pets there as well. Jaguarundis hunting territory can extend to 100km wide for males, and it’s quite possible that very small populations which rarely venture out of deep forests are responsible for many or most of the sightings. While they are significantly smaller than a puma, differently colored, and much lower to the ground (many note a resemblance to the weasel), a little memory bias combined with their secretive nature could explain many of the sightings in the southeastern US.
After that, the next most likely are black jaguars, who are believed to have ranged North America in historical memory. Melanistic jaguars aren’t common in nature, and more importantly, jaguars themselves were hunted to near extinction in the ’60’s; However, while they do not look exactly like pumas, but they have the requisite size, and it’s conceivable that there could be, for example, a breeding population hidden in the Louisiana bayou. The jaguar has had several photographically confirmed and many unconfirmed sightings in Arizona, New Mexico, and southwest Texas, but not outside that region.
If you have more than one cat you probably have this problem: One cat is too skinny and the other cat is too fat. So how do you satisfy the cravings of the skinny cat without contributing to the obesity of the fat cat?
I love this cat door! It was easy to install and only took the press of one button to teach it the difference between my skinny cat and my fat cat. The secret is a battery operated microchip reader.
All I had to do after installing the flap was install four AA batteries and press a button. The next cat to pass through the flap would be learned by the door, enabling only that microchip to pass through. Now the door will only open when that microchip is at the flap.
I installed it on an internal door and trained the SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap to only read my skinny cat’s microchip. Now I can keep food available in that room for him 24/7 and the fat cat can’t get to it. The skinny cat is skinny for a reason; he is a youngster and hyper active. At night I can still lock him in his room by turning a manual knob on the door that prevents him from being able to pass through the flap. This gives our old, fat cat some peace and quiet at night and allows us to sleep. On the first night he banged away at the door for about 15 minutes, but by the second night had figured out that when it’s dark the door doesn’t work for him.
The door was probably designed more for those who allow their cats to come and go from outside. The door can be programmed to learn up to 32 different microchips so for someone who has more than one cat that they want passing through the door it’s a good choice. The door will only open for the microchips that you program. This keeps out stray pets or other animals that you would not want in your house.
My original intention for the SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap was to install it in the larger exotic cat cages. Sometimes we have a group of cats who have lived together a long time, but one becomes too senile to be allowed around a pool, or one has to stay off high perches while healing a sprain. This sort of a door would be ideal for those situations where we want the “pride” to stay together, if possible, but want to restrict areas of the enclosure to just those with the right microchip. (and yes, our wild cats are microchipped) The problem was that this door is designed for domestic cats and would not accomodate our 25-40 lb jungle cats, ocelots or bobcats.
Depending on the size of the hybrid cat though, it might work for people who have mistakenly purchased Bengal Cats, Savannah Cats or Chausie Cats who are notorious sprayers. Some domestic cats, despite thousands of years of domestication and being altered, still spray, so this door would also work in a multi-cat household dealing with those issues. The spraying cat could live on the lanai and not be programed for the door, while the cats with good house manners could have access to both indoors and the screened room areas.
Here’s the Scoop: The skinny cat and I give it 5 paws. The fat cat only gives it one.