Big Cat Updates
This video, captured from our live explore.org/bigcatrescue web cam in the Vacation Rotation enclosure illustrates two of the most common questions I hear. First is, why can’t they have a friend live with them and the second is, don’t they want to be petted. Big cats are solitary by nature, so the vast majority of our cats prefer to live alone, and do. These tigers are siblings who are neutered and spayed and have lived together for 20 years. We have to separate them at feeding time so they don’t kill each other, but the rest of the time they get along pretty well and seem to prefer being together. As you can see though, things can get ugly pretty quickly and there is no way to break up a tiger fight.
Notice how Arthur keeps rubbing his cheek on the wall of the cage? When people see our cats do that near us, they usually assume the cats are asking to be petted. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cats are marking their territory and daring us to cross the line. In this video Arthur is trying to move Amanda away from the wall so he can attack her from behind. He’s telling her, “This is my territory and this is my wall; back away from it!” She’s too smart for that ploy though.
Thank you Susann Mesna for capturing this video. No bites or scratches have been reported by Keepers.
Tonga the White Serval vomited today and looks like he isn’t feeling well. The vet has been alerted and we are keeping a close eye on him.
TJ was attacked by a water snake yesterday but isn’t showing any bite marks or acting any differently, so it appears he wasn’t injured.
CITES Summary on Lions
CITES is a global treaty that regulates trade in wild flora and fauna or products derived from them with an aim to ensuring their survival. Over 180 countries are signatories.
Limitations on the global trade in the bones, claws and teeth of wild lions has been imposed with exemptions for those harvested from captive-bred lions in South Africa. The decision on lions was a compromise which fell short of the Appendix I listing that Big Cat Rescue, some African countries and conservationists were pushing for.
Conservationists fear the legal market from South African captive-raised lions could provide incentives for poachers to “launder” bones taken from wild lions, just like they do with tigers. Lion bone is highly sought after in Asia for use in traditional medicines and is used as a substitute for the bones of tigers, which are much rarer.
Discussed at CITES: The problem is that the South African Government and lion farmers are hell bent on getting trade legalised. Talk of legalising trade and harvesting and stockpiling lion parts for trade will keep the poaching going as speculators stockpile wild lions and tigers to sell at much higher prices than farmed. Permits will be forged as usual so there will be no obstacle selling as from ‘legal stockpiles’. Tusks from 30,000 poached elephants annually – laundered into legal stocks in China – after sales of stockpiles of Ivory were permitted show how well ‘regulated trade’ works! Talk of legalising trade, encouraging demand, farming thousands of lions for trade and use of their cubs for trade are putting all lions and other big cats, across their range, in huge danger.
More ways to help at: http://www.ad-international.org/conservation/go.php?id=4197&ssi=14
Here are some of the best photos from the Wildcat Walkabout by Alyssa Weber: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ndbn0a2bh48h2b2/AAAsl5wxAMExXVbFuTW-p15ha?dl=0
Lots of cage renovations happening to accommodate the moves and some potential new rescues.
We have been asked to rescue some tigers from a failed U.S. facility and a lion from Argentina. The lion had been part of a circus and was sent to safety after the circus ban, while awaiting export to a Brazilian sanctuary. Her permits did not go through and we were asked to take her. That means 8 months of governmental red tape and anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000 just for the flight. Flying a lion or tiger is no small feat. We could rescue all four tigers from the U.S. situation for the same money. What would you do? Let us know in the comments.
QUICK LINK REMINDERS