Big Cat Updates
Jumanji Leopards is on new pain meds and not hissing, so we think he’s feeling better.
Tonga the white serval had everyone pretty worried two days ago, but was back to his usual self yesterday. Shew!
Today we will move Arther, Andre and Amanda Tigers off Vacation Rotation but are not sure we will move a cat to the area since Hurricane Matthew is barreling toward us with projected 145 MPH winds. This is expected to be the worst hurricane to make landfall since Hurricane Wilma in 2005 that destroyed sanctuaries and zoos in southern Florida. Jade & Armani Leopard leave FunCation today and if the weather holds, Ginger will go to FunCation. It has a roof, so it is safe during a storm. All of our cats are brought into the roofed areas of their enclosures is winds get up to 30 MPH.
Facebook LIVE Contest Winners!
Kayla Manka won the sexy cats eye sunglasses on 10/4 and on 10/5 Kelly Owens Judy and Holly Hill-Morrow won the Canada Lynx vanity plate.
If you weren’t the winner, but would like to buy one, they are lovely:
Tragic News of Tiger Mauling and Tiger Killed
Oct. 1, 2016 SD: Michael Welchynski, founder of Spirit of the Hills, a pseudo sanctuary located at 500 Tinton Rd. Spearfish SD, was found by first responders to be covered in bites to his head, neck, shoulders and arms. He had been bitten by a tiger (presumably Louise or Raphael) who escaped through an open gate. At first no one knew where the tiger was lurking. Deputies approached the tiger’s enclosure to secure the still open gate. “It peeked its head out of the door a couple times, and the third time it crouched down and started coming out the door,” deputy Paul Hansen said. “There is really nothing fence-wise, they told us, that would keep something like (the tiger) in the perimeter, because they are not tall fences,” Hansen said. The tiger was shot and killed. Welchynski is in the hospital in fair condition. The remaining big cats were relocated to Wild Animal Sanctuary in CO. The USDA had been camped out at the facility since Sept. 28th for undisclosed reasons.
The World is Watching
Big game hunting is big business in South Africa. But, so far, the country is rejecting efforts to ban the controversial practice of “canned lion” hunting. These kings of the jungle are bred in captivity — to be shot. A whistle gets the lion’s attention just before the shots ring out. “Shoot him again, shoot him again,” a trophy hunter says, as the lion tries frantically to escape. There’s nowhere to escape. Bred in captivity, and hunted in a confined area, trophy hunters pay up to $50,000 to shoot them. It’s called a canned hunt. Read more here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/canned-lion-hunting-increasingly-under-scrutiny-in-south-africa/
Mike VI Isn’t Even Dead Yet and LSU Looking for Replacement Trophy
David Baker said he would begin the process of finding a new live tiger cub to replace the school mascot immediately. https://pressly.com/bigcatrescue/bcr/posts/vet-mike-vi-has-1-2-months-to-live-time-for-goodbyes-search-for-new-tiger-under-way-1247558
Half Way to Sold Out!
If you missed the love – fest at Big Cat Rescue for the Wildcat Walkabout, be sure to get your Lion Ark tickets now, because we will all be there to have some great food and watch a heart warming movie about how circus lions were freed. There will be a special viewing of Hoover Tiger’s rescue at the end too!
November 17, 2016 at 7pm: Tampa, FL
Studio Movie Grill – Tampa — 12332 University Mall Ct., Tampa, FL 33612
Ticket booking: Book online here
Here is the Facebook event page, if you are able to share:https://www.facebook.com/events/1013006455485101/
Wildcat Walkabout Conservation Projects FUNDED!
On October 1st 2016 Big Cat Rescue had our Wildcat Walkabout event, where money raised by admission prices, was donated to 5 worthwhile big cat conservation projects. Each project was devoted to a different cat species; Tigers, Lions, Clouded Leopards, Canada Lynx and Jaguars. The event raised over $11,500! Below are descriptions of each project and links to read more about the organizations we supported.
Tigers: Anti-Tiger Farming/ CITES Conference 2016
Tigers are farmed all across Asia with the intention of using their bones to make wine, and their fur, teeth, claws and organs sold to fuel the black market trade. More than 200 tiger farms exist throughout China, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand housing an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 tigers. Commercial breeding of tigers puts a tremendous strain on wild tiger populations, as products made from wild tigers are more sought after (as the prime product) and impossible to distinguish from products made using captive tigers.
Funds from the Wildcat Walkabout were put towards the educational outreach at the 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa. Big Cat Rescue joined several other Animal Welfare organizations including Born Free at the 12 day conference to highlight and educate attendees about the importance of ending Tiger farming. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is a treaty between member countries to protect endangered plants and animals. Its aim is to ensure that international trade of specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of Animals and Plants. CITES is one of the largest and oldest conservation and sustainable use agreements in existence.
You can read more about the 2016 CITES here: https://cites.org/cop17
Bornean Clouded Leopards:
(Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit & Borneo Nature Foundation)
Sunda clouded leopards are the least known of all small/big cats and have recently been declared a new species. The Bornean tropical forest contains a guild of five felid species: Sunda clouded leopard, bay cat, marbled cat, flat-headed cat and leopard cat . Two are endangered, two threatened, and their presumed primary habitat is rapidly being lost and/or altered in the region. The Bornean Clouded Leopard Project has been ongoing since 2007 and focuses their work in Danum Valley in Malaysian Borneo and the Sabangau forest in Indonesian Borneo. The Program aims to advance understanding and enhance the conservation of the Sunda Clouded Leopard and other threatened Bornean Wild Cats.
By building on the foundations of previous wild cat research, this multi-site study will provide vital information that will facilitate the development of effective conservation strategies for Sabah’s wild cats. By focusing on Borneo where the clouded leopard is the top predator, there is an opportunity to form the hub of a clouded leopard conservation network and to make this particularly accessible to Malaysian and Indonesian scientists and conservationists.
Read more about the Borean Clouded Leopard Program here: https://www.wildcru.org/research/research-4/
Ewaso Lions conserve Kenya’s lions and other large carnivores by promoting coexistence between people and wildlife. Ewaso Lions uses sound science, education, and capacity building to foster support for conservation and help guide the long-term conservation management of lions in protected areas and on private lands. Ewaso Lions’ research activities focus on understanding the factors that influence human tolerance of large carnivores, and what large carnivores need in order to share the landscape with people. This helps better manage for coexistence, identify areas critical to maintaining connectivity, and focus conservation activities in areas most likely to remain viable for large carnivores in the long-term.
Read more about the great work done by Ewaso Lions here: http://ewasolions.org/research/
Jaguars of Latin America
(Wildlife Conservation Society)
Wildlife Conservation Society has been a leader on jaguars for three decades. When WCS united with jaguar authorities in Mexico to conduct the first priority-setting exercise for the animal in 1999 they brought together experts from throughout the species’ range, establishing a framework for its conservation. That foundation and thirst for a collaborative approach across the region persists today. WCS deploy biologists across multiple biomes to hold ground against the encroaching threats that are eroding jaguar range. Their project aims include:
Working with communities on economic alternatives that use timber and non-timber forest products and tourism to create incentives for forest and wildlife conservation, accompanied by requirements to conserve
Working with the Ministry of Agriculture to support innovations that reduce deforestation and reduce human/jaguar conflict.
Monitoring Jaguar Populations
Advising and supporting protected area law enforcement, including through the implementation of SMART : The Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) is a new and improved tool for measuring, evaluating and improving the effectiveness of wildlife law enforcement patrols and site-based conservation activities. SMART was started by a diverse group of conservation practitioners who understood the needs of front-line enforcement and who recognized the day-to-day difficulties faced by many conservation managers across the world: operating on thinly stretched resources in the face of escalating threats to biodiversity. SMART isn’t owned by any one individual or organization: its free and available to the whole conservation community.
You can read more about their work with Jaguars here: http://www.wcs.org/our-work/ species/jaguars
Canada Lynx Wildlife Corridors
(Rocky Mountain Wild)
Stable wildlife populations require healthy and connected ecosystems. Some species migrate seasonally, others require large territories to hunt, and many – especially predator species – need to be able to move across great distances to maintain the genetic diversity that is key to their survival. Habitat fragmentation is recognized as a primary cause of the decline of species worldwide. Roads and highways, in particular, fragment habitat, and create barriers to wildlife movement, and often result in animal-vehicle collisions. The goal the Rocky Mountain Wild Habitat Connectivity Campaign is to address habitat fragmentation by protecting key remaining habitat and restoring linkages between core habitat areas.
–A wildlife corridor has been proposed between Vail and Copper Mountain. This corridor connects the Eagles Nest Wilderness to the north and the White River National Forest to the south of Interstate 70 and has been identified as an ecologically significant site both statewide and regionally for wildlife and habitat connectivity. Any current connectivity is severed by interstate 70. To alleviate the barrier effect of the highway in this corridor, a wildlife overpass has been proposed on Vail Pass. If an overpass is built, all of the wildlife species using Vail Pass will benefit from improved access to the habitat across the interstate. Two of nine Canada lynx killed in animal-vehicle collisions in Colorado were on West Vail Pass, indicating that a structure in this corridor will be of great importance to this threatened species.
In addition Rocky Mountain Wild is implementing a species safety net. Through the use of a wide variety of tactics — from crafting administrative appeals, to securing Endangered Species Act protection, to organizing land purchases — they aim to advance conservation of specific species while also promoting the tools for effective conservation more generally. In 1999, the Colorado Division of Wildlife began releasing lynx into the rugged terrain of southwestern Colorado as a means of reintroducing this native wildcat across the region. Biologically-speaking, lynx continue to make great strides toward recovery in the Southern Rockies. Over 140 kittens have now been born in the wild, including second-generation kittens born to wild-born lynx. To ensure that reintroduction is successful in the long-term and that lynx can thrive in the region, Rocky Mountain Wild focuses on protecting adequate habitat in the region, especially in Colorado. If loss of key lynx denning habitat, hunting grounds, and linkages between core areas of habitat, continue all prior efforts to restore the Canada Lynx to wild places will have been for nothing.
Read more about their work here: http://rockymountainwild.org
Romania Bans Big Cat Hunts
Romania has banned all trophy hunting of brown bears, wolves, lynx and wild cats in a surprise decision that gives Europe’s largest population of large carnivores a reprieve from its most severe and immediate threat.
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