Some of the Oldest Sand Cats
Today the 2012 Sandcat Studbook arrived and Big Cat Rescue's Canyon and Genie are in the top 10% age bracket for the species.
One writer's foray into the controversies surrounding America's most magical and beleaguered cat.
From the Mexican border to Washington State, Sudarsky's wide-ranging research and fieldwork over the course of two years has yielded an unsettling picture of the staggering challenges facing mountain lion recovery... and some dramatic encounters with Puma concolor.
. . . . I followed the path. The next rise wasn't quite as steep; I was midway up it when I spotted a shape slinking up the hillside about 100 yards to the south. I illuminated the creature with my LED flashlight-a small but powerful tool. I'd only seen one mountain lion in the flesh before this, but the broad muscular back and the long tail made this animal unmistakable. It was barely moving, crawling up the steep slope in a manner reminiscent of something both catlike and vaguely reptilian.
The big cat seemed fused to the terrain, an organic part of the landscape-edging along with the tacit accord of everything that surrounded it. The trees, the stars and the mountains-all of them seemed to be intrinsically connected to this nocturnal predator, meshed together in a galactic wholeness. Everything about the stealthy carnivore seemed to be murmuring so softly that it was just a part of its surroundings-nothing more. And invisible is what it was, or very nearly so. The mountain lion reached a juniper bush, and disappeared from view. It was aware of me, of course, standing as I was out in the open. Even without its perfect nighttime vision, it would have detected my scent, heard my footfalls, long before I ever managed to spot it. Perhaps it was hiding from me, bunched up just behind those low twisted branches-or perhaps it was stalking me. Or, perhaps both.
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