Friday, February 24, 2006

young leopard dies at army HQ in India

 

JAMMU, India: Trapped in the barbed wire fencing at divisional army headquarters in Rajouri district, a young leopard died on Thursday after struggling for life for over 12 hours, official sources said.

 

It got trapped into three-tier barbed wire fencing when it jumped into the army headquarters on Wednesday evening and succumbed on Thursday almost after 12 hours, they said.

 

Though army guards alerted officers and a message was flashed to the wildlife department, no timely action was taken, they said, adding it died of excessive bleeding after continued roaring for long.

 

A defense spokesman said the leopard died before the rescue team arrived from Jammu

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1425988.cms

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Naples zookeeper goes global

Naples zookeeper goes global

 

 

By Naomi Reiter  02/21/2006

 

  

 Caribbean Gardens General Curator Conrad Schmitt, center, assists a team from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association in setting up a camera trap in Zimbabwe. The camera traps take three digital photographs per minute when it detects movement.  

When most people think of Africa they think of animals and safaris. There is an assumption that, since the animals are prevalent and money is made on the safaris, there is a font of knowledge about these animals and their habitat.

 

The truth is that there is a serious lack of research in the areas where it is needed most. In Zimbabwe's Matopos National Park and it's largest park, Hwange National Park, a project was begun in 2001 to gather information about the natural habitat of that nation's carnivores including leopards, cheetahs and hyenas.

 

The Matabeleland Leopard and Cheetah Project was started by networking members of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association to study the overall wellness of the area in terms of the carnivores' ranges and numbers, the amount of prey animals, and the effects of weather systems on the ecosystem.

 

"It was a natural fit for us to get involved because our zoo has a lot of the carnivores in Zimbabwe...especially the smaller ones," said Schmitt who recently returned from Zimbabwe. Caribbean Gardens has servals, caracals, spotted hyenas, leopards and African wild dogs.

 

The team, including Chris Pfefferkorn of the Oregon Zoo, Alan Sironen of the Cleveland Metropolitan Zoo, and Vivian Wilson, a veteran of the area, intended to do some capture and radio collaring but the record drought afflicting Zimbabwe finally broke to record rainfall.

 

"We were limited to how far we could go into the bush," said Schmitt.

 

They moved some traps to new locations and introduced some trial run camera traps, which allowed them to view still photos of animals in the area. This allowed them to get a broader picture of the types and numbers of species present. For example, a camera trap took a picture of a 6-month-old caracal (the African equivalent of a lynx) so the team could infer that a mature female (the cat's mother) was also in the area.

 

The Zoo is currently working in conjunction with Florida Gulf Coast University to create a hair snare to gather DNA samples from animals, so the team also evaluated where these devices might be most useful. They collected 35 species of plants to begin a list of flora and identified other species such as frogs, snakes and insects.

 

"There is a great opportunity for someone to work with butterflies," said Schmitt. "We saw six or seven species."

 

No one has ever made check-off sheets of mammals and birds in these parks before, so even the most simple species was important to record.

 

"We watched animals...saw things you don't see in a captive environment," said Schmitt.

 

He continued, "I think it's pretty exciting that a Zoo of our size is involved in an international project like this. It's great for the community and great for the zoo."

 

For more information call Caribbean Gardens at 262-5409.

 

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16168407&BRD=2605&PAG=461&dept_id=523946&rfi=6

 

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

 

Monday, February 20, 2006

Leopard kills tribal woman

 

Leopard kills tribal woman 

 

Express News Service

 

Mumbai, February 20: LATE on Sunday night, an adivasi woman from the tribal hamlet of Navapada inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP), Borivali, became the first fatality of a leopard attack this year.

 

Kamala Varali (50) had gone to the nearby hamlet of Thakurpada to meet her relative Chandukar Thakre. But as Thakre wasn’t home, Varali decided to return home.

 

 

 

She was on her way back when a leopard pounced on her and dragged her—by the neck—about 100 metres into a few shrubs, where her body was discovered by a local on Monday morning. Varali had suffered injuries on her neck and stomach and her right leg had been bitten off.

 

This is the second leopard attack inside the park—there are 24 hamlets within it—this year.

 

On February 10, Ravanpada resident Prathamesh Sonwalkar (9) was also mauled by a leopard when he left his house at night to answer nature’s call.

 

Sonwalkar is now recuperating at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Parel.

 

According to forest officials, Varali was probably attacked by a leopard that was scouting the area for water.

 

‘‘Blood spots were found along the route,’’ said Assistant Conservator of Forests Kailash Birari. ‘‘We also found a black thread at the spot.’’

 

Conservator of Forests Dr Dr P N Munde pointed out that the Forest Department had repeatedly advised the adivasis not to venture out into the park after sunset. ‘‘They don’t take the precautionary measures we have asked them to follow,’’ he added.

 

A widow, Varali is survived by three married daughters and a son.

 

While forest officials are hoping that the under-construction boundary wall—work on 12.76 km of the 22-km wall ordered by the Bombay High Court in 1997 is over—will seal the park area and reduce the attacks, adivasis in the area are still struggling to cope with the menace.

 

‘‘We have been living here for generations, but we are always scared as the leopards keep roaming here,’’ said Varali’s neighbour Manjula Pavara.

 

‘‘We don’t let our children outside after dark. We have no electricity, so we can’t even switch on lights to scare the animals,’’ added Parbati Barap. ‘‘After 7 pm, we just remain locked inside our houses.’’

 

ON THE PROWL

Year Injured Dead

2003 15 14

2004 11 19

2005 3 3

2006 1 1

 

Forest Department’s advice to tribals

* Keep surroundings clean

* Sleep with lights on

* Don’t let children roam around after sunset

* After dark, only venture out in groups

* Don’t keep animals like hens and dogs near or inside the house

 

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=170700

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

 

Pune police arrest two for possessing tiger skins

Pune police arrest two for possessing tiger skins

Pune | February 19, 2006 5:12:31 PM IST

 

 

Officials at the Yerawada police station arrested two people with two tiger skins worth rupees about three lakh, while they were planning to sell them in Kalyani Nagar of Pune.

 

The duo was arrested following a tip off from a police informer.

 

We were told by our informer that some people have come to Kalyani Nagar to sell two skins of Indian tigers. When I, along with the officials reached the place, we saw two men with two bags. Initially, they did not say anything. But on repeated questioning, they tried to run away. We nabbed them and recovered two skins of Indian tigers, said Anis Kazi, Senior Police Inspector, Yerwada Police Station.

 

During interrogation, it was discovered that the skins were brought from the jungles in Karnataka.

 

It was discovered that the tigers were trapped in a wire snare and was shot thereafter. The skin contained marks of three bullet wounds.

 

Interestingly, this modus-operandi was used by now deceased sandalwood smuggler Veerappan.

 

The police officials said a big group might be involved in the tiger skin racket. The accused are being further interrogated to find out the nexus, they said. (ANI)

 

http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=254069&cat=India

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

 

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Chhattisgarh tiger census suspended following Maoist threat

Chhattisgarh tiger census suspended following Maoist threat

Sunday February 19 2006 00:00 IST

IANS

 

RAIPUR: The annual tiger census in the Indravati national park has been suspended after Maoist rebels denied enumerators entry into the sanctuary, a senior forest official said on Saturday.

 

Over 25 forest officials had begun the census Feb 10 at the Indravati national park, 480 km south of here, in Dantewada district that is largely controlled by the Communist Party of India-Maoist.

 

"We collected tigers' pugmarks on Feb 10-11 in some areas of the park. But then we were forced to suspend the census because of fresh threats by Maoists," said H.C. Tiwari, state conservator of forests (wildlife).

 

"The park area is entirely commanded by rebels. They have triggered some blasts near the park site and officials have no option but to stop the census work midway," Tiwari told IANS.

 

The park, included in the central government's Project Tiger programme in 1984, is one of India's 28 tiger reserves. It is spread over an area of 1,200 sq km.

 

Forest officials have never stayed in the park during night since Nov 1, 2000 - when the state was carved out of Madhya Pradesh - due to the rebel threat.

 

However, officials add that the Maoist rebels imposed a total ban on poaching in the park in 2002, resulting in the increase in the tiger population - up from 29 in 2002 to 39 last year.

 

Maoists who operate out of forest bases in nine states of the country say that they are fighting for rights of poor peasants and landless labourers. They have killed hundreds of security personnel and others over nearly four decades.

 

To dismantle rebels' terror networks and recover the explosives that they had looted in a raid Feb 9, the central government Thursday sent an anti-terrorism squad of the National Security Guard (NSG) that launched Saturday an aerial and ground offensive again rebels in Dantewada district.

 

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEP20060218040746&Page=P&Title=Nation&Topic=0

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

 

Snow leopard devours three antelopes within ten days

Snow leopard devours three antelopes within ten days

Sunday February 19, 2006 (0040 PST)

 

CHITRAL: A snow leopard is on the loose in the Toshi Shahshah conservatory area, about 10 kilometers from Chitral, and has devoured three prized and preserved species of antelopes found in the area.

The Snow leopard who has descended in the plains of the area from hilltops, lingers stealthily active in the environs of Garam Chashma (hot springs) area and is currently focus of great interest for the public.

 

According to eyewitnesses, the snow leopard has already devoured about twenty-five of the antelopes since December.

 

The license fee for prize hunting of these antelopes is estimated at U$52,000 per antelope. 40% of the fee goes to VCC and remaining 40% to related VCCs. The balance 20% goes to the government.

 

Calculated thus the leopard has caused enormous damages worth millions to the government exchequer and public interests of the region.

 

According to a survey there are about 400 antelopes in the conservatory. The leopard has been also blamed for attacking pens holding domestic animals and consuming them with equal relish. He is also said to have attacked various pet dogs.

 

http://paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=134664

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

 

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Snow leopard sightings in west China, hopes for endangered cats raised

 

Snow leopard sightings in west China, hopes for endangered cats raised

(AP)

Updated: 2006-02-17 16:32

 

 

Scientists in China and Kyrgyzstan have photographed rare snow leopards, raising hopes there may be more of the endangered animals in the wild than previously thought, a researcher said Friday.

 

Chinese researchers captured five big cats on film on a mountain in country's northwest, their first clear sightings after a year of tracking the elusive big cats. Scientists across the border in Kyrgyzstan snapped 13 pictures, although they were comparing the spots on the animals to figure out how many were actually photographed.

 

"This is a very encouraging achievement," said Ma Ming, a Chinese researcher with the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography. "It was really hard to track snow leopards down due to their nature and habits, since they live at high altitudes and usually only come out after dark."

 

The shots in China were taken between October 18 and December 27 in a river valley near Mount Tomur, a 7,435-meter (24,535-foot) peak in the Tianshan mountains in northwestern China's Xinjiang region, the institute said. Five different cats were visible in the 32 clear shots the researchers were able to gather, it said.

 

The snow leopard lives in mountains and plateaus scattered across China, Mongolia, Afghanistan, India and Nepal, among other countries. The number surviving in the wild is estimated at 3,500-7,000, more than half of which are thought to be in western China.

 

Ma said the sightings suggest the number of snow leopards in Xinjiang may be higher than expected.

 

A report by the official Xinhua News Agency said the cameras, which are triggered by animals' body heat, also captured shots of ibexes, wild boars and partridge-like bird known as chukars _ all potential prey for snow leopards.

 

The researchers, whose institute is affiliated with the government's China Academy of Sciences, are conducting the country's first comprehensive survey of wild snow leopards, a project partly funded by the World Wildlife Fund, the report said.

 

A parallel study using 48 infrared cameras over 14 weeks was conducted in Kyrgyzstan, according to the Snow Leopard Trust, a conservation group based in Seattle, Washington.

 

Shots from China posted on the institute's Web site showed fully grown cats padding through the snow, in one frame, two together.

 

The Chinese study is also focusing on poaching and trade in snow leopard products. Skins of the animal, which are a smoky-gray with dark gray spots, can sell for more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,200; euro1,000) _ a small fortune for people living in remote rural areas.

 

Ma said local authorities were making progress in protecting the leopards and have set up several nature reserves in the area.

 

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2006-02/17/content_521420.htm

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

 

Panther's days of tomcattin are definitely over

 

Panther's days of tomcattin are definitely over

 

By WILL ROTHSCHILD

 

 

 

will.rothschild@heraldtribune.com

 

Don Juan is no longer on the prowl.

 

For just the second time, wildlife officials have removed a Florida panther from the wild for repeatedly preying on domesticated animals.

 

The removal of Florida panther 79, named "Don Juan" by scientists because of his reproductive prowess, comes on the heels of four panther deaths in the past month from collisions with cars and at a time when scientists are considering a plan to introduce the panther into new habitat in Central Florida.

 

The 11-year-old cat is believed to have sired about 30 offspring.

 

But it was the chicks he chased in his spare time that eventually got Don Juan into trouble.

 

Biologists confirmed that the radio-collared cat, which lived in Big Cypress National Preserve, was responsible for a number of recent kills of domesticated chickens -- as well as a hog, a turkey and a house cat -- since Feb. 9 in the Ochopee area along U.S. 41 in Collier County.

 

The panther was tranquilized Thursday night and is being held at a lab in Tallahassee, where it will be evaluated until officials decide where to place it.

 

In 2004, an 8-year-old male panther was removed from the wild after preying on animals in a petting zoo in southeastern Collier County. That cat has since been relocated to the White Oak Conservation Center north of Jacksonville.

 

Though only 80 adult Florida panthers are estimated to remain in the wild, biologists believe their habitat in southern Florida is nearing its carrying capacity.

 

Florida panthers require large areas of undeveloped habitat, often several hundred square miles. Don Juan, for instance, had a home range of 620 square miles.

 

Florida panthers once roamed all across the southeastern United States.

 

Now, there are none outside of South Florida, mostly in the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. But rapid growth in the Naples-Fort Myers region and in Miami-Dade County is squeezing the panther habitat from the west and the east.

 

"We feel we have an adequate deer population to support the panthers that are there now," Big Cypress biologist Deborah Jansen said. "But we are trying to determine if we're at the carrying capacity in Big Cypress."

 

Scientists said the decision to remove the panther was difficult. Ultimately, a group of scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation on Commission decided it made sense for three reasons:

 

At 11, the cat was at the upper range of the panther's expected life span.

 

Its reproductive success had contributed mightily to the survival of the species.

 

Leaving a panther that had developed a taste for domesticated animals could do more harm to the long-term recovery of the species than removing it.

 

"A couple of bad panthers can really make recovery tougher because you need to have public support," said Laura Hartt, an environmental policy specialist with the National Wildlife Federation.

 

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060218/NEWS/602180421/1006/SPORTS&Page=2

 

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

 

Friday, February 17, 2006

Four Gir lions dead in less than two months

Four Gir lions dead in less than two months

 

Haresh Pandya

 

Rajkot, February 16, 2006

 

 

There seems to be no end to lion deaths at Gir sanctuary. On Tuesday, forest officials found carcasses of a lioness and leopard. With this, the official number of dead lions for just this year goes up to four. At least a dozen lions were reported dead in Gir last year.

 

The carcass of the lioness was discovered by a beat guard near Jasadhar range. It was sent for post-mortem, and its viscera and other parts sent for forensic tests. The lioness was missing a claw.

 

As for the leopard carcass, forest guards chanced upon it in a farm on the periphery of Gir. It was half-eaten by wild animals and missing its rear left leg and three claws. Pieces of its bones littered the area. The guards also found footmarks of unidentified wild animals in the farm and presumed the leopard had died in a fight.

 

"All I can confirm is that a lioness and leopard have been found dead. I'm afraid I've no more details. However, we've been inquiring as to how and under what circumstances they died," the chief wildlife warden and additional principal conservator of forests told HT.

 

Dead animals have been found to be missing claws in the past too, and animal activists say this points to the involvement of poachers. But Bharat Pathak, conservator of forests, wildlife circle, Junagadh, and in-charge of Gir sanctuary, said: "A claw of the lioness was missing. But she must have lost it to some disease or physical problem. Investigations are on. We're awaiting the forensic report. Inquiry into the leopard death has also been initiated."

 

The first lion death this year in Gir was reported on January 14, when forest officials came across the carcass of a cub in Jasadhar range. It reportedly died of a mysterious disease. Then on February 3, the decomposed carcass of an adult lion was discovered from Timbarwa beat in Tulshishyam range. The third case was reported on February 11, when a three-month cub was found dead in an open well in Hadala range.

 

A case was registered under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 against three members of the nomadic Maldhari tribe — who live in Gir and rear and sell cattle — for digging a well in a prohibited area. "We've instructed the local staff to intensify patrolling in the area so that such accidents don't occur again," said forest officer J.S. Solanki.

 

"It's a serious matter that all four lion deaths in 2006 have occurred in the protected Gir sanctuary itself. One of them even died after falling into an illegal well. It just goes to show how careless and irresponsible Gir authorities are. They seem to have learnt no lesson from last year," said Amit Jethwa, president, Gir Nature Youth Club.

 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1627934,0035.htm

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 150 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.920.4130 fax 885.4457 cell 493.4564

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

 

Meet our recent mountain lion cub rescues:

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/rescuenewscubs.htm

 

Chinese Photograph Elusive Snow Leopards

Chinese Photograph Elusive Snow Leopards

 

 

SHANGHAI, China — Chinese researchers have photographed elusive snow leopards using cameras installed on a remote mountain, catching the first clear sightings after a year of tracking the endangered big cats, a report said Friday.

 

The shots were taken Oct. 18-Dec. 27 in a river valley near Mount Tomur, a 24,535-foot peak in the Tianshan mountains in northwestern China's Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It said five different cats were visible in the 32 clear shots the researchers were able to gather.

 

"This is an encouraging achievement for Chinese scientists after one year spent tracking the snow leopards in their wilderness," Xinhua quoted Ma Ming, a researcher with the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, as saying.

 

The snow leopard lives in high mountains and plateaus scattered across China, Afghanistan, India and Nepal. The number surviving in the wild is estimated at 3,500-7,000, more than half of which are thought to be in western China.

 

Ma said the sightings suggest the number of snow leopards in Xinjiang may be higher than expected.

 

The report said the cameras, which are triggered by animals' body heat, also captured shots of ibexes, wild boars and chukars, a kind of bird _ all potential prey for snow leopards.

 

The researchers, whose institute is affiliated with the government's China Academy of Sciences, are conducting the country's first comprehensive survey of wild snow leopards, a project partly funded by the World Wildlife Fund, the report said.

 

A parallel study using infrared cameras was conducted nearby in neighboring Kyrghyzstan, according to a report by the Snow Leopard Trust, a conservation group based in Seattle, Washington.

 

The study is also focusing on poaching and trade in snow leopard products. Skins of the animal, which are a smoky-gray with dark gray spots, can sell for more than $1,200 _ a small fortune for people living in remote rural areas.

 

 

On the Net:

 

Snow Leopard Trust: http://www.snowleopard.org

 

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/3666033.html

 

For the cats,

 

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 150 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.920.4130 fax 885.4457 cell 493.4564

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

 

Meet our recent mountain lion cub rescues:

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/rescuenewscubs.htm