Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Selection of tigers for Sariska begins

JAIPUR: The Sariska Tiger Reserve is ready to receive a tiger couple from Ranathambore National Park. It's now up to a team of Rajasthan wildlife department officials and experts from Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to choose the couple.

The shifting, which was scheduled for June 20 but delayed because of heavy showers, is likely to take place within the next seven to 10 days, officials said.

A team of officials led by Rajasthan's chief wildlife warden R N Mehrotra and director of WII, Dehradun, Dr P K Sinha are in Ranathambore to give final touches to the shifting. Rajpal Singh, a member of the empowered committee on wildlife and forest told TOI that an Air Force cargo helicopter will transport the tigers to Sariska.


IAF officers have conducted a survey to finalise details on loading of animals into the helicopter and the location of release in Sariska.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Earth/Flora__Fauna/
Selection_of_tigers_for_Sariska_begins/articleshow
/3158541.cms

Monday, June 16, 2008

Staff shortages 'are putting India's tigers at risk'

Mon 16 June 2008 14:00 UK — Asia,Big Cats

Big cats in one of India's oldest national parks could be at risk from poachers because there are not enough staff to effectively protect them, a report has warned.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that wildlife officials believe the acute staff shortages at Corbett National Park in the north of India could put the area's tiger population at risk of poaching.

Park Director Rajeev Bhartri told the news agency that "forty per cent of the total staff strength is yet to be filled" at the reserve.

In fact, an unnamed source suggested that the park is still looking for 102 forest guards for the park. This source explained that many previous members of staff left the park during a recent reorganisation of the state forest department.

He explained to the PTI: "When given an option they preferred to join Western Circle, thus creating a huge gap in the park as new recruitment or replacement is still pending."

Recent reports suggested that tiger populations in Corbett National Park were increasing. However, it appears poaching efforts are also on the rise. Last month, the PTI reported that the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau stopped three separate attempts to poach the big cats.

Currently, experts believe between 1,300 and 1,500 Bengal tigers survive on the Indian subcontinent.

http://www.iar.org.uk/globalnews/articles/2008/06/staff_
shortages_are_putting_indias_tigers_at_risk_606.html

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

FOUR PAWS successfully transfers 11 big cats from Romania to South Africa

On Saturday the animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS released 11 big cats, rescued from Romanian zoos, into the LIONSROCK big cat sanctuary in South Africa. Nine lion cubs, a grown lion and a young tigress made the almost 72-hour journey by road and air to start a new life in a natural environment. This Saturday morning, the big cats took their first steps under the African sun.

The nine cubs are aged between five and thirteen months. The cubs were the result of careless breeding in the run-down Romanian zoo of Braila and were malnourished and weak. The zoo is in dire financial straits and could no longer cover the maintenance of the lions. In return for a signed agreement to cease breeding in Braila, FOUR PAWS agreed to assume responsibility for the young lions and release them into the FOUR PAWS big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK.

LIONSROCK covers an area of 1250 hectares and is home to 36 lions, a Bengal tiger, two leopards as well as many other species of wild animal. Opened in February 2008, LIONSROCK provides wild animals subjected to harsh conditions in captivity with a better life in a natural environment. The animals at LIONSROCK are free to live out their lives safe from both human and animal predators.

The number of lions at LIONSROCK has been increased to 46 with the arrival of the nine cubs and the grown lion Jazz. Jazz was kept as a tourist attraction as a cub, where visitors to Romanian resorts were able to have their photo taken as a souvenir in exchange for payment. When Jazz became too large to handle he was stuck in a cage on a farm, where he was unable to exercise sufficiently and was seriously underfed.

Jazz has now been reunited with his former partner, the lioness Mavi. Mavi suffered the same upbringing as Jazz and was transferred to LIONSROCK in November 2007. The two lions are now rediscovering their friendship after months of separation. The lions were joined on their journey by Aline, a young tigress who was badly mauled in Hunedoara zoo after she escaped from her cage with her brother. The two tiger cubs entered the lions enclosure, where the brother was killed and Aline was lucky to escape with her life. FOUR PAWS vets were on hand to restore Aline to full health. In future, Aline will provide companionship for Coda, a two-year old tiger who arrived in LIONSROCK as a cub.

The transport of the wild cats started in the Romanian town of Braila on Wednesday the 4th of June. The lion cubs made their way first to the town of Brasov, where they were joined by Jazz. They then continued on to Hunedoara where Aline joined the transfer. The journey continued by road through Hungary, Austria and Germany to Frankfurt Airport, where the animals were transferred to a cargo plane at 9 p.m. on Thursday the 5th of June. At 3:05 p.m. on Friday the 6th of June, the big cats touched down in their new homeland, South Africa.

The big cats were met at the airport by FOUR PAWS staff and several journalists. After a short breath of fresh air and some water the animals were loaded onto a truck and taken to LIONSROCK, where they were released at 8 a.m. on Saturday – full of energy and happy to be free of captivity, once and for all.

http://www.vierpfoten.org/website/output.php?id=
1183&idcontent=2044&language=1&nlid=08015



Correction to Cougar in OH

Dear P,

Unfortunately, OH does not regulate the private possession of big cats as pets and a lot of people just turn them loose when they can't handle them any more.  Several big cats have been shot who were later discovered to be declawed and defanged.  More often than not though, the state will claim the cat was wild and migrated there, rather than deal with their negligence in passing laws to ban the private possession of these predators.

Catching a cougar is almost impossible.  It takes tranquilizers 20 minutes to take effect and the cat is long gone by the time he passes out.  I don't have a reliable organization in the area to call on, but will broadcast your message to our supporters in the hopes that they can call on those they may know who could help.

The most important thing you can do is get better laws passed in OH so this doesn't happen anymore.  We make it easy here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=11435126



--
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 to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above. You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

Subject: URGENT COUGAR IN DANGER

 

Hi,

 I didnt know who else to write, tried animal planet but no contact info. Anyway, I live in Ohio, I read this morning there was a Cougar spotted in Lima, it was confirmed by tracks. I know this cat will end up getting shot, this is not a area that they live in usually. Please tell me who I can contact to maybe trap and relocate this animal before it happens.

P Weaver

937-687-5002

 You can see the story


Residents say they've seen big cat prowling near Lima

LIMA, Ohio — Sightings of a big cat in northwest Ohio have some families on edge.

Authorities south of Lima haven't confirmed any of the reports that began to circulate a few weeks ago.

Some people say they think it was a panther.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources trapper Craig Shafer says he's pretty sure there's a large cat out there based on the footprints he's seen.

Gary Guagenti says he spotted the big cat trotting across a field near his home in Shawnee Township. He says he's keeping his kids inside to be safe.

The latest sighting came into police Friday morning when someone said they saw a big cat chasing a deer.

Police looked but didn't find anything.

___

Information from: The Lima News, http://www.limanews.com

___

June 6, 2008 - 11:37 a.m.



Cougar in OH

Dear P,

Unfortunately, OH does not regulate the private possession of big cats as pets and a lot of people just turn them loose when they can't handle them any more.  Several big cats have been shot who were later discovered to be declawed and defanged.  More often than not though, the state will claim the cat was wild and migrated there, rather than deal with their negligence in passing laws to ban the private possession of these predators.

Catching a cougar is almost impossible.  It takes tranquilizers 20 minutes to take effect and the cat is long gone by the time he passes out.  I don't have a reliable organization in the area to call on, but will broadcast your message to our supporters in the hopes that they can call on those they may know who could help.

The most important thing you can do is get better laws passed in OH so the

--
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 to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above. You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.


Subject: URGENT COUGAR IN DANGER

 

Hi,

 I didnt know who else to write, tried animal planet but no contact info. Anyway, I live in Ohio, I read this morning there was a Cougar spotted in Lima, it was confirmed by tracks. I know this cat will end up getting shot, this is not a area that they live in usually. Please tell me who I can contact to maybe trap and relocate this animal before it happens.

P Weaver

937-687-5002

 You can see the story


Residents say they've seen big cat prowling near Lima

Sightings of a big cat in northwest Ohio have some families on edge.

Authorities south of Lima haven't confirmed any of the reports that began to circulate a few weeks ago.

Some people say they think it was a panther.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources trapper Craig Shafer says he's pretty sure there's a large cat out there based on the footprints he's seen.

Gary Guagenti says he spotted the big cat trotting across a field near his home in Shawnee Township. He says he's keeping his kids inside to be safe.

The latest sighting came into police Friday morning when someone said they saw a big cat chasing a deer.

Police looked but didn't find anything.

___

Information from: The Lima News, http://www.limanews.com

___

June 6, 2008 - 11:37 a.m.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ten cubs born in 14 days at Pench reserve

Ten cubs born in 14 days at Pench reserve
8 Jun 2008, 0353 hrs IST,TNN

JABALPUR: After a recent wild tigers' audit raised fears that the animal, one of India's national symbols, could disappear from the country, Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Madhya Pradesh's Seoni district has a reason to celebrate, as it has been blessed with 10 cubs within a fortnight.

The encroachment of humans on tiger habitats and increased man-animal conflict has been a key factor in the big cat's decline, and the PTR authorities say they would keep no stone unturned to protect the cubs. "We are stepping up special vigil day in, day out to ensure cubs' safety," PTR deputy director P P Pai said, adding, "We have installed extra trap cameras at different locations in the Park to monitor cubs' movements." He said this would help the authorities to track their movements 24X7 and protect them from potential dangers.

Pai said this was for the first time the Reserve had been blessed with 10 tiger cubs in a span of a fortnight. "With this, tiger population in the Park has gone upto 61," he said, adding, "Now the Reserve has 39 adult big cats and 22 cubs aged between 15-days to two-years." Pai said the cubs are fit and doing well under the care of their mothers. "A tigress gave birth to four cubs, while two others littered three each," he said.

The tiger census shocked the nation as it revealed that the country has just 1411 tigers left in the wild, a decline of 60% in a decade. Poaching and the loss of tiger habitats have been blamed for the slump.

More Flora & Fauna:

Sariska to get tigers on June 20
John Abraham to produce film on tigers
In Pics: Where have tigers gone?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Flora__Fauna/Ten_cubs_born_in_14_days_at_Pench_reserve/articleshow/3110419.cms
 


More space for Tigers

More space for Tigers
8 Jun 2008, 0234 hrs IST,P J Joychen,TNN


JAIPUR: The Ranthambhore National Park, which has been in news recently for the tiger boom and some of them straying into the neighbouring villages, would get more space as the wildlife department has planned to expand the core area of the park by including some portion of the neighbouring Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rajasthan Chief Wildlife Warden RN Mehrotra said the wild life department is working on a plan to expand the 'core tiger habitat' of Ranthambhore National Park including some areas of the neighbouring sanctuary of Kailadevi.

The Kailadevi Sanctuary, 674 sq km, is presently a part of the 'buffer zone' of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. The sanctu-ary is characterised by not only for its wildlife (though con-siderably depleted due to many reasons), but also for several settlements of pastoral people.

Mehrotra said: "There are about 42 scattered hamlets in the Kailadevi wildlife sanctuary of which 27 villages come under the 'critical habitat' of the tiger reserve. There are other 11 villages outside the Kailadevi Sanctuary that also falls under the critical area of the expanded national park." He said, the wildlife department has prepared a list of such villages, which would be relocated outside the national park on a priority basis in a phased manner. Director of the Ranthambhore National Park, RS Shekawat, said 400 sq km of the Kailadevi Wild Life Sanctuary has been included in the critical area of the park and plans are afoot to shift the villages coming under this part of the park.

A member of the state empowered committee on wildlife and forest, Rajpal Singh said, "The move would not only give the wild cat more space but also give scope for boosting tourism in the state."

Established in 1983, Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of animals including tiger, leopard, chital, sambhar, wild boar, chinkara, blue bull, jackal and nilgai.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/More_space_for_Tigers/articleshow/3110293.cms
 


Sariska to get tigers on June 20

Sariska to get tigers on June 20
7 Jun 2008, 1904 hrs IST,TNN

JAIPUR: The much-awaited shifting of tigers from the Ranthambhore National Park to the Sariska Tiger Reserve will take place on June 20. ''The wildlife department is working to meet the scheduled plan,'' said chief wildlife warden of Rajasthan R N Mehrotra.

The shifting will be carried out under the supervision of the Wildlife Institute, Dehradun. ''In the first phase, one young tiger and a tigress will be shifted to Sariska, followed by another tigress later this year,'' he said.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority has sanctioned Rs 26 crore for the shifting of three villages located in the core areas of the two parks. Mehrotra said Umri and Kankwadi villages in the core area of the Sariska Tiger Reserve and Indala village in the core area of Ranthambhore National Park will be shifted soon.

Indala village will be resettled at Thalwada, while Kankwari village will be shifted to Bardod Rundh. He said the Union environment and forest ministry had also given its nod for the conversion of 141 hectare of forest land to agriculture land at Mojpur village for the rehabilitation of Umri village.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Earth/Sariska_to_get_tigers_on_June_20/articleshow/3109732.cms
 


Tiger plan ready but no one's in a hurry

Tiger plan ready but no one's in a hurry

Fri, Jun 6 02:44 AM

Thirty-four dead and about 25 injured in tiger attacks in 29 months. That should have set alarm bells ringing among those concerned with tiger protection. But even as the attacks continue in the peripheral forests of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district, strengthening the antipathy of the local population towards tigers, there seems to be no hurry to address the issue.

The latest incident on May 28, where, for the first time, two persons, including a small girl, were killed by a tiger at Kitali village near Nagbhid town, has once again underlined the need for urgent action, but the elaborate plan drawn by the Forest Department to tackle the crisis is nowhere close to being implemented.

"We understand the gravity of the problem. That's why we have planned a slew of measures which I have forwarded to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for its advice. NTCA Member-Secretary Rajesh Gopal acknowledges that it's a unique and a very serious problem and has agreed to come down and visit the areas," Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) B Majumdar told The Indian Express.

But the ground reality isn't as reassuring as the words. The plan was submitted in February, but there has been no action taken so far. "We can implement it ourselves too. But I would like to avail the NTCA expertise, especially that of Gopal for greater efficacy," Majumdar said.

Asked when is Gopal likely to visit, Majumdar said, "I am waiting for his call. He should be coming anytime." Several attempts by The Indian Express to contact Gopal drew a blank. Gopal had once visited the area in December last, immediately after a problem tiger was shot dead by sharp shooters on Majumdar's directives. The tiger had killed four persons in a span of one month.

Wildlife researcher Vidya Athreya said, "there is no doubt that there is urgency here, but first a scientific study must be done to assess the reasons and address it properly. Has that been done? I think the issue needs to be tackled in concert by bureaucrats, scientists and field conservationists." Athreya is credited with conducting a scientific study of leopard-human conflict in western Maharashtra.

Incidentally, Ulhas Karanth of the Wildlife Conservation Society has decided to study the problem, but the exercise is yet to begin.

The growing conflict is attributed to the success of the reserve-the tigers have grown in numbers and are straying out of the reserve and into nearby villages.

The 625-sq km TATR is surrounded by 2,000-sq km of contiguous forests and the current conflict is occuring in the belt connecting Nagbhid and Mul tahsils in Chandrapur district.

Meanwhile, villages living in the tiger shadow continue to grow restless over the lethargy in addressing the issue. And with political leaders cashing in on the issue, the tiger population in these areas face a grave threat of revenge.

What the Forest Dept plans to do

• Called Corridor Conservation Proposal, the three-year plan aims at surveying the area to study habitat, water presence and natural dwellings of the tigers.

• To help rebuild the wildlife corridor between TATR and the neighbouring forests by plugging the gaps for unhindered movement of tigers which now tend to get stuck amidst human population.

• Field training to the forest staff to manage, monitor and protect wildlife in these areas, including identification and handling of individual problem animals through tranquillisation, trapping and translocation. Currently, these areas are under territorial wing which has commercial forestry and not wildlife protection as their top priority.

• Community awareness programmes to reduce human pressures due to forest produce collection, poaching, fire and cattle-grazing, as also to create awareness about co-existence with wildlife.

• Developing groups of trained local volunteers

• Strengthening capacity of the Joint Forest Management Committees to prevent and handle the conflict situations.

• Regular meetings with villagers to mitigate man animal conflict issues.

• Networking with local NGOs and other conservation groups.

• Create awareness among villagers about presence of carnivores.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/indianexpress/20080606/r_t_ie_nl_general/tnl-tiger-plan-ready-but-no-one-s-in-a-h-aaaedd4_1.html
 


Madhya Pradesh park comes alive with birth of seven tiger cubs

Madhya Pradesh park comes alive with birth of seven tiger cubs

Mon, Jun 2 09:34 AM

Bhopal, June 2 (IANS) There is good news for wildlife enthusiasts. Amid reports of declining tiger population nationwide, the Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has announced sighting two tigresses with seven cubs in the last fortnight.

'While a tigress gave birth to four cubs on May 13, another one followed suit on May 21. The birth of these seven healthy cubs has added to the attraction of the Pench National Park,' Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) P.B. Gangopadhyay told IANS.

The Pench National Park is spread over three districts - Seoni and Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

The forest officials came to know about the new cubs in Seoni district, after one of the guards noticed a tigress along with the new arrivals in a den near a water body.

'Possibly it is for the first time that so many cubs have been born in the park in such a short time,' said R.D. Rai, deputy director of the reserve.

'The mothers and the seven cubs are staying in the periphery of around five km in the Karmajhiri range. We have closed the route where the felines have delivered the cubs. A temporary camp has also been put up to monitor the cubs,' he said.

On the population of cubs in the park, Rai said: 'Though it is difficult to give the exact number of cubs at this stage, it is estimated that there are 15 cubs below the age of one year and 19 cubs between the age of 12 and 18 months.'

'Conditions congenial for wildlife have developed at the Pench National Park at a much faster pace than any other national park. That is the reason why wild animals and birds are multiplying in the natural way,' said Forest Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah.

'While both carnivores and herbivores can be spotted any time and anywhere in the park, the birth of seven tiger cubs has infused new life,' he said.

'The park at present has 33 adult tigers, according to the joint wildlife study conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India in association with the forest department in the state,' said Gangopadhyay.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/indiaabroad/20080602/r_t_ians_nl_general/tnl-madhya-pradesh-park-comes-alive-with-b9e311f_1.html
 


Tiger count is up, so Corbett crosses border to get more land in UP

Tiger count is up, so Corbett crosses border to get more land in UP

Wed, Jun 4 02:27 AM

Even as most parts of the country have reported a sharp fall in tiger population, in the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, one of the few successes of Project Tiger, the tigers are roaring - and spilling out of the core area of the park.

And with this, India's oldest, and most famous, tiger reserve is set to get an extra 30 square km in Amangarh forest in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

As many as six tigers (including a tigress with her two cubs) are visiting villages in the buffer area of the park, which have led to the death of a villager last month and loss of domestic cattle, as the tiger population in the park grows.

Following a spate of meetings, the National Tiger Conservation Authority has now decided to notify 30 sq km of Uttar Pradesh forest to as part of the buffer zone of Jim Corbett tiger reserve, which is situated entirely in Uttarakhand.

The latest Tiger census found that tigers in Corbett had gone up from 137 in 2001-02 to 164 in 2007.

And in what is good news for the tiger, the curious situation has also led to a first of its kind inter-state co-operation between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, with police and forest officials meeting regularly to make sure tigers in the buffer areas with human habitation are not killed.

Radiocollaring, which is part of the fourth phase of the tiger census, is also going to commence for these tigers on priority basis.

"As sub-adults begin to grow, it's natural that they begin to find their own territories in the buffer zone as the tiger is a very territorial animal. The young tiger will move away from the area it grew up in. With this is mind, we have agreed to make Amangarh forest part of the buffer zone of Corbett Tiger Reserve. It will now get funding from NTCA. The tiger is not a treasure that can be locked up, it needs to have corridors it can move in," says Rajesh Gopal, Member Secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority and Inspector General of Forests.

"In Corbett, the tigers are increasing and so are the other animals. Tigers will not stay confined to one area. The inter state co-operation, which is first of its kind, will help tackle poaching and crime also. For example, at least 11 km of the reserve are bordered by agricultural fields in UP which are best monitored by inter state cooperation. The tigers in the reserve will now have three forces to protect them - beat patrols with around 300 people, a 60-strong tiger protection force, and police officers from the two states," says Park Director Rajeev Bhartari.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/indianexpress/20080604/r_t_ie_nl_general/tnl-tiger-count-is-up-so-corbett-crosses-aaaedd4_1.html
 


One killed in tiger attack in Sundarbans

One killed in tiger attack in Sundarbans

Kolkata, June 2 (IANS) One villager was killed and another injured when they were attacked by a tiger in Ajmalmari forest area of the Sundarbans in West Bengal, forest department officials said here Monday.

"A group of four fishermen from Deulbari village entered the forest area of the Sundarbans Sunday evening where they were attacked by a tiger. The tiger dragged one person, Tapan Mukherjee, inside the forest and left his father Pashupati Mukherjee, severely injured on the spot," South 24-Parganas Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Subhendu Banerjee told IANS.

"Pashupati was later shifted to the SSKM hospital in Kolkata for treatment. When we went to Deulbari village and asked two other members of the fishing team to visit the spot with the forest department team, they refused to accompany us," Banerjee said, adding that the villagers were in a state of shock and in no condition to visit the area again.

"None of them had taken permission from the forest department to enter into the core forest belt. We would file a case against them for entering the forest area without proper papers," he said.

The Sundarbans, a vast 10,000 sq km tract of forest and saltwater swamp, is formed at the lower part of the Ganga delta extending about 260 km along the Bay of Bengal from the Hooghly river estuary in India to the Meghna river estuary in Bangladesh.

The Sundarbans, a world heritage site declared by Unesco, is home to more than 250 tigers.

http://howrah.org/West-Bengal/15505.html
 


Tiger takes man from boat by the neck

Tiger takes man from boat by the neck
OUR CORRESPONDENT

Kultali, June 2: A tiger dragged away a young man from a boat and ferociously clawed his father when he rushed to his rescue on the edge of the Matla in the Sunderbans.

Tapan Mukherjee, 24, and his father Pashupati, 45, were catching crabs along the Denipheli forest, 125km from Calcutta, yesterday afternoon when the Bengal tiger closed in on them.

Honey-collectors by profession, four of them had split into two groups. The Mukherjees occupied one boat as they sailed along the forest, looking for crabs left behind by the high tide.

Dibakar Chakraborty, who saw the attack, said: "We were only yards away. Tapan was closer to the shore as he was doing the catching."

The tiger leapt from behind a shrub and took Tapan by the neck. "In seconds, it vanished into the forest with him, leaving his profusely bleeding father behind," Dibakar added. Tapan is missing.

Pashupati was brought to SSKM Hospital in Calcutta last night.

Pashupati has suffered a serious skull fracture and a bone fragment has pierced his brain, causing a blood clot. His scalp was torn at many places and surgeons had to sew the pieces together.

"He underwent an operation at 4am and the clot and the bone fragment have been removed," said Anirban Ghoshal, the assistant superintendent of the hospital.

Doctors said his condition was still "very critical".

In March, a woman looking for shrimps in a Kultali canal was dragged some 15 yards into the forest until villagers scared the tiger away with sticks. In February, a pregnant tigress strayed into a village and attacked people when they tried to cage it.

Minister Kanti Ganguly, who went to the Mukherjees' house today, said: "We'll pay for his treatment."

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080603/jsp/bengal/story_9357776.jsp
 


Tiger attacks on the rise in Sunderbans

Tiger attacks on the rise in Sunderbans

Express News Service
Posted online: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 at 12:04:05
Updated: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 at 12:04:05

Kolkata, June 03 Even as wild life experts offer various explanations for the attacks of tigers on humans in the Sunderbans, the last six months have seen a spurt in incidents of such attacks in the region.

On June 1, a fisherman was mauled while trying to rescue his son from the jaws of a Royal Bengal Tiger that had strayed from the Kultali forests. Tapan, the son, is dead and his father Pashupati Mukherjee is recuperating at the SSKM hospital.

Four cases of tiger straying from the forests have been reported in the past six months, even as a vast number of tiger attacks go unreported.

On March 1, a villager Gayatri Sardar was mauled by a tiger when she went to fishing in the Herobhanga forest of the Sunderbans. On February 17, a pregnant tigress strayed into the Kultali and the forest officials had to rescue it from being beaten to death by the locals. In a related incident, an injured tiger recently strayed into Jharkhali and was later brought to the Alipore zoo after being rescued by the forest officials.

In these two cases, it was opined that the tigers were not physically fit to hunt wild animals. Wildlife experts say that when a predator becomes old or loses strength to hunt in the forests, it comes out of the jungle in search of easy prey, mostly in the adjoining human habitats. Giving another explanation for straying of tigers, wildlife expert Dipak Mitra said, "A particular type of vegetation is found in the wilderness that resembles the paddy crops. During paddy season, the tiger often strays into the paddy crops standing in villages confusing it for the forest growth."

There is another explanation to it. "A tiger attacks villagers, when they venture into the prohibited area," said Atanu Raha, Principal Chief Conservator. Tiger experts also point that the Sunderbans villagers fall prey to the big cats as they sneak into the forests for fishing or collecting things like firewood, honey and crabs without taking necessary permits from the forest department.

"Honey season is on and several villagers enter the forests, with or without permits, to collect honey. The recent incident was not a case of a stray tiger, rather here the villagers fell prey to an attack in the jungle itself," said Col Shakti Banerjee, Honorary Director, Wildlife Protection Society of India.

Leopard carcass found in Dooars
The decaying body of a leopard was found in a canal near the Nimti tea estate in the Dooars in North Bengal. The full-grown female leopard is believed to have strayed from the adjoining Buxa tiger reserve. Tea garden workers spotted the body of the animal in a canal.

According to forest authorities, this is the season when leopards give birth to their young ones. Female leopards often stray into tea gardens, which offer a safe haven for its newborn. The body has been sent to the Rajabhatkhawa Rescue Centre in Alipurduar district.

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Tiger-attacks-on-the-rise-in-Sunderbans/318362
 


Court dismisses NSPCA appeal

Court dismisses NSPCA appeal

May 30 2008 at 06:56PM

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Friday dismissed an appeal by the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) in a matter against the former manager of a tiger re-wilding project.

The NSPCA appealed against a Free State High Court order refusing it an interim interdict to prevent Peter Openshaw from presenting live prey to a predator at the Laohu Valley Reserve near Philippolis.

The Laohu Valley reserve is a project aimed at saving South China tiger's, an endangered subspecies of tiger, from extinction.

Captive born South China tigers, from zoos in China, are taught to survive in the bush at Laohu Valley.

The NSPCA filed for an interdict after an SABC conservation programme, 50/50, showed a captured bles bok, caught in a net.

Openshaw commented then that he would be presenting a live bles bok to two tiger cubs.

In terms of the Animal Protection Act any person who "liberates any animal in such manner or place or by wild animals, or baits or provokes any animal or incites any animal to attack another animal" shall be guilty of an offence.

The high court found in favour of Openshaw after the NSPCA had failed to establish reasonable harm.

In a majority judgment on Friday, the SCA held that a period of 19 months had passed since the application had been launched and the NSPCA had done nothing since.

The SCA held the NSPCA had thus forfeited its right to the interim relief sought.

The court also held that an interim interdict was a remedy against future infringements and was only appropriate when future injury was feared.

The NSPCA was not able to prove this and the appeal had to be dismissed.

Openshaw had in the meantime resigned at Laohu Valley and had taken a position in Abu Dhabi. - Sapa

http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=14&art_id=nw20080530142213299C582005
 


World Bank offers India loan to save tigers

World Bank offers India loan to save tigers
30 May 2008, 0038 hrs IST,Nitin Sethi,TNN

NEW DELHI: Every agency wants to jump on to the 'tiger crisis' bandwagon. Now the World Bank has 'asked' the Indian government to put in a 'formal request' to it for a loan to save the tigers. It believes that announcing the news of Indian government's proposal could be used to increase the 'visibility' of the "Signature Tiger Event" it is organizing in Washington on June 9, where it plans to rope in celebrities from Hollywood and Bollywood.

The Bank wants to use the event to launch its own programme with tiger-bearing countries to save the striped cat in tandem with governments, corporates and NGOs.

But the proposal from the World Bank has drawn flak from prominent Indian conservationists and scientists. Valmik Thapar, the prominent tiger conservationist, and Ullas Karanth, world's foremost tiger scientist, have slammed the proposal demanding that the Bank should first admit to the damage caused by development and wildlife conservation projects it has supported before offering India money.

Their demand comes especially in the wake of the $60 million eco-development project in some prominent wildlife national parks between 1996 and 2004. The project ran into a huge controversy with the Karnataka high court appointed Lokayukta pointing out huge bungling in funds in the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve as well as illegal chopping of thousands of trees during its implementation. The project had to be finally abandoned half way in Nagarhole.

There is more to the Bank move that has irked the duo. While the US-based Smithsonian National Zoological Park, which is partnering the Bank on the issue, had been asking it for advise on how to go about on a proposal on which the Bank would work, the lending institution went ahead without waiting for completion of deliberations and 'asked' the Indian government to 'request' it for a loan and even suggested a conceptual framework for it.

The Bank's proposal, the tiger experts here have said in correspondence to the Smithsonian officials, "reeks of arrogance", "learns nothing from the past" and "boasts of (its non-existent) past success" in tiger conservation. They point out that the new proposal is similar to the failed, earlier eco-development project.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Flora__Fauna/World_Bank_offers_India_loan_to_save_tigers/articleshow/3084014.cms

Antiviral Drugs in Wildlife Patients

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association

Veterinary Committee Statement

Regarding the Use of Human Antiviral Drugs in Wildlife Patients

 

Avian influenza and other emerging viruses are increasingly a significant threat to the health of wild birds, zoo species, poultry, and people around the world.  There are currently four approved antiviral drugs, in two classes, for the treatment or prevention of influenza A in humans. These are the adamantanes (amantadine and rimantadine) and the neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir).  The drugs are not approved for use in the treatment or prevention of influenza or other viral infections in animals.

If and when a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) capable of transmission to humans and adapted to human-to-human spread arrives in the United States, Tamiflu® (oseltamivir phosphate, Roche Laboratories, Inc., Nutley, NJ) will be used as the first line of defense for preventing a catastrophic viral epidemic in humans.  Unfortunately, avian influenza viruses can mutate rapidly and the Asian strain HPAI H5N1 already has shown some resistance to these few anti-viral drugs available to treat the disease in people <http://www.who.int/csr/disease/influenza/H1N1ResistanceWeb20080505.pdf>.

Public health professionals whom we have consulted have recommended in very strong terms that these drugs NOT be used in wildlife.  When Tamiflu® is used and then metabolized and excreted by people or other animals, it can persist in the environment for extended periods, potentially leading to avian influenza viruses acquiring drug resistance (Singer et al 2007).  Using the medication in wildlife for the prevention of other viral diseases (like parvovirus, distemper, etc.) might well lead to a highly resistant form of avian influenza and other viruses in the environment for which there would be no useful treatments should humans become sick.                                              

In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and World Organization for Animal Health  (OIE) issued a joint statement urging "… not to use antiviral drugs in animals so that the efficacy of these drugs can be preserved for treatment of influenza infections in humans" and strongly requested Member States to ban the use of antiviral drugs in animals (WHO 2005).  On March 22, 2006, the FDA published a final rule prohibiting the extra-label use of adamantine and neuraminidase inhibitor classes of antiviral drugs in chickens, turkeys, and ducks (Regulations.gov, and FDA 21 CFR 530.41)

Given these regulatory prohibitions and the global concerns for the potential for a world-wide human health crisis surrounding influenza, the NWRA Veterinary Committee STRONGLY recommends that wildlife rehabilitators NOT use these drugs in our wildlife patients and that veterinarians NOT prescribe these drugs for extra-label use in animals.

FDA 21 CFR 530.4. Extra-label Drug Use in Animals. Last updated April 2007. Available at: <http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=530.41>

Regulations.gov. May 2008. New Animal Drugs; Adamantane and Neuraminidase Inhibitor Anti-influenza Drugs; Extralabel Animal Drug Use; Order of Prohibition. Available at: <http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=FDA-2006-N-0487>

Singer, A. C., M. A. Nunn, E. A. Gould, and A. C. Johnson. 2007. Potential Risks Associated with the Proposed Widespread Use of Tamiflu. Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 115, Number 1.  

 

World Health Organization. 2005. Use of antiviral drugs in poultry, a threat to their effectiveness for the treatment of human avian influenza. Available at:

<http://www.who.int/foodsafety/micro/avian_antiviral/en/print.html>

 



--
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 to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above. You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.



Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bobcats in serious peril despite FWC's flippant comment to contrary

Dear Keith,

Thank you for doing the story on the bobcat.  The reason people see so many bobcats now is because they are losing their homes to development.  It is foolish to say that because a wild animal is seen as road kill, or in close contact with humans that they are doing great in the wild.  It is the first warning signal to protect the bobcat.  We have been trying to find someone (anyone) at the FWC who has done any kind of research on the current status on the bobcat and find that no one is at the helm. 

Jamie Veronica, President of Big Cat Rescue is compiling the negligible data that is available now and has asked permission to camera trap in our state parks in order to truly ascertain the bobcat situation.  Her maps of parks vs development are truly frightening.  We believe that the bobcat is in serious trouble.  The current apathy toward this animal, who protects our crops and human population from disease, by keeping the rats in check, will ultimately send it the way of the Florida Panther.  We are trying to reverse that trend.

Watch five video clips of a baby bobcat, rescued by Big Cat Rescue, who is being trained to one day live free here: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/video/00202.htm

Big Cat Rescue planned for this escape for months. Last year a baby bobcat call came in as the third one in three weeks. He only had one eye and a lump on his belly the size of an orange. Big Cat Rescue was there to get him the medical attention he needed. Emergency surgery repaired the hernia in his abdominal wall. The swelling was the contents of his intestines and other internal organs that had spilled out of the muscled area and were rubbing away at the inner lining of his skin. The attending vet, Dr. Liz Wynn, believes that his hernia and missing eye were caused by some sort of trauma. The area where he was found is completely surrounded by development in West Tampa, but bobcats are often reported there and last year one was found as road kill. After months of recuperation and rehabilitation, Chance the yearling bobcat was released. Watch the movie and see his wild dash for freedom. http://www.bigcatrescue.org/video/00190.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 to protect tigers from being farmed here:

http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=9952801&type=CU

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above. You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jun/03/utility-worker-encounters-
bobcat-atop-power-pole/

###

Utility worker Finds Bobcat Perched Atop Power Pole

By KEITH MORELLI - The Tampa Tribune

Published: June 3, 2008

Updated: 11:20 am

In the wilds of Wauchula, Peace River Electric Cooperative utility
workers often come across wildlife.

A squirrel on a pole here, an osprey perched up there. Maybe an
opossum resting in the shade of a transformer box.

"We've found some things out there," said utility spokesman Mark
Sellers. "Once we had a transformer blow out, and we found a fish on
top of it. Apparently it was dropped by an osprey or hawk."

A few weeks ago, utility worker Eddie Bailey was traveling near the
town of Ona in Hardee County when he spotted a furry thing parked on
top of a wooden utility pole. Bailey recognized the beast as a
Florida bobcat.

The tawny, intense cat looked down with typical feline aloofness, and
Bailey was perplexed as to what to do.

You can't just climb up the pole and shoo the animal off. After all,
aren't they kind of ornery?

The odds of a scenario like this playing out aren't that slim.

"Bobcats are about as rare as blades of grass in Florida," said
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary
Morse.

"They are very common, and they conceal themselves well," he said.

"They are seen all the time in the Tampa Bay area, down to Sarasota
and on to Venice," he said. "People often misidentify them as
panthers."

Florida bobcats have longer tails than people might think, are tall
and lanky and usually are rust colored, but sometimes they are gray.

"We get reports of bobcat sightings on a daily basis," he said. "Most
people are kind of shocked to find out that the species does pretty
well around urbanized areas."

To make sure the Ona bobcat made a safe getaway, the electricity to
the pole that served as his perch was turned off, and then Bailey and
other workers left the area to give it a chance to get down.

A short while later, workers returned to find the feline had
descended the pole and disappeared, apparently unharmed.

Reporter Keith Morelli can be reached at (813) 259-7760 or
kmorelli@tampatrib.com.