Friday, July 22, 2011

SKIP the bobcat

Skip the bobcat was hit by a car on December 28th, 2010. After successful surgery to repair his shattered pelvis and 3 months of rehab at Big Cat Rescue he was unable to be released back into the wild...

Watch full episodes of the "Skipcam" camera trap videos here....

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tips to boost tiger numbers ignored, says ecologist

Panaji, July 19 (IANS) Key recommendations of a task force appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to boost tiger numbers have not been implemented, environmentalist Madhav Gadgil, a former member of the panel, said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a workshop in Panaji, Gadgil said the crucial recommendations made by the five-member task force, led by environmentalist Sunita Narain, were ignored by the central government.

"The task force made recommendations that the management of tiger reserves should be made much more participatory and people-friendly," said Gadgil.

"But the recommendations of the task force are not at all being implemented. I am not happy with the rigid regulatory approach of the forest department," said the Padma Bhushan awardee.

The tiger task force was set up by the prime minister in 2005, following the shocking revelations that tigers had disappeared from the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan.

It was asked to recommend long-term actions to boost the numbers of tigers in the country and improve their natural habitat.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tiger Poacher, Via Phone, is Witness for His Own Prosecution

July 14, 2011, 4:41 pm

When a wildlife conservation patrol in Thailand’s Western Forest Province surprised some poachers, a pile of abandoned gear, particularly a cell phone, provided evidence of their crime:

The short slide show tells the story. In a statement, Joe Walston, who directs programs in Asia for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which is working with the Thai government on tiger conservation projects, noted that the push against poachers has come at a significant cost.

“The individuals apprehended by Thailand officials are suspected to have killed as many as 10 tigers in the region,” Walston said. “They are also involved in an organized crime ring that W.C.S. and other partners have been tracking in this region for the past year. However, such work comes with great risk to the park rangers working on the front lines of enforcement. One officer was shot in a nearby community on Friday in what is believed to be retaliation for the recent poaching arrests. The ranger remains in serious condition in the hospital. Nevertheless, the arrests are a great victory for the government of Thailand.”

I agree that Thailand should be credited for its multi-pronged crackdown on the trade in tigers and tiger parts. It was particularly heartening last year when a security officer screening baggage in the Bangkok airport disrupted a smuggling effort by noticing a live tiger cub in a bag filled with stuffed tiger toys. Here’s the image of that intercepted cub:

Tiger poachers caught on camera — their own

This tiger, its image captured by a hidden camera in 2010, was identified as one killed by poachers recently in Thailand.

This image was among those retrieved from a cell phone camera left behind by tiger poachers in Thailand.

Two suspects arrested in Thailand after park rangers recovered images on cell phone Updated 7/14/2011 1:14:17 PM ET 2011-07-14T17:14:17

Two men suspected of killing endangered tigers in Thailand have been arrested, a U.S. conservation group said Thursday, and the key evidence turned out to be cell phone images of them with their prizes.

A phone with the images was seized after a gun battle between Thai park rangers and suspected poachers in a protected area, the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement.

"The rangers also found other evidence of poaching, including animal body parts and insecticides that are sometimes used to poison tigers," the group stated.

The images led to three men, one of whom escaped and two who were arrested. The group is thought to have killed up to 10 tigers in the region — a significant number given that only 2,500 breeding adult tigers are left in the wild globally.

"When confronted with 'trophy' images of themselves posing over a dead tiger, the suspects claimed the big cat was poached in Myanmar in 2003," WCS said. "According to WCS Thailand staff, however, the tiger (identified by its unique stripe patterns) was a well-known male tiger that researchers had tracked with camera traps in Thailand for at least three years between 2008-2011."

The society said it believes the men are part of "an organized crime ring that WCS and other partners have been tracking in this region for the past year."

The cell phone also contained images of elephant tusks, suggesting the men had illegally hunted elephants as well.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, based in New York, has helped Thailand and other governments with funding and training for beefed up patrols to protect wildlife.

"Such work comes with great risk to the park rangers working on the frontlines of enforcement," WCS noted. "One officer was shot in a nearby community on Friday in what is believed to be retaliation for the recent poaching arrests. The ranger remains in serious condition in the hospital."

Tigers have lost ninety percent of their historic range — which spread across Asia from Turkey to eastern Russia — according to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group funded by the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Tigers are poached mainly for their pelts and bones, which are used in traditional Asian medicines.

'Propose Mhadei wildlife sanctuary as tiger reserve'

TNN Jul 17, 2011, 12.40am IST

PANAJI: The state government should heed the central government's advice and propose that the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary be declared a tiger reserve after a proper study, the Pilerne citizens' forum (PCF) said on Saturday.

The demand has been made in a representation to governor S S Sidhu, chief minister Digambar Kamat and Union minister of state for forests and environment Jayanti Natarajan.

The representation has been signed by PCF secretary Aaron Paul Fernandes.

The PCF also slammed health minister Vishwajit Rane for his comments to a local television channel allegedly objecting to the proposed declaration of Mhadei wildlife sanctuary as a tiger reserve.

The PCF explained that the central government has advised Goa to propose the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary as a tiger reserve because of evidence of the presence of tigers there not merely as transit animals but as residents. The centre has urged Goa to seriously consider the proposal as Mhadei, situated in Sattari taluka, is a 'contiguous tiger landscape' to Bhimgad wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka to its southeast and to Anshi Dandeli tiger reserve to its south which has around 35 tigers.

PCF spokesperson Yatish Naik told the media that the forum and the people of Goa were shocked that even before the proposal of the Union ministry of forests and environment and even before the proposal was made public, a cabinet minister had opposed the proposal.

The representation read, "Declaration of Mhadei sanctuary as a tiger reserve should undoubtedly be made only after studying all aspects related thereto and most importantly considering the fast dwindling numbers of our national animal."

The PCF said "it is a matter of great concern" that the health minister has "shot down the proposal even before his own government has studied the same".

The PCF has called upon the chief minister to instruct his ministers not to indulge in making "non-meritorious and detrimental statements in a premature fashion without studying the concerned subject".

Saturday, July 09, 2011


Listen to Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Cougars and Ocelots BIG CAT RAP!! For FREE Big Cat Rescue ringtones visit:

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Easy, tiger! Incredible moment huge animal is released back into the wild after being rescued from a poacher's snare

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 4:15 PM on 3rd July 2011

This is the incredible moment an angry and fearsome tiger makes a bid for freedom - after being rescued from a poacher's snare.

The hulking beast, named Victor, was nursed back to health by experts for a week after being caught in a brutal snare set by ruthless hunters.

The nine-year-old Amur tiger, who was spotted by students in a remote Russian forest who heard him roaring in pain after being trapped in a cable snare.

The bleeding beast, who would have been worth up to $10,000 on the black market for its bones and skin alone, was finally released to safety in the frozen wastes of eastern Russia after being treated for cuts to his skin.

Roaring to go: Victor lets out a growl as he is finally released back into the wild

Freedom: The Amur tiger bursts from his cage and leaps through the snow

The dramatic moment where he burst out of his cage was caught on camera for BBC Wildlife Magazine and shows the powerful animal leaping through the snow to freedom as the team of conservationists stood well back.

One of them John Goodrich, 45, who has spent 16 years working with the tigers in Russia, said: 'We chose a place with enough open space so that we could sit in our vehicles and watch as Victor left his cage to freedom.

'We had cameras ready as my colleague raised the door to the cage.

'Victor glared at us and roared, making a great cloud of steam in the cold air. But he stayed put.

'Then, letting out another roar, he turned toward us again and burst out of the cage. He hit the snow and, with one great leap, disappeared into the forest.

'The power and speed with which he leapt from the truck and disappeared into the forest was awesome and would have been terrifying had I not been sitting in the safety of my vehicle.'
When Victor was found, the kindhearted students drove 50 miles to the nearest telephone to raise the alarm, and alerted the Inspection Tiger Department to their find.

The organisation then contacted the Wildlife Conservation Society, which sent a specialist to anaesthetise the stricken tiger and transport it to safety.

He was examined by experts, who found him to be 'unusually fat and healthy', weighing 385 pounds, and stretching an incredible 10 feet long.

They kept him under observation for days, ensuring there were no internal injuries, before fitting him with a radio collar and driving him eight hours back into the wilderness.

John said: 'Watching him burst from his steel cage to freedom was incredibly satisfying; there was no doubt in our minds that we had made a difference.

'His beauty and power as he leaped from the cage into the forest was stunning and something I will never forget.

'This story is immensely encouraging.

'For the one or two poachers who set the snare to catch a tiger, there were several dedicated people willing, ready, and able to get the tiger out of the snare, against all odds.'

For more information about tiger conservation, see .

Slot for N-E in tiger body


Guwahati, July 3: The Northeast has finally got a voice in the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the apex body of tiger conservation in the country.

Firoz Ahmed, a wildlife biologist with Aaranyak who has carried out camera trapping in wildlife parks of Assam, has been inducted as a member of the NTCA.

Ahmed’s term is for one year and it will end in September next year. The notification for his appointment was issued in the last week of June.

“I will try to highlight the issues of the Northeast in the tiger conservation policies of the Centre,” he told The Telegraph today.

Ahmed was the team leader of the Kaziranga camera trapping exercise, which put the park on top of the world after it was found that the park had a tiger density of 32 per 100 sq km. Ahmed said though tiger reserves in the region have resources, rigorous planning was required at the management level to use the resources to their best.

He is also developing individual profile of tigers in Kaziranga, Orang, Manas and Nameri under the Tiger Informatics through Geospatial and Ecological Research (TIGER) project.

“This will assist the managers and other stakeholders with updated information on tigers of the region and create awareness among the masses,” Ahmed said.

He had recently carried out an appraisal of Dampa tiger reserve in Mizoram, one of the important landscapes in the Indo-Bangladesh border with contiguous forests in both the countries.

Feeding 100+ Tigers, Lions, Leopards...

What's the favorite time of day for BIG CATS? - - - - DINNER TIME! This is what the residents at Big Cat Rescue enjoy more than anything else, food, food, food! The cats definitely love to eat and we love to provide them with the best diet we possibly can, so if you would like to help us feed the cats please visit this site and donate what you can: THANK YOU!