Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom *Big Cats!!

Feeding over 100 tigers, lions and leopards each day requires lots of food, watch the cats enjoy their dinner in this fun video!



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tiger reserve in Jharkhand ravaged by forest fire

2011-03-25 11:40:00

The Palamu Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand has been ravaged by fire for several weeks now and forest officials are desperately trying to douse the fire, day and night.

The officials state that the main cause of the fire was burning cigarettes thrown by passers- by into the forest.

Forest Ranger Ashok Kumar Singh said: " We are trying to bring the fire under control for several days. Our staff works all night and as per the latest report, we have almost controlled it. You will not find any new fire breaking out."

He also said that the fire may not harm big animals, but reptiles like snakes, lizards, etc. could be killed.

No one has been reported injured in the fire that has devastated about 72 square kilometers of the forest area.

Trackers and firefighters from the forest department are facing a lot of difficulty to carry out operations to douse the fire during the night due to low visibility and the complex nature of the terrain. (ANI)

http://www.sify.com/news/tiger-reserve-in-jharkhand-ravaged-by-forest-fire-news-national-ldzlEcebchf.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

LYNX gets a haircut!

Dances With Wolves  had been bottle raised and sold to someone who expected her to bond with him. His cats do commercials and ads and she was not inclined to do either. Living on Easy Street now, she can do what comes natural to her. Big Cat Rescue's resident Canadian Lynx gets rid of her bad hairdo!

 


Vietnam zoo owner jailed for tiger sales


A tiger inside a private zoo at Thanh Canh Tourism Park

(AFP) – 03.26.2011

HANOI — The owner of a private zoo in Vietnam has been jailed for three years for selling the endangered tigers that he was supposed to protect, a conservation group and officials said Friday.

Huynh Van Hai, of Thanh Canh Tourism Park in Binh Duong province, near Ho Chi Minh City, was sentenced on March 10, Education for Nature -- Vietnam (ENV) said in a statement.

Fourteen other people linked to his operation, including his son, received sentences ranging from probation to 30 months' jail, it said.

An official at Thuan An district court of Binh Duong province confirmed the sentence.

"We feel that Binh Duong authorities have taken a vital first step in ending illegal farming and trade of tigers in Vietnam," ENV founder Vu Thi Quyen said in the statement.

ENV said it conducted its own investigation last year into the alleged illegal trade of tigers born at Thanh Canh park. The probe indicated at least two other major tiger farmers were also involved in the illegal trade, it said.

ENV added that tigers have essentially disappeared from the wild in Vietnam but 100 are known to be in captivity, mostly on eight private farms.

Older Vietnamese people believe that the bones of tigers, boiled down to make glue, can help treat arthritis, the group said.

In 2007, the communist government allowed some private tiger farms in southern Vietnam to keep dozens of the endangered animals as they were better equipped than state zoos.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iKk0LjJxXoEVg3x2j9_hFsHJ5tvA?docId=CNG.cf2168ef633c0557172d1154979356d7.71

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

A hub for tourism

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN Mar 27, 2011, 06.04am IST

Located in the heart of India, Nagpur offers the best location to take off to the forests of Vidarbha and Madhya Pradesh. No wonder tourists usually pass through the city.

Chartered accountant Indranil Dani believes that declaring Nagpur as a tiger capital is the need of the hour. "Every year, the number of tourists is doubling in the region and their only attraction is tiger. Even for going to world famous resorts like Kanha and Bandhavgarh, tourist take the Nagpur route," he said.

Vinit Arora, a wildlife photographer and activist, feels that the government must do something for conservation of tigers which are dwindling at a fast pace. "Giving the status of a tiger capital would certainly boost the tourism but huge infrastructure needs to be created to make it a reality. Mere announcements are not enough," he said.

Citing the incident of Katlabodi tigress which fell into an open well, he pointed out that there is no rescue centre for the animals and birds. "The forest department and the government must make provision of a rescue centre and sanction a land for it," said Arora.

Travel agency operator Padma Gupta says she is are getting more bookings for Pench than Kanha and Bandhavgarh. "The trend is shifting since the last one year with more sightings being reported in Pench. Even the foreign bookings we get is for Pench and Tadoba. When we asked tourists the reason, they say they want a change and feel that Pench jungle is more dense and beautiful than those in Madhya Pradesh," she says.

For Amit Naseri, a wildlife enthusiast working with an international travel agency, other animals which are rare but hardly sighted are also equally important. "Making the city as tiger capital is OK but other animals like leopard, jackals and wild dogs are also important. In fact, you would be lucky if you get to sight them as they are too sensitive and don't come out in open. Importantly, the people need to enjoy the jungles and its pleasant atmosphere."

A regular tourist to wildlife places Raja Abhyankar believes that the government should also step up efforts to educate the children about protecting environment including trees and animals. "They need to make aware that very survival of human beings depends on environment," he says, adding that wildlife offers huge potential to the region in terms of revenue.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/CCIS-2603-A-HUB-FOR-TOURISM/articleshow/7796188.cms

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tiger population: Headache for wildlifers

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 26, 2011

The government on Monday will announce that India’s tiger population has increased but it may not be a reason for cheer with inviolate space for the big cat decreasing. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh will announce an increase of over 100 tigers as first reported by HT on February 19 in major tig er landscapes at a three-day international conference of experts on tigers.

According to ministry sources, more number of tigers have been spotted in Ranthambore in Rajasthan, Corbett in Uttaranchal, Kaziranga in Assam, Bandipur in Karnataka, Periyar in Kerala, Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh, Andheri-Todaba and Melghat in Maharashtra.

The tiger estimation has not shown comparatively good results in Arunchal Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa, sources said.

The good news will be coming from Central and Western Indian landscape, where tiger population had dwindled the most in the last estimation in 2008. "A tiger from Ranthambore took a historical route to Kuno in Madhya Pradesh. That shows tigers are doing well," a ministry official said.

"Where is the habitat to keep so many tigers safe?" asked Vivek Menon, Chief Executive Officer of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). "Constant habitat destruction and illegal mining is causing the wildlife stress," Dharmendra Kandhal, a Ranthambore based wildlife biologist said.

As per the government's own study tiger reserves in India cannot hold more than 1,000 to 1,200 tigers and forest have witnessed a degradation in the last two decades. The core tiger area has shrunk to 31,207 sq kilometers in from over one lakh sq kms in 1970s, when Project Tiger was launched. Ramesh has admitted that India cannot increase its forest cover.

Other experts such as Belinda Wright of Wildlife Protection Society of India poaching treat and fall in prey population in tiger habitats is a reason for concern. "If the population has really increased we can witness more tiger deaths because of their conflict with their own community for space and people living around tiger areas," said a Wildlife Institute of India scientist, who was not willing to be quoted.

The Wildlife Institute of India, which is conducting the estimation, has captured pictures of 12 tigresses with cubs in Dudwa tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh, where a tiger killed two persons. In Tadoba-Andhari tiger reserve in Maharashtra, where six people had died in conflict, two tigresses with cubs have been spotted in the buffer area.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Tiger-population-Headache-for-wildlifers/Article1-677961.aspx

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Rare Sumatran tiger killed by electric fence

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An endangered Sumatran tiger has died after brushing against an electric fence set up by Indonesian farmers, in the second such incident this year, an official said Friday.

There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild and environmental activists say the animals are increasing coming into contact with people as a result of their natural habitat being lost due to deforestation.

The two-metre (six foot) male tiger was electrocuted on Monday in Jambi province in the centre of Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island, a provincial conservation agency chief, Trisiswo, told AFP.

He said it was the second time this year a tiger had died as a result of the electric fences installed by locals to protect palm oil plantations.

“The tiger’s body was partly charred but unlike the first incident, the body was still intact,” he said. Locals had sold some of the body parts of the tiger that was killed last month.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C03%5C27%5Cstory_27-3-2011_pg9_5

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

India’s tiger population on the rise

March 26 2011 at 01:55pm

New Dehli - India's tiger population has increased for the first time in decades, a newspaper said on Saturday, citing a national tiger census report slated to be released next week.

According to the 2009-10 tiger census report, the number roaming India has jumped to 1,510-1,550 from 1,411 in 2004-05, The Indian Express newspaper said.

The newspaper report came ahead of an international tiger conservation conference due to open on Monday in the Indian capital New Delhi.

India is home to more than half of the world's rapidly dwindling wild tiger population, but its conservation programme, said by the government to be the world's most comprehensive, has been struggling to halt the big cat's decline.

Tiger conservationists welcomed the news and said that the population increase was due to the authorities surveying more areas to conduct the census and creating more tiger reserves.

Tito Joseph, programme director at the Wildlife Protection Society of India, said “the latest census included some of the areas they left out last time because of problems accessing the terrain, like the Sunderbans” which is home to hundreds of tigers.

The Sunderbans mangrove forest straddles the borders of India's West Bengal state and Bangladesh and lies on the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta.

“They have also set up more tiger reserves. In 2004 there were only 28-33 tiger reserves, now there are 39 reserves, so that's obviously helped,” Joseph told AFP.

“It's a good strategy, because tigers need space above all, and if you can create inviolate space their numbers will naturally go up,” he said.

The current tiger population still remains a long way off the numbers registered in 2002 when some 3,700 tigers were estimated to be alive in the country.

There were estimated to be around 40,000 tigers in India at the time of independence from Britain in 1947.

Authorities across Asia are waging a major battle against poachers and other man-made problems such as destruction of the tigers' habitat due to industrial expansion.

A major poacher trafficking route begins in India and ends in China where tiger parts are highly prized as purported cures for a range of ailments and as aphrodisiacs.

“Tiger skins fetch anywhere around 11,000-21,000 US dollars and bones are sold for about 1,000 US dollars in China,” said Rajesh Gopal, chairman of National Tiger Conservation Authority in New Delhi.

http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/india-s-tiger-population-on-the-rise-1.1047609

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quick relief for tiger attack victims now

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN, Mar 19, 2011, 04.26am IST

NAGPUR: At a time when man-animal conflict is at its peak, the state government has come out with relief to tiger attack victims by providing compensation without waiting for funds.

A GR issued by the state government recently states that legal heir of victims who die in attack by wild animals will get immediate relief. Even those injured in such attacks will get quick compensation

The GR states that even if funds are not available and the balance sheet is in minus, victim will get immediate aid. There are many complaints that kin of victims don't get financial relief in time.

The demand was made by chief wildlife warden DC Pant during a meeting with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar during the assembly session in Nagpur. Pant pursued the matter.

"There have been compensation cases pending for years. This not only puts forest department in bad light but the field staff too has to face the ire of villagers. It also leads to locals turning against tigers," a senior official said.

The government pays Rs 2 lakh to the kin of victims who die in wild animal attack or suffer permanent disability. Besides, Rs 50,000 is paid to those injured. The government also bears the medical expenses of the injured.

During the last four years (2006-10), the man-conflict has increased in Vidarbha from 30% to 70%. At least 69 persons have been killed by tigers and leopards in Chandrapur district alone in the past six years from January 2005. In many cases compensation has still not been paid. However, the situation is expected to change in the current financial year.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-03-19/nagpur/29146053_1_tiger-attack-victims-compensation-tigers-and-leopards

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Tiger kills man in Nagbhid tehsil

TNN, Mar 20, 2011, 12.35am IST

CHANDRAPUR: A tiger killed a person and partially ate his body in the fields near Menha Kirmiti village in Nagbhid tehsil during midnight hours of Friday. Body of Shriram Atram (55) was recovered later in the same night by the villagers, but the reason of his visit to the remote area away from the village could not be ascertained.

Sources in forest department informed that Atram left his house at around 11pm and went into the fields around a kilometre away from the village. As he reached the nullah near the farm, a tiger lurking there pounced on him. The beast later dragged the body to some distance and devoured it before going back into the jungle.

"Later the villagers found his mutilated body lying near the nullah. The tiger had eaten some part of the body. Why he went to a distant farm (not owned by him) that too late in the night is still not clear," said DCF, Bhrahmapuri division, Sanjay Thawre.

Thawre informed that the family members of Atram have confirmed that he was in home till late night watching television, but later he went out without informing any one.

Thawre confirmed that it was the act of a tiger. "The place is close to the jungle. The tiger might have come there to drink water in the nullah. As Atram reached there at the same time, the beast attacked and killed him. We have recovered pugmarks of a tiger near the kill," said Thawre.

He informed that forest officials reached the spot on Saturday morning and sent the body for post mortem. An ex-gratia of Rs 10,000 has been paid to the kin for funeral formalities and the compensation of Rs 2 lakh against the death would paid later after the completion of documental formalities. Notably it is second instance when tiger had made human kill in the district this year. As many as 12 people were killed in tiger attacks in the district last year.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-03-20/nagpur/29148342_1_tiger-nagbhid-tehsil-sanjay-thawre

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Rajaji tiger count tops 32, no thanks to Van Gujjars

March 22, 2011 7:35:07
Paritosh Kimothi Dehradun

The number of tigers in Rajaji National Park (RNP) has risen to over 32 but biotic pressure, especially from the population of Van Gujjars living in the national park, is damaging environment in the protected area, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wild-Life Warden Shrikant Chandola said here on Monday.

Speaking at a meeting on the occasion of World Forestry Day, Chandola said 32 tigers had been counted in the park though their population is believed to be around 40. The national park has one of the richest sambhar populations in India, which is favourable for tigers.

But Van Gujjars living in the park are disturbing peace in the area, Chandola said.

Eight tiger deaths have been recorded in the State since April 1, 2010, of which one tiger was shot after being marked a ‘man-eater’. The other deaths were due to natural causes. However, referring to the man killed by a tiger in Corbett National Park on March 11, the CWLW said it was not a man-eater and that the death, though unfortunate, occurred because “the man was in the tiger’s area and hence an easy prey”.

Since Van Gujjars occupy the best lands and utilise water inside Rajaji, it has a negative impact on wildlife, Chandola said. He added that though the Van Gujjars in the past were sensitive towards environment and wildlife, their presence in the park was now associated with the rise in poaching.

Grazing by domestic animals has also led to the spread of lantana throughout the park and, for ensuring the success of conservation efforts, it is essential to relocate humans outside the national park, Chandola said. Moreover, developing the forests of Lansdowne division as a dedicated wildlife corridor is vital for ensuring genetic diversity and allowing free movement of animals between Corbett and Rajaji.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/325977/Rajaji-tiger-count-tops-32-no-thanks-to-Van-Gujjars.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Custody of tiger skin accused extended

TNN Mar 22, 2011, 01.02am IST

NAGPUR: The forest custody remand (FCR) of two youths attempting to sell 53-year-old licensed tiger skin online has been extended till March 23.

Devesh Raut (29) and Kapil Devke (31) from Daryapur near Amravati were arrested on March 16 by the crime branch for attempting to sell a licensed tiger skin for Rs 50 lakh. Their initial FCR was until March 20.

Devesh and Kapil were on Monday taken to their hometown Daryapur by assistant conservator of forest ( ACF) and investigating officer Avinash Anjikar.

"We did not find any additional animal trophies or tiger skins during the search of house of the accused persons. The website launched by the culprits to sell tiger skin mentioned that they dealt in seven wildlife products but this fact, too, could not be established," Anjikar said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Custody-of-tiger-skin-accused-extended/articleshow/7758204.cms

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Local College of Chinese Medicine Celebrates Partnership to Save Tigers, Other Wildlife


The Bay Area’s American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is working to save the world’s endangered wild tigers and promote the sustainable use of medicinal species in traditional Chinese medicine.

San Francisco, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 21, 2011

For nearly half a century the conservation efforts of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have been represented by a panda, also one of the best-known symbols of Chinese culture. As the organization approaches its 50th birthday, a Bay Area institution is also celebrating a partnership with WWF that aims to preserve both endangered species and the traditions of China.

San Francisco's American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) has worked with WWF for 14 years to protect endagered species in China and other Asia countries. While herbal remedies may be gentler on the human body than Western pharmaceuticals, they can have an environmental impact; some ancient Chinese remedies formerly incorporated ingredients taken from rhinoceroses, tigers, and other animals that are under threat in the fragile ecosystems of today.

While tigers have been officially banned from use in Chinese Medicine since The China Tiger Trade Ban since 1993, some commercial interests and tiger farms seek to re-open tiger trade using the excuse that tiger parts are necessary ingredients for Chinese medicine. ACTCM's collaboration with WWF has sent a strong message to the world that the established Chinese medicine community - in China and abroad - want to uphold the Tiger Trade Ban, and that they do not need this gravely endangered species to save lives.

ACTCM's partnership with WWF has developed a public outreach initiative on endangered species used in traditional Chinese medicine, and represents an important conservation milestone. No other college of Chinese medicine has worked so diligently on both the national and international levels to facilitate dialog and collaboration between the conservation and Chinese medical communities.

The partnership began in 1998, when the college first collaborated with WWF to foster communication between the conservation community and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. ACTCM’s efforts have also involved the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). Just last year ACTCM played a key role in CCAOM’s passage of a resolution calling for the end of the use of tiger parts in any remedies, as well as a commitment to finding ways to insure greater sustainability of Chinese herbal medicine.

Even more impressive, though, has been ACTCM's efforts to promote the cause of saving tigers in China itself. In 2009 the institution organized an international gathering in Beijing to draw attention to the threat to endangered species. Then in January of this year, ACTCM hosted a delegation from China that is developing a conservation curriculum that will eventually be implemented in eight universities in Southern China. The delegation consisted of representatives from WWF China, the State Forestry Administration of China and Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, who have been working collaboratively on the project.

In 2010, the Year of the Tiger, ACTCM joined major international conservation efforts to protect wild tigers. In conjunction with the World Bank, international organizations such as WWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Save the Tiger Fund are mobilizing scientists, government officials and policymakers in tiger range countries to take action to protect wild tigers. ACTCM has been the lead representative from traditional Chinese medicine collaborating with these groups, making strides in the environmental responsibility of Chinese medicine.

ACTCM also promotes balance and harmony with nature through its academic curricula and clinical training every day.

For more information about ACTCM’s dedication to saving endangered wildlife, or for information about the school and its community clinics, call (415) 202-5713 or visit their website at http://www.actcm.edu/.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebChinese-medicine/Bay-Area/prweb8220961.htm

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Backyard Tigers of America...

Did you know that it is 100% LEGAL to own tigers, lions and other exotic big cats as "pets" in the United States? There are literally thousand of big cats existing in horrible conditions in backyards across America...



Sunday, March 06, 2011

Q: Do TIGERS hate CINNAMON??

Do tigers hate cinnamon? We have 13 tigers at Big Cat Rescue so we decided to put cinnamon to the test and find out..... We also gave cinnamon to a few of our lions to see what they thought to the baking spice!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Tigers were his life's mission

Daily Telegraph March 5, 2011

Fateh Singh Rathore, who died on Tuesday at age 72, fought a valiant battle to save India's dwindling tiger population, becoming in the process one of India's most revered "tiger wallahs."

In 1973, Rathore created a tiger sanctuary at Ranthambhore, about 700 kilometres southeast of New Delhi, in the state of Rajasthan. Once a private hunting ground for maharajas, the forest enclave became India's most famous and visited tiger preserve -and a key battleground in a desperate fight to save the country's national symbol from extinction.

When Rathore arrived at Ranthambhore, there were thought to be just three or four of the animals left. In 1976 he negotiated the resettlement of 13 villages containing 10,000 families from inside the reserve to a new village outside and, four years later, secured bans on baiting the tigers and on night-time driving. Before long, the numbers of tigers began to recover. In 1980, Ranthambhore sanctuary was declared a national park and in 1982 Prime Minister Indira Gandhi presented Rathore with the Project Tiger conservation award.

A striking figure with a large handlebar moustache, Rathore was never seen without an olive-coloured safari hat and tiger-print silk cravat. He knew all the tigers in his reserve by their stripes, their pug marks and their habits, naming them after Mughal emperors and empresses and Hindu gods.

"If you mixed my tigers in with 10,000 other tigers, I could still pick them out," he claimed.

But Rathore's efforts were not popular. In 1981 he was ambushed, beaten unconscious and left for dead by villagers illegally grazing cattle in the reserve. In 1983 he was awarded an International Valour Award for bravery in the field. But by the late 1980s a new threat to the tigers had emerged in the form of poaching, fuelled by demand, mainly from China.

In the early 1990s Rathore informed the Delhi authorities that 20 out of the 45 tigers on the reserve had vanished. But by then nobody seemed to be listening. He had been sacked as warden in 1988 and transferred to an office job.

After retiring from official duties in 1996, Rathore founded Tiger Watch -an internationally-funded group dedicated to offering local people alternative sources of income to poaching, and facilities such as hospitals and schools. "I thought, instead of making villains out of the poachers, let's talk to them and try and reform them," Rathore explained.

But poaching remained a severe problem. In its first five years, Tiger Watch helped police arrest 47 alleged poachers, many in possession of tiger skins and other body parts, guns and traps. By their own admission, the poachers had killed more than 20 tigers. Yet in the same period, park authorities did not record a single case of poaching.

Not long after Rathore revealed that poaching had reduced tiger numbers in Ranthambhore to just 18 in 2004, officials turned up at his office and demolished it. His daughter's shop and their restaurant were also flattened.

Fateh Singh Rathore was born in 1938 in Rajasthan. His father was a police officer. After taking a degree from Rajputana University in 1960 Rathore joined the Rajasthan Forest Service. One of his first jobs was organizing tiger hunts during a visit by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1961: "I was not in love with the tiger at the time. We were very happy that we succeeded," he recalled. India would eventually ban tiger hunting in 1970.

Last month he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Rathore is survived by a son and two daughters.

http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Tigers+were+life+mission/4389831/story.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Place of worship hits tiger conservation

TNN Mar 5, 2011, 11.25pm IST

DALTONGANJ: A huge place of worship right in the middle of Palamu tiger reserve has hindered progress of conserving the big cats.

The pucca building at Labher on way from Betla to Garu has become a troubled zone also as a ranger had been beaten up by local villagers some years back.

National Tiger Conservation Authority member of east and northeast effective management evaluation Srivastava said the ranger had objected to the construction of the place of worship at Labher.

The Supreme Court has asked the state governments to ensure a relocation of all places of worship, which are in a way causing inconvenience to public.

Palamu Project Tiger field director Paritosh Upadhaya said: "First of all, this place of worship has not come up during the period I have been here but has drawn devotees over the last 50 years."

The Palamu directorate of Project Tiger has clearly and strictly asked the people of this place of worship not to raise, construct or expand any more.

He agreed that the issue is "sensitive" while corroborating manhandling of the then field ranger over the coming up of this pucca place of worship at Labher.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/TNN05tigerdocclearedSP/-193Place-of-worship-hits/articleshow/7636697.cms

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

CIRCUS

The CIRCUS is NO FUN for the animals...

Big Cat Rescue does something called Operant Conditioning to  teach our cats to do things we need them to do for medical reasons, such  as lean against the fence to get their shots or open their mouth so we  can look at their teeth.  We do this with rewards and the cats have fun  because they are smart and bored and love the attention.  We never  punish or withhold food to make them do something, and the cats only do  it when they want to -- not on our schedule.

But because tigers and lions in circus acts must perform specific  acts at precise times and "the show must go on," positive reinforcement  is not the only method used by circus trainers or night club magicians.   Often the cats are beaten, starved and confined for long periods of  time in order to get them to cooperate with what the trainers want.  And  life on the road means that most of a cat's life is spent in a circus wagon in the back of a semi-truck or in a crowded, stinking box car on a  train or barge.

The messages the public gets from circus acts couldn't be worse.   These acts either show man dominating one of nature's most magnificent  creatures, which would never happen on an even playing field, or worse  are promoted as illustrations of the "special bond" the trainer has with  his captive.  The latter just fuels the trade in big cats as pets and  that never ends well for the cat.