Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekly Feline News

Here are last week's cat-related news..

First tigers. Controversy is surrounding the recent death of a Royal Bengal Tiger in Sattari wildlife sanctuary in Goa, India. The tiger is thought to have been shot by poachers, according to photographic evidence obtained by a wildlife activist. However, the local administration is trying to hush up the matter and deny the occurrence of a poaching incident in the forest. The reason for that may be simple. Goa has not reported the presence of any tiger in the Sattari forest in the past. There are numerous multimillion dollar mining ventures going on in the periphery of the forest, run by politicians. If the local government decides to acknowledge the presence of a resident tiger in its forest, the national tiger conservation authority in India will immediately change the status of Sattari to a protected tiger reserve. This will put the whole mining enterprise there in jeopardy. A dead tiger will not cost the administration any votes or political favors, but the halting of mining operations in the forest might do so! More on this here and here.

Incidents like the above have resulted in the issuance of a new directive by the chief tiger conservation body in India, the NTCA. All dead tigers are now to undergo a postmortem in the presence of a NTCA representative. This will help to ascertain the cause of death in many cases where the circumstances surrounding the animal's demise are ambiguous. The NTCA has also set up a panel to draft a set of guidelines for the proposed relocation of tigers across forests in India. The need was felt for this when after the relocation of a tigress to Panna tiger reserve, to repopulate it with the big cats, it was discovered that there was no male tiger in the reserve to breed with the female. Fortunately, a male tiger is now being translocated to Panna. More on the above here, here and here.

While browsing through the site that hosts the second of the three links above, I came across a couple of interesting articles about the maneating tigers that were terrorizing northern India a couple of months ago. You can find them here and here.

There's good news for Siberian Tigers. South Korea has resumed a breeding project for the big cats, the largest wild felines extant. The move has come after repeated failures to breed the Amur Tigers there in the past. Let's hope that the project is successful this time around and aids the conservation of the endangered cats. To read more about this and see the picture of the beautiful male tiger that has been donated by China for this purpose, go here.

Good news for Jaguars too. For the first time, a jaguar has been photographed in Barro Colorado Island, an important wildlife research site in Panama. The camera trap picture is a significant milestone for the researchers tracking the big cats in that area. For even though the image shows a single migratory jaguar traversing the island, it indicates the presence of the elusive big cats in the tropical forest and their ability to move across fragmented island habitats to survive as a species in that particular region. More here.

For lions too, this has been a good week. This is owing to the long-awaited arrest of a kingpin in a gang of poachers who were responsible for the deaths of several Asiatic Lions in India in 2007. The arrested poacher was the last remaining member of the poaching gang that was still eluding the authorities. With his arrest, a degree of closure has been brought to the tragic series of poaching events couple of years ago when six lions were killed by this gang. Let's hope that similar incidents are not repeated in Gir. More on this on the Asiatic Lions blog.

So positive news mostly, for this week. The only 'negative' one is from UK where government is contemplating a law that would make it easier to keep exotic pets in private captivity. The new law will ease the restrictions on owners of big cats and reptiles, thus encouraging a wrong trend towards private ownership of dangerous pets, who belong in the wild. The harmful impact of having such animals in private captivity has been well demonstrated across the world, both to the animals who often suffer from abuse once they grow up, and their owners who are frequently mauled by their 'pets'. Here is one such account from Abu Dhabi. And here is more on the proposed legislation.

And, before you leave, go here for a quick laugh. I won't be able to blog next week owing to some professional engagements, but will be back a fortnight later. Take care, all :)


Sandee said...

Poachers are just awful folks. I wish they would just stop.

As for the new law. Not a good idea at all. There are a reason they are called exotic.

I loved Frankie. We have a dog that steals things all over the neighborhood.

Have a terrific day. :)

Anya said...

Frankie with his stolen toys..LOL
Funny shot !!!
Thanks for your very interesting news ^___^
Have a wonderful day:)

Black Cat said...

I'm so glad there's more good news than bad for a change in the world of our lovely big cats who are, after all, an important part of this world.

I'm worried, though, about this new UK legislation! This is the first I've heard of it and kudos (whatever they are, but I think they're good) to you for unearthing it. I've heard nothing of this on the news. I can't help wondering why... Anyhoo, I'm glad that there are some voices out there, who seemingly have a vested interest, who don't agree with the relaxation of the laws. My fear is, though, that these are the responsible minority who have dealings with exotic animals. I know there are a lot of irresponsible, uncaring "pedlars" of exotic animals in these islands. We see programmes on TV often about the illegal import and abuse of animals, so what is the government thinking of!?! £$%***@!!!

Sorry, I've gone off on one again! It does make me mad though. This stuff is just not British, lol!

All the best for this week. See ya soon. Luvzya :) xxx

P.S. Saw Frankie on the news when he got found out! Hahaha, he rocks, what a kitteh!

Thomma Lyn said...

As always, such an informative post. Thank you for gathering this important news of the beautiful big cats! And I'm happy that there is more good news this week than bad. And I agree wholeheartedly, it's a bad thing to ease restrictions on keeping exotic cats as pets. I hope those changes to the laws never see the light of day.

Have a great two weeks, my friend! The Ballicai and I always enjoy your posts. Hugs and headbonks to you!

Black Cat said...

P.P.S. Thanks for visiting. I also think the image is a fake but it's very cleverly done. I was once knocked over by a very friendly Newfoundland. He thought it was hilarious and tried to lick me to a quivering jelly but I didn't hold it against him. I was 13 and about 5ft. He was young and about 6ft on his hind legs, or so it seemed, haha! :) xxx

Jans Funny Farm said...

Love the toy stealing cat story. Thanks.

Exotic pets do not belong in residential areas. It was just recently that a pet monkey attacked a woman he knew and just about killed her. These animals are wild and strong. Making it easy to own them is crazy.

Ellen Whyte said...

Those who want to keep a wild animal as a pet have no thought about animal culture, no thought about mental health issues that arise from plucking an animal out of its habitat. Brainless buggers the lot of them!

Enjoy Frankie with his stolen toys. We let Target our kitten steal his snizzle circles (hairbands) that he loves to play with because the stolen ones bounce better :-)

Anonymous said...

We watched a news show last week, and the host said that the answer to tiger poaching and killing is to allow farms to raise tigers for meat and other purposes. That is so sick!

Rajesh said...

Unless people get their act together we will see these beautiful cats only in pictures.

Dana Fredsti said...

Frankie just made my day...

I really wish all poachers would find themselves on the receiving end of their own firearms...

Liz said...

Hi Omer

At least their has been some good news on the tiger and lion side of things.

Frankie just made my day.

On the UK law - I hope not. I've seen an article yesterday concerning two of Zion's Lions being used as a so called artwork in a movie theatre in New Plymouth.A sad spectacle for tow beautiful lions that should be in a reserve not used as entertainment

All the best with everything and I will catch up.

Purrs,hugs and love from me, the kitties and the goggie

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Duni said...

Awww Frankie...:)
Thank you for the detailed recap of the 'big cats'
Poaching has got to stop once and for all. It's always money before everything else.

hope you have a good week


Anonymous said...

I love the heart you have for the cats of this world. They are ever so beautiful!

Mr. Hendrix said...

It is great to see so much good news. I hope those poachers are found and punished. Money isn't always the most important thing and the government should know that!

I hope the UK doesn't pass that law. Just in Feb here in the US a chimp attacked and mauled a friend of its owner! She almost died and has years of rehab ahead of her.

These are wild and exotic animals. Not pets.

Mr. Hendrix said...

PS thanks for the laugh! Frankie is a hoot! I'm glad I don't go outside at all, but if I did maybe I'd find new toys!

PurrPrints said...

The Goa story really bums me out... :(

MaoMao said...

Lots of good news, but we are sad about the poachers. And we hope the UK doesn't pass that law!

Thankies fur all the information you share with us about our wild cuzzins. Your bloggie is always such a great read!

Love and kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao and alla the Ballicai!

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