Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekly Feline News

Here go the cat-related news for this past week..

The first and perhaps most shocking news of this week comes from an unlikely place. La Reunion island in the Indian Ocean. A French island of roughly a thousand square miles in size, La Reunion is located a couple of hundred miles off the eastern coast of Africa. And it is here that a horrible act is being practiced by amateur fishermen - use of cats and dogs as live bait for sharks! The poor animals have hooks passed through their snout or body and then tossed into the sea where their struggle attracts sharks, that are subsequently hunted by the fishing party. A gruesome and immoral practice, this has been outlawed by the French law, and yet goes on in this island. The issue has apparently been going on for the past several years. Now the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a global marine wildlife conservation group, is offering a reward of one thousand Euros for the policeman who arrests and brings to conviction the first fisherman involved in this horrendous practice. Rewards of two hundred Euros have been announced for each subsequent conviction. Let's hope that this move helps in bringing an end to this cruelty. You can learn more about this by going to the Sea Shepherd website here. To read a National Geographic article from 2005 that highlights this practice, click here.

Bengal Tigers
To tigers now. Some good news first. Paw prints of a tigress and cub have been spotted in Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in Goa, India. This is the first time evidence of a tiger family has been found in this forest that has been devoid of the striped cats in recent past. So very encouraging news, and let's hope that the reserve gets repopulated by the endangered bengal tigers in the coming years. Full report here.

And in other good news, the government of Uttar Pradesh in India has approved the allocation of one hundred and fifty square kilometers of area around Dudhwa National Park to a buffer zone around the park. This will allow greater freedom of movement to the big cats and the prey that inhabitate the reserve, and lessen the incidence of conflict between people living around the periphery of the park and the straying tigers. More here.

And, as if to emphasize the point above, a straying tiger in Uttar Pradesh killed an elderly woman and mauled several others this past week. The tragic incidents occurred when a tiger strayed out of Katarniyaghat forest reserve in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh, Sunday night and attacked the people of a neighboring village. A total of nine people have been injured to date and authorities are trying to drive the tiger out of the village. More on this here.

The sad news above comes on the backdrop of an announcement by an official in Bangladesh that thirty six people have been killed by tigers in past four months in Sunderban forest in the country. Sunderban, the world's largest mangrove forest, is home to nearly five hundred tigers that frequently come in contact with poor fishermen and honey collectors who venture deep into the jungle for their livelihood. This results in conflict between man and beast, with adverse consequences for both the species. More on this issue here.

And in India government has ordered the transfer of directors of three main tiger reserves in the Madhya Pradesh state. Long known as the 'tiger state' Madhya Pradesh has been suffering from the effects of poaching and habitat loss that have been resulting in decline of tiger populations all across the country. This move is aimed to perhaps bring a fresh approach and impetus towards the conservation of tigers in this critical state. Full account here.

To Cheetahs now. And here the involvement of new technology is set to benefit the conservation efforts for protection of these felines. An advanced DNA laboratory has been set up at the headquarters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, with collaboration of Applied Biosystems, a segment of Life Technologies Corporation. Owing to evolution from a limited number of ancestors, cheetahs suffer from limited diversity in their genetic makeup. This makes them particularly vulnerable to diseases. This new laboratory will aid in the study of genetics and population numbers of cheetahs, and thus aid in proposition of future steps for the protection of these beautiful cats. More on this here.

Now Leopards. And they have been involved in two separate incidents of attacks on people in Gir Forest in India. One on a young man and another on a child. Fortunately none of the attacks were fatal. More on the above here and here.

And leopards have been in limelight again for the wrong reason, this time for trespassing the property of the prime minister of Pakistan! Pakistani premier, who is already under threat from Taliban fighters in the northwest of the country, now has to contend with a leopard that has sneaked into his official residence. According to details, the panther apparently scaled the walls of the tightly guarded compound last week and has been evading its trappers ever since. Hopefully it will be tranquilized soon, before orders are given for it to be shot. More here.

That's all for this week. I'll be back on Sunday. Have a great week, and don't forget to enjoy this video of a 'provocative kitty'...

Images © William Dow - Billdowphotography.com


Kat Mortensen said...

That is hideous! I only pray that the poor victims die quickly.
I suppose then that they lure the shark and kill it too - for some luxury food or sharkskin? Truly despicable. I believe they will ultimately punished...if not in this life, then the next.


Siddhartha said...

Oops! This is a horrible demonstration of brutality - even animals would be ashamed of it. Hopefully, the cash incentive will be effective.

Sandee said...

For the fishermen that are doing this horrible thing, I hope they are all caught and spend many, many years in prison. How cruel.

The kitty video was excellent. Made me smile.

Have a terrific day. :)

Rajesh said...

What has been practiced in La Reunion island is very sad. I hope the people will realize this soon and act against this. Let us hope for good news from this area soon.

Unknown said...

That makes me so sad, people absolutely make me sick.

♥Da fambly kitties♥ said...

Normally I read each and every word of your blog entries but I couldn't get out of my mind the picture of animals being skewered for bait. On my Memorial Day blog entry I talked about how the War Dogs during the Vietman era were left when the US fled. What the Viet Cong did to those nearly 3000 dogs is unimaginable.

Keep up the good work exposing the barbarians.

Anya said...

for sharks, Yakkieeeee.....
Not normal :(
No funny story today,
but its the true !!!

That picture from the tyger with a very longggggggg tail, its great :)

BeadedTail said...

The first story made me sick to my stomach - literally. I just do not understand how people can do such horrible things. It's so beyond my comprehension. Today's photos in this post are gorgeous though!

Tracey said...

I couldn't even finish reading the first part....how awful that is!!
Beautiful photos and I loved the video at the end!!

Ellen Whyte said...

How cruel people are. Hope they catch the buggers and throw them in the water.

As for the rest, we need serious population control.

FYI My blog supports my cat and dog columns in the Malaysian Star, not the other way round. I've been writing the column for about 3 years now, and will be publishing a "best of" book in a few months. Soooo excited!

MaoMao said...

Oh no, how horrible about those fishermen. That is a hideous pracktice that we hope can be stopped immeediately!

And we are glad to read the good newsies about tigers and about the efforts to help the Cheetahs.

Wowie kazowie about the leopard on the property of the Pakistani Prime Ministur! We hope the leopard can be trankwilized and will be okeydokeys.

Thanks as always fur keeping us in the know about what's happenin with our big cuzzins!

Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao and alla the Ballicai!

Anonymous said...

That is so horrible, we could hardly read it! We're really hissed off about this.

Black Cat said...

Those La Reunion fisherman are just too cruel to be true. Yet they are, they exist. I so hope and pray they will be stopped from their cruel and barbarous practices. If they can't make a living any other way (and I'm sure they can, otherwise they wouldn't have cats and dogs) then I hope they starve and their poor victims are rescued! Sorry if I sound nasty, I just can't relate to so-called "homo sapiens" who behave like this.

The video was very funny and cheered me up!

Thanks for visiting. I miss the Snowforest clan, as I'm sure you do. Do you get news of them?

Luvzya :) xxx

Dora said...

The cat in the last pic looks so fierce. So scarely...

Duni said...

That is so horrible. It turned my stomach. Is there no compassion left in people? It's like the middle ages. We have not evolved at all. So incredibly sad.
And thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog. It really means a lot to me.
Hope you and your kitties are well.

take care,


Tranquilita said...

Thank you for your hugs and wishes :D Now we have new blog to read! :D

Suzie said...

That is so horrible!!!

brokenteepee said...

That is just horrifying. I know in some cultures a dog or a cat is not considered part of the family as in others but to put live mammals on the end of a shark fishing pole is just disgusting!!!!!

PurrPrints said...

That news about the shark fishing is just horrible--for both the animals used as bait and the sharks themselves...those poor creatures.

i was glad you included the cute provocative cat video--it helped cheer me up :)

RJ Flamingo said...

Being an "ailurophile" myself, I just wanted to say what an interesting blog you have!

I can't bring myself to comment on the vile practices you described here - it would quickly devolve into foaming at the mouth, or worse.

I have, however, joined your "followers".

Stranger Ling said...

I wish I didn't read that Nat Geo article from your blog cos it really traumatized me. It's SO SAD. =(

Thank you for being the first stranger on my blog.

meemsnyc said...

I am horrified that fisherman are using cats and dogs as shark bait. Disgusting.

Liz said...

Hi Omer

Terrible! That is just so disgusting. At least you have had some good news to share as well.

On a very sad note. Dalu who handles the big cats at Zion Wildlife Gardens was killed by Abu one of the White Tigers. Abu would not let go of Dalu so the staff had to shoot him.

Also I have obtained the full MAF Report concerning the investigation into the declawing of the 21 lions and 9 tigers at Zion http://www.scribd.com/doc/15903006/MAF-Report-Zion-Declawing-Investigation-Feb-2009

Love, Purrs & Hugs from me and the furry creatures here at the farm

Finding Pam said...

It always concerns me when torture or cruelty of animals occurs. If this is how they treat animals then just imagine how they treat children.

Even with the horror of the first paragraph, I find your blog excellant. Keep exposing the evil doers in the animal kingdom.

Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment.

Nice to meet you. Pam

The Cat Realm said...

Now the maid will be sick again all day long.... humans can be so cruel, it makes us sick too.
Maybe one day this world will be a better place - but quiet frankly - we have lost hope....
Mrs. OZ

Julia Phillips Smith said...

'Pakistani premier, who is already under threat from Taliban fighters in the northwest of the country, now has to contend with a leopard that has sneaked into his official residence.' - LOL! Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed...

Really great blog. I'm with all the other commentors who can't find words to express disgust at the bait used by those fishermen. Hopefully public exposure of this practice will stop it.

Thanks for your informative sidebar. Panthers are my favorite animal and I went to your jaguar section immediately.

I was delighted to see you're from Tasmania, as I'm currently working on a story set there.

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by. What beautiful pictures of cats!


Stephanie said...

I love tigers! I hate to hear that people do such horrible things :(

Struggling Parents said...

you have a very nice blog also, thanks for visiting, Cats are my favorite to next to pugs...have a great weekend !!!

Anita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita said...

This cat knows dominate dogs, muahahahaha!

Thanks for the cats news. You contribute tou our world domination. Muahahaha!

Yee Ern said...

Wow you got a great blog.
great story and Picture.
Keep it up

Hale McKay said...

I liked the video. Thanks for the visit to my site.

This is a nice site and informative.

RennyBA said...

Thanks for stopping by and for a nice comment.

I'm glad I returned the favour as you really have a great blog too - very readable and interesting. Keep up the good work.

 odd facts said...

About the cats and dogs-that is terribly sad. Nice post. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Use of cats and dogs as live bait for sharks!

No, please no!

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