Meet the world’s first white jaguar cubs.
Unheard of at any other zoo in the world, The Aschersleben Zoo in Germany is celebrating the birth of two rare white jaguar cubs, who ventured out for the first time since they were born back in January. Still unnamed, the brothers were born to 17-year-old father Mescal, who has a typical spotty coat, and 13-year-old mother Polly, who is jet black.
It is not known how or if their colour will change as they continue to grow.
Thai authorities seize more than 200 live animals in wildlife bust.
In a raid on illegal wildlife supplier, 52-year-old Yutthasak Suthinan, police have seized over 200 live animals including five tigers, 13 albino lions, two orangutans, two red pandas, four flamingos and two camels, along with many other species. The discovery was based on evidence gathered following a raid last month on a house in Bangkok.
The owner was charged with violating the Wild Animals Preservation and Protection law after failing to provide legal documents for the five tigers. If convicted, the suspect faces up to four years in prison aswell as a fine.
Animal protection group Freeland Foundation, said the supplier was part of a global network importing protected animals from countries in Africa and elsewhere and breeding them for illegal sale.
Wildlife official under fire.
This photograph from a successful hunting trip in Idaho, has become a political nightmare for the hunter who happens to be President of the Fish and Game Commission in California, Dan Richards. Cougar hunting was banned in California in the 1990s, however, it is legal in Idaho and many other states.
Animal rights activists and 40 California Democratic Assembly members have demanded that he resign from his appointed position, however, Richards has rebuffed calls to step down, and said “While I respect our Fish and Game rules and regulations, my 100-percent legal activity out of California, or anyone else’s for that matter, is none of your business.” He also pointed out that not only did he kill the cat, but ate it aswell.
After the photo surfaced, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom — whose father is a former judge and past president of the Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation — said in a television interview, “Is it appropriate for the chair of the commission that oversees the management and governance of our wildlife and our fisheries and natural resources to go to another state to do something he can’t do in this state?,”
Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act Introduced
With an alarming number of wild cats being bred and sold as domestic pets in the U.S, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon and Rep. Loretta Sanchez introduced the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act” today.
Not only will the bill prohibit private possession and breeding of big cats except at highly-qualified facilities like accredited zoos, the bill would also require any persons who currently possess big cats to register those animals with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to keep the cats they currently own.
This legislation is supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Born Free USA, Humane Society of United States, and Big Cat Rescue of Tampa, FL.
Uttarakhand: Leopards at poachers mercy.
With the rising recovery of leopard bones and skins in Uttarakhand, the state Government has set up a coordination committee in each district comprising the district magistrate, the superintendent of police and the district forest officer.
With a leopard being killed every second day on average, a Special Operations Group, designed for wildlife safety, has been put in place along with locals who know the topography of the area well.
Last month, a protection team was put in place at Corbett National Park, and the team has already cracked down on at least two dozen tribesmen of the Bawaria gang. Authorities say they have been indulging in leopard killings for skin and bones.
The high number of seizures is also an indication of efficient work by officers.
Paper Industry Decimating Indonesia’s Tigers.
In a recent report, WWF named the Indonesian-based company Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) as “responsible for more forest destruction in Sumatra than any other single company”. APP and competitor Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) have consumed the majority of the wood harvested from commercial forest clearances and agriculture conversion.
“In central Sumatra, the impact of APP’s operations on wildlife has been devastating. The company’s forest clearing in Riau Province has been driving Sumatran elephants and tigers toward local extinction,” the report said.
The companies have also begun clearing peat swamp forests. According to Indonesian ministry of forestry estimates, deforestation associated with peat decomposition and burning totals 1.2 gigatonnes of carbon emissions per year, making Indonesia the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter.
Snow leopards thriving in Bhutan!
A new joint survey by the Government of Bhutan and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that snow leopards are thriving in Bhutan’s newest national park. The scientists have footage of snow leopards scent-marking and running around in a corridor between Jigme Dorji National Park in the West and Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary.
Field biologists captured over 10,000 images during the camera trap survey in the national park, also seeing footage of Tibetan wolf, wild dog, red fox, blue sheep, Himalayan serow, musk deer, Pika, pheasants and several birds.
WWF’s Dr. Rinjan Shrestha, who led the survey team, said in a press release. “It suggests that the network of protected areas and corridors is helping to link local snow leopard populations, which will be invaluable to ensure long-term persistence of snow leopards in the region.”
Indian Authorities Relocate Village to Protect Tigers
In the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, authorities have relocated a village in the heart of a tiger reserve to protect the habitat of the tiger. It’s the latest move aimed at protecting the big cat, which is fighting for survival.
Umri is one of more than two dozen villages located inside or near Sariska that will be moved out. Similar efforts to relocate villages have begun in some other Indian sanctuaries, but the process is slow. Despite the challenges, wildlife warden Chaubey said the benefits to the big cat are immense. Efforts to protect the tiger’s habitat and save the animals from poaching appear to be paying off. A census last year showed the number of tigers in India has risen to 1,700, compared to 1,400 five years ago.
“There is still a fighting chance for tigers in India, that is for sure,” she said.
Caught in the act!
Police busted a wildlife slaughterhouse in Bangkok yesterday, catching four men in the act of chopping up a 400kg male tiger.
Run on a suburban property, police also discovered elephant, zebra, wildebeest and lion remains aswell as refrigerated meat thought to be for human consumption. Police arrested seven men and are hunting another, believed to be the owner of an exotic animal restaurant in Bangkok.
The arrested men could face four years in jail for the illegal processing of wild and protected animals.
New hotspot for Snow Leopards?
After photographing a mother and cub in the mountains of Afghanistan last month, 11 new camera traps were placed in the Wakhan mountain range which forms part of the Zorkul nature reserve in Tajikistan.
Not only were five different cats captured, but also a mother with two cubs. This survey has revealed an unusually high number of snow leopards in the Wakhan Mountains, which indicates that this could be a key region for snow leopard conservation.
The research team from conservation group Flora and Fauna International and Panthera, a cat conservation society, have been working in the area since 2006.
Volunteers clear traps for endangered Amur Tigers
In six groups, a total of 73 volunteers aged 18 - 65 braved freezing temperatures and knee- high snow to cleartraps for endangered wild Siberian tigers in northeast China this week.
Six forest farms were covered in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang in a four-day trap-clearing campaign that ended Friday. Only four to six tigers are believed to live in the area, however, with improving ecology more and more tiger paw prints have been spotted over the past couple of years.
Winter is a tough season for the rare tigers as their prey becomes scarce, and the animals sometimes die from not having enough to eat or by coming into contact with a hunter’s bullet or a trap. Physically going out and clearing traps give the cats and their offspring a better chance of survival.
Sumatran Tiger rescued from an illegal trap
A rare Sumatran tiger was rescued from an illegal trap in the Indonesian province of Bengkule, officials said on Wednesday. It had nine spear wounds when it was discovered late on Monday and was stuck in a wire trap.
“Sumatran tigers are not only beautiful, they are rare and people are going out and killing them and the government basically does nothing,” said Alan Bulugna, a Jakarta-based activist and blogger. “We are calling on the government to step up cracking down on the illegal killing of animals in our country,”
The tiger’s condition has sharply improved. It is able to eat and drink.
Baby boom in Tiger Reserves!
The Panna Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, which gained notoriety for mysterious disappearance of its big cats, is flourishing with tiger cubs again, rejoicing the success of its unique translocation experiment to revive their population.
“The Tiger Reserve has seven cubs and five adult tigers in its wild after the launch of an experiment involving breeding of translocated wild cats and rehabilitation of orphaned cubs ,” Panna Tiger Reserve Director, R S Murthy said.
Kanha Tiger Reserve at present has 21-23 tiger cubs while the Pench Tiger Reserve boasts of having another 21 or more.