Thursday, October 28, 2004

Dead cougar likely had an owner

Dead cougar likely had an owner

Posted on Thu, Oct. 28, 2004


The Wichita Eagle

A mountain lion was found dead shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday night in Shawnee County .

Authorities with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks said the young animal showed signs of being pen-raised.

"It was a young one, only 50 to 60 pounds, and had been declawed and its canine teeth had been filed down," said Rob Ladner, Region 2 law enforcement supervisor for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Ladner said a preliminary exam also showed that the animal had been dead for several days before its body was dumped in southwest Shawnee County , near 89th and Auburn Road .

Because a KWP officer had been on that road about five hours earlier, officials believe the mountain lion had been dumped there to appear that it had been hit by a vehicle.

"We have not been able to verify if this animal belonged to a few people in the area who have permits for mountain lions or if it might have belonged to someone who was keeping one illegally without a permit and then dumped it there," Ladner said. "They did try to make it appear like the animal was crossing the road."

Authorities determined the mountain lion had no broken bones -- which would have been expected in a vehicle death. There were no gunshot wounds or bite marks.

Although the last confirmed wild mountain lion kill in Kansas was in Ellis County in 1904, another wild mountain lion was found dead in Oklahoma this past June, 40 miles south of Arkansas City -- apparently struck and killed by a train.

And earlier this year, there were unconfirmed reports of a mountain lion spotted on the KU campus.

KWP authorities said Wednesday that there are some privately owned mountain lions in Kansas , and they occasionally escape or are let go.

At a meeting today in Atchison , the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will discuss regulations restricting or prohibiting the possession of mountain lions.

Help Big Cat Rescue end the practices that result in the abandonment and abuse of big cats by sending an email to your lawmaker through

Friday, October 22, 2004

Thai Tiger Zoo Keepers Declared Safe from Bird Flu

Thai Tiger Zoo Keepers Declared Safe from Bird Flu

Fri 22 October, 2004 13:34

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The bird flu toll among tigers at a Thai zoo has risen to 83, but the keepers who looked after them are free of the deadly disease which has killed 31 people in southeast Asia this year, officials said on Friday.

The 57 keepers had been monitored closely for a week, two days longer than it takes for symptoms to appear, Charal Trinwuthingpong, a senior official on bird flu, told reporters.

But 51 tigers had to be put down in addition to 32 which died of the H5N1 bird flu from eating infected raw chicken at the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, 80 km (50 miles) east of Bangkok.

"We had to perform mercy killings on those tigers because they were in critical conditions," said Preecha Ratanaporn of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

"We are monitoring four or five more of these tigers. If they show no symptoms in a week, we can declare the zoo free of bird flu," he said.

Thailand , the world's fourth largest chicken exporter until the outbreaks hit this year, has culled 60 million fowl since January to prevent the spread of the disease.

Health experts fear bird flu may mutate to become highly infectious in humans and unleash a global flu pandemic.

However, the World Health Organization said the deaths of the tigers had no implications for humans as tigers were not known to host the human influenza virus and thus be able to serve as a lethal genetic mixing vessel.

As many as 20 million people are believed to have died in the 1918-1919 Spanish flu outbreak which swept through a global population of humans who had little to no immunity.