Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lion injures TX mall patron, placed in quarantine

An African lion cub was taken into custody by San Angelo’s animal control after injuring a woman at Sunset Mall on Sunday.

The 10-month-old animal was part of a special presentation, “Mystical Magic of the Endangered,” a nonprofit foundation based in Oklahoma that uses lions and tigers to teach children about endangered animals. Spectators at the mall were allowed to pet and interact with the animals.

City spokeswoman Maryann Vasquez said police were called after the animal allegedly scratched the woman. Animal control was also alerted about the incident.

Vasquez said she could not identify the woman who was injured or specify the extent of the injuries. The cub’s owner, Joe Exotic of “Mystical Magic of the Endangered,” said he believes the animal did not mean to injure the woman and was likely playing when the incident occurred.

“It’s just a shame,” he said. “Out of the 20,000 people that enjoyed the animals, there was one person that ruined it for everyone.”

Animal control initially picked up the animal but it was later released to its owners as part of a 30-day quarantine agreement. The animal will be kept at a veterinarian facility in the Panhandle town of Ford.

“We feel that we’ve got a win-win situation for everyone,” Vasquez said.

http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2007/jan/23/ lion-injures-mall-patron-placed-quarantine/

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tiger bites visitor on arm in Russian zoo

Friday, January 19, 2007

Among the many entertaining things that alcohol can do to a person, one of its most persistent and notable effects is its ability convince drunk people visiting the zoo that the extremely angry wild animal in that cage really just wants a hug.

It rarely ends well, as a visitor to a Siberian zoo found out recently.

The unidentified man, fuelled by a little boozy over-indulgence, decided that it would be a really good idea to climb into one of the enclosures at the world-renowned Novosibirsk zoo in southern central Russia. The tiger's enclosure, to be precise.

Once in there, he very graciously offered the tiger a packet of potato crisps. Equally graciously, the tiger bit him on the arm instead.

Luckily, he escaped without serious injury, and he has said that he has no plans to file a complaint about the zoo's failure to stop him climbing into a tiger's cage and offering it crisps.

'There are no claims against the tiger either,' noted zoo director Rostislav Shilo.

Shilo also denied that the zoo was able to prevent a determined person from getting into the animal cages. 'This is the visitor's choice: He can put his head on a train track, or he can go in with the tiger,' he said.

http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article.html? in_article_id=33914&in_page_id=2

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Jungle cat hybrid missing for 7 months found in California

A feline with a bit of a wild streak returns home after disappearing from its Newport Beach confines in June.


NEWPORT BEACH – The cub has returned to its mother, and everything again is right in this jungle.

For months, Corona del Mar resident Mikette Von Issenberg has been on a cat hunt, searching every day for Kimba, her beloved 3-year-old African jungle cat hybrid.

On Saturday, Jerry and Carol Ann Ruoff captured the miniature cougar-like animal in Pelican Crest in a 4-foot trap by baiting the animal with mackerel. Kimba was soon after reunited with his owner.

Von Issenberg, the stepdaughter of Henry Segerstrom, bought Kimba when he was 5 months old, and the two were almost inseparable for a month when she was sick. But Kimba went missing in June when Von Issenberg was in the hospital for six days.

"He is a real adventurous cat and would like to go exploring, but got lost," said Mark Klemperer, Kimba's breeder and a zoologist. "I think it was very likely he was looking for her. They bond very strongly with their owners."

In her search for Kimba, Von Issenberg scoured the canyon areas near her home and said she ran into packs of coyotes and bobcats, and saw mountain lion prints.

Von Issenberg contacted animal foundations, visited county animal shelters weekly, put ads in newspapers and continuously posted fliers around town. Von Issenberg said Kimba lost 15 pounds in the wild, and she said she dropped 50 pounds in the eight months from walking countless miles through neighborhoods and canyons at Little Corona trying to find him.

"I was up every day before the sun and every night after the sun went down looking for Kimba," she said.

When nothing worked, she turned to more unconventional means.

She left all of his bedding at the canyon in hopes that Kimba would return and even turned to "pet psychics" for help.

"I don't want people to think I'm nuts," she said. "But besides the animal foundations that I called, I talked to Barbara Morrison, who wrote 'Animals Can Talk.' "

Morrison told her that the only way she would find Kimba was to keep looking for the cat, but that eventually Kimba would come home. Patrice Ryan, another "psychic," agreed with Morrison but said Kimba would return in a mysterious way.

Von Issenberg bought another cat, named Kboo. But it didn't fill the void for Von Issenberg, who owns three cats, four goldfish and Dakota, a 150-pound Great Pyrenees.

Klemperer believes Kimba survived because of his wild blood, and Von Issenberg said her cat likely ate small birds, frogs and rodents while astray.

Kimba is on 30-day quarantine from her two other cats in case he contracted any diseases. Blood work has come back negative, but the quarantine is a precaution, Von Issenberg said.

"Before it got out, it was a handful. It was a nasty, mean-tempered cat," said Randall Aten, Kimba's veterinarian. "… Since coming home on Saturday …it was the reverse. The cat was very easygoing and completely sweet."

Contact the writer: 714-445-6689 or npirani@ocregister.com

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/news/homepage/ article_1539853.php

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cougar on loose after escaping Indiana rescue center

Jan 8, 2007 05:52 AM EST

Center Point - Wildlife officials are trying to recapture an 80-pound cougar that has escaped its pen at a rescue center west of Indianapolis.

The eight- or nine-year-old female wildcat escaped the Exotic Feline Rescue Center about 50 miles west of Indianapolis on Friday. State conservation officer Max Winchell says it's believed to still be on the grounds of the preserve because the remains of two dead raccoons have been found.

The cougar scaled a 14-foot high fence to get out of its pen. The preserve holds a federal permit to houses its nearly 200 exotic cats.

A retired employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is attempting to track and tranquilize the cougar, but so far has not been successful.

Police have asked the public not to go to the area to attempt to view or locate the animal.