Saturday, December 26, 2009

Circus personnel, Mexican police recapture last of 3 escaped tigers

Circus personnel, Mexican police recapture last of 3 escaped tigers


MORELIA, Mexico — Authorities say they have recaptured all three tigers that escaped from a circus truck in the Mexican state of Michoacan.

The state Civil Defence agency says two tigers were quickly recaptured after the truck carrying them suffered an accident and their cage broke open.

But one of the felines fled into a mountainous area about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Morelia, the capital of the Pacific coast state of Michoacan.

Police, civil defence workers and employees of the Aguilar Hermanos circus mounted a search and found the tiger. Circus employees then formed a chain to corral him back into a cage very early Thursday.

Mexico has seen escapes of tigers, an elephant, a lion, buffaloes and camels in the past year.

Three Tigers Escape From Mexican Circus

Three Tigers Escape From Mexican Circus

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MORELIA, Mexico — Authorities say three tigers escaped from a circus caravan in southwestern Mexico.

The Civil Protection agency says one of the tigers was quickly caught. But the other two escaped into a mountainous area about 19 miles from Morelia, capital of the Pacific coast state of Michoacan.

The tigers escaped Wednesday when their cage burst open while the caravan of the Circo Aquilar Hermanos drove along a highway.

Police and circus employees are searching for the two missing tigers.

Mexico has a problem with dangerous animals escaping from their caretakers. Tigers, an elephant, a lion, buffalo and camels have escaped around the country over the past year, with some of the animals attacking people before being caught.,2933,581031,00.html

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Move to supplement tiger prey base in Sunderbans

Move to supplement tiger prey base in Sunderbans

Ananya Dutta
KOLKATA, December 22, 2009

To combat the situation of an increasing number of incidents of tigers straying into the inhabited areas of the Sunderbans islands and attacking the locals, the authorities have decided to introduce deer in the forested areas to supplement the prey base for the big cats.

The decision was taken based on an old recommendation made by the State Wildlife Advisory Board which said that a prey-base depletion may be responsible for the increasing incidents of tigers straying away from forests, said Pradeep Vyas, director of the Sunderban Biosphere Reserve.

Since 2004, Reserve officials have been maintaining a population of spotted deer indigenous to the Sunderbans, at two parks — Dobaki and Jharkhali. They will release about 70 of them in the core forest area this winter.

“Currently veterinary doctors are examining them to check for any diseases before they are released,” Mr. Vyas added. “In 2009, 12 incidents were recorded in which tigers attacked villagers or their livestock. 4 people were killed in tiger attacks,” said Subrata Mukherjee, field director of Sunderban Tiger Reserve.

Wildlife experts have repeatedly suggested that habitat destruction and a depleting prey-base are responsible for these occurrences.

“The deer have been reared by employees of the forest department and do not possess the acumen to survive in the wild. They will end up as easy target for poachers,” said Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, secretary of the Nature Environment and Wildlife Society.

“It is an abrupt measure. Even if these deer are preyed upon by tigers, officials can’t guarantee regular supply after these 70 deer have perished,” Mr. Roy Chowdhury added.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Financial assistance to tiger attack victims increased

Financial assistance to tiger attack victims increased

Bipin Chand Agarwal, TNN 22 December 2009, 05:24am IST

BAHRAICH: An immediate financial assistance of Rs 5,000 will be given to those injured and Rs 10,000 who lost their lives in attacks by tigers and leopards in the forest area. Compensation for those killed in the attack will be given later. Earlier, the compensation was paid by WWF. Now, this this responsibility has been entrusted to UP Tiger Preservation Authority (UPTPA). The new scheme has been enforced in Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary with immediate effect.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a `reserved forest area' in 1976. The `Tiger Project' began in 1996. WWF started to provide security and preservation of wildlife.

So far WWF was paying Rs 2000 to the injured persons and Rs 5,000 to the family members of those killed by tigers and leopards.

During a meeting of Central Forest and Environment Directorate last week, the responsibility of payment of assistance and compensation has been given to National Tiger Security Authority (NTCA).

Divisional forest officer RK Singh said that under the new scheme, the responsibility of payment of compensation in reserved forest area of the state has been given to UP Tiger Security Authority (UPTSA). Now UPTSA will pay Rs 5,000 to the injured person and Rs 10,000 to the family members of those killed as immediate financial assistance. Compensation of Rs 50,000 for adults and Rs 25,000 for minors killed in the attacks will also be paid to the family members later.

The Central Environment and Forest Directorate (CEFD) had entered into a five-year agreement with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). The officers of WTI will visit the reserved forest area from time to time to take stock of the situation. They will also impart training to the forest employees. About four dozens attacks have taken place since January this year in which several persons received serious injuries. Six persons were killed by tigers or leopards. Most of the attacks took place in March, May, July and September.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

White tiger savages zookeeper

White tiger savages zookeeper

Posted Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:03am AEDT

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A German zookeeper was taken to hospital in a serious condition after she was mauled by a white tiger while cleaning out its cage.

Police say the male tiger - named Karim - attacked the 30-year-old while her back was turned, after slipping through a gate she had apparently left unlocked.

Colleagues at the zoo in the eastern town of Aschersleben managed to distract the tiger long enough for him to let go of his prey, before driving him back into his cage.

The zootender was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries, including to one arm, although her life was not in danger, a police statement said.

The Aschersleben zoo is home to a pair of Bengali white tigers: Karim the male and a female, Kiara, who gave birth to a litter of cubs earlier this year.

Last year Karim the tiger attacked and killed a Siberian tiger that strayed into its enclosure after a zookeeper mistakenly opened the access gate.

Big cats stray into human settlements in Kheri, Dudhwa

Big cats stray into human settlements in Kheri, Dudhwa

Press Trust of India Posted online: Friday , Dec 18, 2009 at 0415 hrs

Lakhimpur Kheri : Over a dozen tigers have strayed into human settlements near the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and Kheri forest divisions, prompting forest officials to devise a multi-pronged strategy involving villagers to check man-animal conflict.

With a nine-year-old boy at Sathiana Range’s Azadnagar village in the Dudhwa Reserve falling prey to a tiger, the park administration and senior forest officials are in no mood to take any chance.

North Kheri Divisional Forest Officer Kartik Kumar Singh said over six tigers are currently in Palia, north and south Nighasan, Sampurnanagar and Dhaurehra ranges.

Admitting that the presence of so many big cats in close proximity of the human settlements may result in serious man-animal conflict, field director Shailesh Prasad said: “We have devised a multi-pronged strategy to contain the big cats in their habitats.”

Primary response teams comprising Dudhwa Reserve staff, forest and police department officials, and experts from the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) have been constituted to respond to the incidents of big cats straying into the human settlements, he added. “We have also taken the villagers and village heads living in the close vicinity of forest areas into confidence and deputed several of them to inform us about the presence of big cats,” Prasad said.

“If the presence of a big cat is reported, we will start tracking its movement — through pugmark and visual sighting — and with effective combing, attempts will be made to drive back the tiger,” he added.

Ruling out cane-farming as the sole factor behind the straying of big cats in the fringes of Dudhwa Reserve, Prasad said the winter season coincides with the mating season of the big cats. Several pregnant tigresses have also taken shelter in the fringes owing to the presence of wild boars in the nearby cane fields.

A K Singh, an expert who is heading the WTI teams in Lakhimpur, said his staff has engaged sociologists to establish healthy communication with locals to infuse confidence among them and ensure their cooperation. Veterinary doctors and biologists have also been engaged to differentiate between the errant and normal big cats.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Austria: Escaped lynx has been spotted

Jäger sind zahmem Luchs auf den Fersen
08. Dezember 2009, 19:13
Wildkatze "Pankraz", seit Wochen auf der Flucht, bei Hinterstoder gesichtet

Linz - Anfang November verschwand er aus einem drei Meter hohen Gehege, nun wurde "Pankraz" wieder gesichtet. Der zahme Luchs soll mit einem Sender versehen und in den Tierpark Haag in Niederösterreich gebracht werden.

Die dreijährige Katze, Anfang 2009 im Nationalpark Kalkalpen ausgewildert, hat im Oktober bei Hinterstoder versucht, einem Jäger ein geschossenes Hirschkalb abzuluchsen - der STANDARD berichtete. Der Weidmann ging daraufhin zur Polizei, und "Pankraz" wurde betäubt, eingefangen und in den Tierpark Enghagen bei Windischgarsten gebracht. Nationalpark-Direktor Erich Mayrhofer sprach damals von einem "Akt von Tierquälerei". Wie sich "Pankraz" aus dem Gehege in Enghagen befreien konnte, ist unklar. Der Halsbandsender, dem man ihm bei der Auswilderung verpasst hatte, blieb jedenfalls zurück.

In den vergangenen Tagen wurde das Tier immer wieder zwischen Roßleiten und Hinterstoder bei Rehfütterungsstellen gesichtet. Vielen Bewohnern sei das nicht ganz geheuer. Darum wurde ein Fangbescheid ausgestellt, so der Bezirksjägermeister von Kirchdorf, Herbert Sieghartsleitner. Geplant ist, "Pankraz" zu betäuben, ihn mit einem Sender zu versehen und in den Tierpark zu bringen. Doch dieser Plan wird nicht von allen gutgeheißen. Das Tier halte sich zwar immer wieder in der Nähe von Menschen auf, habe bisher aber noch nichts angestellt, sagt Erich Mayerhofer, Direktor des Kalkalpen-Nationalparks. "Pankraz" hätte somit bewiesen, dass er gut in Freiheit leben kann.

Der Luchs wurde vor rund einem Jahr in St. Pankraz eingefangen, da er auf einem Bauernhof einige Hasen gerissen hatte. Man stattete ihn mit einem Sender aus und ließ ihn im Nationalpark Kalkalpen frei. (APA, red/DER STANDARD-Printausgabe, 9.12.2009))


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Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger On the Loose: Story A Hoax?

Tiger On the Loose: Story A Hoax?

Last Update: 12/10 11:15 pm

(WILMER, Ala.) Dec. 10 - The Mobile County Sheriff's Office responded to calls that a tiger escaped fro the Mobile County Zoo in Wilmer, but the zoo owner says it never happened.

The MSCO says reports were called in that the tiger escaped, and the zoo's keeper was chasing it. The zoo's executive director, John Hightower, says the whole story was fake.

"I've had neighbors come by, and three sheriff's deputies thought about having some cookies, coffee, maybe have a party, a tiger party," Hightower said.

Hightower says the tiger enclosure has double pens so even if the tigers escaped one it would be virtually impossible to escape both, and it's not the first time his neighbors have made a false report.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tiger Captured After Escape From Zoo

Tiger Captured After Escape From Zoo

by Jamie Burch
Published: Thu, December 10, 2009 - 6:10 pm CST
Last Updated: Thu, December 10, 2009 - 6:37 pm CST
1933 Views Short URL:
Wilmer, Alabama - BREAKING NEWS

6:37 p.m.
The Mobile County Sheriff's Office says the tiger has been captured.

6:10 p.m.
The Mobile County Sheriff's Office says a tiger may have gotten out of its cage at the Mobile Zoo in Wilmer.

The zoo is located off Moffett Road near the Alabama-Mississippi state line. We don't know yet if the tiger poses a threat to anyone in the area.

News 5 has a crew headed to the scene and will bring you more information as soon as we get it.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Minor boy mauled by tiger

Minor boy mauled by tiger


Lakhimpur (UP), Dec 7 (PTI) A nine-year boy was mauled by a tiger in Sathiyana range of Dudhwa National Park, officials said here today.

Mutilated body of Sabloo was recovered this morning from a sugarcane field in Ghola village, located on the fringes of the national park," Deputy Director P P Singh told PTI.

Sabloo had gone missing last night after he went to give food to his father Dhaniram, who was working in the fields.

Singh said that a forest department team had been rushed to the spot.

‘Tiger’ kills boy in Kathmandu

‘Tiger’ kills boy in Kathmandu

December 7th, 2009 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS

Kathmandu, Dec 7 (IANS) A five-year-old boy was killed by “tigers” in the capital city Kathmandu, police said Monday.

Vishal Lama, son of Badri Singh Lama, was killed in Chhaimale, a forested area in Kathmandu Saturday.

The boy, who lived in Devichaur in neighbouring Lalitpur city, had gone to Chhaimale to visit his maternal uncle, police said.

The World Wildlife Fund, however, said the predator was probably a leopard since tigers have been long extinct in Kathmandu valley.

Since October, at least seven more children, including a two-year-old toddler, have been killed and partially eaten by the big cats in central Nepal.

The WWF said that the rising encroachment on forest land by locals and scarcity of animal preys were driving leopards to raid human settlements in and around the capital for food.

This year, six children have been killed in Kavre district alone, close to Kathmandu.

In October, Nepal hosted the Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop 2009, a four-day meet of international tiger experts and government officials to formulate strategic action to save the tiger from extinction.

Warrant issued for man involved in Calgary zoo tiger mauling

Warrant issued for man involved in Calgary zoo tiger mauling

By Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald
December 9, 2009

CALGARY — A warrant has been issued for one of two men accused of drunkenly entering a tiger exhibit at a Calgary zoo — with disastrous consequences — after the man failed to show up to court this week.

Thomas Bryce-Hart, 27, was to face a non-criminal count of trespassing in provincial traffic court Monday.

His co-accused, Trever Wearmouth, 27, had his charge under the Petty Trespass Act dropped when he appeared on the same day.

A voluntary $287 payment could have been made any time before Monday's scheduled appearance.

Police alleged the two men entered the Siberian tiger exhibit at the Calgary Zoo in the early morning hours of Oct. 5, leading to one of the men being severely mauled by a male tiger in the exhibit.

Police said the men had been consuming alcohol.

One of the men came into contact with one of the tigers through a fence and sustained significant injuries to his arms. The other man sustained minor injuries trying to pull his friend away.

Tigers attack German trainer after fall at dinner show

Tigers attack German trainer after fall at dinner show

Experienced trainer in critical condition after mauling by animals in front of shocked audience at circus event in Hamburg

Kate Connolly in Berlin, Wednesday 9 December 2009 14.52 GMT

A German animal trainer is in a critical condition after he was pounced on and mauled by three Bengal tigers at a celebrity circus event.

Christian Walliser, 28, an experienced tiger trainer, was attacked after he stumbled during the show in Hamburg. The 200 guests watched in horror as Walliser was pinned to the ground by the tigers.

Members of the audience, who had each paid €132 (£120) to attend the Dinner Circus, were on the starter of a five-course meal as Walliser came into the ring to perform his show with five tigers.

At first onlookers thought it was part of the act as he fell, and three of the tigers immediately pounced on him. "Initially it looked like they wanted to play with him," one of the audience told German media.

The tigers dug their teeth into Walliser's head and upper body, tearing off most of his left hand.

Within 30 seconds other trainers ran to his aid, using water cannons and fire extinguishers to forced the tigers back into their cages.

Eyewitnesses said those quick actions probably saved his life.

A doctor who happened to be in the audience was able to stop the worst of the bleeding before medics appeared.

Walliser was rushed to nearby Eppendorf hospital where emergency surgery was performed.

Several of the audience members, including Walliser's boyfriend, were treated for shock.

Doctors amputated Walliser's left hand and said he had suffered serious head and chest injuries in the attack. He remains in a critical condition.

The event took place last night at the Hagenbeck Dressage hall, one of the oldest active circus venues in Europe. Hamburg Tierpark, owners of the venue, said it "deeply regretted" the incident.

Stefan Pagels, who with his wife, Korinna, organised the Dinner Circus and has been hosting similar events over the past decade, said it was likely that the tigers had "taken advantage" of their trainer's momentary loss of control over them "as an apparent opportunity to play with him".

He praised Walliser as an experienced trainer, who he said "stands out for his calm and level-headed approach to the animals".

Pagels adding that the trainer had been working with the animals for some time, and had "built up a trusting relationship" with them.

He and his wife thanked the guests for reacting "quickly and calmly" for calls to evacuate the circus arena.

The Pagels later made the surprise announcement that the show will continue until the end of the year, albeit without the big cats act.

A police investigation was launched into the incident but a spokesman said initially there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.

The incident has drawn comparisons with the horrific attack suffered by Roy Horn, of German duo Siegfried and Roy, who nearly died after being mauled by a tiger during a Las Vegas show in 2003.

Horn's recovery and his subsequent return to the circus ring despite initial predictions that he would never recover, was followed closely by the German media.

Circus injuries

• In December 2006, a man was mauled by a tiger at a circus in Spain. His arm was ripped off after he entered a restricted area to take a photograph.

• A girl aged five was attacked by a colobus monkey that escaped at a circus performance in Ireland in June 2005. The girl lost part of her finger.

• In the same month an elephant from the same Circus New York gored a circus worker who needed emergency surgery.

• In August 2001, a lion tamer with a circus in Australia was pulled to the ground and mauled. He had been working with lions for 10 years and returned to his job after recovering.

• In Norfolk, Graham Chipperfield was seriously injured in 1993 after being attacked by a lioness during training for a Ringling Brothers performance called Lion Attack.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Living In The Tiger's Shadow

Living In The Tiger's Shadow

Satadru Ojha & Monotosh Chakraborty, TNN 7 December 2009, 03:46am IST

Otho otho Ma Bonbibi, tomar namey baralam pa/ Amar ei lokjoner opor je debe gha, tarey tui dhore dhore kha [Arise, O Mother Bonbibi, I step forward in your name/ Whoever tries to harm my people, hunt him down and eat his flesh]

Gopal Mullick says this prayer every time his boat rocks against the riverbank. But looking out at the vast expanse of oozing mud and hostile forest the deep jungles of the Sunderbans delta his hands tremble. For Bonbibi, the guardian deity of the forest, is distant and inscrutable. Gopal knows that the incantation often doesn't work. And when it doesn't, Bonbibi's vahana strikes. One vicious bite on the neck, the spinal cord snaps and life dissolves in a haze of blood and gore. The Royal Bengal tiger takes its prey.

Mullick, a fisherman from Gosaba in the Sunderbans has seen this bizarre drama played out a number of times. Twice, the tiger took his own people: his father and son-in-law. But for the 76-year-old, such misfortunes are a part and parcel of life. Mullick lives in Gosaba's Bidhaba Palli (widow colony), where almost every second family has similar tragedies to recount.

Around 350 families of widows live in this colony spread across Arampur, Malopara, Haldarpara and Kantakhali a cluster of villages hugging the Bidya river. All of them have lost husbands to the tiger's maw, but poverty and neglect have forced them to send other men a brother, a son to the forests. "I lost my husband 40 years back in a tiger attack. But when my son-in-law Nilkamal Biswas took up fishing, I couldn't say no. What would we eat otherwise?" asked 70-year-old Belmoti Sana, a resident of Malopara.

So every time Nilkamal's team goes fishing, the women wait on the banks, seeing the boats disappear down the river. The vigil can be long, as the men are gone for 10-15 days. "For those days, we follow a strict regimen, eating little and praying. Who would want to anger Bonbibi?" says Belmoti's neighbour Pushpa Mondal.

The colony in Gosaba is the largest, but many such villages are scattered across Sunderbans' inhabited areas like Satjelia, Jharkhali, Patharpratima and Kultali. Reports suggest that over the last century, more than 50,000 people have been killed by tigers in the Sunderbans.

"A tiger attack doesn't just mean the loss of a life. Often, the victim is the only earning member of the family and his death pushes his wife and children towards destitution," says Sushanta Giri of Baikunthapur Tarun Sangha, an NGO that has worked with tiger widows over the past five years in the Patharpratima-Kultali area.

Subhadra Haldar of Arampur has struggled with this reality for years. "My son abandoned me in old age, leaving me to work as a domestic help. No one has helped, not even the government..." the 70-year-old sobs into her pallu. Her husband was dragged away by a tiger in the Chamta forest 30 years back.

Petitions for help often reach the Gosaba panchayat office, a short distance from the widow colony. "A family can receive pension only if it is below the poverty line. Strangely, though these villagers are among the worst-off in Gosaba, none has a BPL card," says Jayanta Das, the upa-pradhan.

The politics of compensation can be vicious. The chain of contact from villager to administration is controlled by touts. "A tiger victim's family can receive state compensation up to Rs 1 lakh if the victim had an entry permit and was killed outside the core area. Families can't always figure out the nitty-gritty of official papers and give in to middlemen," says Mrinal Chatterjee, secretary of Institute of Climbers and Nature Lovers, an NGO that works on wildlife issues in the Sunderbans.

The tiger widow tag also means that these women and their families are treated as outcasts. They're not welcome at village gatherings. It is this attitude that riles youths like Pabitra Mondal. Hailing from a family of Gosaba fishermen, Pabitra's father died in a tiger attack 23 years ago. "My mother was ridiculed and humiliated for years. But once I started earning, I made sure that no one dared to call her a tiger victim's widow," says Pabitra, who teaches village kids.

For some like Sumit Haldar, village life has become unbearable. As soon as he got a teacher's job he sold off his father's boat and fishing net. "I was very young when my grandfather was taken by a tiger. But we didn't even have time to mourn. My father had to go out with his boat and net. Now that I have a job, I'll leave this village and cross over to the mainland with my family," he says.

But for every family that dreams, many are trapped in the rhythms of the tide country. Fish has to be caught, honey and wood collected, a life lived. "Late in the night, when we are anchored in the middle of the river, we can hear them roaring. We put out our lamps and huddle together. It's Borobabu (the big lord), declaring his presence," says Kangsa Bairagi, a fisherman.

Woman bitten by panther at Florida facility

Author: Katrina Elsken; Okeechobee News
Publish Date: December 4, 2009
Word Count: 638
Document ID: 12C65472B015D850

A local woman was bitten by a Florida panther at Sue Arnold's Wildlife Center on Monday.

"We believe the incident was the result of keeper error," said Florida Wildlife Commission spokesperson Gabriella Ferrara.

She explained that the woman-who had been volunteering at the shelter for three years-violated the facility's written procedures by entering the cage.

She said Sue Arnold was not on the property at the time of the incident."Wildlife%20center%20volunteer%20bitten%20by%20panther"%20AND%20date(12/4/2009%20to%2012/4/2009)&p_field_date-0=YMD_date&p_params_date-0=date:B,E&p_text_date-0=12/4/2009%20to%2012/4/2009)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=("Wildlife%20center%20volunteer%20bitten%20by%20panther")&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no


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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Charges over tiger handler's death

Charges over tiger handler's death

Updated at 5:31pm on 4 December 2009

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The Department of Labour is laying charges over the death of tiger handler Dalu MnCube earlier this year at Whangarei's Zion Wildlife Gardens.

The charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act relate to a failure to take practicable steps to ensure employee safety.

The department will not be naming who is being charged until their first court appearance.

Mr MnCube was fatally mauled by a white Bengal tiger at the park in May.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Declawed serval is on the loose in North Texas

Wildcat on the loose in Collin County
Nov. 27, 2009, 7:24PM

McKINNEY — North Texas authorities are looking for a wildcat and want the public's help.

The serval is a medium-sized African animal that resembles a cheetah with large ears. It was last seen in the Collin County town of St. Paul.

The cat has been declawed and is not believed to pose a danger. But Collin County officials warn that it is a wild animal by nature and may act aggressively if it feels threatened.

Anyone who spots the cat should call 911 immediately, and not try to capture or restrain it.

The missing serval is approximately 40 pounds, is orange with black spots, and had on a black collar and a red harness.


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tigers killed after mauling zoo worker

Tigers killed after mauling zoo worker

08:52, November 16, 2009

A zoo in Liaoning Province was closed to visitors Saturday as police began investigating Friday's mauling of a zoo worker by two tigers. The attack is attributed to the tigers being starved.

Two Siberian tigers went after Yang Jingwei, 51, an automatic-door operator in the Shenyang Qipanshan Glacier Animal Park, on Friday afternoon when he was cleaning the snow on the staff-only pathway, the local Liaoshen Evening News reported.

A badly injured Yang struggled desperately for nearly 15 minutes before zoo workers dispersed the tigers with a shotgun and by sounding the siren on a vehicle.

However, Yang could not be reached as the tigers kept everyone else at bay until the police came in and fired more than 10 shots to subdue the big cats, which died later.

A profusely bleeding Yang was seriously injured on his head, neck, hands, arms and legs, and flesh had been ripped out from the lower part of his face, according to reports.

"He was brought in a coma caused by excessive blood loss," Dr. Gaoyan at Shenyang Military General Hospital, told the Xinhua News Agency. "His breath and heartbeat could be barely felt."

Yang came to Saturday morning after hours of operations. Doctors said he is still not out of danger from organ damage as a result of intense bleeding.

The zoo was closed to the public until further notice

No one knows how the tigers reached the pathway, which is wire-fenced and 2.8-meters high, or what provoked the attack on Yang.

One suspicion is that the beasts may have been starved over a long time due to a sharp drop in the zoo's revenue (and consequent lack of funds for animal feed), according to the Liaoshen Evening News.

"It is possible that the tigers attacked a human being because they are starved," Wan Dongmei, professor of zoology at Liaoning University, told the Global Times Sunday.

The zoo was founded in 2000 and home to more than 2,000 species of fauna, had 33 Siberian tigers before the incident.

Even before the economic downturn, there was a drop in the number of visitors, leading to heavy loss of revenue, as much as 50 percent in 2006.

The zoo administration, which has a poor record of animal feeding, dealt with the revenue shortfall by sacrificing small animals to save the big ones.

"Ducks and geese that once amused visitors were fed to the big cats that often had to make do with two dead chickens for a meal," according to an animal caregiver quoted in the Shenyang Evening News.

Other big animals, like the elephant, were also starved. Gnawing hunger drove the elephants to smash their heads against the wall to protest the reduced meal portions.

This is not the first time that the zoo has been shut down. On November 1, 2006, financial problems forced the first closure of the zoo. It reopened nine days later after the local government poured in millions of yuan.

This time, the closure is indefinite.

An animal caregiver surnamed Liu at Harbin's Siberian Tiger Park, the largest natural park for wild Siberian tigers in the world, told the Global Times Sunday that expenditure on feeding tigers is a burden to some zoos.

He said a grown tiger eats almost 10 kilograms of meat daily, costing nearly 150 yuan ($22). The cost of keeping a tiger on a full stomach is about 100,000 yuan a year. Whether overfed or starved, tigers are very dangerous, Liu said.

Siberian tigers, among the world's most endangered species, are found mostly in Northeast China and the far east of Russia. In the 1980s, it was listed as a first-class national protected animal of China.

There have been other tiger attacks in recent years. Earlier this year, a Siberian tiger in a wildlife park near Beijing mauled to death a man who climbed into its enclosure mistaking it for a shortcut down from the Great Wall.

In March 2008, a mentally ill man who entered a tiger's cage in a zoo in Heilongjiang Province ended up as its meal for the day.

There was also the strange incident in February 2007 of a 6-year-old girl who was being photographed with a tiger, at a zoo in Yunnan Province, being bitten by the beast.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Lynx escapes from German zoo

The lynx escaped on Thursday, has been sighted several times, and is believed to still be in the vicinity of the zoo.

Tierpark fahndet weiter nach jungem Luchs
/OZ/LOKAL/HWI vom 09.11.2009 14:03

Die aus dem Tierpark Wismar entlaufene junge Luchsdame konnte bisher noch nicht wieder eingefangen werden. Jetzt helfen die Bürger bei der Suche. Zahlreiche Anrufe mit Hinweisen gingen bereits ein.

Wismar (OZ) - „Am Sonntagabend war ich schon sehr nah dran, ihn einzufangen“, sagte gestern Tierparkchef Michael Werner. Gegen 20 Uhr rief ein Bewohner vom Köppernitztal an. Er hatte gerade seinen Müll entsorgt, als er den Luchs die Böschung zum Köppernitztal hinunter laufen sah. „Ich bin sofort hin und habe gehofft, dass er mich hört und ich im Schein meiner großen Taschenlampe die Katzenaugen gut erkennen kann. Leider hat’s nicht geklappt.“ Für Michael Werner ist es am wahrscheinlichsten, dass sich der Luchs noch in der Nähe des Tierparks aufhält.
Die Direktor hofft weiter auf Hinweise. Wer ihn anruft, möge an Ort und Stelle, wo er den Luchs gesehen hat, warten, bis der Tierparkchef eingetroffen ist. Bereits seit Donnerstag ist das Tier entlaufen.

Haike Werfel


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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Two exotic cats escape from former home of breeder

Bobcat captured at former home of breeder
By Ashley Meeks Sun-News reporter
Posted: 11/07/2009 12:00:00 AM MST

LAS CRUCES - A bobcat was captured at the former home of an exotic cat breeder Thursday and another large cat is still on the loose, according to Doña Ana Sheriff's Department investigators.

The bobcat was isolated in a tree and shot with a tranquilizer dart to capture it without injury, after which it was transported to the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, and is expected to be sent to a sanctuary, said Doña Ana County Animal Control Director Curtis Childress.

A second, slightly larger cat - possibly a pregnant bobcat or small mountain lion - may have escaped the residence before investigators arrived. The residence is north of Las Cruces on King Edward Avenue, near the intersection of Doña Ana Road and West Taylor Road.

The cat on the loose is not a threat to humans unless cornered or harassed, but anyone who sees it should call 911. Traps have been set, but children and small pets are recommended to be kept indoors until the cat is captured.

There have already been two sightings of the other cat, Childress said - while officers were trying to get the male bobcat down from the tree, the second cat was spotted lounging on top of the animal control truck.

"We do not believe it is an animal that belonged to her. It is possible her bobcat could have attracted this animal in the area," Childress said.

The 600 block of King Edward Avenue has been under surveillance since June when authorities relieved renter Kelli Perras, a former cat breeder, of 35 exotic cats, including 10 pregnant females.

Perras was evicted and moved into an apartment in the city, where Perras unlawfully kept four exotic cats, two servals and a bobcat, Childress said.

City Animal Control Supervisor Rudy Adame confirmed Perras was cited in October for having non-permitted animals and allowing them to run loose, both misdemeanors.

State wildlife officials transported the servals to a sanctuary in Kingman, Ariz., Childress said, but Perras appears to have taken the bobcat back to King Edward Drive, where the home-owners discovered it when they arrived to clean.

Do-a Ana County residents are allowed to own up to six domestic animals without a permit, or 15 if they have a multi-animal permit.

Perras did not have such a permit, nor did she have a permit for possessing a fur-bearing animal, said DASO Sgt. Joe Reynaud. Such permits are not likely to be granted, Childress said.

"We are not going to give a permit for the animals to be in Do-a Ana County and, as I understand it, the state is not inclined to give her a permit," Childress said. "Given her inability to be able to contain (the cats) in a facility where they can't get loose, I'm not going to subjugate the public to even the remotest possibility of being injured by the animals."

County animal control officers continue to capture other, exotic-looking domestic cats from the residence. The investigation is ongoing and will be reviewed by wildlife officers to see if possession of the bobcats constitutes state or federal violations.

The exotic cats removed in June - Bengals (seven generations removed from a cross with a Leopard Cat) and Savannahs (seven generations removed from a cross with a serval, a cheetah-like cat) - were valued at $800 to $1,200, a family member said at the time. They were transported to the Humane Society of the White Mountains in Lakeside, Ariz., about 130 miles northeast of Phoenix, so that they would not be euthanized.

Ashley Meeks can be reached at; (575) 541-5462


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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stray Sumatran tiger frightens villagers

Stray Sumatran tiger frightens villagers

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Sat, 10/24/2009 6:31 PM National

A Sumatran tiger has been found roaming around Jambo Papeun village in Meukek district in South Aceh regency, sparking fear among local residents.

Villager Suparto said Saturday he spotted the stray carnivore two days ago when he was fishing in the river just behind his house.

“I could only pray asking for divine intervention and told the tiger to go away,“ he told Antara, adding that the protected animal stood just three meters from him. Suparto said the tiger left him unharmed as it fled into the jungle.

Village chief Sasmin said the tiger had mauled five goats and 39 poultry chicken belonging to local residents over the last two weeks.

“The big cat has frightened us, but we cannot stop working in our farmland otherwise we will have nothing to eat,” Sasmin said.

The South Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency has sent a tiger tamer and put four traps across the village to catch the endangered animal.

Tigers mauled five residents of Meukek and neighboring Labuhan Haji district to death in 2007.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tiger attacks man in Kaziranga

Tiger attacks man in Kaziranga

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 7:56:00 PM

A tiger from Assam's renowned Kaziranga National Park (KNP) strayed into an
adjacent village and injured a man today, official sources said.

The tiger came into the house of the victim, Babul Ali, at Panbari, adjacent to the rhino homeland KNP in Golaghat district, to eat the goats he owned.

When Ali tried to drive away the big cat and save his animals, the tiger pounced on him inflicting several wounds, the sources said.

Babul was undergoing treatment at the Bokakhat Civil Hospital and was stated to be out of danger.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Calgary police charge two men they say broke into zoo and tangled with tiger

Calgary police charge two men they say broke into zoo and tangled with tiger

October 9, 2009

CALGARY — Police say two men who snuck into the Calgary Zoo and ended up tangling with a tiger had been drinking and went to the facility after hours to surprise a staff member they knew.

"We do know the two offenders had been drinking prior to this," said Calgary police Staff-Sgt. Rick Halford.

"What their state of mind was before that, we don't know. We know they were intent on surprising somebody at the zoo and things got a little carried away.

"Apparently there was a staff member at the zoo they were familiar with."

Police say Trever James Wearmouth and Thomas Anthony Bryce-Hart, both 27, scaled the outer fence of the zoo early Monday and hopped a smaller safety fence around the tiger exhibit.

One of the men suffered severe injuries to his arms when the tiger attacked from inside its enclosure. The other man had minor injuries.

The pair ended up calling the staff member they knew for help. Halford said that person was not involved in the alleged caper in any way and didn't know the men were in the zoo until the call was made.

The two have been charged with one count each of petty trespassing. No criminal charges will be laid, Halford said.

Police would not reveal which man suffered the more serious injuries, citing privacy laws. Nor would they update the condition of the severely injured man.

Halford suggested that the duo's fate should discourage anyone who might be inspired to follow in their footsteps.

"I would think this should be big enough deterrent," he said. "Again, human nature is such that we can't predict that."

The first hint of a problem came about 1:03 a.m. Monday, when security cameras near the enclosure which houses three of the zoo's tigers caught a two-second glimpse of two men.

The pair had scaled a 2 1/2-metre-high fence topped with barbed wire, which surrounds the property.

Two fences surround the tiger enclosure. The men hopped the shorter safety fence, which is designed to keep people back from the exhibit.

Only one of the giant cats, a two-year-old male named Vitali, was outside at the time. With only a slim wire fence between Vitali and the men, the tiger attacked.

The security camera next caught the men as they were helped to a security station around 1:07 a.m.

Zoo officials said someone would have to be pressed up against the fence for the tiger to be able to reach them, and added the large cat probably used both his teeth and claws.

The animal was very unsettled when keepers first saw him after the attack, but he wasn't injured.

The zoo has said it is reviewing its security procedures in light of the attack. Vitali was born at the zoo in July 2007 to much fanfare because there are only an estimated 450 of his species left in the wild.

Siberian tigers are an endangered species found in the Amur Valley of northeastern Russia. They are threatened by habitat destruction and overhunting for their luxurious pelts and for body parts used in traditional medicines.

They are the largest species of cat in the world. Males weigh between 180 and 305 kilograms and can grow to be between three and 3 1/2 metres in length from their nose to the tip of their tail.

In the wild, the tigers eat mainly wild boars, deer and antelope. They ambush their target, sneaking up on it and then stopping within a few metres until ready to attack - sometimes waiting for up to two hours.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tiger victim linked to security guard at Calgary zoo

Tiger victim linked to security guard at Calgary zoo

By Deborah Tetley and Sherri Zickefoose, Calgary Herald
October 6, 2009 8:02 PM

CALGARY — The man mauled by a tiger at the Calgary Zoo is the common-law husband of a security guard who was working the night he and a friend scaled a fence and snuck up to the cat’s enclosure, according to a police source.

Meanwhile, investigators said criminal charges will be laid soon, to the delight of many zoo visitors Tuesday who said the 27-year-old intruder deserves to be punished for the overnight escapade.

“He should be charged for breaking into the zoo and for jumping the fence and for bothering the tiger,” said Lorita Sonnenberg.

“He was asking for trouble and he obviously got it, but no one can blame the tiger, because he was following his instincts.”

The man is recovering in hospital with serious claw and bite marks to both arms after being snared by a two-year-old Siberian tiger Monday shortly after 1 a.m. local time.

The man’s friend, also 27, was not seriously injured in the incident.

Zoo officials and police said the motive remains a mystery.

Break and enter, as well as trespassing charges, could be laid in coming days, police said.

The men broke into the zoo after hours by hopping a fence, according to Calgary police. The men scaled the zoo’s 2.4-metre fence, just north of the west public gate. Once inside, they scaled another fence designed to keep the public at a safe distance from the Siberian tiger enclosure.

One man was standing near the pen’s second fence that keeps the cats secure. That’s when the two-year-old male tiger, Vitali, snared his arm through the wires, biting and swiping at him.

The injured man’s friend managed to free him and the pair scrambled to safety.

They called the personal cellphone of the victim’s common-law spouse, who was on duty at the zoo as a security guard, according to the police source.

She raced to their aid and the man was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Police said they have not interviewed the victim because he remains sedated in hospital.

Zoo officials said they will review security, but noted keeping determined intruders out is difficult.

Despite the victim’s severe injuries, zoo visitors showed no mercy.

“He shouldn’t even be compensated by Calgarians or the zoo for his medical bills,” said Carlin Anquist.

“This was his choice and he needs to pay the consequences for messing with a wild and dangerous animal,” said the 23-year-old.

“I feel a bit sorry for the guy because he got hurt, but there is a fence there for a reason.”

Monday, October 05, 2009

Tiger at Calgary zoo that mauled intruder did nothing wrong: Keeper

Tiger at Calgary zoo that mauled intruder did nothing wrong: Keeper

By Sherri Zickefoose, Calgary Herald
October 5, 2009 8:40 PM

CALGARY — A Siberian tiger that brutally mauled a man Monday morning was only doing what comes naturally, say Calgary zoo officials.

"Vitali did nothing wrong. It's his natural behaviour. They broke into his home," said zookeeper Tim Sinclair-Smith later in the day.

Just after 1 a.m. local time Monday, a pair of 27-year-old men scaled the zoo's 2.4-metre-high fence near the west public gate.

Inside, they hopped another one-metre-high fence designed to keep the public at a safe distance from the Siberian tiger enclosure.

While the man was standing in front of a second fence that keeps the cats secure, a two-year-old male tiger named Vitali caught his arm through the wires, biting and swiping at him. The man's friend managed to free him and the pair scrambled to safety.

"I think it's fair to say that, if anybody puts their mind to it, they can breach any kind of security — and that certainly seems to be the case here," said the zoo's director, Grahame Newton.

The motive behind Monday's dangerous stunt at the zoo, which sent one man to hospital with serious injuries, remains a mystery.

They called the cellphone of their on-duty, female security-guard friend, who raced to their aid and took them to the security office, police and zoo officials say.

Within minutes, EMS rushed the injured man to a Calgary hospital with deep wounds to his arms that are "significant," zoo officials said in a news conference Monday.

Police say criminal charges of break and enter and trespassing are pending against the men.

Police say there is no indication the woman, one of four patrolling the 80-acre zoo grounds overnight, was part of the break-in caper.

"They were not let into the zoo," said acting Staff Sgt. Rick Halford.

"There's no indication that the offender had made contact with the security officer prior to entering the zoo. I don't think that was their intention to contact that person; I think it was just something they stumbled onto."

The motive for the reckless and dangerous stunt is unknown, but alcohol could be at the root of the lark.

"There's no indication that the two offenders were involved in anything other than just being silly, I suppose," said Halford.

The victim, who suffered serious bite and claw injuries, remains in hospital. He was sedated, and police did not have a chance to interview him after the attack.

Zookeepers say the tiger, "one of our most laid-back cats," was likely spooked by the intruders.

The cat, who showed signs of being stressed after the break-in, suffered no injuries to his paws or mouth and eventually calmed down.

"He's perfectly fine. A tiger is a carnivore, so they're going to behave naturally, and that's his natural reaction," said Sinclair-Smith.

The tiger was either acting out of aggression or protecting himself, said Dr. Sandie Black, the zoo's head vet.

"(The tiger) has a fairly significant armament at his disposal: very sharp claws. My guess would be that the gentleman was hooked by a claw and his arm dragged in and continued to be attacked from that point."

Vitali was spending the night outdoors while females Kita, 14, and nine-year-old Katja were inside the building.

The tigers kept at the Calgary Zoo are Siberian Tigers that can be anywhere from 3.05 to 3.66 metres in length and weigh up to 306 kilograms, according to the zoo website. It is the largest cat species in the world.

Animal experts say Siberian tigers are tremendous hunters, and have the ability to leap up to 10 metres, although they usually jump half that distance during regular activities. The animals are also known to fiercely defend their territories and food resources within those areas.

A similar incident happened in San Francisco just a week ago. On Sept. 26, a man snuck into a grizzly-bear pen at the San Francisco Zoo, but was promptly spotted and removed. The man was uninjured in that incident.

Officials there credit new security measures implemented since a 2007 attack — by a Siberian Tiger — at the San Francisco Zoo that killed one man and injured two others.

Men crossed two zoo fences prior to tiger encounter

Men crossed two zoo fences prior to tiger encounter

By: News Staff
Date: Mon. Oct. 5 2009 8:35 PM ET

The Calgary Zoo says two 27-year-old men snuck onto zoo grounds Monday morning and climbed over the public safety fence surrounding a tiger exhibit, where one man suffered serious arm injuries.

Zoo officials held a news conference on Monday to discuss the details of the bizarre incident which happened at about 1:00 a.m. local time.

Grahame Newton, the director of corporate services at the zoo, said the men first made "unauthorized access" to the property by climbing over its exterior fence, which stands nearly 2.5 metres high and has three strands of barbed wire at the top.

They next headed towards the tiger exhibit on the west side of the zoo where one of the men then climbed the one-metre-tall public safety fence surrounding the enclosure.

About two metres in from the public safety fence, a second interior fence -- 4.5-metres high and electrified along four separate wires at the top -- cages the tigers off from the outside world. It is designed to "keep the tigers inside their exhibit area," Newton said.

The exterior side of the second fence is where the injured man made contact with a two-year-old Siberian tiger named Vitali, Newton said. It is believed that the man had his arm pulled through the fence after it became hooked by the animal's claw.

"The second man reportedly went to the aid of his companion and they managed to get away from the tiger," he said.

One of the men then used a cellphone to contact a zoo security guard, who apparently did not know that they were at the park.

"As soon as the security officer received this call, she ran toward the tiger exhibit and encountered both men on a public path just east of the tiger enclosure," Newton said.

Security officers called 911 and started performing first aid on the man injured by the tiger. Paramedics arrived soon after and took the man to Foothills Hospital for treatment.

Newton also described the nature of the injuries that the man suffered.

"The information we have is that while his injuries appear not to be life-threatening, they are, however, quite serious," Newton said at the news conference.

The tiger was not injured as a result of the incident.

Calgary police are now investigating. The two men could potentially face charges.

Ted Trewella, the manager of zoo security, said four security officers were on duty at the time that the two men entered the park.

Newton said that the zoo is unclear of the intention of the two men who entered the park, though officials will be reviewing its procedures in the wake of Monday's incident.

"I think it's fair to say that if anybody puts their mind to it, they can breach any kind of security and that certainly seems to have been the case here," Newton said.

"An eight-foot (2.43-metre) fence with three strands of barbed wire in the top, it takes some effort to get over (the) top of that. And then, on top of that, to also scale another 42-inch (1.07- metre) fence and get inside that area between that fence and the tiger enclosure again requires some effort."

In an e-mail to, Calgary Zoo spokesperson Laurie Herron said three adult Siberian tigers -- two females and one male -- are kept at the zoo.

The Calgary Zoo website says Siberian tigers -- the kind of tigers present in the zoo's Eurasia exhibit -- typically grow to a length of 3 to 3.6 metres. Males can weigh between

180 and 306 kilograms, while females generally weigh between 100 and 167 kilograms.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tiger kills fisherman in Sunderbans

Tiger kills fisherman in Sunderbans


Canning (WB), Oct 1 (PTI) A 30-year-old man was killed by a tiger while he was fishing in a creek at the Nabanki jungle in the Sunderbans sanctuary today.

Ahmed Sheikh, resident of Gosaba near here, was taken by surprise when the tiger attacked him from behind and dragged him into the forest.

His companions chased the big cat and found the dead body of Sheikh in the forest near Pirkhali.

Sunderbans field director Subroto Mukhopadhyay said Sheikh held the Board License Card issued by the jungle authorities allowing him fishing and access to the forest.

There has been a spate of incidents of tigers intruding the nearby villages in the past one year.

Tiger kills child in Simalkhet

Tiger kills child in Simalkhet


Almora, Oct 1(PTI) A two-and-half-year-old girl was killed by a man-eater tiger in village Parsara near Simalkhet, a report received here today said.

This was the second incident occurred in the area within 10 days, villagers said urging the administration to save them from the menace saying that the tiger had been prowling in the area for quite some time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

'African Serval' cat found in Tucson neighborhood

Posted: Sep 24, 2009 9:09 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 24, 2009 10:15 PM EDT

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - People outside a Catalina Foothills home couldn't believe their eyes.

They thought the big cat looked like an ocelot, which is unheard of in the wild in Arizona.

It turns out, they did see something downright rare.

A serval that's native to Africa.

A man was driving through a Catalina Foothills neighborhood, Wednesday night, and suddenly he spotted it.

Fred Thomas says he knew immediately it was not indigenous to Arizona.

Thomas says it had beautiful spots and looked like a cheetah.

The animal ended up near a mailbox.

Thomas says he thought was sick or hurt.

He called 911.

The serval is at the Tucson Wildlife Center, a non-profit sanctuary and rehabilitation center.

One of the center's rehabilitators got the call to go out to the neighborhood.

Lisa Bates-Lininger is founding president of the Tucson Wildlife Center.

She says they had to tranquilize the big cat

"She could still move and attack and she was really upset with the people around her. So we did tranquilize her and we found nothing wrong with her major," Bates-Lininger says.

But the serval was in bad shape.

"She was dehydrated and tired and just ready to give up. She may have died last night, but luckily we got her in. We got her emergency treatment, fluids for shock," Bates-Lininger says.

The animal's feet were very sore.

She's also missing a rear leg.

It had been surgically removed.

"This is obviously an escaped pet because it's an exotic cat. She was in really good condition. Whoever had her loved her and took good care of her," Bates-Lininger says.

If it is a purebred serval, the owner would need a permit to have it in Arizona.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department says servals are brought into the United States to breed with domestic cats, and create the Savannah cat.

In Arizona you don't need a permit for a hybrid, even if it's first generation.

"So we hope that the owner can find us and we can get this cat back to the owner," Bates-Lininger.

If the owner can't be found, the serval's future is uncertain.

Bates-Lininger says the Tucson Wildlife Center can't keep it.

She says the center keeps only native species of animals that cannot be released back into the wild.

Bates-Lininger says she believes people should not keep exotic pets, that they belong in the wild.

But she also says sanctuary-type homes that care for an animal can be a good thing.

Game and Fish Game Ranger Mike Pastirik says, like Bates-Lininger, the department prefers people not own exotic animals.

He says it's primarily out of concern for public safety and for humane reasons.

He says the department is concerned about the welfare of the animals.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teens let tigers out of zoo enclosure

Teens let tigers out of zoo enclosure

Romanian Times
28. 09. 09. - 09:00

Two tigers prowled around a western Romanian zoo for seven hours after teeangers let them out of their cages.

Hunedoara zoo was evacuated after keepers spotted the animals' open enclosures last Friday.

The two tigers - a pregnant female and its mate – were finally shot with tranquiliser darts by zoo keepers who feared they may break out of the zoo and get into the nearby town.

The animals are now back in their enclosures and zoo bosses said they believe teenagers had opened the doors to their cages.

Tigers take a Romanian holiday

Tigers take a Romanian holiday

Updated: 05:23, Sunday September 27, 2009

A full investigation has been launched after two tigers managed to escape from a zoo enclosure in Romania.

Tigers Dorinel and Silvia literally leapt at the opportunity to escape from their cage and explore the grounds they'd only ever seen from behind bars.

Both zoo keepers and visitors weren't as excited.

Their disappearance sparked a full-scale emergency, with all visitors evacuated and firemen police, and even a local hunting squad called in to search for and recapture the wiley felines.

It wasn't until nightfall when a pair of bright green eyes was spotted in bushes nearby and zoo keepers were able to manhandle the tranquilised tigers back to their enclosure.

No one was injured during the big cats' big day out and authorities are thankful the tigers strayed no further than the three hectare zoo park.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Zoo’s tiger exhibit closed after tiger kills worker

Zoo’s tiger exhibit closed after tiger kills worker

A zoo in Binh Duong Province has been asked to shut down and strengthen its tiger enclosures after a tiger killed a worker Thursday. Experts had warned the cages were unsafe two years ago.
Duong Thanh Phi, director of Dai Nam Zoo, told inspectors at the zoo on Friday that the tiger had jumped over a 2.5 meter wall between its cage to another where some workers were planting trees.

The tiger mauled and killed one worker.

Phi said he was so confused when the accident happened on Thursday that he incorrectly stated that the wall was five meters tall.

The tiger area will be closed for at least one week starting Friday and iron fences five meters tall will be built surrounding the tiger cages, the zoo has noticed.

During the inspection, officers from the province Forest Management Department said the wall was two low for the tiger, a five-year-old male weighing 180 kilos.

There were several artificial stones around the wall that the officers posited that the tiger may have used as a platform to jump off.

Tran Van Nguyen, deputy head of the department, said the incident should be considered a big lesson for all owners of wild animals, especially tigers.

Nguyen said the police would handle the death of the worker while his agency could only ask the zoo to improve its facilities. “We’ve got no laws or regulations about managing wild animals by which to penalize the zoo.”

He added that raising wild animals in captivity was not encouraged and thus authorities had not issued requirements for such cages.

Risks were known

Dai Nam Zoo was one of three Binh Duong Province facilities licensed by the government in 2006 to raise wild tigers under a pilot project.

But in 2007, a joint inspection team from the provincial Forest Management Department, the Vietnam Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, and CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) came to check the three units and found they did not guarantee safety.

The team warned that it would be easy for the tigers to escape from these places, including Thanh Canh Company and the Pacific Beer Company.

A plan submitted by Dai Nam Zoo in June asking for permission to raise wild tigers on a more open space was found to lack effective measures to protect visitors. It was thus returned for revision and scheduled to be submitted again by the end of this year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Zoo tiger kills one in Vietnam: official

Zoo tiger kills one in Vietnam: official

(AFP) – 9.11.2009

HANOI — A tiger leaped out of its enclosure in Vietnam and killed a zoo worker, the park's manager said Friday.

Another worker was injured in Thursday's attack when the cat jumped over a 2.5-metre (8.3 feet) electric fence to attack the men while they planted trees, said Duong Thanh Phi, manager of the private Dai Nam zoo in southern Binh Duong province.

Phi said the animal apparently became disturbed by noise from a crane the workers were using.

They sought safety in a water-filled tunnel but for some reason one of them crawled out of it onto the soil and was killed, he said, adding the victim was 47 years old.

Other staff captured the male tiger and caged it while the injured employee was taken to hospital where he was in a stable condition, Phi said.

It is the first incident of its kind at the Dai Nam zoo, which keeps nine adult and seven infant tigers, the manager said.

Environmental groups have said habitat destruction, hunting and the illegal wildlife trade have pushed tigers close to extinction in Vietnam, a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which lists tigers as a protected species.

In 2007, the communist government allowed some private tiger farms in southern Vietnam to keep dozens of the endangered animals as they were better equipped than state zoos.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Crab collector lifted by tiger

Crab collector lifted by tiger

8 Sep 2009, 2207 hrs IST, PTI

CANNING (WB): A 50-year-old man was lifted by a tiger while he was collecting crabs from Pirkhali forest in the Sundarbans on Tuesday, the police said.

Yadav Gayen, a resident of Satyanarayanpur village under Gosaba police station, was in a group of three persons collecting crabs.

Gayen was lifted by a tiger and his companions raised an alarm and gave the animal a chase. However, the tiger managed to run away taking Gayen with him, the sources said.

The body was not found. Forest department sources said the three did not have the pass required for collecting crabs.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fisherman injured by tiger

Fisherman injured by tiger


Canning (WB), Sep 4 (PTI) A fisherman was today seriously injured when a tiger tried to drag him away at Pirkhali VII area of the Sunderbans in South 24 Parganas district, forest department sources said.

The fisherman, Adhir Haldar, had gone to a canal of the river Bidya with four of his friends for fishing when a tiger pounced on him tried to drag him away.

Haldar's friends scared the tiger away, which left his victim behind and fled.

The fisherman was admitted to Kultali hospital with serious injuries.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Possible Tiger On The Loose Near Uniontown

Possible Tiger On The Loose Near Uniontown

Posted: 2:39 pm EDT September 2, 2009
Updated: 2:49 pm EDT September 2, 2009

UNIONTOWN, Pa. -- State police and community members are on the lookout for a big cat near Uniontown.

Initial reports from Fayette County 911 said there was a tiger on the loose near Route 119, but authorities aren't releasing details, only describing the animal as a big, golden-colored cat.

Dr. Shepard's Wildlife Sanctuary was first assumed to have lost the tiger, but officials with the business said it does not belong to them.

However, an expert from the sanctuary did say the cat could be a cougar.

State troopers have been instructed to dart the tiger if it is found.

Officials continue to look for the cat and ask for any information regarding anyone who may have an unaccounted for tiger. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fires Threaten Wildlife Waystation in CA

Wildlife Waystation has been evacuating all night, still evacuating. Needs huge cat and bear cages immediately. If you can help, please call Mitchell Willis  at Wildlife Waystation at 1-818-899-5201. Please spread the word to anyone who might be able to help. They are at 14831 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Angeles National Forest, CA 91342.

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

Sign our petition to protect tigers from being farmed here:

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Update on Shambala Fire

Acton sanctuaries Shambala and Animal Acres have different strategies for dealing with Station fire

August 31, 2009 | 11:32 am


Although the Station fire, which doubled in size to 85,000 acres overnight, has reached the doorstep of the Shambala big cat sanctuary in Acton, the resident lions, tigers and other animals are (hopefully) staying put.  Chris Gallucci, Shambala's vice president of operations, told our colleagues at L.A. Now that the staff at the sanctuary "have everything to fight fires on this property" and that they even perform elaborate fire drills every six weeks to ready themselves for an event like the Station fire.  From L.A. Now:

The preserve has dozens of steel evacuation crates ready to go in case the 64 big cats need to be moved. It also has equipment to beat back flames: A 22,000-gallon water tank, a lake and a complete fire road around the 80-acre site, Gallucci said.

Evacuating 64 big cats could clog Soledad Canyon Road, the only road that runs through the canyon area, Gallucci said.

"If you just panic and run, you're not being too professional," he said. "Dealing with exotic animals is completely different. You can't put the public at risk. We don't want to have the fire department and police department aiding us when they're trying to protect other people."

Shambala was founded by actress Tippi Hedren and is home to two of Michael Jackson's former pet tigers, Thriller and Sabu.  Hedren remained at the preserve throughout the weekend and this morning was talking with firefighters working nearby and monitoring the fire, Gallucci said.  

Interestingly, Gallucci noted that the cats aren't frightened of the flames and smoke, adding that one lion was even sunning itself as he spoke.

Elsewhere in Acton, the Animal Acres sanctuary, which is home to more than 150 rescued farm animals, has opted to evacuate, according to an e-mail sent to supporters.  In the e-mail, Animal Acres founder Lorri Houston wrote that the sanctuary had taken measures to facilitate a speedy removal of their resident cows, pigs, turkeys and other animals following wildfires that threatened Southern California in 2007.  Since then, staff have secured an emergency evacuation center for the animals, an additional livestock trailer and other materials needed to get the animals out quickly.  

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Alexander, a 450-pound Bengal tiger, at the Shambala Preserve in Acton.  Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A massive fire in the Angeles National Forest nearly doubled in size overnight, threatening 12,000 homes Monday in a 20-mile-long swath of flame and smoke and surging toward a mountaintop broadcasting complex and historic observatory.

The fire was the largest of at least eight burning up and down California after days of triple-digit temperatures and low humidity. The Los Angeles-area blaze had burned at least 21 homes and was moving north, south and east through the rugged foothills northeast of the city.

Despite a lack of wind, the fire surged without letup by running through steep granite canyons and feeding on brush that had not burned for 40 years, fire officials said.

"It's burning everywhere," U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Dianne Cahir said. "When it gets into canyons that haven't burned in numerous years, it takes off. If you have any insight into the good Lord upstairs, put in a request."

The fire had burned 134 square miles of brush and trees by early Monday and was just 5 percent contained.

About 12,000 homes, as well as communications and astronomy centers atop Mount Wilson, were threatened by fire. At least 6,600 homes were under mandatory evacuation orders and more than 2,500 firefighters were battling the flames.

But the lack of wind kept the fires burning mainly in canyonlands rather than racing downhill and roaring explosively through the dense suburbs that cluster at the base of the foothills.

On the blaze's northwestern front, two firefighters were killed Sunday when their truck drove off the side of a road on Mount Gleason near the city of Acton.

More than 20 helicopters and air tankers were preparing to dump water and retardant over the flames. Two Canadian Super Scoopers, giant craft that can pull thousands of gallons of water from lakes and reservoirs, were expected to join the fight later in the day.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday issued emergency declarations for the counties of Placer, Monterey, Los Angeles and Mariposa.

On the blaze's northwestern front, two firefighters were killed Sunday when their truck drove off the side of a road on Mount Gleason near the city of Acton. Killed were Capt. Tedmund Hall, 47, of San Bernardino County, and firefighter Specialist Arnaldo "Arnie" Quinones, 35, of Palmdale. Hall was a 26-year veteran, and Quinones had been a county firefighter for eight years.

"Our hearts are heavy as we are tragically reminded of the sacrifices our firefighters and their families make daily to keep us safe," Schwarzenegger said.

With flames about a half-mile away from the communications and astronomy centers on Mount Wilson, crews planned to set more backfires and planes dropped fire retardant around the mountaintop complex, which hold transmitters for more than 20 television stations, many radio stations and cell phone providers.

Television stations said if the antennas burn, broadcast signals would be affected but satellite and cable transmissions would not be.

Two giant telescopes and several multimillion-dollar university programs are housed in the century-old Mount Wilson Observatory. The complex of buildings is both a historic landmark and a thriving modern center for astronomy.

The sheer length of the fire meant that it threatened homes ranging from scattered ranches to multimillion-dollar estates in luxury enclaves.

Mandatory evacuations were in effect for neighborhoods in Glendale, Pasadena and other smoke-choked cities and towns north of Los Angeles.

In La Crescenta, where the San Gabriel Mountains descend steeply to suburban neighborhoods, streets were nearly deserted Monday morning as smoke rose up some flanks of the towering peaks.

The fire generally appeared to be well up the mountains, but a pall of white haze burned eyes and throats, and some flames could be seen.

Schools were closed and police cars guarded some streets in the city's upper reaches so that only firefighters could get through.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Pedro Castillo guarded a yellow police tape across Briggs Avenue, waving off residents who wanted to get through to check on their homes.

"You help us a lot by staying out of the area," Castillo to an anxious man.

"I want to help myself," he replied before walking away.

At a corner house just below the restricted line, Rick Drobner stood in his driveway and watched plumes of smoke. He wore a heavy-duty filter mask.

Drobner, an artist and ceramist, said he and his wife and their cat had spent the previous night at a motel.

"We've been here almost 30 years. Every time we drive up Briggs, I look at these mountains, and every time there's a fire somewhere, I think … what would happen if it happened here?"

"Well, here we are," Drobner said.

He glanced up at tall pine trees that surround his home.

"These trees normally keep us shaded and cooler in hot weather and keep the dust out of the house," he said. "Right now, they are not necessarily a good thing."

An animal sanctuary called the Roar Foundation Shambala Preserve, six miles east of Acton, was in the mandatory evacuation zone, but fire officials decided removing the animals would be "a logistical nightmare," said Chris Gallucci, vice president of operations.

"We have 64 big cats, leopards, lions, tigers, cougars. … The animals are just walking around, not being affected by this at all," Gallucci said. "But if we panic, they panic. But we are not in panic mode yet."

The preserve had a 22,000-gallon water tank, a lake and firefighting pumps, he said.

The National Weather Service said a red flag warning for extreme fire conditions remained in effect for the mountains of Central and Southern California.

Another 2,000 homes were threatened in San Bernardino County and a mandatory evacuation was under way in Oak Glen, an unincorporated scenic community of apple orchards near Yucaipa and about 90 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

A 1.4-square-mile wildfire that began Sunday afternoon tripled in size overnight and was burning out of control in oak and conifer woodlands, said Norma Bailey, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman.

Flames dozens of feet high burned like huge candles near the farms.

"We know what's coming this afternoon, just the sheer heat and the low humidity," Bill Peters, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in San Bernardino County, told KTLA-TV.

Some of the brush and trees had not burned for a century, he said.

The blaze was in rolling terrain and steeper foothills.

"The fire makes its own path," Peters said. "It just flows with the terrain. It'll run very quickly uphill and because of the dynamics and the decadent vegetation being so dry, it will drive itself downhill, where normally you need a wind to do that."

Meanwhile, a 3.8-square-mile blaze that began Thursday near the San Bernardino County town of Hemet was 95 percent contained and was expected to be fully surrounded Monday evening, Bailey said.

Northeast of Sacramento, a fire destroyed 60 structures, many of them homes in the town of Auburn. The fire had wiped out an entire cul-de-sac, leaving only smoldering ruins, a handful of chimneys and burnt cars.

Rick Lund, whose house is nearby but escaped the fire, stood at the end of the cul-de-sac of about 10 homes, watching firefighters attend to what once were the homes of friends and neighbors.

"It's right there," he said, pointing to a house of his 11-year-old daughter's close friend. "Or it was."

The fire began Sunday and had blackened 275 acres amid high winds and was 50 percent contained Sunday night, CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

About 30 people waited anxiously at an evacuation center in the Rock Creek Elementary School, including Pam and Stephen Incerty.

"If there's nothing there when we get back, we won't rebuild," Stephen Incerty said of their home on 5 tree-covered acres of rolling hills. "There'd be no trees, just dirt."

In Mariposa County, a nearly 7-square-mile fire burned in Yosemite National Park and forced the evacuation of about 50 homes. The blaze was 50 percent contained Sunday, said park spokeswoman Vickie Mates. Two people suffered minor injuries, she said.

Hot, dry and windy conditions also helped fan a monthlong wildfire in rural Utah, where residents in the town of New Harmony were told to leave their homes as the blaze flared up over the weekend. The lightning-sparked fire has already destroyed three houses and blackened more than 12 square miles in the Pine Valley Wilderness area.

Associated Press writers Juliet Williams in Auburn and Solvej Schou in Los Angeles contributed to this report.