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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