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.