The idea of petting and playing with a tiger cub has an understandable natural appeal. The cubs are adorable, and the tiger is one of the most powerful and fascinating of all animals. What you don't know haunts them for a lifetime of deprivation and abuse.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
By MATT BAUME
Updated 3:15 PM PST, Fri, Nov 26, 2010
Just-released transcripts reveal the interrogation techniques of police responding to a fatal tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo.
The mauling happened on Christmas Day, 2007. There were no independent witnesses or security cameras, so it's hard to say exactly what happened. What's known is that the tiger, named Tatiana, somehow escaped her enclosure, surrounded by a moat, and attacked a trio of young men.
Kulbir and Amritpal “Paul” Dhaliwal survived. Carlos Sousa Jr. did not.
According to Amritpal, "I started running from him and he [expletive] just attacked me. I couldn’t get away from him. And then right after, like, somehow I got away and he got my boy Carlos."
There's been heavy speculation that the men provoked the attack by harassing the tiger and throwing stuff into the moat. The police interrogator learned that they'd been eating nachos, and repeatedly asked if they'd thrown them at the animal or in the moat.
According to transcripts of the interrogation, the brothers saw the tiger slide down into the moat, then leap over a wall that was supposed to be insurmountable. That wall has since been increased in height by several feet. The men's lawyer has said that the zoo was negligent in not installing a higher wall in the first place.
Since the mauling, the brothers were involved in a drunk driving accident, one was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession, and another was convicted of stealing electronics.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We celebrate Thanksgiving at Big Cat Rescue and it's a favorite holiday for the Tigers, Lions and Leopards too! Watch as we hand out whole turkeys and chickens to the big cats living at the sanctuary, the cats consume the whole bird bones 'n all!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
When you pay to pet a cub, what are you really supporting? This video shows you how people pimp out tiger cubs to support themselves while making no provisions for the lifetime care of the big cats they are breeding and buying. Watch this video about two such pay to play schemes run by Kathy Stearns of Dade City's Wild Things and Joe Schreibvogel of G.W. Exotics.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Police say the worker is in serious condition with neck wounds from Monday's attack.
Officers fired shots at the tiger but missed. The big cat's owner, Jose Juarez Gil, finally found Satan hiding behind bushes several hours later and got him back in the cage.
The tiger is about 16 years old and has no fangs or claws, but weighs about 440 pounds.
Juarez Gil is a breeder and has four other tigers in cages in a fairly crowded area not far from Cancun's international airport. Juarez Gil says he isn't sure who left the cage unlocked.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
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Diver, (Kupwara) Nov 6: Residents of this village in Lolab area of north Kashmir district are up in arms against wildlife department for failing to neutralise man-eater leopard who mauled an eight-year-old boy here.
Student of second standard, Zahid Mukhtar son of Mukhtar Ahmad Khan was caught by a leopard near his home Friday evening and taken away to a nearby forest where his body was found next morning by the family members and residents.
“Zahid’s body was found in a den and in a mutilated form,” said the locals.
Agitated over the incident, residents staged protests against the wildlife department.
When contacted wildlife warden North circle Rouf Ahmad, told Greater Kashmir that there was no protected area for wildlife in Kupwara district and people were living inside the forest areas.
“Immediately we can’t stop the attacks of wildlife animals on locals. We can only acquaint people not to venture into the forests,” he added.
“To trap the man eater leopards in Diver and Hafrada areas we have constituted special teams which are equipped with tranquillisers and traps. In this connection we are utilizing the services of local people. Our teams have surveyed the areas and monitoring their movement,” he added.
Chief Conservator Forests Kashmir, Shafat Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that to minimize the casualties of locals, the officials of forest department will coordinate with wildlife officials.
Friday, November 05, 2010
HARARE - A lion mauled and killed a Zimbabwean man as he was taking a bath at a camping site in the northern Makuti district, the country's wildlife authority said on Thursday.
"Peter John Evershed was on holiday with his wife and two local friends when he was attacked by a lion as he took a shower under a tree about 38 metres (42 yards) from the camp site," Caroline Washaya-Moyo, a spokeswoman for the parks and wildlife authority, told AFP.
Evershed, 59, was based in Harare.
"This is a sad and unfortunate incident," Washaya-Moyo said. "We urge our clients to observe the rules of the parks as these animals are wild."
The state-owned Herald newspaper said Evershed was in the company of his wife and other local tourists and went to take a bath under a tree when a pride of lions surrounded him.
"He screamed for help from other tourists who quickly drove to the scene flashing their lights in a bid to scare away the marauding lions," provincial police spokesman Clemence Mabgweazara told the newspaper.
The lions dispersed when a safari operator fired gunshots into the air, the police spokesman said, but Evershed had already sustained a deep gash to the throat.
In a separate incident, an 80-year-old man died after being attacked by a hyena on his way to church in eastern Zimbabwe, state news agency New Ziana reported on Thursday.
Quoting police spokesman Jephry Mudzemba, the news agency said Misheck Mudechiwe was in the company of his wife when a hyena confronted them on their way to a church service in a neighbouring village.
"The hyena severed his left arm and mauled part of his face," Mudzemba said.
Wildlife, especially lions and elephants, roam freely in remote parts of Zimbabwe, often preying on livestock and destroying crops.
© Copyright (c) AFP
Cape Town, South Africa
The death of a camper mauled to death by lions at a Zimbabwe game park highlights the country’s poaching crisis, a leading conservationist said.
Johnny Rodrigues said illegal hunting of lions, as well as prey such as impala and bison, is ‘traumatizing’ and forces those animals to encroach on public game parks, increasing the risk to humans.
Mr. Rodrigues, who is chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said, “Poaching is a big problem in Zimbabwe – not just by professional hunters after animals like lions, but also local people after buck (deer) or bison for food.
“A lot of animals are becoming traumatized by it. They’re becoming more aggressive and are coming into contact with humans whereas before, when there were plenty of animals they’d shy away from us. We’re turning these hunters into scavengers.”
Businessman Peter Evershed, 59, was on holiday with his wife, brother-in-law and a friend at the Mana Pools National Park on the Zambezi River when he went to take an outside shower on Saturday night.
It is thought that a young male lion, followed by four other giant cats, attacked him while he was in the shower. By the time those traveling with him dashed to the shower, which was 125 feet from their tents, Mr. Evershed had suffered fatal neck injuries.
The Zimbabwean’s body was taken back to Harare, where his wife Liz appealed for clemency for the lions.
“The party raised the alarm and five cars arrived and they started firing but it was too late. He didn’t stand a chance," Rodrigues said.
Lions and other animals roam freely in the park, which is not fenced.
“We used to have a lot of impala and buffalo here, but they’ve been poached or killed over the years, so it’s forced the lions to come closer to humans," Rodrigues added.
“More people are also coming to national parks like Mana and there’s no limit to people coming in. They can walk around without guides and the lions see that. They are wild animals and will kill if they’re hungry – it’s natural to them.”
He said the area has seen a reduction in the number of prides (lion herds) – from 20 prides five years ago to about eight now – spurred on by poaching. Chinese buyers will pay $3,000 per kilogram for lion bones to grind down for medicine or wine.
Rodrigues's conservation group said eight people were killed by lions in rural areas of Zimbabwe between May and June, which resulted in some cats being killed in revenge.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Mandi, Nov 2 (PTI) A leopard mauled a seven-year-old boy to death in village Gutkar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh last night.
Sagar was playing outside a cowshed near his house when the leopard attacked him and took him away, police said.
The boy''s body and torn clothes were found in the fields, they said adding villagers, who were searching for the boy, had spotted the man-eater leopard.
Divisional Forest Officer Anil Joshi said a cage had been set up to trap the leopard.
He also handed over Rs 10,000 as financial relief to the bereaved family.
THE sole witness of a horror attack in which a lion farm restaurant manager in Addo was mauled to death by three lions at the weekend has for the first time spoken out about the traumatic incident.
Yesterday, Simon Almanza, 35, described how Addo Croc and Lion Ranch restaurant manager Jan Frederiek Bredenhand, 30, was pulled from the fence of a lion enclosure by a three-year-old lion in the early hours of Sunday and mauled to death before his eyes.
While the ranch’s permits have been found to be in order, the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs has said it is investigating the incident, through its compliance, enforcement and biodiversity units. “The findings will be made available when the investigation is complete,” said spokesperson Sixolile Makaula.
According to Almanza, who works as an IT specialist on a farm nearby, they had walked to the lion camp shortly after 3am.
He said neither of them was drunk or had taunted the lions, as eyewitnesses who arrived at the scene later had suggested.
“I had had a few drinks, but I was far from p****d. Bredenhand wasn’t drunk, either.
“He had one or two shooters during his shift after patrons bought them for him, but that was all.
“I sat down in front of the fence, when he foolishly climbed that pole (a thick, 2m-high pole next to the gate). I didn’t stop him. I guess I was under the impression that he worked with them (the lions) and I didn’t think anything of it.
“I don’t think he had been up there for more than 15 seconds – it wasn’t long. Then one of the lions reached up and grabbed him. It was very swift. I’m fairly certain he had his legs dangling over the fence while sitting on the pole. As I remember it, the lion grabbed his leg and dragged him down.”
Bredenhand “disappeared” after falling into the enclosure.
In shock, Almanza ran back to the main homestead screaming for help, only to find no-one there.
“Then I flagged Waldo (Le Roux, who had been accompanying his wife to the Mondi Herald Addo Mountain Bike Challenge). He turned around and came back and I asked him to phone the police.” — By BRIAN HAYWARD The Herald
Monday, November 01, 2010
Standing outside his Baraboo home Saturday, Jon Meeker, 38, describes an incident in which a 600-pound Siberian tiger pulled his arm through a cage and bit down. His wife, Emily, at right, now changes his bandages twice daily.
Ten days after a 600-pound Siberian tiger played tug-of-war with his arm, Jon Meeker says he's just trying to take it easy.
"No one is to blame for this," said Meeker, 38, at his Baraboo home Saturday as an IV pumped antibiotics into his system to help fight off infection.
Meeker and his wife, Emily, both volunteers at the Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue in Rock Springs, were doing chores at the outdoor facility Oct. 22 when the incident occurred. Jon was using a five-gallon jug to pour water through the cages and into bowls for the abandoned tigers, lions and leopards that live there.
As he walked toward the cage that held seven-year-old Kahn, a 600-pound Siberia tiger, Jon noticed the animal rubbing its body against the cage.
"He was being affectionate," he said.
He lifted the jug and began to pour, and the tiger clawed at the gate in what Jon described as a playful bat. One of the animal's five-inch claws went through the gate and caught a piece of Jon's clothing.
Before he knew it, the animal had pulled his arm entirely through the gate.
"Him popping my hand through was a one in a million chance," Jon said. "When he did, he got a hold of me and let me know it was time to play."
Even though he felt he was only being played with and not attacked, Jon said it was in that moment that a feeling of intense terror set in.
The animal clasped his arm and took a bite.
"I started screaming and my wife turned around and saw what was going on," he said. "She came over and started banging on the cage."
Volunteers helped get Jon away from the cage by distracting the animal and began administering first aid until first responders arrived.
Jon was flown to UW-Madison Hospital were he was treated for puncture wounds, a five-inch gash on his upper arm and torn tendons. Nerves had been pulled from his fingers and the cartilage in his wrist was "ripped up," he said. He was released five days later.
Emily now helps care for his wounds, changing his bandages twice a day and giving him pain killers when he needs them. It will be four or five weeks before he is functional again, Jon said, and he'll have to undergo cosmetic surgery and physical therapy.
The Meekers got to know Jeff Kozlowski, the rescue facility's owner, when Emily was working at a pet food store. Jon started volunteering there last spring.
He said he plans to start helping out again as soon as possible.
"They are wonderful companions, but you've got to respect the size," Jon said of the rescue facility's abandoned cats. "If that was a full-fledged attack, I wouldn't have an arm left."
Jon said he likely will feel nervous the next time he is around Kahn, but he won't let that stop him from volunteering. However, he said he wouldn't ever wear baggy clothes near the cages again.
Emily said she will plans to continue volunteering at the refuge, adding that the work done at the facility is too important to give up. She said she is amazed at her husband's resiliency.
"He takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'," Emily said.
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Three lions proved who's at the top of the food chain when they pulled an inebriated worker who was taunting them into their enclosure and devoured him before his horrified friend, authorities said.
Jan Bredenhand, who had been working as the restaurant manager for the Addo Croc and Lion Ranch near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for just one month, returned from an all-night party Sunday morning and hopped on a gate around the lions enclosure when he was attacked.
A witness told police that the 30-year-old and one of his friends provoked the lions with loud taunts, South Africa's Daily Dispatch reported.
"He climbed the fence around their enclosure and clearly got too close," police spokeswoman Gerda Swart told London's The Sun newspaper. "Since he was drunk he may not have been in sound mind, but it was an incredibly dangerous and stupid thing to do.
"People who play dangerous games with animals like lions are asking for trouble - and he got it."
It was the second mauling death of a worker by lions at the park in six years.
The friend, identified only as "Simon," ran for help and brought back several tourists who were staying in a nearby chalet, but it was too late.
"It was horrific," one of the tourists, Veluchia Hassim told South Africa's News 24 TV. "The one lion was gnawing on his ribs when we got there."