Monday, April 23, 2012

Change the World by Changing the Conversation


Eckhart Tolle was ahead of his time when he advised us to Be in the NOW.  Today, more than ever, we live in a real time world.  If someone gets mauled by a tiger, you will probably know about it within the hour and news broadcasters from Tampa to Hong Kong will have it running in full color video, with the 911 call playing and commentaries from around the world weighing in on who was at fault.


People love the blame game and it seems that most of the comments that are posted about such tragic events are assigning blame to the authorities who get called in to kill the tiger when it has escaped and wreaked havoc.  No one who loves animals can blame the tiger for doing what comes natural; nor should they.  What is confounding is that most people never seem to consider that the tiger's owner was almost always the one person who could have prevented the tragedy.  


Whether that owner is a private "pet" owner or a zoo, the tiger was being held in an environment that is totally un natural for a tiger.  They are meant to roam hundreds of miles, leap great distances, and kill prey that is larger and far more powerful than a mere human.  If the tiger is in a cage, it is because someone chose to breed or participate in the trade in some way to put him there.  Of course, a tiger attack could happen at a legitimate sanctuary, but in most cases even the sanctuaries are not really doing anything to end the trade.  In many cases they are enabling the bad behavior of those who breed and discard big cats incessantly, by providing an easy dumping ground.  At Big Cat Rescue there is written contract required by anyone abandoning an exotic cat that bears financial penalties if they ever own another exotic or even pose with one.


The best way to educate people who are commenting on such stories is to join the conversation.  Whether the story is about someone being mauled by a big cat, or a fair or mall promoting some pay-to-play session with big cat cubs, the conversation quickly shifts and takes on a life of its own in the comments section.  All too often the only people who bother to comment are those who either make a living from keeping lions, tigers and ligers captive, or those who enable them.  Big cats and their cubs need the voices of people who truly care about the plight of captive big cats.  They need to be heard.  


Changing the conversation can change the world for them.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wildlife figure in ICU after being clawed

March 29 2012 at 12:20pm
By Kamcilla Pillay and SAPA

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John Varty gives close contact comfort to an abandoned cub. (John Varty/ JV Images)

South African documentary film-maker John Varty sustained two broken ribs, lacerations to his hands and legs and puncture wounds after a tiger attacked him on his farm near Philippolis, in the Free State, on Wednesday.

He was apparently attacked while filming on his Tiger Canyons Farm, which he set up to create a free roaming tiger population outside Asia.

According to Varty’s website, JV and The Big Cats, Varty went into theatre at the Bloemfontein Medi Clinic last night and was recovering. It stated that the report from the doctor was positive but Varty was expected to remain in the intensive care unit for the next three days as part of the pain management medication.

“The doctor will closely monitor his condition, which includes several puncture wounds and two broken ribs. The danger of infection will also be closely monitored.”

Varty’s brother, Dave, said that the injuries he had sustained were not as serious as they had previously thought.

“Thankfully he was not mauled. He is sedated so I have not been able to speak to him. But, I’m sure he’ll jump back into the saddle when he’s recovered fully.”

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John Varty takes a break with Julie, the tigress (Sunette Fourie/ JV Images)

He said a tiger named Corbett was believed to have attacked his brother.

Corbett was named after the Jim Corbett National Park in India, Varty said.

“The park was named after legendary hunter-turned-conservationist, Jim Corbett, best known for hunting man-eating tigers and leopards in the Kumaon and lower Garhwal in the 1920s.”

Mediclinic spokeswoman, Amanda Appelgryn, confirmed Varty was admitted to the hospital last night.

Varty co-wrote, produced and starred in the 1992 Hollywood feature film Running Wild, which also starred Brooke Shields and Martin Sheen.

Varty founded the luxury Londolozi Game Reserve in the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the country’s world-famous Kruger National Park.

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In 2009, John made headlines after five tiger cubs were born at Tiger Canyons.

A zoo-born tigress, rehabilitated at the reserve gave birth to the cubs, including a white tiger.

Varty had said at the time that Tiger Canyons now had more wild tigers than India’s flagship tiger reserve, Ranthambore.

His family had been hunting predators for the past 100 years.

He was also involved in a programme titled Living With Tigers, which told the story of Ron and Julie, two Bengal tiger cubs which have spent the past three years of their lives being taught to hunt and live in the wild in South Africa, although their natural habitat is Asia, and India, in particular.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tiger Surgery - Big Cat Rescue

Modnic a female tiger who was rescued in 2007 from Savage Kingdom in Florida, undergoes surgery to remove cancerous tumors. (*Some graphic scenes of surgery are shown)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


A TIGER ROAR is a stark reminder that these animals are still very much wild despite living in captivity. The fact is that big cats like tigers and lions will never make good pets. Check out this video:

Friday, January 06, 2012

Tiger attack in zoo leaves three-year-old boy critical

By METRO WEB REPORTER - 5th January, 2012

A three-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being attacked by a tiger at a travelling zoo in Russia.

The child had been posing for a photograph with the big cat next to a small fence when he was clawed in the head by the tiger, sustaining horrific injuries.

A man nearby tried to stop the attack, which took place in Blagoveshchensk, in the Amur region of Russia.

'I hit it [the tiger] with a stick, there was a metal thing on it. But it clutched the kid very tight,' he said.

The young boy was rushed to the Amur Regional Hospital for emergency treatment.

A doctor said: 'The boy was brought in a bad condition, he had an emergency operation which lasted several hours.

'He is in intensive care now, in a bad condition. It is hard to give any prognosis so far.'

Sky News reports an official of the Amur Regional Investigative Committee as saying that an investigation is looking into the incident.

'According to the information we have, the tiger was not inside the cage, it was between the fence and the cage, so it was free,' he said.

'It was attached by a chain, but people were allowed behind the fence to take photographs.'

Video: Check out the Russian zoo where the attack occurred

Monday, January 02, 2012

Escaped Tiger Causes Scare in Northern Mexico

Published January 02, 2012

An escaped pet tiger named Deborah spurred a massive deployment of police, firefighters and other first responders in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, authorities said.

Apolonio Armenta, the Coahuila delegate of Mexico's environmental protection agency, Profepa, told Efe that alarmed residents began calling police late Wednesday night with reports about a tiger roaming the streets of Saltillo, the state capital.

"It was a tigress between 8 and 12 months old that some thieves allowed to escape when they broke into the office of the pet's owner, attorney Rodolfo Richards," Armenta said.

Richards eventually managed to recapture the 50-kilo (110-pound) Bengal tiger.

Deborah was only a month old when the attorney bought her from a pet shop in nearby Monterrey, Armenta said, adding that while Richards has paperwork confirming his ownership of the animal, he failed to register the tiger with Profepa as a pet.

Richards now faces up to 1.2 million pesos ($85,000) in fines if he cannot explain to Profepa's satisfaction why he didn't register Deborah.

Mexicans are alllowed to keep exotic animals as pets provided the comply with Profepa regulations, which include providing the animal with an appropriate environment and ensuring it does not become a threat to public safety.

Such animals are "relatively quiet, if they live with humans as cubs, you make sure that they don't suffer from stress or hunger and you give them medical attention to keep them healthy," Armenta said.

Six months ago, he noted, a mountain lion and a tiger were dumped in front of the Profepa offfice in Coahuila, while army troops later captured an African lion in the town of Nava.

Those three animals are now in the Monclova zoo.