Saturday, 31 January 2015

Do Mysterious Big Cats Prowl the British Countryside?

Our country's version of Big Foot or just the logical result of new laws that forced exotic pet owners to free their animals in the 1970s? One thing's for sure: reported sightings of big cats are on the rise in the UK, while new studies seek to prove their existence. According to the BBC, there were over 1,000 reported sightings of large cats in the UK during one twelve-month period in 2004 and 2005. But, while authorities appear to take these reports seriously, there's also been several high-profile cases of mistaken identity. Most famous, perhaps, is the case of the "Essex Lion". Residents of a caravan park in the county reported seeing a "very large animal," creeping through the nearby woods in 2012, prompting police to launch a wide hunt for the creature. The police were armed, two helicopters equipped with infrared sensors were put in the air and handlers from a local zoo were called in with tranquiliser guns. Then, a local woman came forward, stating that the "lion" was, in fact, her pet cat "Teddy Bear". Hey, Teddy's a Maine Coon, they're pretty big.-READ MORE LINK-

-NEWSLINK -U.S.A-Big cat, big fright: Cougar caught behind SE Bend home ODFW: 120-lb. male to be euthanized; relocations raise issues

BEND, Ore. - A cougar lounging in a tree high above a southeast Bend home was tranquilized and captured by wildlife officials and law enforcement Friday afternoon as shocked neighbors watched and snapped photos. MORE FROM KTVZ.COM G.I. Bill helps veterans get free flight school Kitzhaber: I still love Cylvia Hayes, won't resign Friday's Scores '100+ Women Who Care' give $25K to Disability Network Man found fatally shot in Tigard home "I just saw all the officers and I thought, what is going down?" said one woman who lives on the block. "I would have never thought it would be a cougar." Several agencies responded to the call from a resident off Polaris Court who said the cat was lying in a tree right off his back porch. "A lot of times we get calls about cougars, and they're not -- it's just a really large cat," said Bend police Cpl. Rob Emerson. "It was in fact a cougar, so it was kind of exciting." Officers pointed guns at the cougar and made a plan -- finally taking a ladder, climbing onto the roof and shooting it with a tranquilizer gun. Once it feel asleep in the tree, the mission become trickier: getting the 120-pound cat out of there. "We climbed the tree, hooked a rope over it and lowered him down," said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Corey Heath. A team then lifted the cougar into a box to be taken to ODFW -READ MORE AND SEE VIDEO LINK-

-NEWSLINK- NORTH WALES-Call to find out the truth about the ‘big cats’ in North Wales

From St Asaph to Bala there have been sightings of what appear to be large cats. Over the years, it has been speculated that these animals belong more to the savannah then the hills of North Wales. But many believe these beasts are real and could cause a real problem for farmers up and down Wales. This has led to questions about what the government is doing to track these animals. Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar has asked the Welsh Government what research it is undertaking into big cats in Wales following a number of sightings in recent years in Denbighshire and Conwy. He raised the matter with the natural resources minister Carl Sargeant AM in the Senedd after being alerted to sightings of the wild animals in his constituency. He said: “There have been a number of sightings over the years of big cats in the Welsh countryside, including in Conwy and Denbighshire, with tracks having been found in the snow a few years back in the Clocaenog Forest and a number of farmers having lost livestock mysteriously which show signs of big cat type attacks. “I wonder what research the Welsh Government may have commissioned on the subject of big cats, and the threat that they might pose to native wildlife species.” The Minister said the Welsh Government has not commissioned any work on big cats-READ MORE LINK-

-NEWSLINK-Circus Tigers

Circus Tigers

You may think that when you see our former circus tigers lounging peacefully at Big Cat Rescue, hat we just had the connections or luck to be chosen as the retirement home for them. Maybe you have not even stopped to think on it. That’s ok. I’m Christy and I’ve been a volunteer for 3 ½ years and I’d like to tell you that it was neither luck, nor connections. It was much more. Let me share their story, which is also my story, and both have become a part of our collective history.
circus tigersAs a cat-lover, I came on my birthday 4 years ago for a much-anticipated tour. I had no idea how much it would get under my skin, and what my contribution to the sanctuary would be. Who would think I could make a difference? The day I went on the tour, was a pretty day in May and the founder happened to lead the tour. She mentioned that there are 300 big cats, many of which are hurting and exploited due to people being able to own them, that they are forced to turn away each year due to there not being enough room and funds. She -READ MORE LINK-

Namibias wild cats live on

africatDark, heavy clouds gather ominously in the east. Surrounding hilltops disappear. The deluge begins. In a few hours the ephemeral rivers will start to run, the roads will become impassable and the African bush will smile once again. It is the rainy season, the middle of summer; we are in the heart of Namibia on the guest farm Okonjima, the home of the Africat FoundationOkonjima, the Herero for “place of the baboon”, is an extensive tract of land nestling amongst the Omboroko mountains some seventy kilometres south of the small town of Otjiwarongo. Historically the surrounding land would have been home to some of Africa’s finest wildlife, today it is farmland. Cattle farmland to be precise, part of Namibia’s agriculture industry, providing work and a livelihood for many of the country’s local inhabitants. For the last 35 years Okonjima has been in the hands of the Hanssen family. Danish and British by extraction, the family today is one of only a handful of first language English-speaking Namibians. Wayne Hanssen taking over the reins of the homestead from his father in 1991 had a dream to turn the land back to its former splendour. Today, 15 years later, the achievements of the Hanssen family together with staff, friends and investors, are significant. The original farm has grown in size to 56 000 acres, the cattle have disappeared, grasslands are returning. Best of all, wherever you roam on the land one will, with a little patience, be rewarded with sightings of Africa’s glorious fauna and flora all returning to this Garden of Eden. To make this happen the Hanssens have created an impressive tourist operation. Offering accommodation styles which vary from camping, through simple luxury to sumptuous extravagance, Okonjima is not so much a holiday as an experience. The key to the experience is the Africat Foundation, a non-profit organisation primarily dedicated to the conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores. The cheetah as the flagship species is closely followed by the leopard, lion, wild dog and brown and spotted hyaenas.READ MORE LINK-

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