Thursday, 23 October 2014

NEWSLINK: California looks to build $4 million mountain lion freeway overpass

Several male mountain lions have been killed trying to get across a log-jammed freeway to breed

By Nick Allen, Los Angeles

5:30PM BST 20 Oct 2014

Conservationists are trying to raise $4 million to build a special freeway overpass for mountain lions in Los Angeles.

A population of the rare and secretive big cats live in the Santa Monica Mountains but are split in two by the city's busy 101 freeway.

There is a shortage of males and that has led to inbreeding on both sides of the road, with several males being killed as they try to make the dangerous crossing to breed.

Only one big cat - known by it's tracking name P12 - is known to have successfully negotiated the ever increasing traffic in recent years.

"He (P12) came from the north and had a lot of genetic material that was new," National Park Service wildlife ecologist Seth Riley told NPR. "Fortunately not only did he survive, but he then became a dominant breeding male.

US SIGHTINGS: Union City police search for mountain lion near Alameda Creek and Wires

UNION CITY, Calif. — 

Police in Union City searched for a mountain lion that was reportedly seen by a creek Saturday afternoon.

Officers had searched a trail by Alameda Creek behind Carr Way after a resident spotted the lion around 1:30 p.m., Union City police Sgt. Shansab said.

When officers arrived to the scene, two other residents were walking in the area and said they also saw the big cat, Shansab said.

Officers searched for the animal without success and cleared the scene about an hour later, according to police.

NEWSLINK: Australia plans to ban import of Lion trophies from South Africa

A permanent ban on the importation of lion parts, including trophies is planned by Australia. This was announced after South African conservationist. Ian Michler met with Australian Environment Minister, Greg Hunt and other MPs in Canberra earlier this month.

Canned lion hunting, or ‘captive’ hunting as the breeders and hunters refer to it, is a type of hunting where lions are bred specifically to be shot in confined areas. Despite widespread public outrage, killing predators under these circumstances continues unabated in South Africa, with over 700 captive-bred lions shot annually.

“I think if Australians knew more… then they would be rightly horrified…It’s not fair, it’s not humane, it’s not 21st century and on my watch, it’s not acceptable,” said Hunt.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

NEWSLINK: UPDATE: Child bit on neck and foot after falling into zoo's big cat exhibit

10th October 2014

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -UPDATE (12:00 p.m.):

Statement from Arkansas Children's Hospital:

"Yesterday a child was transported to Arkansas Children's Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in a fall at the Little Rock Zoo. The child's condition has been upgraded to stable and is expected to improve. We respect the wishes of the child's guardian who asked that the child's name and any additional information not be shared at this time. Thank you for respecting the privacy of this family.”

- Dan McFadden
Director of Communications
Arkansas Children's Hospital

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.):

According to the report from the Little Rock Police Department, a primate keeper heard the calls for help at the jaguar exhibit and ran over to help. She said she saw the yellow jaguar (Agave) with its mouth around the little boy's neck.

Police say the father of the child told them he was leaning over the rail trying to get a picture of the animals and out of his peripheral vision saw the child's feet go over the rail. The father ran for help.

The little boy reportedly fell approximately 15 to 16 feet. The father said the black cat (Cactus Jack) bit the child on the foot and Agave bit into the clothing near the boy's neck. The father told police he picked up a water hose spool and threw it at the cats. The spool hit the cats and caused them to let go of the boy. The father said the Cactus Jack moved away from the child, but Agave circled back and bit the boy on the back of his neck. The father said he threw a camera bag at the cat, hitting it and causing it to let go of the boy. At that point, zoo staff arrived and kept the cats at bay with fire extinguishers so the child could be rescued.

NEWSLINK: Known cougar killed on San Francisco-area freeway

10th October 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The large male cougar that rattled nerves when it spent much of a day behind a hedge in a Mountain View neighborhood earlier this year was struck and killed by a car on a San Francisco Bay Area freeway.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday that the mountain lion was hit Oct. 3 on Interstate 280 near Redwood City. The car's driver was not hurt.

Paul Houghtaling, field project manager for the Santa Cruz Puma Project, identified the animal as the same big cat that spent about nine hours on a busy street in Mountain View in May.

After that incident the cougar was tranquilized and released into nearby hills.

Houghtaling says the accident occurred within a mile of the spot where a young female mountain lion was hit and killed a few months ago.

US SIGHTINGS: Second report of black cougar in county

Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 3:00 am

By Scott Wilson of the Leader 

Another Jefferson County resident, Dusty Massie, has reported that he saw a jet-black large predator cat on a Jefferson County road about six weeks ago.

Massie, a Port Townsend painting contractor, believes he saw a large black cat about six weeks ago, or four weeks earlier than the sighting turned in by Forrest Aldrich last week. Massie said he saw the cat near Port Ludlow; Aldrich saw it near Point Hudson in downtown Port Townsend.

But Massie added a twist to the story.

He said he is certain it was a panther, not a dark-colored cougar.

Here’s Massie’s report of what he saw when driving out of Port Ludlow on Oak Bay Road toward its intersection with Beaver Valley Road, (SR 19).

“I saw that cat as well, except it's not a cougar, it's a panther!” he wrote. “I know how crazy that sounds, but I'm telling you that I was close enough to it to see the color of its eyes – yellow.”

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

NEWSLINK: Dead female cougar found in northeast Nebraska

October 11, 2014 4:55 pm • By The Associated Press

The body of an adult mountain lion discovered in north-central Nebraska was the first female found outside the traditional cougar range in the western part of the state, according to state wildlife officials.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reported that the cougar's body was found along a road near Ericson, in Wheeler County, on Thursday. The big cat may have been hit by a vehicle, the commission said.

The cougar's gender is significant, because it could mean the establishment of a breeding population of the big cats in east-central Nebraska.

The only female mountain lions previously identified in Nebraska have been well west of Ericson, in the Pine Ridge, Wildcat Hills and the central Niobrara River valley near Valentine, said Sam Wilson, the commission's carnivore program manager.

Until last week, cougars found outside the western range have been young males driven out of their home territory by older males and in search of compatible territory and a mate. They often travel along rivers and streams unnoticed for long distances.