Wednesday 29 February 2012

Massive litter of valuable puppies

A Tibetan Mastiff has made its owner potentially rich in China - by giving birth to a litter of 22 valuable puppies.
The massive litter, born to a dog called Black Pearl in Urumqi, Xinjiang in western China, is one of the biggest litters of puppies ever recorded.
And Tibetan Mastiffs are among the world's most valuable dog selling for an average of £100,000.
One prized specimen was recent put up for sale for more than £1 million at a trade show in Shijiazhuang, capital of China's Hebei Province.
So Black Pearl's owner Guo Qingcai, 53, who owns a pet shop, was delighted with his pet's huge litter.
"She was given to me by a friend three years ago. We have always treated her like our own child and given her nothing but the best," he said.
Five of the puppies have died but the remaining 17 are said to be doing well - with help from Guo and his wife.
They are helping to care for the puppies around the clock, taking turns to nurse them with baby bottles of milk.
Su Zhanqiang, of Xinjiang Agricultural University, said it was unusual for a Tibetan Mastiff to have such a big litter.
"Usually a litter for a mastiff should be four or five puppies, sometimes it could be seven or eight, but this is very rare," he said.
The largest number of puppies ever recorded in a litter was 24 from a Neopolitan Bull Mastiff called Tia, in Manea in Cambridgeshire.

Two-Headed Trout Causes Controversy In Idaho (PHOTO)

Does the existence of two-headed trout mean things are just fine in Southern Idaho's waterways?
According to The New York Times, that's more or less the conclusion drawn by the J. R. Simplot mining company, which commissioned a study including photos of two-headed trout spawned from fish caught in Southern Idaho creeks.
What's more, the report concludes that levels of the metal selenium should be allowed to reach higher levels than what laws currently permit.
Things got even stranger when, in an initial review, the Environmental Protection Agency seemed to agree with the report's findings, according to the Times.
But, in its own review, the Fish and Wildlife Service had some extremely unkind words for Simplot's report and now the company and EPA are on the defensive.
Less than a week before the controversial findings were released, Simplot's spokesman David Cuoio said his company didn’t know about the pictures of two-headed trout, the Jackson Hole News reports.
Even after the report was released, Cuoio didn't retract his statement, telling the Jackson Hole News the company was taking an "open, transparent and scientifically based approach to protect the environment.”

Terrified Banstead family confronted by 'dark figure' on bypass

A taxi ride home on Valentine's night turned into a nightmare when a family were confronted by a terrifying apparition that looked and moved like the legendary Spring Heeled Jack.
Scott Martin and his family were travelling home by taxi from Stoneleigh on Tuesday, February 14, at about 10.30pm when they saw a mysterious ‘dark figure with no features’ dart across the road in front of them before leaping 15ft over a roadside bank as they approached Nescot College on the Ewell bypass.
Spooked by their seemingly supernatural experience the couple’s four-year-old son, Sonny, was too scared to sleep on his own that night, while the petrified taxi driver admitted he didn’t want to drive back alone.
Mr Martin, 40, the manager of a building company who lives in Blue Cedars in Banstead, said: "We were driving down the Ewell bypass and saw a man on the other side of the road. We didn't pay much attention until he started crossing over to our side of the road, the next thing he jumped over the centre fencing in the road and ran across our two lanes. On the side of our road is a bank easily 15ft in height and this figure crossed our road, climbed this bank and was gone from sight all in about two seconds. All four of us were baffled and voiced our sighting straight away with the same detail. A dark figure with no real features, but fast in movement with an ease of hurdling obstacles I've never seen. My last image was of him going through the bushes at the top of the bank. I'm not usually one to be freaked by these sightings but the cab driver was petrified. He didn't want to drive back alone. I am honestly baffled by this sighting and we are intrigued by it because it was so real but so strange."

Walter Kidd Loses Venomous Snakes And Exotic LIzards Worth Thousands In N.C.

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. -- A North Carolina man is losing his exotic reptile collection worth $49,000 after police found dozens of venomous lizards and snakes in his home.
Fifty-one-year-old Walter Kidd of Hendersonville pleaded guilty Friday to 30 misdemeanor charges of possessing endangered animals and failing to properly label containers of poisonous snakes.
Police seized the reptiles in August after Kidd was bitten by an exotic venomous snake and rushed to a hospital. Officers said his mobile home was packed with snakes in plastic containers.
Kidd's attorney says the reptiles were not a danger because they were kept inside his home.
The creatures were taken to the state natural sciences museum in Raleigh.

  • Panic as 78-stone show horse is 'swallowed-up' by mud
  • Mother freed her daughter and another horse before returning to trapped animal
  • Astro was freed just minutes before the tide closed in

This was the terrifying moment a brave young mother battled to keep her beloved horse calm as sea water closed in on the animal after he became trapped in mud 'like quicksand'.

Exhausted and mud-splattered, Nicole Graham clung to her trapped horse Astro for three hours keeping his head high in a race against the tide.

The 78-stone show horse had sunk into quagmire-like mud and was facing the prospect of drowning as the water rose around them.

Read more and see photos of rescue:

Mysterious 'Dog-Headed Pig Monster' Terrorizes Africa

Benjamin Radford, Life's Little Mysteries Contributor

Residents in northern Namibia, on the southwest coast of Africa, have reported being terrorized by a bizarre dog-pig hybrid creature. The animal is said to be mostly white and unlike anything the villagers have ever seen, with a doglike head and the broad, round, nearly hairless back and shoulders of a giant pig. The beast was spotted chasing and attacking dogs, goats and other domestic animals in this arid region not far from the Kalahari desert.

As often happens when rumors of monsters spread in rural areas around the world, some locals have taken extra safety precautions, such as traveling in groups and arming themselves with weapons. In 1995 and 1996, some Puerto Ricans armed themselves against the vampire beast el chupacabra; last year, Malaysian residents patrolled the streets searching for the mysterious orang minyak, or "oily man" creature that had recently terrorized them.

What could this monster be? One Namibian official, regional councilor Andreas Mundjindi, was quoted in Informante newspaper as saying, "This is an alien animal that the people have not seen before. We don't have a forest here, only bushes. So, this must be black magic at play." Some people in the area trace the beast to one old man rumored to be a warlock or witch doctor, suggesting it's his pet (or, what witch-hunters hundreds of years ago would have called a "familiar").

The assumption that the beast has magical origins is not surprising. A 2010 Gallup poll found belief in magic widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with more than half of respondents saying they personally believe in witchcraft and sorcery.

Villagers kill leopard in Kurnool

KURNOOL: A fully grown leopard, which created terror in Dhone mandal, was finally trapped by the villagers of Chanugondla on Friday. The leopard succumbed to injuries later in the custody of forest authorities.
Villagers complained that the big cat has been on the prowl since a month but the forest officials did not bother to catch it. The wild animal used to attack cowherds and take away sheep and goat in the night. On Friday morning, the leopard came again to kill sheep when stray dogs saw the wild cat and started barking. The leopard tried to hide itself on a tree but villagers carrying sticks and stones attacked it. The exhausted animal was later trapped by tying it with ropes.

Was there really a vampire who fed on dinosaur blood?

Prepare to be confronted with something scarier (and cuter) than Jurassic Park's raptors. In the mid to late Jurassic, the world was full of furry, flying vampire pterosaurs who fed on dino blood.
The Jeholopterus was a small pterosaur who was found in Northeastern China. Though originally identified as an insect-eater, an odd mystery about the animal eventually led one researcher to suggest the creature was actually feeding on the blood of nearby sauropods. Let's take a look at the discovery of Jeholopterus, and what spurred great debate over whether it was a blood-sucker.
The top image is artist Eurypterid's interpretation of Jeholopterus.
Soaring over China in the Jurassic
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences published the journal article A nearly complete articulated rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur with exceptionally well-preserved wing membranes and "hairs" from Inner Mongolia, Northeast China. The paper recorded the discovery of a new pterosaur,Jeholopterus ninchengensis.
The researchers named the pterosaur for the area of its discovery, Ningcheng County of Inner Mongolia. The wingspan ofJeholopterus is a little less than three feet and the pterosaur likely weighed in around five to ten pounds - a little smaller than the average Barn Owl. Several fibers of "hair" are seen among the wings and body in the specimen, along with imprints from a large amount of soft tissue. The skull of the fossil is crushed, limiting interpretation of the head.

Extraordinary 298-Million-Year-Old Forest Discovered Under Chinese Coal Mine

American and Chinese scientists are flabbergasted after discovering a giant 298-million-year-old forest buried intact under a coal mine near Wuda, in Inner Mongolia, China.
They are calling it the Pompeii of the Permian period because, like the ancient Roman city, it was covered and preserved by volcanic ash.
Like Pompeii, this swamp forest is so perfectly maintained that scientists know where every plant originally was. This has allowed them to map it and to create the images above. This extraordinary finding "is like Pompeii", according to University of Pennsylvania paleobotanist Hermann Pfefferkorn, who characterized it as "a time capsule."
They are in fact finding entire trees and plants exactly as they were at the time of the volcanic eruption, just like archeologists in Pompeii found humans, animals and buildings at the base of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples, in the Italian region of Campania. Except Pompeei was buried in AD 79 and this forest was covered in ash 298 million years ago, during the Permian period.

Protection for Golden poison frog, the world's most poisonous vertebrate

Nature reserve to help save it from extinction
February 2012: The golden poison frog lives deep in the heart of the Colombian rainforest. This tiny creature is considered to be the most poisonous vertebrate on Earth. International conservation charity, World Land Trust (WLT), has now created a nature reserve to save this spectacular species from extinction.
The golden poison frog is listed on the IUCN Red List as ‘Endangered' and recent years have seen a dramatic decline in numbers, linked to the loss of the frog's habitat. Until WLT secured the Rana Terribilis Amphibian Reserve, this species did not occur in any other protected areas and its survival hung in the balance.
Drenched in enough poison to kill ten men
Just 55mm in length, this tiny creature carries enough poison to kill about ten humans, with just a single milligram of toxin.
The frog's skin is drenched in an alkaloid poison that prevents nerves from transmitting impulses, leaving the muscles in an inactive state of contraction, leading to heart failure and death within minutes.
Long-recognised by the indigenous cultures in Colombia for its lethal poison, the Choco Emberā Indians would gently brush the tips of the arrows and darts on the frog's back (which causes it no harm), rendering the weapon lethal for over two years after.
But even the frog's lethal poison cannot protect it from the threats that humans pose. Deforestation, illegal gold-mining and illicit coca cultivation have all taken their toll. The frog is dependent on primary forest, and occurs across less than 150 sq miles of rainforest in Colombia, making it extremely vulnerable.

Tuesday 28 February 2012


Authorities arrest former Tarzan actor, remove three big cats from Loxahatchee ...
Palm Beach Post
Kathy Carchia, a longtime friend who had previously lived on the property and helped raise the animals, expresses concern with the seizing of the large cats and arrest of Sipek. "Those animals were very well treated. They were like his children" she ...

Big cats seized from Loxahatchee property
Authorities have seized three big cats from a large property in Loxahatchee where a cat had escaped in 2004 and had to be killed. Florida Fish and Wildlife officers served a warrant Monday morning at 3384 C Road, and the cats' owner Steve Sipek was ...

A Look at Big Cat Rescue
by Jo Singer A look at Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary for big exotic cats in the United States. Last Thursday I had the pleasure of making my second visit to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. I will always remember my first tour of the sanctuary, ...

Russian tigers to take their stripes to Iran
Iran's Caspian tiger population has been all but wiped out by hunters, so local preservation specialists chose the Amur tiger as a replacement as it is genetically close to the domestic big cat. There are only a few hundred Amur tigers left in Russia.

Tiger leaves trail, gives tormentors the slip
Daily Pioneer
The tiger continues to elude them all, and so far efforts to tranquilise the big cat have come a cropper. With the area just about 10-12 kms away from a busy railway track, the tiger is giving the forest department sleepless nights.

Rare snow leopard cub at Chattanooga Zoo to be relocated for breeding
(Photo: Patricia Benson) A 14-month-old snow leopard born at the Chattanooga Zoo will be relocated to a new and expanded big cat exhibition area at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens in mid-March as part of the Species Survival Plan.

356 leopard deaths in India in 365 days
Since earlier reports show 126 leopards died in 2007, 157 in 2008, 161 in 2009 and 180 in 2010, the latest figures reveal that after 2007 the death rate among the spotted big cats has only increased and that leopards are in greater danger than tigers ...

Exmouth: poison claims pet cats' lives
Exmouth Journal
He said the cats could have eaten something toxic. PCSO Ball said: “Where that has come from is a mystery. No other cats to my knowledge have had symptoms, or worse. “The cats could have eaten something toxic that has come into contact with food waste, ...

Polysternon Isonae, a New Species of Turtle That Lived With Dinosaurs in Isona (Spanish Pyrenees)

ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2012) — Researchers* have recently published in the online edition of the journal Cretaceous Research the discovery and description of a turtle from the end of the age of dinosaurs.They have named this new species as Polysternon isonae, in recognition of the municipality of Isona I Conca Dellà (Catalonia, Spain), where the fossil remains of the specimen type have been found.

The abundance of dinosaur fossils that lived between 65 and 70 million years ago in the area currently occupied by the Pyrenees It is well known. In this range we find dozens of sites with bones, footprints and eggs of the last dinosaurs that inhabited our planet, the Tremp basin being one of the areas with the highest concentration of fossils.
However, lesser-known are the other organisms that completed the ecosystems at the end of the Cretaceous period, consisting of other vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, fungi, etc. A common feature of these ecosystems were turtles. In the Pyrenean sites, their fossils are relatively abundant and, in general, consist of isolated shell plates or small sets of plates that can help us get a general idea of the morphology and size of the animal. Instead, the entire shell finding is rare and even more exceptional are the findings where parts of the skeleton are preserved within the shell.

Ancient tracks are elephant herd

A seven-million-year-old trail of fossilised footprints in the Arabian desert was left by a herd of ancient elephants, according to scientists.
Researchers say the "trackways" reveal that animals that left them had a rich and complex social structure.
Just like modern elephant society, this consisted of family herds and of solitary male animals.
Lead researcher Dr Faysal Bibi, a palaeontologist based at the University of Poitiers in France and the Museum of Natural History in Berlin, Germany, described the footprints as "fossilised behaviour".
Dr Bibi explained to BBC Nature that there were two different sets of tracks across the site.
"We have tracks from a herd, from which we calculated the size profile [of each animal]," he said.
"And, just by luck, we also have the trackway of a solitary individual travelling almost perpendicular to the herd."
Dr Bibi described the site as "absolutely unique".
"[It's] a really rare opportunity in the fossil record that lets you see animal behaviour in a way you couldn't do with bones or teeth," he said.
Although the area near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has been known to locals for generations, it was first studied by scientists in 2001.
Dr Bibi explained that a colleague of his, Mark Beech, was taking part in an archaeological excavation nearby.
"A local man named Mubarak Bin Rashid al-Mansouri - who knows the desert there like the back of his hand - led [Mark] to the site," he explained.
Read on:

RNA Interference Cancer Treatment? Delivering RNA With Tiny Sponge-Like Spheres

ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2012) — For the past decade, scientists have been pursuing cancer treatments based on RNA interference -- a phenomenon that offers a way to shut off malfunctioning genes with short snippets of RNA. However, one huge challenge remains: finding a way to efficiently deliver the RNA.

Most of the time, short interfering RNA (siRNA) -- the type used for RNA interference -- is quickly broken down inside the body by enzymes that defend against infection by RNA viruses.
"It's been a real struggle to try to design a delivery system that allows us to administer siRNA, especially if you want to target it to a specific part of the body," says Paula Hammond, the David H. Koch Professor in Engineering at MIT.
Hammond and her colleagues have now come up with a novel delivery vehicle in which RNA is packed into microspheres so dense that they withstand degradation until they reach their destinations. The new system, described Feb. 26 in the journal Nature Materials, knocks down expression of specific genes as effectively as existing delivery methods, but with a much smaller dose of particles.

Big Bird: Fossils of World's Tallest Penguin Discovered

New Zealand was once home to the tallest penguin species ever known — a lanky bird that stood as high as 4.2 feet (1.3 meters).

The penguin, dubbed Kairuku grebneffi, lived about 27 million years ago in a penguin paradise. More of New Zealand was underwater at the time, with only today's mountaintops emerging from the sea. That made for excellent coastal nesting for a number of penguin species.

The new fossil specimens were found beginning in the 1970s, and researchers have continued to turn up bones from the animals as recently as two months ago, said study researcher and North Carolina State University paleontologist Daniel Ksepka. The find expands the known diversity of ancient New Zealand penguins, Ksepka told LiveScience.

"In the past we would have thought there were one or two species living in the area," he said. "Now we know there were five."

Bird Flu, Swine Flu … and Now Bat Flu?

Scientists have found a new influenza virus that infects bats.

But don't pull out the hand sanitizer leftover from the H1N1, or swine flu, pandemic just yet. When asked about the implications of this discovery for human health, one of the researchers, Ruben Donis, said: "It's still too early to tell." 

We still don't know that this bat flu virus can infect people, according to Donis, who is chief of the molecular virology and vaccines branch in the influenza division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He and a team of American and Guatemalan researchers isolated the virus from fruit-eating, little yellow-shouldered bats in Guatemala. So far, there is no evidence the newly discovered virus is causing illness among the bats.

318 wolves killed in Idaho – Because they eat deer - Its Elkonomics

Elkonomics in Idaho
February 2012. The poor hunters of Idaho couldn't find enough deer to kill, so to make life easier for them the Idaho Fish and Game Department (At least, unlike many states, they don't pretend to be a wildlife department) has killed more than 300 wolves to allow humans to buy licenses to kill the deer instead. Last year humans shot more than 16,000 elk alone, but that wasn't enough, and, apparently it is because wolves kill so many elk that they don't leave enough for humans to kill. So the obvious answer, according to Idaho, is to kill the wolves, so then the hunters can kill even more elk.

Deputy Director Jim Unsworth said. "We'd like to see one of Idaho's premier elk populations recover as much as possible." Perhaps they could just stop people shooting them instead.
42 wolves killed recently
In cooperation with Idaho Fish and Game, the USDA Wildlife Services has completed a ‘wolf control action' in northern Idaho's Lolo zone. Over three days in early February, Wildlife Services agents killed 14 wolves from a helicopter. In the Lolo zone, hunters have taken 11 wolves, trappers have taken 11, control efforts earlier in spring 2011 took six, and the most recent control effort took 14 for a total of 42 wolves. The cost of the action is estimated at $22,500 in license funds. As of February 22, hunters and trappers have taken a total of 318 wolves across the state.
In recent years wolves have been identified as the primary cause of death in female elk and calves over six months old. But the habitat in the area is capable of supporting an increased population, Deputy Director Jim Unsworth said.
"We'd like to see one of Idaho's premier elk populations recover as much as possible," he said.
Idaho Elk
In 2011 the Idaho elf population was estimated at 103,000, (See here) and hunter hunter success was 19 percent
According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation : "The statewide population actually broke a long plummet and rebounded 2,000 animals from last year. That growth likely came, at least in part, from fewer hunters. Tag sales went from 92,565 in 2008 to 84,765 in 2010-a decline of about 8 percent.

So 84,765 tags were sold, with a 19% success rate, so that equates to 16,105 successful elk kills.
In Idaho, a resident must pay $30.75 for a license to kill an elk, and a non resident some $416.75. They also have to purchase a hunting license as well. So (If I understand correctly) if 90% of the 84,765 tags sold were to residents, the income from elk shooting was some $4-5 million. No wonder Idaho Game and fish want more people to kill elk and other wildlife.

New road risk to Iran’s cheetahs & leopards

Hotspot for two rare speciesFebruary 2012: One of Iran's national parks is fighting for survival. Like many other protected areas in the world, a road is planned to be developed through heart of the Bafq Protected Area, one of the main hotspots for two rare species, Asiatic cheetah and Persian leopard.

The new road plans are controversial, with critics claiming the current road is already adequate and the new route, which is not significantly shorter, would pass through dangerous and steep mountainous slopes so increasing fuel consumption and potentially leading to higher numbers of road accidents.
Important populations of cheetahs and leopardsLocated in central Iran, Bafq is one of the most important habitats for Iran's two big cats where numerous records of cheetah and leopard families indicate a breeding site for both species, and particularly for the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah.
It has been under official protection since 1996 and now there is a relatively good population of cheetah and leopard, as well as caracal and Manul's cat, in the area. Additionally Bafq has a good potential for sighting cheetahs which increases its chances of it becoming a prime site for ecotourism.
During the 1990s, numerous cheetahs were killed in the area by locals, but since an educational programme was launched there has been an impressive decline in poaching. However, the new road plans now pose a threat to this precious landscape.

Pine marten fear for capercaillie

Gamekeepers are warning capercaillie could be lost from Scotland for a second time, unless steps are taken to control pine marten numbers.
The pine marten is one of Scotland's rarest native mammal species but the capercaillie population is falling.
The Scottish Gamekeepers' Association believes pine martens are having a major impact on the iconic species.
RSPB Scotland says the SGA's position is "riddled with basic inaccuracies and sheer prejudice".
The capercaillie, a huge, woodland grouse, became extinct in Scotland around 1785 but was reintroduced, using birds from Sweden, just over 50 years later.
Important factor
There are fears that the capercaillie will once again become extinct in Scotland, although the reasons for the population decline are complex and often disputed.
Gamekeepers argue predation by pine martens is an important factor which has been ignored by scientists and conservation groups.
The SGA is calling on the government agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, to introduce licences to allow pine martens to be controlled.
That could involve trapping and relocation or culling.
A spokesman for the SGA said: "Predation levels across the board have risen and are now far too high for capercaillie numbers to get above the levels required to be safe.

Otter poo reveals surprising facts about otter's diet - Includes birds and mice

Finding remains of eels, fish, crabs and even birds
February 2012: A group of volunteers rolled up their sleeves to find out more about what otters eat in North Wales  – at a special workshop earlier this month.

In the workshop, organised by the Mammals in a Sustainable Environment (MISE) project at Treborth Botanic Gardens, more than 40 volunteers dissected otter droppings, know as spraints, to see what they could find. The remains of eels, marine and freshwater fish, crabs, amphibians and even birds and mice were all among their discoveries – more than 23 different prey species in total. 

The spraints were collected by volunteers last year, along the North Wales coast and in Waterford, Ireland. Mammal ecologist Rob Strachan helped the volunteers identify fish bones, jaws and even mammal teeth as they picked the spraints apart. 

This gives valuable information about behaviourThe MISE project is part of an EU Interreg funded project involving the Countryside Council for Wales and The Vincent Wildlife Trust to find out more about mammals and what they need to thrive in a sustainable environment.
Ceri Morris, CCW Project Officer and workshop organiser said: ‘Analysing the otter's diet can yield valuable information not only about what they eat, but where they feed and how far they roam. We found evidence of crabs in a number of the spraints, which are generally thought of as a favourite food for young otters –so this could be evidence of breeding sites near our coasts.  

Monday 27 February 2012


Fat cat's weight loss makes 'Tiny' a celebrity
Tiny, a very large and lovable grey house cat, has become an international celebrity since he was left in a box outside the Fredericton SPCA on Dec. 30. But no one at the shelter was quite prepared for a cat the size of Tiny, or the media attention he ...

Big Trouble: World's tallest cat visits Monterey
Monterey County Herald
Debby Maraspini of Sacramento cuddles Trouble, her Savannah breed cat, during the East of Eden Cat Fanciers cat show at the Monterey Fairgrounds in Monterey on Saturday. He weighs 20 to 25 pounds. The world's tallest cat made a big impression Saturday ...

Gifford Cat Shelter: Handsome, friendly Taali would make a wonderful pet
Wicked Local
By Gifford
Cat Shelter Taali is as unique-looking as his name. He came to Gifford with his housemate Coco Latte, who we featured here a few weeks ago, when their person could no longer care from them. Taali is a big boy who must have some Siamese in ...

The enjoyment of cat shows
Asbury Park Press
Katherine Bock was exhibiting Norwegian Forests, a breed characterized by being big-boned and showing its Scandinavian background through its long hair and big feet to maneuver in snow. “This is the national cat of Norway,” said Bock, an officer in the ...

Vacations turn cats vindictive
Mid Columbia Tri City Herald
This strategy took cunning cat contemplation; a plan to chew over in advance. “My big toe is killing me,” my husband complained as he unlaced his ankle-high boots. “I must have cut my toenail too short.” I watched while Bill rubbed his foot.


Chile: On the trail of big cats in South America
The Independent
This makes puma spotting sound easy, as though all of the park's 150000 annual visitors ought to see a large cat. But this is far from the case – partly because pumas are timid, nocturnal and solitary, but also because, for some inexplicable reason, ...

Circus families keep Big Top traditions alive
Emirates 24/7
"I'm actually the ninth generation of my family to be a animal handler and entertainer//I chose big cats because that's what I love - that's what I grew up around They've always been a part of my family, and I have a special bond with big cats.

Facing down a mountain lion, Part 1
The Desert Sun
The attack on the young boy occurred at Big Bend National Park in Texas, on a concrete walkway at the Chisos Mountain Lodge. The lodge is located in the busiest part of the park, next to a cafe, visitor center and parking area. The big cat literally ...

Stray leopard has retreated to forest area, claim officials
Times of India
The big cat was not spotted on Saturday, and forest officers, said it could have gone back to the forest, from where it had ventured out. "There are very little chances that it could still be present in the village," said AP Tripathi, DFO, Gorakhpur.

Tiger plays hard to get in Lucknow
Daily News & Analysis
In their bid to track down the elusive big cat, forest officials brought in a cow elephant. Machans were arranged to keep night vigil and a professional 'shikari' had been called in from Hyderabad to tranquilise him. Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) ...

Rare Amur leopards mating success at Kent sanctuaryBBC NewsA sanctuary in Kent is on a mission to save critically endangered big cats from extinction. The Amur leopard is the most endangered big cat in the world with as few as 30 living in the wild. A conservation plan has been drawn up to breed the leopards ...

Prowling with the tiger
Daily Pioneer
Actor John Abraham shares some of his big cat experiences. Team Viva reports It will be an opportunity to discover dark, deep woods, trace the big cat's move, watch a tigress bring up cubs, and meet Simon King, the popular star of Big Cat diary.

Experts suggest ways to trap elusive tiger
Times of India
On Sunday, wildlife experts visited the Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture (CISH) campus and suggested ways to the forest officers to trap the big cat. "We suggested that a bait be put at one place, and that place should be within the range ...

Mystery cats of Sarawak
Otago Daily Times Online News Otago ...
Felines and white rajahs add mystique to Sarawak's colourful capital, writes Jim Eagles, of The New Zealand Herald.
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