Displaying items by tag: wild animals
The Roar Foundation - The Shambala Preserve
   
A Birthday Present for Tippi
Tippi Hedren
 
Hi Everybody!!!!!......TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!.....I AM 88 YEARS OLD!!!!!!......WOO HOO!!!!!
 
Some of you have asked, "What do you want for your Birthday, Tippi?....Anything special?". I thought for a few minutes and said, "Yes, it would be special, but it's not for me. I've got too much' stuff! At this point in my life, I'm going to be...88!!!!!" Retirement is a four letter word as far as I'm concerned, but, you know what I would really love????....I've been rescuing the Big Cat in captivity since 1973...I have been Founder and President of the ROAR Foundation since 1983 to support The Wild Ones of Shambala. I've been in charge of raising the funds to support these magnificent Big Cats, all born in the U.S. to be sold as a pet or for financial exploitation. This has been an amazing life, one I would not change a single day for any pipe dream life of riches and elegance for anything. I've never taken a salary nor have I been paid on any level from the Roar Foundation.
  
So, this is why I'm going to ask all of you to   Yes, $88,000.00 for The Roar Foundation to support the magnificent Wild Ones at the Shambala Preserve, in my name! Tippi Hedren...You may donate any amount. You could donate, eight dollars & eighty eight cents, eight hundred eighty dollars, eighty-eight dollars, eighty-eight thousand dollars....In my name!!
 
I'm very excited about my birthday this year....because it will all be benefiting the most  important animals in my life!!!!!!
 
To those of you who responded to my last birthday request, I'm so hoping you will remember how successful that program was in benefitting the Magnificent Wild Ones.
 
 
Thank you, for reading this and acting upon it, and I'm so hoping to see all of you at Shambala this year, over and over again!!!!
 
Thank you so much, for caring!!!!!!!!....From all of us at Shambala, Animal and human!!!!!!.......We hope to see you,.... soon!!!!!
 
With love for the Wild Ones. .......
 
               X0X0X0X0X0....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tippi Hedren
President The Roar Foundation
The Shambala Preserve
www.shambala.org
Photo by Bill Dow  Photo © The Roar Foundation
 
The Roar Foundation - The Shambala Preserve, PO Box 189, Acton, CA 93510

Victory! Exotic cats dropped from Dirk Arthur show in Las Vegas

 

Following a 3-week campaign by Animal Defenders International (ADI), the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Cinema has announced Dirk Arthur’s “Wild Magic” show will return minus its signature exotic cats.

 

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported: “Turns out that Arthur is eschewing his exotic cats in his return the stage at the Westgate Cabaret. Arthur had initially announced he would use a bobcat and a snow leopard in the production, which returns at 6 p.m. Nov. 15. Instead, the hotel issued a statement Wednesday that Arthur was ditching the cats and working sleight-of-hand and illusions…”  Westgate cites “space limitations in the Cabaret” in its statement as the reason for the change of plan. https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/entertainment-columns/kats/jewel-helps-las-vegas-pick-up-the-pieces/

 

Christina Scaringe, ADI General Counsel said: “'ADI is delighted that Westgate dropped Arthur’s cruel exotic cat act; we hope it will adopt a permanent ‘no wild animal acts’ policy. Public attitudes are changing, and as people become aware of the inherent suffering, they turn away from exotic animal acts. It’s time for Dirk Arthur to do the same, and retire his animals to sanctuary.”

 

This is the second time Westgate dropped Arthur’s exotic cat act; ADI hopes that Westgate will join those who have moved with the times to replace cruel and outdated animal acts with successful human performances.

 

Footage previously obtained by ADI shows that Arthur’s exotic cats suffer extreme confinement and environmental deprivation, enduring hours in tiny travel cages and prop boxes, and living in cement and chain link cells, all for only a few minutes onstage.

 
 

ADI’s undercover video compiles findings from our investigations in 2011, 2014, and 2015, of the Dirk Arthur compound (where animals are housed) and performances, including those at Harrah’s Hotel Casino in Reno Nevada, and at O’Shea’s, Riviera, and Westgate Casinos in Las Vegas. For the few minutes Arthur’s exotic cats appear onstage, they must endure approximately six hours a day in tiny travel cages and prop boxes barely larger than their bodies. The animals spend almost a third of their day confined in travel cages that are just 3 feet wide by 3 feet high by 5 feet long – about the length of a bathtub. When not performing, the animals are warehoused in a series of small cement and chain link cells in Arthur’s backyard, in a residential area of Las Vegas.

 

Dirk Arthur has been cited numerous times by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including citations for hazards related to a snow leopard’s caging condition and a bobcat entangled in his own neck chain and fencing. Arthur was cited in 2013 for failure to provide adequate veterinary care, after he declawed two juvenile tigers and a juvenile lion. Declawing is a painful, often debilitating, procedure that amputates part of each of the cat’s toes and commonly leads to chronic health problems; declawing is prohibited by the USDA and, since 2006, it’s not permitted under the AWA. The AVMA condemns declawing exotic and wild cats for nonmedical reasons. Arthur has also previously been cited for having enclosures that are too small to allow cats “normal postural and social adjustments and adequate freedom of movement,” including the ability to exercise. Previously, Caesars Entertainment responded to public outcry and these citations with its pledge to not again host Arthur’s show at the Harrah’s Casino. (ADI video reveals Arthur’s cats remained in extreme confinement after that time.)

 

Siegfried and Roy - the most famous Las Vegas exotic cat act – abruptly ended their run at the Mirage in September 2003, after Roy was attacked by a tiger. The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino removed their lion display in 2012, and veteran Las Vegas magician Rick Thomas retired his exotic cats the same year. Exotic cat acts along the Las Vegas Strip have been replaced by successful animal-free human performance shows, such as Cirque du Soleil.

 

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New IUCN Red List Assessment Classifies Snow Leopards as ‘Vulnerable’ to Extinction, One Step Up From ‘Endangered’ 

September 14, 2017

New York, NY – The mysterious snow leopard has been delivered a piece of good news. The Red List classification from the International Union for Conservation of Nature–IUCN–improves the conservation status of the big cat from “Endangered” to “Vulnerable.” Yet, these iconic symbols of Asia’s great mountain wilderness still face numerous threats, many rapidly growing, in their high mountain home.
 
The snow leopard was listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List–the globally accepted, international standard for assessing extinction risk—for each 5-10 year assessment since its initial listing in 1972. The change in status came after a three-year assessment process by five international experts including scientists from academia and from Panthera, Snow Leopard Conservancy, and Wildlife Conservation Society, organizations active in snow leopard conservation. The assessment was then reviewed and approved by eight international felid and Red List assessments experts, the IUCN Global Mammal Assessment team, and the central Red List Unit.
 
Dr. Tom McCarthy, Executive Director of Panthera’s Snow Leopard Program and a member of the assessment team, said, “To be considered ‘Endangered,’ there must be fewer than 2,500 mature snow leopards and they must be experiencing a high rate of decline. Both are now considered extremely unlikely, which is the good news, but it does not mean that snow leopards are ‘safe’ or that now is a time to celebrate. The species still faces ‘a high risk of extinction in the wild’ and is likely still declining–just not at the rate previously thought.”
 
The assessment cites a number of recent studies that used more scientifically robust methods than in the past and which suggest snow leopard numbers are likely higher than previously thought. Dr. Rodney Jackson, Founder and Director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) and another member of the assessment team, said, “Even with such positive supportive information, the assessment team took a conservative approach, including using the lowest estimated global population size of 4,000 when determining if the Endangered threshold could be met.”
 
One of the reasons that snow leopard status has improved is greatly increased conservation efforts. Dr. David Mallon, snow leopard expert and member of the assessment team, points out that in the last few decades there has been a significant increase in the number of protected areas within the snow leopard range. The species’ range is extensive, and covers more than 1.8 million square kilometers of mountain habitat in 12 range countries across Asia.
 
Dr. Jackson stressed that local initiatives such as community ranger monitoring efforts and the building of predator-proof corrals to control conflict over livestock losses are helping to protect the cats from retaliatory killing in many locations.
 
The snow leopard is the top predator of the world’s greatest mountain chains–the Himalaya, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Tien Shan, Altai, and other mountain regions of Asia. Unfortunately, even in these near-inaccessible mountains, the snow leopard faces numerous threats.
 
“Continuing threats include poaching for its thick fur and overhunting of its wild prey,” said Peter Zahler, Coordinator of the WCS Snow Leopard Program and also on the assessment team. “There is also an increasing number of domestic livestock raised by local people in these high mountains that degrades the delicate grasslands, disturbs wild sheep and goats and drives them into less productive habitats.” Zahler pointed out that this can also lead to disease outbreaks in wild sheep and goats due to transmission of novel pathogens from their domestic counterparts. “The loss of wild prey can lead to attacks on domestic stock, which itself can lead to retaliatory killing of snow leopards by local shepherds,” Zahler said.
 
Zahler added, “It is important that a change in status is not misinterpreted–this change does not mean that the snow leopard has been ‘saved’ and efforts on its behalf can stop. The IUCN’s Vulnerable status means a species is still vulnerable to extinction, and the snow leopard population is still believed to be in decline and facing a high risk of extinction. Threats–poaching, habitat destruction, loss of prey species–still exist and new threats such as roads, border fences, and climate change, are increasing. So conservation actions must continue and be increased to conserve the species.”

Read Panthera's Q&A on this news.
 

About Panthera 
Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers and their vast landscapes. In 36 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours. Visit panthera.org.

About Snow Leopard Conservancy
SLC, founded in 2000 by Dr. Rodney Jackson and Ms. Darla Hillard, aims to secure the survival of the snow leopard, by conserving its mountain habitat, enhancing local livelihoods and alleviating the human-wildlife conflict which threatens its existence. By blending traditional knowledge with modern science, SLC works in partnership with local people, to increase environmental awareness, advance grassroots conservation initiatives and involve them in non-invasive monitoring of snow leopards. By developing an appreciation for this wild cat, the ultimate goal of the Conservancy is to turn conflict into coexistence. Visit snowleopardconservancy.org.
 
About Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. WCS has been a global leader on snow leopard conservation since the 1970s, with current programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org.

 

Animal Defenders International (ADI) has renewed its call for Congress to support the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (HR1759) after a tiger owned by former Ringling Bros big cat trainer, Alexander Lacey, was shot dead by police in Georgia yesterday.

Tim Phillips, President of Animal Defenders International, said:When things go wrong in wild animal circuses they go seriously wrong. Aside from the public danger, this tiger has paid with her life for a human error, all in the name of frivolous entertainment. This tragic incident adds to the already overwhelming evidence showing traveling wild animal acts are not safe for animals or people and we urge Congress to act.”

HR 1759 was introduced March 28 by Representatives Ryan Costello (R-PA) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and aims to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and traveling performances. The bill has 32 co-sponsors.

The tiger, called Suzy, escaped while being transported from Florida to Tennessee, during a stop in Georgia. Spotted on the interstate, the tiger entered a residential area and, as stated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, after she “became aggressive toward pets in the area, it was deemed necessary for public safety to put it down”. Transporter Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros Circus, has stated they didn’t know Suzy was missing until they had reached their destination, raising concerns as to whether the big cats were properly checked.

Alexander Lacey plans to take his tigers, lions and a leopard to a German circus, following the closure of Ringling Bros earlier this year. An application to export the big cats from the US was opposed by ADI and other animal groups, as well as members of the public. The permit was approved August 14 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service but according to staff, still needs to be signed off after a correction is made.

Over the years, ADI has caught on film a catalogue of abuse at circuses owned by the big cat trainer’s father Martin Lacey Snr:

  • Tigers hit with whips and sticks by Martin Lacey Sr and his daughter Natasha Lacey.
  • Elephants abused, punched, and hit with brooms and sticks by their presenter and groom. Martin Lacey Sr told Members of the British Parliament that the elephants were not chained, yet ADI video evidence showed that they were chained every day, for up to 11 hours.
  • Lions and tigers confined in transporters 27 hours for a journey time of 3 hours 25 minutes.
  • Government circus inspection reports revealed big cats lived the whole year in cages on the back of transporters; tigers gave birth while on tour; and an elephant that was “chronically and obviously lame,” with a chronic abscess that “should be seen by a veterinary surgeon … as soon as possible.”
  • Alexander Lacey’sbeastman” lost his temper and lashed out at and hit tigers in a beast wagon; he also hit a lioness in the mouth with a metal bar.
  • Alexander Lacey jabbed a big cat hard with a stick, and concealed a seriously injured lioness from inspectors.

Given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Welfare is always compromised.

Expert analysis of scientific evidence commissioned by the Welsh Government and undertaken by Professor Steven Harris at Bristol University last year concluded, “The available scientific evidence indicates that captive wild animals in circuses and other travelling animal shows do not achieve their optimal welfare requirements.” The report stated that “Life for wild animals in travelling circuses…does not appear to constitute either a ‘good life’ or a ‘life worth living’”.

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) has concluded “there is by no means the possibility that their [wild mammals in travelling circuses’] physiological, mental and social requirements can adequately be met.”

The British Veterinary Association concludes that “The welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus - in terms of housing or being able to express normal behaviour.”

Nearly 40 countries around the world and more than 70 local US jurisdictions have introduced prohibitions on animals in circuses to date. Several states including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have introduced and are considering similar legislation. Illinois recently passed a ban on elephant performances and the New York Governor has a similar bill on his desk awaiting signature.

Please visitwww.ad-international.org for more information.

Cynthia Smoot is the Emmy award-winning co-anchor of the FOX 13 11 O'clock News

When she's not at the anchor desk, Cynthia's likely covering a story about Florida's fabulous wildlife or people and their pets. She loves nature and enjoys helping Tampa Bay viewers get to know some of the interesting creatures in our own backyard, such as "Winter," the little dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium that lost her tail but now swims with the help of a prosthesis.

She has also reported on some of the area's most notorious animal cruelty cases, following the story of "Casper," a boxer that was nearly starved to death, from the day he arrived at the county shelter to the day he went home with his new adoptive owner.

Cynthia has also traveled to the Everglades to report on the threat of Burmese pythons to our native wildlife, and to Boca Grande, where invasive spiny-tailed iguanas are pushing out threatened gopher tortoises and eating native birds.

In 1998, Cynthia received a prestigious Emmy award for "A Real Life Horse Whisperer," the story of Monty Roberts, who helped revolutionize horse training with his non-violent methods.

Cynthia grew up in Yorktown, Virginia and received her B.A. in communications from James Madison University. She's a 30-year veteran of broadcast journalism, with a career that began in radio as an award-winning morning news anchor and news director, and for the past 28 years, in television as a producer, reporter, and anchor.

Before coming to WTVT in 1997, Cynthia spent 13 years at the FOX owned and operated TV station in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, North Carolina as the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news anchor. In North Carolina, she was deeply involved in children's issues and received a number of community awards and honor for her involvement and advocacy on issues relating to foster care and adoption, infant mortality, teenage pregnancy and working women.

Cynthia was also involved with the North Carolina chapter of "Operation Smile," twice
traveling abroad with medical teams to report on the life-changing surgery they perform on children with facial and limb deformities.

Cynthia lives in Tierra Verde with her husband Bill, greyhound Karma, and Bo the cat. Cynthia’s horse, Bucky, prefers the country life in Manatee County.

If you would like to contact Cynthia, you can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @CynthiaSmoot.

 

Cheetah Conservation Fund is the world’s leading organization dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Founded by Dr. Laurie Marker in 1990, CCF has created a set of integrated programs aimed at addressing the principle threats to the cheetah.

 

CCF’s conservation programming is rooted in scientific research. CCF maintains a research program on the biology, ecology and genetics of cheetahs that publishes papers in peer-reviewed journals annually, and currently operates the only fully-equipped genetics lab at an in-situ conservation facility in Africa.

 

Using this research as an underpinning, CCF has created a set of integrated programs that together address the threats both to the cheetah and its entire ecosystem, including human populations. CCF operates from the principal that only by securing the future of the communities that live alongside the cheetah can you secure a future for the cheetah. Helping people helps cheetahs.

 

Learn about the cheetah and what we do to help it win the race against extinction:

 

Welcome.

 

If you’re here, it’s a pretty good bet that, like me, you think the cheetah is special. It’s the world’s fastest land animal, and the oldest species of big cat. It’s also Africa’s most endangered big cat. We’ve lost over 90 percent of the world’s wild population in the past 100 years. And if we don’t act now, we might lose the cheetah forever.

 

I invite you to join us

 

Be part of our work here in Namibia and around the world. Donate. Visit. Volunteer. While we love hosting interns, working guests and visitors at our International Research and Education Center in Namibia, Africa, the truth is that you can help the cheetah right now, right where you are.

 

What will it take to save the cheetah?

 

Saving the cheetah means addressing its entire ecosystem, including the people who live in the cheetah’s range. Ninety percent of cheetahs in the wild live outside protected areas, alongside human communities. Securing a future for the cheetah means securing the future of the people who live in cheetah country. For nearly 25 years, Cheetah Conservation Fund has been doing just that – through our celebrated Livestock Guarding Dog program, and our award-winning habitat restoration project, Bushblok. We’re based in Namibia, where the world’s largest population of wild cheetahs lives, and everything we do is aimed at creating a thriving ecosystem so that cheetahs and humans can live together.

 

We need you, starting today.

 

Join our mailing list and learn more, be part of our CCF family. The race is on to save the cheetah, and with your help, we can win it.

 

For Cheetahs Everywhere,

 

Founded in Namibia in 1990, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs. CCF is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild.

 

The vast majority of wild cheetahs are outside protected areas, in areas populated by humans. Saving this magnificent animal from extinction requires innovative conservation methods that address the welfare of both cheetah and human populations over large landscapes. CCF has developed a set of integrated programs that work together to achieve this objective. CCF’s programs have effectively stabilized and even increased the wild cheetah population in Namibia.

 

CCF’s mission is to be the internationally recognized center of excellence in the conservation of cheetahs and their ecosystems. CCF will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education, and land use to benefit all species, including people.

 

CCF is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Namibia, with operations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and partner organizations in several other nations.

 

Location

 

Cheetah Conservation Fund is located in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, about three hours north of the capital city of Windhoek. CCF’s International Research and Education Centre is a renowned research facility that sets the standard for researchers and students worldwide seeking to learn more about the cheetah. It is a center for conservation programming and education, the base from which CCF reaches thousands of farmers, tens of thousands of students and hundreds of thousands of online supporters worldwide.

 

Even with all of this world-class, innovative conservation work going on, CCF is also an ecotourism destination, providing informative and memorable experiences for travelers whether they visit us for a day, or stay overnight in our guest house accommodations. Ask anyone who’s been here – there is no place on earth like CCF.

 

Research Facilities

 

Through the generosity of Life Technologies, CCF has developed a DNA laboratory that conducts a non-invasive, genetic monitoring program to provide accurate population estimates of cheetahs in Namibia and other home-range countries. The laboratory also researches questions involving cheetah gene flow and geographical patterns of genetic variation, as well as adaptive questions related to the cheetah’s behavioral ecology in specific habitats. The lab plays a key role in training the next generation of wildlife geneticists.

 

Learn more about Research

 

Model Farm and Creamery

 

The CCF Center includes several model farms that have been developed to research and display predator-friendly and commercially viable livestock and wildlife programs. Innovative business initiatives include the Bushblok compressed fuel log, made from invasive thorn bush and the Dancing Goat Creamery which makes goat’s cheese made from CCF’s goats which are protected by its Anatolian Shepherds and Kangal Livestock Guarding Dogs. Educational groups and visiting farmers have the opportunity to see first-hand that farmers and cheetah can co-exist.

 

Education Centre and Cheetah Museum

 

CCF’s education center and Cheetah Museum displays are designed around CCF’s scientific research findings and provide detailed information about the cheetah: its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem, conflict with humans, and what CCF is doing to ensure the species’ survival for future generations.

 

CCF’s Education Team presents two-day or longer environmental courses for school groups with overnight accommodation provided at the CCF educational campsites. Since 2000, over 15,000 students have participated in these courses at the Center. In addition to school groups, regional youth groups, youth officials, teachers, health officials and farmers participate in specially designed programs at CCF’s Center.findings and provide detailed information about the cheetah: its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem, conflict with humans, and what CCF is doing to ensure the species’ survival for future generations.

 

The CCF children’s educational playground demonstrates that learning can be fun. Children complete a range of activities designed to demonstrate cheetah physiology and environmental issues.

 

Learn more about Education

 

Resident Cheetahs

 

Since its founding in 1990, CCF has had great success working with farmers who have cheetahs living on their land. This has led to over half of the more than 900 cheetahs CCF has worked with being released back into the wild. But there are always orphaned and injured cheetahs and here at CCF they are given a large, peaceful sanctuary. These cheetahs, not able to make it in the wild due to behavioral or medical problems, are part of ongoing research to better understand cheetah biology, physiology and behavior. Some of CCF’s orphan cheetahs can be viewed at feeding time (14:00 h on week days and 12:00 h on weekends), or can be seen close up on a Cheetah Safari Drive. You can watch cheetahs run like the wind during a ‘Cheetah Run’ or view them in their natural habitat in CCF’s Bellebenno Reserve with excellent photo and viewing opportunities (based on availability). Enjoy a private safari through CCF’s own “Little Serengeti”, a picturesque open plain featuring large herds of hartebeest, oryx, springbok, warthog, and jackals; and don’t miss out on the ‘Cheetah Exclusive’, during which you will enjoy a unique personal encounter with one of CCF’s ambassador cheetahs and spend some time with CCF’s research staff.

 

Sponsor a Resident Cheetah

 

The cheetah is one of the most specialized of the 37 cat species with only one species in its genus, Acinonyx. During the 1980s, CCF and its research collaborators studied many aspects of cheetah biology including genetics, reproductive physiology, and virology. These early studies identified the cheetah’s limited genetic variation that results in reproductive and health problems. CCF’s current research focuses on a number of aspects of the cheetah’s life cycle, ecology, biology and genetics.

 


 

Health and Reproduction

 

CCF’s on-going research on the wild cheetah includes studying the genetics and relatedness of the population, the incidence of disease, stress hormone levels, and the reproductive health of the population. Through weighing and measuring for morphometric studies, analysis of dental structure and reproductive fitness, CCF is learning more about the overall health of the world’s cheetah population.

 


 

The Life Technologies Conservation Genetics Laboratory

 

CCF is home to a world class research facility that is unique in Africa. It includes the Haas Family Veterinary Clinic and the Life Technologies Conservation Genetics Laboratory, which is the only fully-equipped genetics lab in situ at a conservation facility in Africa. From this facility, CCF collaborates with scientists around the globe on research that not only benefits the cheetah and its ecosystem, but other big cats and predators as well. The Haas Family Veterinary Clinic allows us to not only collect samples from cheetahs that we take into our facility, it allows us to provide prompt veterinary care to our cheetahs, dogs, goats and other animals when they have need.

 

Assuring the good health of all our residents is an important part of making conservation work here at CCF. The genetics laboratory was made possible thanks to the generous donation of PCR machines, a Sequence Analyzer, and an initial batch of reagents from Applied Biosystems (now Life Technologies) at the time of the setup and a new laser in 2012. The addition of the state of the art non-invasive laboratory for our international scat samples in 2009 was supported by the Ohrstrom Foundation. We have had the chance to be able to use a great genetic analysis software called “geneious” since 2010, for which licenses were generously donated by the company who created it (Biomatters). Additional donations from private individuals and the surplus department of the National Institutes of Health provided valuable equipment such as a UV work station, centrifuges, pipettemen, electrophoresis systems and a camera system for the visualization of DNA, spectrophotometer, scales, glassware, and other lab ware.

 

We want to thank everybody for their support. One of the major motivating factors in having a laboratory in Namibia is to be able to process samples locally instead of having to send African samples to the US and Europe. This has several advantages including decreasing the dependence of Namibia from other countries and allowing Namibian students to be exposed to genetic research and conservation at CCF, at the same time avoiding the complications of sample export. Since 2009 we have trained 1-2 Namibian graduates a year in the laboratory. CCF is committed to working with students, both in Namibia and abroad, and training the next generation of environmental and genetic scientists.

 


 

Scat Detection Dogs

 

Trained scat-sniffing dogs help CCF ecologists find cheetah scat in the field. DNA is then extracted in its laboratory to identify individual cheetahs and understand cheetah population structure.

 


 

Genome Resource Bank

 

CCF has developed best-practice techniques for storing sperm, tissues and blood samples in its Genome Resource Bank (GRB), to provide ‘insurance’ for the cheetah’s survival. As a result, CCF maintains one of the largest GRB’s for an endangered species. Cryopreservation methods continue to be studied and refined in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, USA.

 


 

Behavior Demographics, Home Range, and Reintroduction

 

CCF investigates the movement of the cheetah to determine home ranges, habitat preference and seasonal use, territoriality, and behaviors unique to individual cheetah populations that may be critical for their survival. CCF develops and implements relocation, reintroduction, and non-invasive monitoring methodologies to ensure a viable wild population, and gathers data on the status of wild cheetahs.

 


 

Cheetah Census Research

 

Cheetahs are very difficult to count using conventional census techniques due to their secretive nature. CCF has tested various census and monitoring techniques, including radio-telemetry, spoor track counts and camera traps, and calibrating these to existing known density estimates in its research study area.

 


 

Ecological Research

 

CCF identifies vegetation and monitors growth patterns within CCF study areas, identifying target areas for ecological management, and investigating how bush encroachment affects biodiversity. CCF also conducts prey base studies that monitor habitat use by game species. CCF collates historical data regarding predation, develops methodologies for the reintroduction of prey species, and encourages standardized prey studies in other cheetah-range countries.

 


 

Investigating Human and Wildlife Conflict

 

CCF collaborates with farmers to better understand traditional farm management techniques and perceptions. CCF evaluates various non-lethal livestock management and predator control techniques that can reduce the indiscriminate removal of cheetah. The CCF research program includes CCF as a Model Farm and non-lethal predator control such as livestock guarding dogs.

 


 

Long-term Research and Education Partners:

 

 

 

View our research library

 

Environmental education plays a key role in Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF) mission. CCF believes that public education and the development of national pride and international concern for the cheetah are critical to its survival, and therefore educates farmers, teachers, and the public about methods to conserve biodiversity and about the role of the cheetah and other predators in healthy ecosystems. CCF’s Education program includes:

 

Cheetah Fact Sheet Educational Resources

 


 

CCF’s International Research Conservation
And Education Center

 

In central Namibia, CCF operates a Field Research and Education Center to conduct formal and informal education programs. The Center is open to the public daily and offers educational activities, programs for visiting school groups, and training for Namibian and foreign university students.

 

CCF’s education center and Cheetah Museum displays are designed around CCF’s scientific research findings and provide detailed information about the cheetah: its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem, conflict with humans, and what CCF is doing to ensure the species’ survival for future generations.

 

CCF’s Education Team presents two-day or longer environmental courses for school groups with overnight accommodation provided at the CCF educational campsites. Since 2000, over 15,000 students have participated in these courses at the Center. In addition to school groups, regional youth groups, youth officials, teachers, health officials and farmers participate in specially designed programs at CCF’s Center.

 


 

School Outreach Programs

 

Along with educational activities conducted at the Center, CCF’s Education Team presents outreach programs at schools and community events throughout Namibia. Since 1994, over 300,000 students have participated in a CCF outreach program.
 
Educational Resources

 


 

Farmer Training And Community Outreach

 

As 90 percent of Namibia’s wild cheetahs live on farmlands and come into conflict with farmers, livestock and game farming interests, CCF conducts a specific environmental education program for the farming community. CCF makes presentations at individual farms, farmers’ association meetings and agricultural shows, highlighting proven cheetah behavioral characteristics and predator-friendly livestock management techniques.

 

CCF’s Education Team conducts week-long training courses for communal conservancies, emerging and re-settled farmers, and extension officers. CCF’s courses are aimed at improving understanding of farming production principles and systems as well as providing hands-on training. Topics include cattle husbandry, herd and veld management, disease and vaccination programs, business principles and inventorying conservancy resources. Other topics include basic conservation training on sustainable wildlife utilization and the role and value of predators, predator kill identification and other ‘predator-friendly’ farming practices. Over 3,000 participants have undergone training at CCF’s Center. Several training courses are conducted each year.

 


 

International Training Courses

 

Cheetah conservation is interconnected to social, economic, and environmental factors which are of national concern. The next generation of African conservation managers must be equipped with the best training available. CCF has hosted several education and conservation biology courses for wildlife professionals. Collaborative partners include the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Namibian Ministry of Higher Education. Over 300 Namibian and international course participants have completed courses on natural resource management, environmental education, conservation biology, game capture, and integrated wildlife, livestock and predator management.

 

CCF has close links and assists in training and sharing program successes with other countries where cheetah live, including Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Iran, Algeria and more recently, Angola. In many of these countries, efforts are currently underway to develop new conservation programs or support existing cheetah conservation efforts. CCF’s international collaborations involve distributing CCF materials, lending resources and support, and providing training through Africa and the rest of the world.

 

Additionally, CCF has been working in an advisory capacity with the Wildlife Trust of India and India’s authorities to discuss the best strategies for re-introducing cheetahs in India.

 

Countries in which CCF maintains ongoing collaborations:

 

Kenya

 

The Kenya cheetah population has declined over the past decade. The Kenya Wildlife Service has asked CCF to determine population distribution in the country as well as to identify population needs. CCF established a Kenyan satellite centre and employed two staff to begin research, conservation, and education programs. In addition, CCF is assisting with a project in the Masai Mara to study the impact of tourism on cheetahs and has worked with the industry to distribute awareness materials. In cooperation with Friends of Conservation, Kenya Wildlife Service, and Kenya Wildlife Clubs, CCF has provided student and teacher resource materials for their use in schools throughout Kenya.

 


 

Tanzania

 

In 2013, Tanzania became the fourth country to which CCF has sent its celebrated livestock guarding dogs to help with human-wildlife conflict. The dogs were sent to the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP) run by Dr. Amy Dickman. RCP is part of Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), with whom CCF Founder and Executive Director Dr. Marker conducted her doctoral research. Goats from neighboring farms have been brought to a specially prepared kraal in the RCP research area to begin training the puppies. This represents the first known attempt to bring in specialized guarding dogs to help Tanzanian pastoralists protect their livestock.

 


 

Botswana

 

Botswana’s cheetah population may be the second largest free-ranging population, and a large percentage is found outside of protected areas. Botswana has used CCF as a model in the development of their programs. CCF has trained the Botswana Cheetah team in handling cheetahs, and developing survey and educational materials that will be utilized with the local farming community.

 


 

South Africa

 

CCF’s sister organization, Cheetah Outreach uses hand-raised, captive-born cheetahs as educational ambassadors at local schools, and to introduce the public to the problems facing the cheetah. Cheetah Outreach has adopted CCF’s Namibian education model, and has developed and implemented a school curriculum with the Western Cape Education Department. CCF works closely with the National Cheetah Monitoring Program and the DeWildt Cheetah Research Center.

 


 

Iran

 

The Iranian Cheetah Conservation project is supported by a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) grant entitled “Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah, Its Natural Habitat and Associated Biota”. CCF maintains in close contact (weekly or more) with the Iranian groups involved in this project to provide support and guidance in their conservation efforts to save this last remaining population of Asian cheetahs. CCF has been to Iran twice to assist on the project and have been given a permit to work in Iran thus allowing a closer collaboration with this group.

 


 

North and West Africa

 

CCF’s Director is an active member of a newly developing North and West Africa project to identify the needs to save the Sahel cheetah. Currently, working in cooperation with a French Zoological Park, the Paris Museum of Natural History, and the Cat Specialist Group a formal group was developed. In addition, in 2005 CCF joined a collaborative survey team into Algeria to begin laying ground work for conservation efforts in this country. CCF trained one of the Algerian team members in Namibia in 2004.

 

 

Thousands of big cats are kept as pets or maintained in ill-equipped roadside zoos in the U.S.

WASHINGTON (March 30, 2017) – Big Cat Rescue, Born Free USA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund applaud U.S. Representatives Jeff Denham (R-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Niki Tsongas (D-MA) for introducing the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 1818). The bill would advance animal welfare and protect public safety by prohibiting possession and breeding of tigers, lions, leopards and other big cat species by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors.

This bill would strengthen the Captive Wildlife Safety Act, the existing federal law passed unanimously in 2003, by closing the loopholes that allow private possession of big cats by unqualified individuals. Existing owners that do not qualify for an exemption may keep the big cats they currently possess so long as they notify the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The bill provides for reasonable exemptions for wildlife sanctuaries and exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture that meet basic standards intended to protect the public and the animals.

According to Kate Dylewsky, program associate at Born Free USA, “This common sense and narrowly-crafted bill is an urgently-needed solution to the problem of big cats kept in unsafe and abusive situations around the country. Thousands of big cats are currently owned as pets or maintained in ill-equipped roadside zoos. These poorly regulated facilities — with animals kept in basements, cement pits, or in backyards — pose a severe risk to the safety of people in surrounding communities, as well as the welfare of the cats themselves.”

Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife for The Humane Society of the United States, said, “Tigers, lions, and other big cats should not be kept in peoples’ homes or backyards. In order to protect the public, there needs to be strong oversight of these private owners who, in most cases, do not have the expertise needed to properly care for these animals in captivity. Some states have little to no laws regarding the keeping of big cats and it’s time for a uniform federal law that ends this dangerous industry once and for all.”

Carson Barylak, campaigns officer at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, noted that “there are now more tigers in private hands in the U.S. than remain in the wild, and nearly all of them are denied proper veterinary care, nutrition and enrichment.” Moreover, “law enforcement officers and other first responders — including those who have encountered these deadly animals in the course of their work — have joined animal rescue and conservation advocates in supporting the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Emergency officials and the communities that they protect, much like the big cats themselves, should not be placed in harm’s way by a private owner’s irresponsible decision to keep big cats.”

"Relying on accredited sanctuaries to take in unwanted and usually neglected big cats is not a viable solution," said Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue. "When individuals foolishly acquire big cats as pets or exploit them in entertainment businesses, the cats often suffer in deplorable conditions with inadequate nutrition and veterinary care for many years. Then when owners realize they are not equipped to take care of a big cat or no longer want them, the burden to house and care for these big cats falls upon sanctuaries. This is not the solution; it does not address the inhumane treatment of the cats nor the public safety issues."

Facts:

  • There have been more than 700 dangerous incidents in the U.S. involving tigers, lions, and cougars, including hundreds of human injuries, maulings and deaths. In many cases, the animals were shot and killed, often by first responders who are not trained to deal with these situations. The most dramatic example was an October 2011 incident in Zanesville, Ohio, in which a private exotic animal owner released 38 big cats near a populated area, requiring law enforcement to kill the cats — and risk their own lives — for the sake of public safety.
  • Big cats are wild animals and suffer when kept as pets. They are often purchased as babies, and private owners typically are not able to manage them once they’re fully grown. Consequently, the animals are frequently left to languish in grossly substandard conditions and often deprived of sufficient space, adequate veterinary care, a nutritious diet and enrichment.
  • It is standard procedure for some roadside zoos to separate babies from their mothers so they can charge the public to pet and play with the cubs. This is an inhumane and unhealthy practice that can cause lifelong physical and psychological problems — or even death — for the cubs. Young cats, who very quickly outgrow their usefulness in the cub handling industry, end up warehoused at substandard “zoos,” sold into the exotic pet trade or possibly even killed and sold for parts — all while a vicious cycle of constant breeding churns out more babies to be exploited.

Big Cat Rescue is one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for abused and abandoned exotic cats. Located in Tampa, Fla., Big Cat Rescue is home to approximately 80 exotic cats, most of whom were abandoned by owners who mistakenly thought they made good pets, abused, seized by authorities, orphaned or retired from performing acts. The sanctuary’s dual mission is to provide the best possible home for the cats in our care and to educate the public about the plight of big cats in captivity and in the wild. www.BigCatRescue.org

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at hslf.org.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read more about our 60 years of transformational change for animals and people. HumaneSociety.org

IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare): Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Zoo & Gardens invites guests to celebrate Lunar New Year with two full weekends of fun and entertainment at its 100-acre park, living classroom, conservation center and Zoo!  The festivities will be held Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29 and February 4-5 from 10:00-4:00 as guests are treated to traditional Chinese dance performances multiple times each day.  Embark on an adventure by navigating the Chinese Zodiac Animal Scavenger Hunt and be sure to visit SF Zoo’s Rhode Island red rooster “Mac” during the Year of the Rooster celebration.

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens guests born in the Year of the Rooster receive complimentary admission on January 28-29 and February 4-5.  Keeping with the Chinese calendar, the Zoo will honor birthdays in 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921 and 1909, as well as birthdays falling in January and February of the following year.

Event Details

What: Lunar New Year Celebration at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Where: San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, Great Highway and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94132

When: January 28-29 and February 4-5 from 10:00-4:00

Visuals: Traditional Chinese dance performances, guests going on Chinese Zodiac Animal Scavenger Hunts, and more than 2,000 animals (including a rooster)

Best time for coverage: 11:00 am or 1:30 pm for the dance performances (11:00 and 12:30 on 2/5 only)

Event link: https://sfzoo.worldsecuresystems.com/announcements/lunar-new-year-2017

 

For planning purposes, below outlines upcoming February events:

  • February 1-28: Senior Sweetheart Month – Senior citizens ages 65 and older receive 2 for 1 admission
  • February 11: Members’ Morning – Exclusive access to the Zoo before gates open to the public
  • February 11-12: Will Zoo be Mine? – Take a “Lovers Stroll” and learn about animal mates, couples and families
  • February 18-20: Animals of America – Spend President’s Day Weekend visiting and learning about Zoo residents (many of them rescued) native to North America

About San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Established in 1929, San Francisco Zoo & Gardens connects people to wildlife, inspires caring for nature and advances conservation action.  An urban oasis, the Zoo & Gardens are home to more than 2,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species as well as seven distinct gardens full of native and unusual plants.  Located at the edge of the Pacific Ocean where the Great Highway meets Sloat Boulevard, the Zoo is open 365 days a year from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (fall/winter) and is accessible by San Francisco MUNI "L" Taraval Line.  You can find us on the web at www.sfzoo.org.

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Collaboration begins with 2017 youth program called Give it Back

Washington, D.C., December 5, 2016 -- Today, Born Free USA and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) announced a partnership to support both organizations’ efforts to educate youth on wildlife conservation and animal welfare. The collaboration will begin with a youth program called Give it Back, which is a project involving Born Free USA’s Fur for the Animals campaign and the ISF Youth Program. ISF youth volunteers will be collecting fur for Born Free USA’s donation drive: a successful initiative launched in 2014 to collect unwanted fur coats and accessories, which are repurposed and sent to wildlife rehabilitation centers around the country to help comfort orphaned and injured wildlife. Give it Back will take place throughout 2017, with events focused on getting fur back where it belongs—with the animals.

“We are excited to work with Born Free USA on anti-fur trapping campaigns and in engaging youth to take action through their Fur for the Animals project," said Ian Somerhalder. “What better way to teach youth compassion and responsible actions than by having them encourage people to Give it Back?”  

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “We are tremendously excited to partner with Ian’s well-respected Foundation and grateful to the passionate ISF youth volunteers. It is so important for us to get kids involved in the compassionate anti-fur message and have them do hands-on work to promote the fact that cruelty is not fashion. The success of Fur for the Animals not only shows that the public is increasingly turning away from fur, but it also serves as a powerful reminder that fur comes from the intense suffering and painful deaths of millions of animals. We are looking forward to a strong partnership and thank the Foundation for its important work to save animals.”

Fur for the Animals has received more than 1,700 fur donations since it launched in 2014, worth an estimated $3.5M, from more than 54,000 animals.

“The Born Free USA Fur for the Animals campaign will give young people a hands-on chance to get involved and learn about cruelty-free consumerism, upcycling, wildlife conservation, and sanctuary animals, while looking at an ugly issue of trapping and finding a feel-good way to create action and outreach,” added Kate Harms, ISF Creatures Division Manager.   

About Born Free USA: Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

About ISF: The Ian Somerhalder Foundation, founded by actor and environmental/animal advocate Ian Somerhalder, is dedicated to empowering, educating and collaborating with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures. ISF focuses on raising awareness about environmental and animal protection issues, and supporting initiatives to promote green energy, global conservation and anti-animal cruelty programs, as well as empowering youth to become a united and spirited force for change.

 

Born Free USA database shows that these incidents are part of a larger problem with captivity

Washington, D.C., June 10, 2016 -- A leopard named Zeya escaped from her enclosure at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah this week, marking the latest in a string of recent escapes, injuries, deaths, and other disturbing incidents at zoos. Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, calls for an immediate review of all safety and emergency protocols for the keeping of potentially dangerous wild animals in zoos across the U.S. and globally.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “Zeya was simply demonstrating the curiosity, agility, and desire for independence you would expect from a leopard, within the thoroughly unnatural confines of her life at the zoo. The blame here does not lie with a wild animal for acting like a wild animal, but rather with the Hogle Zoo for both its long-term exploitation of this animal and its inadequate safety measures. It is fortunate that no one was hurt during this incident, although tranquilizing an animal is never without risk. However, many animals and humans do not escape unscathed from this type of event.”

In addition to Zeya the leopard at the Hogle Zoo on June 7, there have been several other incidents at zoos in just under two weeks: 

  • On May 27, a male wolf named Rebel at the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh, Wisconsin was euthanized after visitors took advantage of an improperly opened gate and Rebel nipped the hand of a four-year-old child who stuck his fingers through the enclosure's chain-link fence.
  • On May 28, Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, was killed after a young boy fell into his enclosure.
  • On June 5, a male lion at Chiba Zoological Park in Tokyo, Japan was filmed crashing into a protective glass wall as he tried to pounce on a little boy.

These are not isolated or unusual events at zoos. According to the Born Free USA Exotic Animal Incidents Database, since 1990, there have been 224 instances of injury to a person by an animal at a zoo, and 128 human deaths. Additionally, 87 zoo animals have been killed by humans.

Roberts continues, “These staggering numbers are appalling and preventable. Zeya’s escape, Harambe’s and Rebel’s deaths, and countless other tragedies are caused by a severe lack of attention to public safety and animal welfare at zoos. There is absolutely no reason to imprison these wild animals in cages, and there is no reason why people should be in such close proximity at all to dangerous wild animals. These animals do not belong anywhere but in their natural habitats, in the wild.”

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic "pets," trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of "compassionate conservation": the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free's mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

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