Last October, Panthera gathered stories from our scientists, researchers, and partners to document their favorite encounters with big cats in the wild. This month, read our Director of Snow Leopard Programs Tom McCarthy's account of a sighting that still moves him, twelve years later.
Panthera gathered stories from our scientists, researchers and partners about their favorite encounters with big cats in the wild. Below is a story from Andrea Heydlauff, Managing Director of Panthera. This "Cat Tale" is the third in our series of seven.
On Monday afternoon, a hunter in eastern Iowa had the rare luck to see a mountain lion. Mountain lions, like most wild cats, are secretive creatures and are notoriously hard to see in the wild. And, not only does this hunter get to see a mountain lion, he gets to see the first one that has been seen in the state in 5 years. Now that's quite a story in itself. But, the tale continues. You see, this hunter in particular, wanted that mountain lion all to himself, as a fully stuffed mount in his Cedar Rapids home.
Panthera recently gathered stories from our scientists, researchers and partners about their favorite encounters with big cats in the wild. Below is a story from Panthera President and CEO Alan Rabinowitz, This "Cat Tale" is the second in our series of seven.
Wildlife TV shows have launched an ever-growing list of 'wildlife heroes' who shock and awe viewers running from charging lions, or holding up salmon heads among hungry grizzlies. While these network darlings garner serious attention from their fans they rarely do much for conservation, no matter what they tell the viewer (see last week's blog for a good example). Nor are they interested in sharing their spotlight with the real heroes who risk everything -- even their lives -- to really save wildlife.
Barely a month goes by without news of someone getting into a tussle with a 'tame' big cat. A recent case in point showed a young lion in a South African resort roughing up a British journalist who thought it would make good copy to go into the animal's cage for a close encounter. It's easy to dismiss the stunt as journalistic nonsense (which it is) but dozens of operations across Africa sell similarly close encounters with lions to the average tourist. For a fee, just about anyone can play with cubs, take a stroll with young lions or pose for photos to show the folks back home.
This week, Animal Planet kicked off the latest offering from likable Steve Irwin-wannabe Dave Salmoni. "Into The Pride" follows Salmoni as he attempts to prove that humans can live in harmony with wild lions. To do so, Dave scoots around the Namibian bush on a quad-bike looking for a close encounter with the big cats. You might think a 4-wheeler doesn't offer much protection but, provided they're not hunted or persecuted, lions quickly get used to vehicles. A vehicle acts just like a mobile hide which is why millions of people a year are able to enjoy extraordinary experiences watching wild lions from the safety of their safari jeeps and mini-vans in Africa's great game parks.
While some of you may know the snow leopard from the amazing chase sequence in the BBC Planet Earth series, most people think 'snow leopard' pertains to Apple's latest Operating System, or the brutal and ruthless villain, Tai Lung, from last year's smash hit Kung Fu Panda. Well, snow leopards are nothing akin to Operating Systems -- nor are they brutal and ruthless in any shape or form.
The snow leopard is one of the most elusive cats in the world. As few as 3,500 of them may still roam the harsh, forbidding mountains of Central Asia. No one knows for sure.
(Jackson, WY) - In the science of describing cat behavior -- or any wildlife species for that matter -- a compelling question is, how connected are individuals to each other? Or, how do they communicate with their neighbors, and how do these communications and interactions drive cat society? Intensive field research and observation can bring some important insights, and sometimes, some new questions.