A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World
Tag Archives: puma
June 15, 2011Posted by on
This video comes to us courtesy of the Mountain Lion Foundation who are working to save North America’s largest wild cat. Enjoy!
Nebraska is on the eastern edge of the mountain lion’s range. Hunters and ranchers eliminated the species from the state way back in 1890. Yet neighboring states still have lions, and in recent years, a few cats have begun wandering over. Feline conservation biologist Karen DeMatteo has been working to track these cats in the hope of learning more about the population, identifying corridors, and reducing conflicts with people. What’s especially interesting about her work is that she never needs to come in contact with a lion. She uses specially trained dogs to sniff out scat (lion poop). The scat samples are then analyzed in a lab to extract DNA, revealing the gender of the lion and even how it is related to other lions in the area. To the dogs, it’s all a big game; but to biologists it’s a clever non-invasive way to study the local wildlife. Check out the video for more information.
November 9, 2010Posted by on
The Oregon Zoo‘s 6-week-old cougar cub will go on exhibit Nov. 11. According to keepers, the cub is very adventurous and has adapted well to being outdoors. Like all cougars in accredited North American zoos, the location and reproductive status of Chinook, Paiute and their cub are managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ puma population management plan. For many years, the AZA plan did not recommend breeding cougars in captivity, but that policy was recently amended because of zoos’ increased capacity to house the cats. The Oregon Zoo’s cub is the first in the country to be born under the new policy.
June 11, 2010Posted by on
January 5, 2010Posted by on
Located about 30 miles south of Belize City, tucked into the lush landscape of the untouched, natural beauty of Belize, one beholds the Shangri-La of zoos. The Belize Zoo has exhibits built into the natural landscape and it appears that this, in turn, leads to content animals. Five wild cat species are represented; the Jaguar, Puma, Jaguarundi, Ocelot and Margay, as well as some incredible species of birds, specifically the Harpy Eagle and the Crested Eagle.
At the time of my visit, there were two Jaguarundi. One seemed to enjoy rolling in some loose, dry dirt while the other cat was on the move, chirping as it went along. The Jaguarundi is often called the weasel-cat, given its slender, slight frame and sloped face but that description doesn’t do it justice. No offense to weasels but the Jaguarundi’s agile gait is a clear indicator of the athletic nature of this cat. Its solid fur may not have the colorful palette of the Tiger or the Ocelot but it is beautiful nonetheless.
I am sure one could see thousands of Jaguars and still be amazed by their power and beauty. Having only see a few from a distance at US zoos, you can imagine how incredible it was to be so close to a Jaguar as the Belize Zoo allows. From the thick whiskers to the large paws, the extraordinary characteristics of the Jaguar never fail to invoke awe.
Unfortunately, for photo taking purposes, the Ocelot and the Margay were both enjoying afternoon siestas so I did not get see their behaviors, other than sleeping. The Ocelot took a nap in a sunny area of its enclosure and the Margay, very characteristically, slept on a branch of a tree.
The Puma at the Belize Zoo was a stoic beauty that let out a little “mew” when I approached its enclosure. Whenever I see a Puma, I am always surprised by the length of its tail and the quiet, reclusive, almost fragile nature of its eyes.
One thing you don’t realize until you have been to the Belize Zoo is how close you can actually get to the animals. In fact, there are signs throughout the entire facility warning against placing your hands and fingers inside the enclosures (as well as hand made signs providing information on the animals). Anyone traveling to Central America should visit the Belize Zoo because of its impressive grounds and amazing native animals. You won’t be disappointed.