Dogs, cats new world records


This video says about itself:

Most tricks by a cat in one minute – Meet the Record Breakers

7 September 2016

Didga the Australian skateboarding cat and her owner Robert performed a total of 20 tricks in one minute to earn themselves a place in the Guinness World Records 2017 book.

Didga, who was adopted from a cat shelter, can even take on the challenge of a real skateboarding park.

The tricks include:

1. Sit
2. Give left paw
3. High-five
4. Give right paw
5. Wave
6. Sit-up
7. Lay down
8. Go onto one-side
9. Roll-over
10. Back to sit
11. Stand
12. Shuffle right
13. Shuffle left
14. Spin 360
15. Come (walk to me)
16. Stop
17. Step on the coin
18. Jump into hands
19. Go from hand, down to knee, then onto the skateboard
20. While the board is moving, jump over the bar and land back onto the board, a.k.a. “hippy-jump”

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Ludo from South Yorkshire is the longest cat in the world. “Because he is 118 centimeters long, he is very clumsy,” says his owner. “He often tries to hide, but cannot.” Ludo is of the Maine Coon breed. …

And Lizzy is the biggest dog in the world. This Great Dane in Florida is 96 centimeters high. She is so large she cannot eat from her tray if it is on the ground. Therefore, the tray is always put on a chair.

Texas ocelots get life-saving passages at last


This video from the USA says about itself:

12 April 2013

A phantom cat secretively stalks the remnants of thick, thorny brush in southernmost Texas. Biologists estimate there are less than 50 rare ocelots clinging to a precarious existence in deep South Texas

The last foothold of this strikingly beautiful cat in the United States are two small breeding populations on remote ranchlands and Laguna Atarscosa National Wildlife Refuge where private landowners are working with state and federal agencies to save the endangered ocelot.

From Takepart.com in the USA:

Texas Builds a Wildlife Highway to Help Endangered Ocelots Survive

As deaths of the rare cats mount, the Lone Star state finally builds safe passage around dangerous roads.

May 27, 2016

Richard Conniff is the author of House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and the Story of Life on Earth, and other books.

Back in the fall of 2014, I took a whack at the Texas Department of Transportation for treating the nation’s only viable population of endangered ocelots—beautiful spotted cats about twice the size of a house cat—as fodder for roadkill. The department had flagrantly disregarded recommendations from wildlife experts on the critical need for safe road crossings, instead installing an impassable concrete barrier down the center of a busy highway bordering a national wildlife refuge.

TxDot, as it’s known, responded with a note suggesting that it was hurt, deeply hurt, by my suggestion that it was anything less than acutely sensitive to the needs of wildlife. But it would cost $1 million apiece for crossings in the area of that concrete barrier. Not that anyone was counting. They had only asked whether it was worth spending that kind of money on a species nearing extinction in this country so they could “learn and understand the historical dynamics of wildlife survival.” This was at a time when the relevant dynamic was that highway accidents were causing 40 percent of all ocelot deaths.

But occasionally good things happen, even in the unlikeliest places. So I am delighted to report that TxDot is now doing something to protect ocelots in their last remaining patch of habitat. (It may have helped that you and readers of other articles about the plight of the ocelots let your feelings be known, so thank you for that.) The state last month began installation of a dozen wildlife underpasses in and around the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, a 98,000-acre coastal habitat near Brownsville, at the mouth of the Rio Grande.

Four of them, spaced at half-mile intervals, will help ocelots get around (or under) that concrete divider on Highway 100, which runs south of Laguna Atascosa and carries heavy vacation traffic to South Padre Island. Another eight are already being put into place on FM106, which may sound like a radio station but is actually a farm-to-market road that borders and runs through Laguna Atascosa. The work there will cost just $1 million, because the tunnels are part of an overall upgrading of the road; the retrofit on Highway 100 will cost $5 million.

The work is happening at a critical moment for the ocelots. Fewer than 100 of them survive in and around the refuge, and seven have died in road accidents since last June. “We were devastated, since almost a year had passed with no reports of ocelots hit by cars,” said Hilary Swarts, a wildlife biologist who monitors the ocelots for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. That first death took out an adult female, a major loss because females are the limiting factor in population growth. “Males can go impregnate multiple females in a relatively short time, but females have to gestate and lactate,” said Swarts. “Basically a female, from the second she gets pregnant, you’re talking about two years before she’s ready to have another offspring.”

Each gender has its little hell. The other six highway victims were males, not surprisingly, said Swarts, “since they have such a rough time of it once the older males start to see the younger males as competition for mates and territory.” The younger males typically get pushed out of the dense, brushy habitat where they grew up and into the increasingly developed outside world with its deadly highways.

While the progress on wildlife crossings is good news, it may not be enough to protect the ocelots adequately. Three of the recent deaths took place on a road called Highway 186, about five miles north of the refuge, where wildlife crossings are under discussion but are not actually being built. Last fall TxDot posted signs saying “Wildlife Crossing—Next Two Miles,” but it doesn’t appear to have helped: Another male died there just last month.

In addition to the new wildlife crossings, the refuge is working with neighboring landowners to establish permanent wildlife corridors for ocelots and other species in the area. Private landowners already have more of the ocelots than does the refuge itself, said Laguna Atascosa manager Boyd Blihovde. “Many times ranchers that are interested in hunting, even though they have crops or cattle on the property, will want to preserve native vegetation,” he said, including the thorn scrub vegetation that ocelots require. “My goal as a refuge manager is to help ranchers continue doing what they’re doing, owning and protecting the land, and maintaining a working ranch so they don’t feel the need to sell it off to developers.”

Subdivisions are almost as deadly as highways for the ocelots. Blihovde said the recent settlement in the BP Deepwater Horizon case will help that cause, with new funding available for ranchers to enter into conservation easements that will keep them on the land while protecting the conservation value of the property in perpetuity.

Meanwhile, two-and-a-half cheers for TxDot for getting the highway ocelot crossings started. And three cheers for those rare sensible people among us who drive a little bit slower than they might like, not just around Laguna Atascosa but anywhere with enough room for wildlife to thrive. I was driving on the coast of Maine the other day—yes, a little over the speed limit—and I had a sick feeling when a chipmunk bolted out in front and went thump under the left rear wheel. And that was just a lousy chipmunk. You don’t want to know what it must feel like to kill an endangered ocelot.

Another problem for the survival of ocelots in Texas is the difficulty in connecting with larger ocelot populations south of the US-Mexican border. George W Bush’s wall along the border already has done much damage to wildlife; and a still bigger Donald Trump wall would do still more damage.

Brave blackbird and cat video


This video shows a male blackbird and a cat at food in a garden in the Netherlands.

Aad and Rianne made this video.

Saudi Arabian anti-cat witchhunt


This video from the USA says about itself:

Saudi Arabia Bans Cat Pictures For Being Too ‘Western’

26 May 2016

A prominent Saudi cleric has declared photographs with cats, and other animals, forbidden unless completely necessary due to an upsurge in Saudis “who want to be like Westerners.”

On a televised broadcast, Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, was told about “a new trend of taking pictures with cats has been spreading among people who want to be like Westerners.”

Read more here.

I beg your pardon. Cats ‘Western’!? Domestic cats originated in ancient Egypt, now a mainly Arab and Islamic country. Cats have a favourable reputation in Islamic religious tradition.

From Wikipedia:

The domestic cat is a revered animal in Islam. Admired for its cleanliness as well as for being loved by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the cat is considered “the quintessential pet” by Muslims. … According to many hadiths, Muhammad prohibited the persecution and killing of cats.

However, as the Saudi royal family destroys ancient Islamic historical buildings to replace them with their own palaces, they seem to hate all Islamic traditions which do not suit them.

Lynx meets wolf in Poland, video


This video says about itself:

Rare encounter of wolf and lynx in nature

Watch the exceptional encounter between the highly threatened wolf and a family of lynx in Poland’s wild forests. See also here.

Both animals have bounced back from the brink of extinction in Europe thanks to strong protection under EU Nature laws, but they are still at risk. We are campaigning to ensure that Europe’s beauties of nature are effectively protected.

Learn more about WWF campaign here.

Rare marbled cats photographed in Borneo


This video says about itself:

Elusive Marbled Cat Filmed

November 21, 2011—The little-known marbled cat, whose tail is nearly the length of its body, was recently captured by a camera trap in Indonesia.

© 2011 National Geographic; video courtesy of Marten Slothouwer.

From LiveScience:

Elusive Marbled Cats Secretly Photographed in Borneo

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | March 23, 2016 05:39pm ET

A secret photo shoot deep in the forests of Malaysian Borneo is helping researchers determine just how many marbled cats — rare, tree-climbing felines — live in the region, according to a new study.

Marbled cats (Pardofelis marmorata) are extremely elusive creatures. To get a better idea of the cats’ stomping grounds, the researchers placed camera traps in eight forests and two palm oil plantations in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, they said.

After four months of secret, motion-triggered infrared photography, the researchers found that marbled cats are most numerous in the lowlands where the forest is undisturbed. However, they did find a few cats in selectively logged areas. [See Camera Trap Photos of the Elusive Marbled Cat]

“We show that marbled cats can still survive in logged forests,” said study lead researcher Andrew Hearn, a doctoral candidate at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. “This lends further weight to the argument that such disturbed forests are important to the conservation of biodiversity and should be preserved wherever possible.”

Little is known about the cats, which are named for their marble-patterned fur. They live in dense tropical forests, and are rarely seen, except for the odd camera-trap sighting. Perhaps that’s because the species is listed as “near threatened,” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list, largely due to habitat loss and poaching.

In the new study, the researchers used the surreptitiously taken photos to identify individual cats and estimate the species’ population density and distribution. They found that the lowland Danum Valley Conservation Area had about 19.5 cats per 39 square miles (100 square kilometers). Tawau Hills Park had fewer — about seven cats per 39 square miles. The Tabin Wildlife Reserve, which was selectively logged from 1969 to 1989, had an estimated density of about 10 cats per 39 square miles.

These estimates provide “tentative evidence” that undisturbed, lowland hill forests have the highest densities of marbled cats, Hearn said. Other areas, including disturbed lowlands and undisturbed highlands, had lower densities of the cats, he said.

The camera traps didn’t record any marbled-cat sightings within the plantations, although one cat was spotted walking along the forest-plantation boundary, the researchers added. They also photographed cubs in the Tabin North, Tawau and Ulu Segama forests.

The results of this exhaustive study suggest that the marbled-cat population may be somewhat higher in northern Borneo than it is elsewhere, but more studies are needed to verify this, Hearn said. For instance, researchers could use camera traps in other places in which the cats are found in the Indomalayan ecorealm, a region extending from eastern India and Nepal to Yunnan province, China; and throughout mainland Southeast Asia to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. [Photos: In Images: The Rare Bay Cat of Borneo]

But enforced regulations could increase the number of Borneo’s marbled cats even more. Although poaching is illegal, the researchers found used shotgun cartridges in seven of the eight forests. However, they didn’t come across any evidence that poachers are shooting marbled cats, the scientists wrote in the study.

Laws governing logging and forest conservation may also help preserve the population of marbled cats, Hearn said.

“We provide further evidence that logged forest may still be used by these cats, and should be preserved,” he said.

The study was published online today (March 23) in the journal PLOS ONE.

Editor’s Recommendations

Cougar saved from trap in Utah, USA


This 17 March 2016 video from the USA is called Two Utah Men Free An Angry Cougar From A Trap!

About this, another video from the USA says about itself:

8 March 2016

Rescuers free furious cougar from bobcat trap in Utah

Footage has been released showing a large cougar being released from a bobcat trap in the Pine Valley Mountains in Utah. Division of Wildlife Resources employee Mark Ekins took the footage after responding to a call…

By Ed Mazza from the USA on this:

The Terrifying Job Of Helping A Trapped, Angry Mountain Lion

The cougar was accidentally caught in a bobcat trap.

03/15/2016 04:13 am ET

How do you help a wounded animal that thinks you want to hurt it, and could tear you to shreds in a matter of seconds if it ever gets its paws on you?

Very, very carefully.

A heart-stopping video shows rescuers in Utah working to free a ticked-off mountain lion who got caught in a bobcat trap.

The rescue was captured on video by Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer Mark Ekins, who told KSL that most cougars can escape bobcat traps on their own without injury.

But from time to time, this happens.

Ekins admitted he was nervous during the rescue effort, and said that’s a good thing.

“If I wasn’t nervous or started to lack respect for the power of that animal, it could potentially be very dangerous,” Ekins told the station. “I’m nervous and I’m extremely careful when doing it… I’ve probably only done three in my career that were as big as the one you saw. That was a really big one.”

Not only does the cougar look intimidating, it also lets out a few angry snarls that sound like something out of a horror movie. …

Ekins told KUTV that he and the other rescuer used catch poles to immobilize the cougar. He said they could also use tranquilizers, but the poles are “more humane and a lot safer.”

Once the cougar was held down, they put a blanket over it, released the trapped paw and stood back until the cat realized it was free to go. The mountain lion ran off with one of the catch poles still attached, but dropped it not too far away.

Ekins told KUTV that the big cat had a cut on its paw but was otherwise fine.

Although the incident happened in December, the video was only recently posted online.

Other sources, like Dutch daily Metro of 19 March 2016, claim the cougar was in a bear trap, not a bobcat trap.