Help Big Cats While Trick-or-Treating

Leopard grooms cub

A mother leopard grooms her cub. You can help big cats like these with "Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats".

This Halloween, you can make the holiday extra special by helping big cats! National Geographic has organized a campaign called Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats, which encourages kids to collect donations for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative as they trick-or-treat.

According to Alexander Moen, VP of Explorer Programs at the National Geographic Society, “The Big Cats Initiative is working with scientists and conservationists around the world to halt the decline of these iconic animals. By supporting their work, together we can ensure that future generations won’t talk about big cats the way we now talk about dinosaurs.”

Free Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats collection boxes are available at Pottery Barn Kids stores nationwide, participating schools, National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at causeanuproar.org, where people can request boxes sent directly to homes, schools, clubs and other community locations.

Everyone who participates is eligible to receive a thank-you gift, including magazine subscriptions, apparel and digital downloads (eligibility based on the amount of funds submitted by November 30, 2011). Detailed information on gifts and how to participate can be found at www.causeanuproar.org.

Arizona Jaguar Put to Sleep

Macho B, the Arizona jaguar

The jaguar captured and collared in Arizona a few weeks ago, Macho B, was recaptured by wildlife officials when the big cat’s tracking device showed him to be lethargic.  Tests revealed that the jaguar suffered from severe, untreatable kidney failure, a common ailment among older cats.   Biologists put the jaguar to sleep the same day.  Macho B was estimated to be 14-16 years old.

For more info: National Geographic.

Return of the North American Jaguar?

Jaguar in ArizonaAlthough the jaguar was once commonly ranged from South America to the southern United States, hunting and habitat loss/fragmentation had crippled the population in North America.  In fact, no jaguars had been spotted in Mexico since the early 1900s.

However, two independent sightings this month prove that the big cat’s range does span as far north as Arizona.  The Arizona Game and Fish Department recently captured and collared a male jaguar southwest of Tucson. The collar, which can be tracked by satellite, will provide more data about the cat’s movements in the future.

Another male jaguar was captured on film by an automatic camera set up on a trail in Mexico. Scientists believe that area could be a corridor connecting jaguar populations. In this way, they have a better understanding of the areas of habitat crucial to jaguar survival.

For more information: LiveScience

Cincinnati Zoo Announces Arrival of Cheetah Cubs

The Cincinnati Zoo has announced the arrival of three male cheetah cubs.  The cubs were bred at the zoo’s cheetah breeding facility, Mast Farm, in Clermont County, Ohio.  Two will be transferred to the Columbus Zoo, while the other, Tommy T, will remain at the Cincinnati Zoo in the Cat Ambassador Program.  You can follow Tommy T’s everyday activities in the blog, www.cheetahdays.com.

The success of the zoo’s breeding efforts is significant. Cincinnati Zoo has partnered with the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia, Africa, the Columbus Zoo and the De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Trust in South Africa to preserve the species.  The IUCN currently characterizes cheetahs in the wild as vulnerable and in decline mainly due to loss of habitat and fragmentation.