Posts Tagged ‘Big Cats’

Animals fare better in zoos as experts learn more

May 30, 2008

Scientists are learning more about how zoo animals feel and how a toy or a little training can sometimes help cut the endless pacing and other repetitive behaviours that are often assumed to be signs of distress.

Some big cats want a high perch from which to view visitors, polar bears want to scratch for hidden caches of food, and male barn swallows could use a tail extension to appeal to potential mates, according to experts from zoos and universities meeting on Friday at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo.

Visitors who see a cheetah pacing or a polar bear swimming in circles might assume they are stressed by confinement. But they may simply be expending excess energy or soothing themselves, experts said interviews at the symposium.

Click here for the full article.

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Woman mauled by cheetahs in Florida

March 30, 2008

Wildlife officers are investigating after two cheetahs mauled a woman at a wildlife sanctuary in Florida.

Judy Berens, who owns and operates the Panther Ridge Conservation Center near West Palm Beach, has been hospitalized after the two animals attacked her during an exhibition Saturday[…]

The sanctuary provides homes for exotic cats.

Witnesses say Berens was alone in an enclosure with two male cheetahs conducting an exhibition when a ball bouncing nearby distracted one of the animals.

Witnesses say Berens was knocked down when the cheetah moved toward the ball. They say the cheetah then started biting and clawing her. The other cheetah attacked shortly after.

Several people entered the enclosure and rescued her.

“Anytime you work with animals, and I don’t care what it is, I don’t care if it’s domesticated animals, wild animals, there is always a risk factor,” wildlife sanctuary curator David Hitzig told WPEC. “And yes, there is a greater risk factor when you’re working with large, wild animals.”

Click here for the full article.

For another unfortunate run-in with a cheetah, read this blog post.