Posts Tagged ‘Lions’

“Virtual Nature” Raises Concerns For Conservation

May 8, 2008

Biologists have found that in addition to promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, the rising use of video games correlates with a reduction in outdoor nature experiences, and experiencing only “virtual nature” has negative implications for conservation efforts.

Intrepid nature photographers now use high-definition photography to bring unparalleled images of wildlife and a “you-are-there” experience approaching virtual reality to the viewer. It can be at once informative, thrilling and terrifying — and all from the comfort of your easy-chair or sofa.

While such video gives the public a view of nature never before seen, two biologists warn this technological wonder represents a proverbial double-edge sword.

“Virtual nature, defined as nature experienced vicariously through electronic means, has potential benefits particularly for children dependent on adults for access to many natural areas … yet virtual nature appears to directly compete with time previously allocated to more beneficial, direct contact with the outdoors,” write biologists Oliver Pergams and Patricia Zaradic in the Spring 2007 issue of the Journal of Developmental Processes.

Click here for the full article.

In accordance with the data presented in this article, I, Kitty Mowmow, am hereby advising you to supplement your Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo viewing time (oooooh, look at all the pretty animal pictures and nifty articles!) with genuine contact with nature and non-human members of the animal kingdom.

So go for a walk, play in the mud, climb a tree, sit in a field, and pat a cow on the head.  And after you’re breathless with the thrill of a tactile experience with nature, you can thank me for my magnanimous suggestion. ;D

-Kitty Mowmow

N.J. Senator’s Bill Would Eliminate “Canned Hunting” of Exotic Animals

April 24, 2008

Today, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced legislation that would prevent importing and confining exotic animals for the purpose of hunting.  This type of hunting, commonly known as “canned hunting,” is a brutal practice of placing an animal in an enclosure that severely limits its ability to escape.

“There is nothing sportsmanlike or skillful about shooting an animal that cannot escape.  The idea of a defenseless animal meeting a violent end as the target of a canned hunt is, at the very least, distasteful to many Americans,” said Lautenberg.  “Canned hunting is a form of brutality that has no place in our society.”

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that more than 1,000 canned hunting ranches offer non-native animals as targets in at least 28 states.  And prices for these animals depend on their rarity, ranging from $800 for a gazelle to up to $8,000 for an antelope.  Many states have made canned hunting illegal.

Click here for the full article.

Lions like snow – PHOTO

April 22, 2008

Kenya: Wild Animals Compete With Humans for Scarce Water Resources

April 17, 2008

Ahmed Diriye had taken his goats to a stream in Mogogashe near the northern Kenyan town of Garissa and was waiting for them to drink when he was attacked by baboons.

“I killed a baboon after they tried to force me from the ‘lagadera’ [stream in Somali],” he said, holding out his bandaged arm. “They were thirsty and wanted water just like my goats. The well is the only one with water.”

At another well, four girls abandoned their water containers after thirsty baboons attacked them. The next day, five goats were killed by the creatures while two herders sustained serious injuries following an attack by a lion.

A month after the rains were expected to start, northern Kenya is still gripped by drought conditions. Water pans, boreholes and wells have all dried up, creating problems for the pastoralist communities of the region.

Click here for the full article.

Novel Living System Recreates Predator-prey Interaction

April 14, 2008

The hunter-versus-hunted phenomenon exemplified by a pack of lionesses chasing down a lonely gazelle has been recreated in a Petri dish with lowly bacteria.

Working with colleagues at Caltech, Stanford and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Duke University bioengineer has developed a living system using genetically altered bacteria that he believes can provide new insights into how the population levels of prey influence the levels of predators, and vice-versa.

The Duke experiment is an example of a synthetic gene circuit, where researchers load new “programming” into bacteria to make them perform new functions. Such re-programmed bacteria could see a wide variety of applications in medicine, environmental cleanup and biocomputing. In this particular Duke study, researchers rewrote the software of the common bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli.) to form a mutually dependent living circuit of predator and prey.

Click here for the full article.

VIDEO: Extremely Rare Lion Baby Born

April 9, 2008

I can’t embed it, but I CAN give you the link: Click Here!

Lions fall victim to land fight at Hemingway’s treasured reserve

March 16, 2008

Three lions have been speared to death by Masai tribesmen in a dispute over grazing rights on the edge of the world-famous Amboseli game reserve in Kenya in a further blow to a tourist industry reeling from weeks of bloody post-election chaos.

The incident has once again thrown the spotlight on to the uneasy relationship between impoverished local people and wildlife that is considered an essential magnet for attracting wealthy Western tourists to Africa.

The deaths of the animals, which once roamed the East African plains at will, take the total number of lions killed in the reserve lying at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in the past eight months to ten.

Click here for the full article.

Tourist tangles with killer lion

March 9, 2008

The big cat pounced on Kate Drew from behind and dragged her to the ground, sinking its teeth into the back of her neck.

As wardens on a Zimbabwe game reserve rushed to help, the 180kg lion kept the 28-year-old tourist firmly in its grip.

But, mercifully, its powerful jaws just missed her brain stem. Seconds later, she was rescued, dripping with blood.

The bite wounds on her head left her needing 13 stitches.

Click here for the full article.

For more animal-esque music, news, and issues, tune in to Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo online at, Sunday nights 8-10 central.

Animal rights in China: A small voice calling

February 28, 2008

Human rights, or the lack of them, have long been a focus of China’s critics at home and abroad. But a new rights movement—complete with idealistic local and foreign campaigners—is stirring: animal rights.

Animals are treated dreadfully in Chinese farms, laboratories, zoos and elsewhere. There are grim factories where thousands of live bears in tiny cages are tapped for medicinal bile. At safari parks, live sheep and poultry are fed to lions as spectators cheer. At farms and in slaughterhouses, animals are killed with little concern for their suffering.

According to Zhou Ping, of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, few Chinese accept that animals have any rights at all. She thinks it is time they did, and in 2006 put forward China’s first national animal-welfare law. Her proposal got nowhere, and there is no sign of progress since. “There is so far”, she says, “only a small voice calling for change…”

Click here for the full article.

Big cats return to public view in renovated San Francisco Zoo grottoes

February 22, 2008

It was back to normal Thursday morning outside the big-cat grotto at the San Francisco Zoo, where parents and children greeted their old friends for the first time since a Christmas Day tiger attack left a San Jose teenager dead…The big cats had been kept inside since Tatiana the tiger somehow escaped and attacked the teen and two of his friends.

Fans of Tony the tiger, Tatiana’s former companion, Kimani the lion and all the others had counted the days until they could visit them in their outdoor playgrounds again. A heavy downpour for much of the day kept the number of visitors to a few at a time – there were 220 throughout the day. Many seemed to approve of the changes.

“I never felt myself or my kids were in danger,” Drivon said. “I always felt safe here, but I think what they’ve done is great. More zoos should take the precautions.”

It is still unknown how Tatiana got out of one of the grottoes before police shot her dead. Two days after the Christmas attack, the zoo announced the front wall around Tatiana’s enclosure was 4 feet lower than industry standards. Attorneys for Carlos Sousa Jr.,
who was killed in the attack, and brothers Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal, who were injured, blame the zoo; the zoo contends the three friends provoked the tiger. Police suspended their investigation without any charges, and no lawsuits have been filed. To prevent an escape of a big cat in the future, the zoo extended the concrete moat walls of the grottoes 4 feet to meet the national guidelines of 16 feet, 4 inches. A glass wall and fencing was placed on top of that to extend the barriers to 19 feet, and hot wires run along the moat wall.

“That will make sure they don’t even think about getting out,” said Bob Jenkins, director of animal care and conservation at the zoo.

Click here for the full article.

Video shows zoo animals’ dismal digs

February 16, 2008


San Francisco Zoo animals pace in their pens, swim in their own waste and live out their days in boredom and squalor, according to a video shown Thursday night to the city Animal Control and Welfare Commission at City Hall.

A polar bear’s white fur is splotched with green algae. A giraffe gnaws a hole in his barn in boredom. And a gray seal has been swimming in the same tiny pool for decades.

“This is just pathetic,” said animal rights activist Deniz Bolbol, who had been invited to show the video on behalf of Mill Valley’s In Defense of Animals group. “What are we teaching our children when we bring them to a place like this?”

Click here for the full article.

Roadside zoo loses jaguar in latest blow

February 15, 2008

Gone are the tigers at Guha’s Tiger & Lion Farm, a modest roadside zoo near Bracebridge in Ontario’s Muskoka region; they’ve all been shipped off for breeding. Also gone is the wolf that shared a cage with a tiger, sleeping in a refrigerator.

And now Bhino the black jaguar is gone as well, felled by an OPP bullet Tuesday after the animal escaped from its cage and began savaging the zoo owner’s chained-up dog Blue, an Australian shepherd.

Blue, too, had to be shot, so severe were the dog’s injuries. All of which has left proprietor Nanda Guha in great distress.

The dozens of roadside zoos that dot Ontario’s rural highways and remain largely unregulated if they host non-Canadian wildlife have long been a sore point with animal-rights activists.

Mr. Guha, however, blames scavenging foxes for the loss of his beloved Bhino, who in happier times used to play with Blue and for years lived in Mr. Guha’s house. “I was feeding him some raw meat and the foxes later swarmed on his cage and he must have been really upset with those foxes,” he recounted. “Some of the food must have dropped out of my hand and a bunch of foxes came to eat that, and he must have been terribly upset about that because he made a little hole in the fence.”

When the Ontario Provincial Police were summoned, “I wanted to stun him and put him in another cage, but there was no taser or tranquillizer gun. So the only choice we had was to shoot him, for the safety of the neighbours.

“This didn’t happen because of anybody’s fault, it happened because of the fault of nature. If those foxes hadn’t been there, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Click here for the full article.

I feel sorry for the animals. I also feel sorry for Mr. Guha, losing all his animals. It seems like he liked them.

Animal Vocabulary!

January 8, 2008

Hello Animal Expo readers!

I’m a faithful subscriber to A.Word.A.Day, a vocabulary-building newsletter from This week they unknowingly obliged me by sending out words related to animals, and I’ve decided to pass them along to you. I’m a day late in posting them – hopefully you won’t mind. 🙂 Enjoy!

Your host,

Kitty Mowmow


A few weeks ago we featured terms in the “x’s y” pattern — descriptive phrases that can be called Whose whats. Going by your comments, it was one of the most popular weeks in AWAD’s history. This week we’ll reprise the theme with five more such terms, this time from the animal kingdom.

The English language is filled with everyday terms based on animals, from the lion’s share (largest part) to the dog’s chance (slim chance) and the snail’s pace (very slow) but there are many unusual terms too. For this week’s parade we have selected five mammals: mare, dog, sheep, donkey, and cat.

mare’s nest (mairz nest) noun

1. A confused mess.

2. A hoax or an illusory discovery.

[The original sense of the term was a false discovery since clearly a mare doesn’t have a nest. Nowadays the term implies a confused situation. A term with a similar origin is the Greek calends meaning a time that doesn’t exist: ]

Today’s word in Visual Thesaurus:’s+nest

-Anu Garg (words at

“The previous two sheets of this piece are a mare’s nest of scratched out half sentences, words replaced and replaced again and clauses arrowed in or arrowed out.”
Gary Covington; Learning to Write; Sun Star (Philippines); Dec 30, 2007.

Sponsored by:

uppity (UP-i-tee) adj. Rebelliously assertive; not inclined to be tractable or deferential. Smart, witty, and old-schoolish too.

Subscribe to — a carefully selected non-fiction book
excerpt free to your email each day. It’s the thinking person’s daily quotation.

Knowing what / Thou knowest not / Is in a sense / Omniscience. -Piet Hein,
poet and scientist (1905-1996)
Discuss this week’s words on our bulletin board:

Remove, change address, gift subs:



Lions devour man at South African game lodge

January 4, 2008


Samuel Boosen, 36, was attacked after entering the enclosure on Tuesday where an estimated nine lions were kept.

“Only his spine and skull remained,” police spokesman Lesego Metsi told the South Africa Press Association…

Mr Metsi said the latest incident, at Aloe Ridge Lodge, happened in view of two witnesses.

He said it was unclear why Mr Boosen, who had worked at the lodge for four years, had gone into the enclosure, as he usually fed the lions by putting meat through the fence.

Click here to read the full article.