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An Amur Tiger cub at Germany’s Zoo Berlin made her media debut last week. The cub was named Alisha, which is my name! This is first time I’ve ever heard of any zoo animal given my name, so it’s very exciting for me.
In December, the cub were born to female Aurora and her mate, Darius, the third litter for this pair. Unfortunately, the keepers observed that the cub was in poor condition, so they decided to hand-raise her. Now, little Alisha is thriving under the keepers’ care. She spends much of her time sleeping, but zoo officials expect Alisha to move onto exhibit within a few weeks.
Amur Tigers, also known as Siberian Tigers, are the largest of the six surviving Tiger subspecies. Native to far eastern Russia, the population of Amur Tigers dropped to fewer than 50 cats in the 1940s. Today, thanks to improved law enforcement against illegal hunting, there are now nearly 400 Amur Tigers in the wild. While Amur Tigers are still listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, scientists are hopeful that the upward trend will continue for these magnificent cats.
Happy Caturday =^_^=
Valentine’s Day is here, a day to celebrate love with flowers, kisses, and cute things. This year, the Interweb’s favorite tiny hamsters are back with a tiny Valentines Day date that is as squeetastic as it is comical, considering the very unceremonious manner in which hamsters eat.
First they take a tiny gondola ride around a tiny canal in a tiny town, then take their tiny seats at a tiny table where they are served tiny courses. There are flowers (of course, they eat them) and a pasta with red quinoa meatball entree that puts that “Lady and the Tramp” scene to shame. Enjoy!
Yosemite National Park is excited to report the first confirmed sighting in the park of a rare Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) in nearly 100 years. Park wildlife biologists had gone on a five-day backcountry trip to the far northern part of the park to check on previously deployed motion-sensitive cameras. They documented a sighting of the fox on two separate instances (December 13, 2014 and January 4, 2015) within the park boundary. The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America, likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals.
“We are thrilled to hear about the sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox, one of the most rare and elusive animals in the Sierra Nevada,” stated Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. “National parks like Yosemite provide habitat for all wildlife and it is encouraging to see that the red fox was sighted in the park.”
“Confirmation of the Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite National Park’s vast alpine wilderness provides an opportunity to join research partners in helping to protect this imperiled animal,” stated Sarah Stock, Wildlife Biologist in Yosemite National Park. “We’re excited to work across our boundary to join efforts with other researchers that will ultimately give these foxes the best chances for recovery.”
The nearest verified occurrences of Sierra Nevada red foxes have been in the Sonora Pass area, north of the park, where biologists from U.C. Davis (UCD), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have been monitoring a small Sierra Nevada red fox population, first documented by the USFS in 2010. Prior to 2010, the last verified sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox in the region was two decades ago.
The Yosemite carnivore crew will continue to survey for Sierra Nevada red fox using remote cameras in hopes of detecting additional individuals. At each camera station, the crew also set up hair snare stations in the hopes of obtaining hair samples for genetic analysis. Through genetic analysis, the park can learn more about the diversity within the population and to confirm whether the fox(es) detected in Yosemite is genetically related to individuals from the Sonora Pass area.
These Sierra Nevada red fox detections are part of a larger study funded by the Yosemite Conservancy to determine occurrence and distribution of rare carnivores in Yosemite National Park. Thank you to all our colleagues who have been helping us with this project in many important ways (UCD, USFS, CDFW, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center, Bureau of Land Management, and Yosemite backcountry rangers and volunteers).
It’s been six weeks since my last blog post. Lately I find that reading and writing about animals makes me sad and lonely for my own cats, who are staying with my parents until I have a home again, and am no longer traveling for work. So, I haven’t been inspired to write anything, until today.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for having wonderful parents, who can and will take care of my kitties while I’m away. Thank-you, so much.
Not all animals are so lucky. Some kitties have no home at all, and live out in the wilds. Come wintertime, the stresses of life can be tough for little feral furries.
Enter: The Cat-Aquarium Man.
This concerned man has built what he is calling a “Cat Aquarium” for Thanksgiving this year. He wanted strays to have a place to go during the weather, so he built a cat aquarium, mounted against his window so the inside of it was visible from inside the house. It’s like having his own kitty tv channel! … which his kids love, of course.
While this many cats is probably too much for one person to rescue, providing a safe place for them to stay is a great idea. Let’s just hope that window stays closed… ’cause they’ll scatter… into a chaotic kitty frenzy!
Way to go, Cat Aquarium Man. May you inspire others to build kitty looking boxes into their home windows. Kitty tv channels for everyone!
It’s been twelve days since my last post. I’m getting more and more comfortable living here in Maryland, especially with my roommates, who are becoming more like family everyday. Here to demonstrate, are a kitteh, a doggeh, and a monkeh, who are just about the best of friends. What Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers has to do with them… I’m not sure, I just know that I like it. ^_^
Happy Monkday :_)