Friday, July 31, 2020

Roll Call for Africa’s Lions Proving to be Hard

African lions are one of the world’s favourite animals. But their numbers have been shrinking over the past century, especially over the past 30 years. Some scientists estimate that their numbers have halved since 1994. Estimates of the total population of Africa’s king of beasts vary, but a recent CITES report suggested that only about 25,000 remain in the wild, across 102 populations in Africa. But the numbers in this report aren’t particularly reliable. Most used traditional survey approaches – like counts of lion footprints, audio lure surveys or expert opinion – and many were not peer-reviewed. These traditional methods of counting lions produce highly uncertain estimates. A count of lions using their footprints may give you an estimate of, say, 50 lions in an area. But the uncertainty around this estimate could be between 15 and 100 individuals. This large uncertainty makes tracking how lion populations change from year to year nearly impossible. Our recent review shows that the majority of methods used to count African and Asiatic lions use these less robust methods.


Save the lions, not false pride

Hubert and Kalisa, 21-Year-Old African Lion Couple of LA Zoo Euthanized Due to Age-Related Illnesses, Check Old Pics of The Power Couple That Shows Their Forever Love

Team Latestly|

Hubert and Kalisa, 21-Year-Old African Lion Couple of LA Zoo Euthanized Due to Age-Related Illnesses, Check Old Pics of The Power Couple That Shows Their Forever Love
Hubert and Kalisa lion couple (Photo Credits: Twitter)

Hubert and Kalisa, an iconic lion pair that lived in LA zoo over two decades have been finally laid to rest following their health problems. The 21-year-old lion couple from LA zoo were euthanized due to declining health and suffering age-related problems. It was a difficult decision for euthanising both the African lions but they were an inseparable couple and it had to be done. The two definitely lived a long life and had made a mark on some of the visitors over the years. People have taken to Twitter to mourn the loss as some share the pictures and videos of this lovable couple from the LA zoo. STUNNING! 20 Lions Drink Water Together at River in South Africa's Mala Mala Game Reserve, Spectacular Sight Caught on Camera! (Watch Video).

As per the statement of LA Zoo Alisa Behar, the curator said, "This is a very hard loss for our Zoo community." The lion Hubert was born in Lincoln Park Zoo in 1999. He met with Kalisa at the Woodland Park Zoo. The pair were moved to the L.A. Zoo in 2014 and became a pride of the place. Hubert and Kalisa were together for years but what's also amusing is this lion couple never produced any cubs together. Hubert in his lifetime fathered 10 cubs. But the couple always cuddled and muzzled together. "You cannot think of Hubert without thinking of his companion, Kalisa; they’ve been an inseparable couple for years," Behar said. People on Twitter are sharing some pics and videos from the past of Huber and Kalisa. The ‘Royal’ Jungle Affair! Lion and Lioness Captured Into a Roaring Argument in Gujarat’s Gir Forest, Twitterati Reacts to the Viral Video With Hilarious Husband-Wife Jokes.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Gujarat Leopard kills old man

    Talala (Guj), Jul 28 (PTI) A 64-year-old man was
mauled to death by a leopard at his mango farm in Talala
taluka of Gir-Somnath district in Gujarat, officials said on
    The mango farm of the deceased, Laxmidas Sureja, is
situated in Virpur village near the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.
    Initially, locals suspected it to be a case of murder,
a Forest department release said.
    "After getting information about a suspected murder on
Monday night, police and forest officials reached the spot.
However, investigation revealed that Sureja was killed by a
wild animal," it said.
    The animal was later confirmed to be a leopard. PTI

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)

'Surviving Joe Exotic': What are ligers and why are Exotic's hybrids considered unethical?

There are very few ligers in existence — one of the reasons for this is because ligers are likely to die at a very young age due to congenital defects

By Neetha K
Published on : 19:04 PST, Jul 25, 2020

                            'Surviving Joe Exotic': What are ligers and why are Exotic's hybrids considered unethical?
(Getty Images)

While it may seem like it was long ago, it has only been a handful of months since Netflix's documentary 'Tiger King: Mayhem and Madness' took the country by storm. Chronicling the big cat breeding career of Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage aka Joe Exotic, 'Tiger King' introduced the breeder to a large audience as he soon gained popularity. However, 'Tiger King' received criticism for not documenting Joe Exotic's propensity for animal abuse.

A new documentary by Animal Planet, 'Surviving Joe Exotic' takes care to resolve that by focusing on the animals that were abused on Joe Exotic's Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park aka GW Park. In 2019, Joe Exotic was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse (eight violations of the Lacey Act and nine of the Endangered Species Act)[5] and two counts of murder for hire, for a plot to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO, Carole Baskin. He is serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison. 

In interview footage of the breeder, we see him mention "ligers" — a tiger-lion hybrid that was bred by him. A liger is a result of breeding a male lion with a tigress, whereas another hybrid, a tigon is a result of breeding a male tiger to a lioness. Naturally, tigers and lions do not exist in the wild in the same areas — one exception is the Gir Forest in India, but till today, a naturally bred liger has never been found — the reasons vary but it is likely that because of the different appearances, the two cats are unlikely to mate with each other.

There are very few ligers in existence — one of the reasons for this is because ligers are likely to die at a very young age due to congenital defects. When forced together, the offspring can have multiple health and genetic issues due to their parentage. Ligers have the potential to suffer from gigantism, often leading to organ failure and other health concerns.

Gigantism can occur because male lions have a growth gene that enables their cubs to be bigger, ensuring their offspring will out-compete other cubs of the same litter. When a male lion breeds with a female tiger, her genes do not know how to stop the growth of the cubs, causing the offspring to continue growing. This is also harmful to the female tiger who carries the liger cubs, putting her life in danger as well. Because big cat hybrids are not considered real species, they serve no purpose for conservation efforts. They exist purely for human entertainment.

Many animal rights organizations such as PETA, Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Performing Animal Welfare Society, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, The Wildcat Sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, Keepers of the Wild, and Lions, Tigers & Bears submitted a petition for rulemaking to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) detailing how tiger/lion hybrids are bred to suffer "for an exhibitor's quick buck." The asked the USDA to "take proactive steps to curtail the practice by some licensees who purposefully breed tigers and other big cats for deleterious genetic mutations and to create interspecies hybrids."

If you have an entertainment scoop or a story for us, please reach out to us on (323) 421-7515

Fight between lion and lioness goes viral. Twitter has the best husband-wife jokes

A video of a lion and a lioness fighting in Gir Forest has gone viral. Twitter has the best jokes.

Snip from the video. Photo: Twitter/ Wild India
Snip from the video. Photo: Twitter/ Wild India

Time and again we come across some really stunning wildlife pictures and videos on social media. Recently, the photos of a rare black panther in Karnataka went viral. This time it is a fight between a lion and a lioness.

The video that we are talking about was shot by wildlife photographer and politician, Zubin Ashara. It was tweeted by the account Wild India with the caption, “The Royal affair captured in Gir forest by @zubinashara. Headphone recommended.” You must really watch this video either on full volume or with headphones.

The clip is from Gir forest, Gujarat. The stunning 22-second-video shows a lion and a lioness standing on two ends of a dirt track. The lioness can be seen roaring at the lion while trying to fight him as he tries to cross the road. The splendid roars are the highlight of the clip.

As soon as the footage of the fight was shared, it went viral. The video garnered over 7.6k views and more than 1,000 likes within an hour of being posted.

However, Twitter found humour in this situation and came up with the best husband-wife jokes. Have a look at some of the comments:

Watchtower to come up at Devaliya safari park

The project is aimed at affording tourists a view of Gir forest from a height,” Dushyant Vasavada, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) of Junagadh wildlife circle told The Indian Express on Friday.
By: Express News Service | Rajkot | Published: July 25, 2020 4:35:40 am
Devaliya safari park, Gir forest, watch tower at Devaliya safari park, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited, Devaliya safari park project, indian express news

AROUND A 100-feet tall watchtower, an amphitheatre, open library, children play area and selfie points are some of the projects which will come up in and around Sasan in Gir forest as part of a makeover of tourist facilities at the eco-tourism hub of Gujarat in coming months.

The Gujarat forest department and the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited (TCGL) have drawn a master plan for beautification of Sinh Sadan, the guest house of forest department in Sasan village, arboretum and birding point and nature park, also in Sasan; the sunset point in nearby Bhalchhel village and Devaliya safari park. The project cost of Rs 30 crore will be borne by TCGL.

The project includes a proposal to construct a watchtower with a height of 30 metre (around 100 feet) at Devaliya safari park. “It will be like a traditional forest watchtower with the only difference being its height. The project is aimed at affording tourists a view of Gir forest from a height,” Dushyant Vasavada, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) of Junagadh wildlife circle told The Indian Express on Friday.

The plan includes redesigning entry gate No.1 at Sinh Sadan, renovation of reception centre and tourist plaza there, building a Gir orientation centre and extending the existing souvenir shops. In the nearby arboratem and birding point, entry gate would be redesigned and a new souvenir shop would be built. A dedicated children play area would be developed as well a new toilet block will also be constructed.

In the nature park, which hosts school students for nature camps, an information centre would be constructed besides pitching tents for teachers, students and staff. At the foot of Bhalchhel hill, the sunset point, an amphitheatre, food court, hangout zone, selfie point, ticketing building and toilet blocks wold be constructed.

In the Devealiya safari park, entry gate and food kiosk would be redesigned, souvenir shop would be renovated, sitting arrangements would be added in the tourist waiting area and a huge parking space will be developed.

Gir forest and other protected areas spread across Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts are the only natural habitat of Asiatic lions in the world. Tourist footfall at Sasan, from where lion safaris going into the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (GNPWS) originate, and the Devaliya safari park has increased manifold after the TCGL highlighted the Gir forest and Asiatic lions in its Khooshbu Gujarat Ki promotional campaign in 2010.

As part of the first phase of the project covering facilities at Sinh Sadan, the TCGL floated tenders for work worth Rs 10 crore on Tuesday.

Jenu Devan, managing director of TCGL said, “We have drawn this plan in consultation with the forest department and the project would be completed in about 18 months,” he said.

The MD added that any green clearances were not required for these projects as they “mainly involve refurbishing and redesigning existing

Made in India: Wildlife edition

We asked a conservation expert about amazing animals endemic to this part of the world