Big Cats, Cold Weather and Rain

Lion pensive at Columbus Zoo

[Read more…]

African Lion Returns to Gabon After 20 Year Absence

Lion close up Heart of Africa

photo by Joanne McGonagle

[Read more…]

African Lions Need Your Signature Now!

The African Lion needs our help.

African Male Lion photo by Beverly Joubert

African Male Lion photo by Beverly Joubert

Hope for Lions through Protection

Some of you might remember when we talked about The African Lion Hope through Protection last year. If so, you might remember that on March 1, 2011, an alliance of wildlife protection and conservation groups petitioned the Secretary of the Interior to list the African lion as an endangered subspecies pursuant to the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA). These groups included Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, The Fund for Animals, Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The USA is the world’s largest importer of sport-hunted African Lion trophies

The United States is the world’s largest importer of African lion parts, for hunting trophies and for commercial use.  From 1999 and 2008, 7090 lions from a wild source were traded internationally for recreational hunting purposes.  Most of these lions, 64% of the total, were imported to the United States. Even though there has been a continuous population and range decline for the lion, the United States lion trophy imports have increased.  Imports in 2008 were larger than any other year in the decade and twice the 1999 number.  The Endangered Species Listing would make a significant difference to crackdown the trophy trade.  A listing under the ESA would put strict controls on the import of lion “trophies” by Americans, and would ban the commercial trade of lion parts in the United States.

African Lions are the ONLY big cat not protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act!

On November 26, 2012, the U.S. government issued a favorable finding that a listing may be warranted, but before making a final decision, they’ve allowed for a 60 day public comment period. They want to hear from you.  African lions are the only big cat not protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Take Action! Please add your signature and comment in favor of the ESA listing for the African Lion now!


[Read more…]

Cats Intelligence Superior Claims Scientific Americat

Cats Intelligence Superior

Cats know they are intelligent. They do not need to perform tricks to remind the humans in their lives they are smart. And although treats are nice, it is not worth losing their dignity just to get a snack. Truth is, cats will get treats anyway, simply by making “the eyes”  directing their humans to get them what they desire.

There is lots of chatter lately about dogs being more intelligent than cats. And as we discussed in our Dogs Smarter Than CatsScientific Americat Study Flawed series, the article in New Scientist was biased towards the dog’s willingness to serve humans. Now a study out of the University of Oxford claims that socializing led to bigger brains for some mammals, including dogs.

For the first time researchers attempted to chart the evolutionary history of the brain across different groups of mammals over 60 million years. They discovered that there are huge variations in how the brains of different groups of mammals have evolved over that time. They also suggest that there is a link between the sociality of mammals and the size of their brains relative to body size, according to a study published in the PNAS journal (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America). These researchers claim that dogs have developed bigger brains than cats because highly social species of mammals need more brain power than solitary animals.

The Lazy Leopard Research Institute disagrees and here is why:

1) The average dog brain weighs in at 64 grams and the average domestic cat’s brain weighs 25 grams. This stands to reason as dogs on average are much bigger than the typical house cat.  What is more important than simply brain size, not a reliable measure of intelligence, is to take a look at the brains information processing capacity: the number of neurons in the cortex, known as the executive brain. Cats clearly rule with 300 million neurons compared with a mere 160 million in dogs.  So you see, the house cat is small but mighty!

[Read more…]

Fear of Darkness? Blame it on the Moon!

Full Moon in Africa

A Full Moon hanging in the African Sky

[Read more…]

Lion Guardians Give Each Lion a Maasai Name

Lions from the Lion Guardians Project

These 9 lions are from the Mara Predator Project Lion Database.

[Read more…]