Our Friend and Neighbor Marie
Our neighbor Marie was a wonderful person, so full of warmth and laughter. She was always happy to see me and I was always happy to see her too. She had the kind of smile that warmed your heart the moment you saw her. You always felt better after chatting with Marie. Years ago when I started up the bakery part of the business, she was the first to buy a loaf of English Muffin bread. I have a photo somewhere, but that was before digital images. Marie was super excited about The Tiniest Tiger.
She held the book close to her and said she would cherish her copy. And I know she meant that too.
Marie loved her cat Maggie. You might remember on occasion, I would go with Marie to get Maggie’s nails trimmed at the veterinarian’s [Read more...]
Meeting Savannah at the Cincinnati Zoo
When our friend Linda Castenada heard the news that we had lost you, she quickly sent a message telling us she was heartbroken and extended an invitation to come visit her at The Cincinnati Zoo for some cheetah love. Linda runs the Cheetah Encounter and this past year, she has been raising a beautiful cheetah cub named Savannah. This was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture. Your dad and I were really touched and thought this would be a fun and interesting thing for us to do together. Linda and I were in Kenya together while you and your dad were here taking care of everything at home.
We had a great time watching the cheetahs chasing the lure during the show. The cheetahs have a large area where they can run and play outdoors. The Cheetah Encounter is where National Geographic and a Hollywood action movie crew filmed the cheetahs running in a way that had never been done before for an article in the November 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine.
After the show, Linda met your dad and I and we were given a behind the scenes tour. We stayed safely behind the yellow line and the front of the cheetah enclosures and were able to meet Sarah, Chance, and Bravo. I forgot that your dad had never been this close to a big cat before and he was fascinated with just how loud cheetahs can purr. We learned all about the love and care that goes into their daily diet and enrichment programs.
Then Linda introduced us to Savannah. I have to tell you that your dad’s eyes were as big as saucers. He was trying to pretend to be calm and collected but being up close to a big cat, even if it is a young cheetah, can be daunting. They are long, lean and strong. And Savannah stayed alert, keeping a close eye on us. Your dad was trying to be brave, but I could tell when he reached out to pet her, he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to.
Welcome to The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club!
Super Hurrah for Mary! The winner of The Tiniest Tiger Hipster! Don’t wander far, we will be hosting other exciting giveaways soon.
The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club where small paws are uniting to make a big difference!
Master of Zoology Graduation Celebration
It was with mixed emotions that we celebrated our graduation from the Master of Zoology program at Miami University. Even though my mom and I spent many many hours in the office reading, thinking and writing, what we were learning was so super interesting it seems the time just flew by.
Into the Field
We had the opportunity to travel to the Baja peninsula to live in the dessert at Rancho San Gregorio and swim in the Sea of Cortez. We visited elephants in Amboseli National Park in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya, dismantled snares with the African Conservation Center Game Scouts, learned to track lions, walked with baboons and lived with the Maasai in Olkiramatian.
Burning Bushes to Restore Habitat Land and Save Cheetahs.
Most of us know our big cat cousins are struggling to survive in in the wild. You might even know that loss of habitat, human-wildlife conflict, loss of prey and poaching are among the biggest reasons the big cats are fighting for their lives. But did you know the loss of habitat is not just due to the increasing human population but due to another invasive species, the thorn-bush.
The acacia thorn bush overgrowth has claimed thousands of acres of savannah in Namibia where the largest number of wild cheetahs still live. Overgrazing, drought, extirpation of elephants are a few of the reasons for the bush encroachment. As the bush thickens and the sharp thorns of the acacia entwine to form a barrier, not only is the cheetah at risk but so are the prey species that thrive on the savannah.
December 4 is International Cheetah Day
Khayam was the inspiration for today.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) has declared December 4 to be International Cheetah Day. The cheetah is not just the fastest, but the oldest of the big cats having survived over 3 million years of glaciations and warming cycles, and even its own genetic bottleneck. But with habitat destruction and conflict with humans, the cheetah could become extinct in less than 20 years.
In 1977, Dr. Laurie Marker traveled to Namibia with a female cheetah named Khayam. Dr. Marker wanted to see if it was possible for a cheetah that had lived their entire life in captivity to be released into the wild. But when Dr. Marker and Khayam arrived in Namibia, she learned the cheetahs needs were quite different from what the wildlife community had assumed.
Cheetahs were considered vermin, pests that should be shot on sight. The Namibian farmers worried about their small livestock herds, thought of the cheetah as a threat to their own livelihood. Dr. Marker soon realized that if the cheetah was to survive in Namibia, a solution must be found to enable the farmers and the cheetah to live side-by-side, allowing both to thrive. Shortly after the assessment of the cheetahs’ needs, Dr. Marker also realized there was no group working to find a solution to help the farmers that would in turn save the cheetah.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund
This past summer we had the honor of being able to speak with Dr. Marker as part of our course work in Namibia. When we were sitting in a meeting room at CCF, talking with Dr. Marker she explained that she realized “There is no “they” and if you want something done you have to do it yourself.”
We are truly honored.
We are truly honored to have won The Petties 2012 Best Blog Post Award. We were thrilled to be finalists and when we learned of the other finalists in our category, all super talented wonderful friends and fellow cat writers, we knew we would be thrilled no matter who won, because Dogtime Media makes a generous donation to a non-profit shelter and we knew that our cousins in need would be getting some much needed help.
Just a couple days after we returned home from the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, we received and email from The Petties, asking us:
What makes the post that you’re nominated for so important?
Having just spent time learning more about the plight of the wild cheetah, as well as leopards and lions, the article that was nominated meant even more to us, and this was the answer that we sent back to The Petties.
Loss and fragmentation of habitat and depletion of prey are leading to rapidly declining populations of wildlife and in particular predators. Ecosystems need predators to remain healthy, yet humans continue to persecute and eliminate them from our world. “Cat Obituary Farewell Eastern Cougar” is about the heartbreak of extinction and a reminder to care for all animals big and small.
If you would like to read our article here is the link: Cat Obituary Farewell Eastern Cougar.