Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act

First Responders Set Out to Rescue 5 Men Trapped in Tree by Big Cats in Sumatra

A group of Indonesian men spent four days trapped in a tree while  Sumatran tigers paced in circles around the tree.  The men were hunting

English: Sumatran Tiger

English: Sumatran Tiger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

for rare wood used to make incense but this is not  what provoked the tigers. These men accidentally killed a tiger cub in a trap set to catch antelope and deer for food.  The tigers were relentless seeking revenge killing a sixth man and waiting for the remaining five to come down from the tree.

A team of  30 rescuers, including police and soldiers, dispatched to help the men deep in the jungle in the north of Sumatra arrived to find the critically endangered tigers still circling the tree.  This team did not dare approach, but called in three local animal tamers.   Eventually the tigers left the tree and the men were rescued.

This took place in Sumatra, home of the Sumatran tiger, where cases of animal-human conflict are increasing due to extensive logging chewing up the big cats’ natural habitat.  The Sumatran tiger is the world’s smallest tiger and the team of 30 rescuers would not approach the tigers without an additional team of animal trainers skilled at diverting the tigers’ attention. And this happened in Sumatra, where both the tigers and the first responders both live.

First Responders Bear the Burden of  the Big Cat Crisis in the United States Too.

First responders bear the burden of the big cat crisis in the United States too but this country is not home to wild tigers. There are an estimated 10,000- 20,000 big cats kept as pets in backyards, basements and roadside zoos throughout the United States. Sadly, the U.S. is thought to be home to more captive tigers than are found in the wild. Exact numbers are not known so there is no way of knowing how many big cats are being kept in private hands and under what conditions.

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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!


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