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Why You Should Never Pay to Play With Cubs

Lion cub the Columbus Zoo

Lion cub admired from afar at the Columbus Zoo

Lions Cubs Are to Be Admired Not Cuddled

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Good News For The World’s Wild Cats and Their Ecosystems

Lion close up Heart of Africa

New Global Alliance with Panthera

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The Heart of Africa in the Heart of Ohio.

Heart of Africa Columbus Zoo

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Valentine Gifts that Help Big and Small Cats.

This Valentine’s Day if you are looking for a the purrfect gift for the cat lovers in your life, we have a couple of suggestions that help out big and small cats.

Buy a Bracelet to support Obadiah the Lion at ARK R.A.I.N. Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Obadiah Ark Rain

Obadiah, came to Ark RAIN when he was only 6 days old.  The sanctuary heard about a woman  illegally breeding and selling lion cubs to the public. They drove out of state to find the cubs but there was only one left to rescue. They brought him back to Ark R.A.I.N. Wildlife Sanctuary and  named him Obadiah.

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Valentine Cards for Cat Lovers Giveaway

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it and we wanted to help you celebrate your love for all cats big and small with our The Tiniest Tiger Valentine Cards for Cat Lovers. Annie, Eddie and I created a few new designs and we included our all time favorite lion cub card too.Love All Cats, Big and Small Card

You Can Choose the Design You Like Best

The winner will be able to select the design they like best.  We created 5 cards to choose from and we hope  you like the cards.  Annie hopes they make you feel warm and fuzzy.

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Lion Guardians Great Video About Successfully Saving Lions

Lion Guardians Promotes Coexistence between People and Lions

One of my favorite organizations is the Lion Guardians.  This community based conservation program is bringing hope for the survival of the African Lion.  I hope you will take time to watch the amazing video that was created to help bring more awareness and support for this amazing project.

Philip J Briggs Guardian and lion paw

The Lion Guardians Mission is:

 To promote sustainable coexistence between people and lion using cultural values, community participation and science.

The Lion Guardians program was initiated in 2006 by the Living with Lions project and the local communities, and was set into motion in collaboration with Maasailand Preservation Trust in January 2007 on Mbirikani Group Ranch in the Amboseli Ecosystem

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Cheetah Agility and Maneuverability More Important than Speed

Sophisticated Tracking Collars Show Surprising Results

Cheetah in Namibia

Cheetah photographed in Namibia by Joanne McGonagle

Cheetahs might be the fastest land animal but a new study reveals it isn’t speed but extreme agility and maneuverability that’s key to bringing down their prey.  A team from the Royal Veterinary College, UK, working with the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust,  used custom-built tracking collars containing GPS and inertial measurement units to capture the locomotor dynamics of cheetahs hunting in the wild.

In the 1960’s cheetahs were clocked reaching speeds of 64 miles per hour, but research using modern technology shows the cheetah’s speed at 40 mph. These studies were carried out with captive cheetahs and could give little insight into how a cheetah uses their speed in the wild. So researchers collared five wild cheetahs and tracked their movement. These sophisticated collars are capable of of monitoring speed, acceleration, deceleration and location. Data was collected for 367 runs over 17 months.

Cheetahs Rely on Agility and Maneuverability

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Compare and Contrast How The Tiniest Tiger Began

How The Tiniest Tiger Began

Over the last three weeks, we have spent some time reflecting on Gracey’s life with us and I couldn’t help but reminisce about  the beginning of our The Tiniest Tiger community that started out on our facebook page. In those first days we talked a lot about the differences and similarities between Gracey and her big cat cousins.  One of our first photo albums on Facebook was Compare and Contrast. Do you remember this post?

Compare and Contrast

Amur Tiger

This beautiful tiger lives at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Notice the stains on her pink nose.

Gracey with pink stained nose

Notice my stains on my pink nose?

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Lions to Live Better Lives Thanks to Genetic Testing

Distinctive Lions Will Live Better Lives Thanks to Genetic Testing

Scientists thought there was something different about the  fifteen lions living in the rundown Addis Ababa Lion Zoo.  The male lions living in the Ethiopian zoo have large, dark brown manes that extend down their chests through their front legs, down their backs below

Lion Addis Lion Zoo

Male Lion in the Addis Ababa Lion Zoo

their shoulders and the length of their belly through the groin. These male lions are also smaller in body size than their cousins from eastern and southern Africa.  These distinguishing features  in the Addis Ababa Lions made the biologists think this group of lions are  distinctive, and in fact, made them wonder if they could  be the relatives of an extinct lion subspecies.

It had been speculated that the Addis Ababa lions might be the last pure relatives of North African Barbary lions or South African Cape lions, both subspecies now extinct. Or could these 15 lions be a completely genetically distinctive population of lion?

The lions are descended from a private collection of the last Ethiopian ruler, Emperor Haile Selassie, who captured their ancestors from the wild and brought them to his palaces in the 1940’s.  Today, these lions live in the same holding pens as the first lions captured, only now the  zoo is in poor condition and the lions are lacking proper nutrition, and inadequate space.

Addis Lion zookeepers became so overwhelmed caring for the lions that they reached out to their German “sister city” Leipzig, for help. Vets from the Leipzig zoo traveled to Ethiopia to check the health status of the lions.  While examining the lions, a team of vets took blood samples for genetic investigations  for an international breeding program in case the results confirmed these lions are their own subspecies or perhaps their own genetic construction.

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Making Peace with Lions Richard Turere is a Wildlife Hero.

by Joanne McGonagle

Richard Turere’s “Lion Lights” Save Lives

Richard Turere is a young Maasai boy of 13, whose family lives  on the edge of Nairobi National Park, in Kenya. As is common among the

Richard Turere

Richard Turere
photo from TED.com

Maasai, Richard took over the responsibility for herding and safeguarding his family’s livestock when he was only 9 years old.  One of the threats to his family’s cattle, sheep and goats is the presence of African lions when they wander out of Nairobi National Park following the path of zebra and other prey animals searching for savannah grasses.

Richard grew up hating lions because at night, lions would sneak in and kill the family’s livestock while the boy was sleeping.  Determined to protect the families valuable livestock, Richard knew he had to think of a way to help him protect his animals from lion attacks.

Richard first built a fire, but realized even though the lions are afraid of fire, they were not afraid to go around the fire and snatch up a meal and in fact their path was made easier by the light of the fire.  Richard then tried to place a scarecrow to fool the lions into thinking that he was guarding his cattle, but this only worked for one night. Richard said, the lions are very clever, so when they returned the second night, they must have realized this scarecrow is not moving and so were no longer intimidated.

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