I have a guilty pleasure. When I am tired and just want to relax and not think about anything, I like to watch Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet. They haven’t found Bigfoot yet, or even come close, but they keep on trying. Although the shows seem to follow a predictable pattern, I still watch because it is entertaining hearing all the “squatch” jargon. Even the phrase “Gone Squatchin” makes me laugh.
Conservation programs that take into consideration the well-being and interests of the people that live with the big cats have the most chance of succeeding. In the past, there has been a conservation versus them approach and people were even removed from their homes as protected areas were off limits to local people. Projects that work with local people and give them an incentive to save the big cats have a much better chance of success. Here are three big cat conservation projects that help humans too.
1) Jaguar Corridor Lights Up Eastern Colombia
The Cheetah is Racing for Survival
Simon’s Cat Scary Legs
We love Simon’s cat and this one Scary Legs really made me laugh. Many people are afraid of spiders and I have to be honest, I used to be one of them. I could barely stand to be in the same room with a spider but I never wanted to kill them. I liked to relocate them back outside and at times this took a lot of courage to accomplish. In fact, more often than not it involved deep breaths, involuntary shuddering, shivering and repeatedly telling myself to stay calm while I balanced the spider on the end of a broom or yardstick.
We have the summer blues without you.
It is near the end of July and on this Sunday afternoon my heart broke all over again. We were cleaning the house and it was time to wash the Slankets. It seemed like such a menial task but when I picked them up I remembered how much you loved to snuggle on them and the wave of sorrow crashed over me. I hid in the office so your dad wouldn’t see me and I had a good cry. Later when he saw me I told him that my red eyes were due to allergies. He pursed his lips and nodded.
This first summer without you is also the first summer in four years that I am not heading out into the field. I miss the adventure and learning at the Sea of Cortez, in Kenya and in Namibia. And to make matters worse, this is the first summer that the city didn’t open the swimming pool. The best part of summer for me was being able to swim every morning. Fresh air, cool water and a mile of meditation laps to start the day. But this summer, no field work, no swimming and worst of all no Gracey.
Annie and Eddie are both very sweet kittens and they sure have a lot of energy. They make us laugh and force us to keep up with them and that is a good thing. We are so lucky that they rescued us. Earlier today both kittens were in the office with me and they seemed to be fascinated with Bad Kitty. I think he was telling them a story about you.
Maggie is trying to adjust to her new home but I get the feeling like me, she might think this is the worst summer ever.
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.
Sophisticated Tracking Collars Show Surprising Results
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.