Greeting from Ecotourism Kenya!
This week we are discussing Big cat matters in line with what was this year’s theme for World Wildlife Day.LIONS
A lion pride mauled and nearly ate the entire body of a suspected poacher. A few remains of his body and the head of a suspected poacher were found in the Ingwelala Private Nature Reserve in Hoedspruit outside Phalaborwa, South Africa. The man tried to scream for help. However, a few gunshots later an eerie silence is what followed. A loaded rifle and ammunition were found next to the remains of the suspected poachers. Initially, park officials thought it was an employee, however all employees were accounted for. According to the Born Free Foundation, lion bones are used for traditional medicine in parts of Africa and Asia. They are especially used in East Asia to replace Tiger bones in traditional medicine making and ceremonies.
NATURE’S NUMBER ONE ASSASIN
The Black-Footed Cat can walk 20 miles a night in search of prey with a high 60% chance of a win. This is higher than any other cat species known to man. This wild cat is endemic to southern Africa, specifically Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. They are mainly nocturnal and unlike their cousins seldom climb trees. This ruthless and tenacious killers stand at a mere length of 36.7 to 43.3 cm (14.4 to 17.0 in) with tails 16.4 to 19.8 cm (6.5 to 7.8 in) long. Yes, you read right, the size of your average house cat or even smaller. They are known to hunt a variety of prey with the Cape Hare being heavier than the 2.5kg black footed cat. Due to its fierceness it is known as “miershooptiers” in Afrikaans, the anthill tiger. The number two smallest cat in the world is cute and furry looking but is nature’s own James Bond.
LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AND HIS SEVEN TIGERS
Peeking over your neighbour’s fence is that harmless deed you do every so often. In Maringa, Brazil, however you would be shocked to find 7 tigers, two lions and a Chihuahua staring right back at you! Aryas Borges rescued a pair of tigers from a zoo in 2005. He and his family now run an improvised animal sanctuary right in their back yard. He has three daughters who help him take care of the cats. They live side by side with these dangerous cats without any fear. The eldest daughter, even lets her 4-year-old baby girl ride on the back of one of the tigers. The youngest swims in the swimming pool with the tigers as a form of exercise and training for both herself and the tigers. Aryas insists that it is through mutual love and respect that they all co-exist in the house together.