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Big cat sanctuary to hold behind the scenes tour Sunday


Suzie’s Pride Big Cat Sanctuary will give people a chance to see the resident big cats up close.

The behind the scene’s experience at the sanctuary, for people age 16 and older, will be 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 3.

Staff and trainers will answer questions about the lions and tigers living at the sanctuary, and will supervise as people get close to the enclosures for photographs and observations of the animals.

During the event, participants will have an opportunity to observe and photograph Maggie on leash in the open area away from the big cat enclosures. However, attendees will not be able to touch Maggie and must fall on staff instructions.

Cost is $20 per person. The maximum number of participants is 25. The sanctuary is at 4597 Cook Road in Rockwell.

For more information, visit or call 704-279-8713. Click here to purchase tickets to the event.

If you miss the Behind the Scenes tour, the sanctuary will hold its monthly Open House from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 17. The open house is free.
(Source:, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013)


Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) in Eureka Springs is taking on its largest rescue
ever from a home in Northwest Arkansas. The big cats, including 30 tigers, two cougars and
two leopards have been under the care of a 72-year-old woman in Mountainburg.

"She's been in this area for 21 years with big cats and it's just a shame that she's out there
in the condition she is and we really feel for her and we want to help her the best way we can," s
ays Tanya Smith, TCWR President.

So Turpentine Creek is stepping in to help the 34 cats. "She's done a really good job of trying to
take care of them but they really need to be taken care of by professionals," says Smith.

Two by two, workers at Turpentine Creek are loading up the felines and driving them almost t
wo hours, to their new home in Eureka Springs. "These animals are coming from a mountaintop
where they are not seeing a lot of people. "We're all strangers to them," says Smith.

So of course, these guys are a little on edge. "He's scared you're seeing an animal on a first rescue
and we just got back. This is the most dangerous part we're doing is the rescue part," she explains.
But a risk that's worth it.

"It's very important that they're not put down mostly because they are an endangered species," says Smith.

But saving them comes at a price. "We did some hard figuring on it and just to bring these a
nimals in it's going to cost us about 200-thousand dollars," says Smith.

Turpentine Creek is hoping the funds will roll in from donations.

Go to to donate to the cause via the TCWR website.
(Look for the yellow gold donate button near the top of the page).
(Source: KARK 4 News, November 13, 2012)

Jan, 14, 2013

4 big cats not sighted in Bandhavgarh reserve for days

BHOPAL: Two tigers and two tigresses have not been sighted by wardens and tour operators at the BandhavgarhTiger Reserve for several weeks and even months, triggering fears that these endangered cats had fallen victim to voracious poachers or chased out of their territory by more aggressive tigers, officials and tour operators said on Monday. The reserve is home to 55 tigers.

Neither the famous blue-eyed tiger nor its pugmarks have been found after it was tranquilized for treatment and released on December 6, sources said. Other missing tigers are Mukunda (male) from November 2012, Mahaman (tigress) from January 2012, Joby (tigress) from October, all from Magdi range.

Tour operators and wildlife activists claim they have not seen the four for long but the head of the reserve warned against spreading fears. "I don't know why people spread such rumours. The big cats are in the range. We would send an official release tomorrow," said L K Chaudhary, director, Bandhavgarh tiger reserve.

"The tigers and tigresses were the most sighted and photographed ones. We have not seen any of the four for the past many days," said a tour operator wishing anonymity.=




The male Siberian or Amur Tiger, with a total body length in excess of 10 ft and weighing up to 300 kg is the largest and most powerful member of the cat family! The tiger's fur ranges from orange to brownish yellow with a white chest and belly is covered with broken vertical black/dark brown stripes. The length of the fur is longer in the Amur tiger, which inhabits the colder forested regions of eastern Russia and northern China. Males of all sub-species also exhibit longer fur in the form of a 'ruff' around the back of the head, especially pronounced in the Sumatran.

In general the tiger is a forest dweller but can also be found in grass land and swamp margins beyond woodland areas - they are never far from a source of water, are strong swimmers and have a particular love of bathing in pools and lakes in hotter regions. These wild cats are nocturnal hunters although in protected areas away from human intervention the animal is often active during the day. They prefers larger prey, such as wild boar, buffalo and deer, but also hunts fish, monkeys and various small mammals. They are often regarded as cautious hunters, stalking as close as it can to the rear its prey before making the final charge. As in common with many cats, they will save their food supply, hiding it under loose vegetation, returning to feed over several days. Although, with the exception of mother and cubs learning to hunt, it is generally a solitary hunter and they will often share its food with others of its family group.

This wild cat, more than any of the big cats, have earned a reputation of a 'man-eater'. In the Sundarbans Reserve in the swamp lands along the coast of the Bay of Bengal it has been reported that they have attacked fishermen in their boats - however such unprovoked attacks are very rare. Confrontation mainly occurs when humans stray into reserved areas to collect firewood or food and, more often than not, it is by old or injured tigers unable to compete for normal prey.

White Bengal Tigers

Although popular in some zoos, 'White Bengals' are extremely rare in the wild - the last sighting of a White Bengal in its natural habitat was near Rewa in Central India back in 1951. This male was captured by the Maharaja of Rewa and named Mohan - it is this animal that most in captivity today are related. It is not a true albino - it is simply has less dark colored pigment in its coat. The coat is not pure white but has brown stripes and blue eyes.

This beautiful cat was once found throughout most of southern, eastern and central Asia, and the Middle East. Today at least three of the subspecies -Caspian in the Middle East and west central Asia - Balinese and Javan from the islands of Bali and Java are now extinct. Of the remaining five subspecies the most numerous is the Bengal with a population of between 3,500 and 4,000. The Indian government has played a big part in the conservation of the Bengal in the early 1970's they established a project and opened a number of reserves in which to protect the animal. However poaching of the animal for its furs and other body parts is still a major threat.

The Chinese species, outlawed by the communist government of the 1960's as a threat to the peoples food source and the Siberian, suffering from the destruction and loss of its natural habitat, are nearly extinct. Without intervention it is probable that these two subspecies will disappear forever from their natural habitat!



El Paso Zoo, Adrian Cisneros - In this July 28, 2011 photo provided by the El Paso Zoo, Wzui, a male Malayan Tiger, reclines at the El Paso Zoo in El Paso, Texas. Wzui was killed by his mate at the zoo on Thursday. Malayan tigers are an endangered species. (AP Photo/El Paso Zoo, Adrian Cisneros)

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