Critically Endangered Amur Leopards Born in St. Louis
The St. Louis Zoo has announced that two Amur leopards were born in April. The Amur leopard is one of the most endangered cat species in the world, with fewer than 100 cats remaining in the wild. The female cubs, named Anya and Irina, are the first litter for their mother, four-year-old Dot and her mate Samson. They are the first Amur leopard cubs born at the zoo since 2010.
An International Cat Rescue
This is Max, a Maine coon cat who lives in Bucha, Ukraine, with Alena Kukuruzka. You can see how big Max is by the horseshoe for scale. He is also badass for wearing a Batman insignia. When the Russian army approached Bucha, Kukuruzka and her young son were evacuated to the Czech Republic. They were not able to take Max with them. Then Max disappeared from Bucha, most likely carried off by a Russian soldier. Kukuruzka issued an internet appeal to find her cat.A few weeks later, locals in Gomel, Belarus, noticed a wandering cat with a Batman collar. Max had traveled 300 kilometers from Bucha! Animal rescue volunteers there traced the cat to his owner, and then called Kukuruzka in the Czech Republic. Kukuruzka got a message:“Your contacts were on the pendant, we didn’t know whether to call or not, how you would react to Belarusians, after everything that was happened,” the girl on the other end of the phone said, throwing off a photo of Max and a collar with a pendant.Volunteers prepared Max with a passport and managed to send him through Poland to Czechia, where he was reunited with Kukuruzka 80 days after they were separated by war. You'll find the full story at the Facebook group Ukraine Animal Rescue Information. -via Everlasting Blort (Image credit: Alena Kukuruzka) #cat #rescue #lostcat #Ukraine #Mainecoon
Police Investigate Cougar Sighting In Vancouver
Vancouver police received numerous reports of a cougarroaming the streets in the residential Shaughnessy neighborhood Wednesday morning. You'd think that people in British Columbia would know what a cougar looks like, but maybe they were so scared they reported the only big cat they knew. But it is a large cat. By mid afternoon, an investigation returned results. This cat is a pet, although a surprisingly big one.
Kestrel Father Steps Up When Mate Dies
Wildlife photographer Robert E. Fuller (previously) has a webcam in a kestrel nest. The pair of kestrels hatched a brood of six chicks, but recently the mother got into a fight with some owls and never returned home. She is assumed dead. Meanwhile, the father kestrel was left with chicks too young to care for themselves. Normally, a kestrel father may sit on eggs, but after they hatch he has little interaction with the chicks besides bringing prey animals to the nest. It's the mother who keeps the chicks warm, and tears prey into smaller pieces and feeds them to the chicks. A kestrel chick who loses its mother is usually doomed. But Mr. Kes here is doing his best to mother the chicks. Above you see him making awkward attempts to keep them warm. He also gradually figured out how to feed them, as you can see below. He seems confused, but eventually tears the prey into smaller pieces.
Leg Braces for a Newborn Giraffe
A new giraffe was born February first at the San Diego zoo safari park. But Msituni came into the world with a few problems. Her front legs bent the wrong way. A giraffe that has trouble walking is doomed. The veterinary staff at the park knew Msituni needed leg braces, but since the newborn was almost six feet tall already, they turned to experts for help. Experts in human braces. They turned to the Hanger Clinic, renowned for fitting orthotics to people who went on the achieve athletic success. Hanger had never made a leg brace for an animal, but Ara Mirzaian studied giraffes intently as soon as he got the request.Msituni suffered from hyperextended carpi, wrist joint bones in giraffes’ front limbs, which are more like arms. As she overcompensated, the second front limb started to hyperextend as well. Her back leg joints also were weak but were able to be corrected with specialized hoof extenders. And given that she weighed more than 100lb (55kg) at birth, the abnormality was already taking its toll on her joints and bones.Mirzaian cut and modified existing human braces for the giraffe while they waited for custom orthotics to be built for her. When Msituni finally got her custom-made braces, she only needed to wear them ten days before her front legs were corrected. Meanwhile, her rear legs had strengthened during her therapy. After 39 days of treatment, Msituni was able to rejoin the other giraffes at the park. read the entire story at the Guardian. -via Fark#giraffe #legbraces #orthotics
The Nest Webcam Dilemma: When to Interfere with Nature
After an alarming decline in the 1970s, bald eagles are now thriving, and we get to watch some of them lay eggs and raise chicks with live nest cameras. The webcams draw dedicated fans, and when something goes wrong, they demand that something be done. When a tree leans over, they want to prop it up. When an eagle parent dies, they want the babies rescued. Wildlife organizations have to explain to people that it's just nature taking its course. Policies vary among organizations, but rarely will they interfere with disasters that may befall a nest. Some groups offer pre-made nests, in safer tree, but they cannot make the birds accept them. Some draw a line between saving a bird that suffers from a manmade problem and those suffering from the forces of nature. And they have to educate the public along the way. For example, kestrel chicks don't just fly from the nest when they fledge. They are more likely to fall to the ground, prompting viewers to call and demand they be rescued. Sure, they're in danger, but that's how kestrels do it. A local power company builds safe artificial nests for ospreys, but the birds are just as likely to nest atop power poles. What can you do? Read about nest webcams and the fans who prefer their viewing to have a happy ending at the Colorado Sun. -via Fark#eagle #baldeagle #nestcam #webcam
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