Tiger Tests Life in Captivity, Chooses Freedom

Comments Off on Tiger Tests Life in Captivity, Chooses Freedom

A tiger walks into a zoo.

That may sound like the beginning of a joke, but in this case, it’s just the start of an fascinating story. Cats are known for their innate curiosity, and an endangered Bengal tiger in India proved to be no exception.

In April, keepers at India’s Nandankanan Zoo discovered that the wild male tiger had left the forest and — somehow — entered the zoo’s enclosed grounds. The zoo staff had no ideahow the tiger had gotten in, but it didn’t take long to figure out why. By all indications, the lovestruck kitty was attracted to the zoo’s female tiger, which, unsurprisingly, lives in an enclosure.

Concerned by the presence of a dangerous animal wandering the grounds, the zoo prepared a twenty-person team to capture the wild cat before he could attack anyone. However, before the plan was implemented, zookeepers tried a wild idea: opening the female’s cage door.

Amazingly, the wild tiger strolled right in, happy to meet his potential new mate. The zoo staff then found themselves with a new problem on their hands: what to do with the second tiger. The cat, however, had no such worry.

For a month, he made himself at home, availing himself to the free food, shade and sedentary lifestyle that comes with being a captive animal.

But then he apparently got bored.

Tired of life in a cage, the tiger opted to leave the zoo as suddenly as he arrived. Using the same ninja skills that got him into the zoo, he broke out — a feat that should have been impossible. The cat escaped by scaling the zoo’s two-story security wall, an exit that was mostly caught on video, until, like any good escape artist, the tiger severed the camera’s wiring.

“The Central Zoo Authority guidelines prescribe a 16-foot height for enclosure wall, but this enclosure wall was higher,” Chief Wildlife Warden, J D Sharma, told the New Indian Express. “The tiger apparently climbed the walls using the angle irons fitted at 8 feet and 16 feet height to support the structure. There is enough evidence of it walking on top of the wall.”

As for the animal’s current whereabouts, locals say the tiger hasn’t been seen since its prison break, although they believe he may still be in the nearby forests.

Smart kitty.

News Link:http://www.ecorazzi.com/2013/06/07/tiger-tests-life-in-captivity-chooses-freedom/


Behind The Scenes At The SPCA: Investigating Animal Cruelty

Comments Off on Behind The Scenes At The SPCA: Investigating Animal Cruelty

George Bengal of the Pennsylvania SPCA is like the Ed McMahon of animal rescues. There’s just one difference: When he comes to your door, he’s not bringing an oversized check and balloons.

“I’ve had cases where the people we’re investigating will say to me, ‘I know you, I’ve seen you on TV,” said Bengal. “And to that I say: ‘And now you’re going to be on TV with me, but it’s not for a good reason.”

As the director of humane law enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA, Bengal has seen everything from dog-fightingas seen in the recent Germantown case, to pet hoarding. He’s also a retired Philadelphia police officer.

With 12 humane officers on the team, the group can have a workload of 30 to 50 cases at one time. They also have the daunting task of enforcing the animal cruelty laws for 16 counties.

“People often think that we’re funded by the state because we’re enforcing state laws, but that’s not the case,” said Bengal.

His team is constantly following-up on calls and investigating animal cruelty and abuse. 

“We have a twenty-four-seven hotline,” said Bengal, “calls come in everyday and we look into each one. Every time I think I’ve seen the worst case, another one will top it,” said Bengal.

A look into the world of animal fighting

Bengal says he has seen horrific scenes of animal fighting. The fights, which are motivated by money, involve high-end betting.

“In one case, my team found half a million dollars in cash at a home,” said Bengal. “It’s a blood sport. These animals are trained to fight, even to the death.”

He says the fights attract large crowds and he’s seen over 100 people in one house. Spectators can be charged just for watching.

“In many cases, women will be cooking and actually selling food upstairs in the kitchen, while downstairs the men are watching the fighting,” said Bengal.

A dog rescued from dog-fighting. (Courtesy of the Pennsylvania SPCA)

He says the animals are trained to fight from a young age. Owners may start out playing tug-of-war with the dog as a puppy using a towel or rope. Eventually, they will start training with weight pulls for a sled, which are legal.

“They train them like it’s a fun game,” explained Bengal. “Eventually, they’ll put heavy chains on their necks to strengthen them, pump them full of steroids and have them run on treadmills. Animal fighting is like a boxing match.”

The fights are so serious that the owners will even pay for a cutman to treat physical damage during the fight.

“These guys will go so far as to put a sedative or poison on their fur, so that when the other dog bites, he’ll get weak and sick,” explained Bengal. “With cock fighting, they will implant knives or gaffs on the animals claws.”

When asked if the owners ever feel remorse for their actions, Bengal says they only think of the animals as valuable property.

“They’re mad when we take their animals because some of them are worth thousands of dollars,” said Bengal.

“Some of these dogs are grand champion fighters, and their pups alone can be worth $20,000 to $50,000.”

Dangerous hoarder homes

Can you imagine 110 Chihuahua‘s living in one home? Bengal can. He says that typically, animal hoarding goes hand-in-hand with other types of hoarding, which can mean a dangerous situation for both animals and humans alike.

“These are some of the most tragic cases,” said Bengal. “These people have serious issues. They’ve lost their ability to know what’s right and wrong. They don’t having running water, they don’t get things fixed.”

He says for many hoarder cases his team must wear protective gear and breathing masks due to mass amounts of feces and garbage.

“We’ll find dead animals inside these houses,” said Bengal. “One woman actually asked if she could take pictures of the dead ones before we took them out, she was that mentally attached.”

He says homicide cases for humans mean a felony or a death sentence, but when an animal is killed, it may only mean minimal jail time or a fine.

“When we go to a location, it’s a lot like a narcotics investigation. We get forensic evidence and autopsy results to determine the cause of death,” said Bengal. “We treat these cases as if it were a regular homicide.”

The SPCA works with the Licenses and Inspections (L&I) department to get people out of these conditions and find them psychiatric help. In some cases the properties may be deemed unlivable and are condemned.

“We try to do as much as we can,” said Bengal. “You have to stay professional at all times. Our job is a combination of a cop, social worker and educator.”

Healing hands at the SPCA

Wendy Marano, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania SPCA, says the group has a “no kill” philosophy.

“No animal comes here with a clock ticking,” said Marano. “We work hard to get them better, we want to give them a second chance.”

She says the SPCA team works to rehabilitate abused animals so that they may one day enter into an adoptive home.

News Link:-http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/homepage-feature/item/52547-behind-the-scenes-at-the-spca-investigating-animal-cruelty?Itemid=1&linktype=hp_featured

Centre Puts Elephant Capture Plan On Hold

Comments Off on Centre Puts Elephant Capture Plan On Hold

KOLKATA: Buckling under pressure from the wildlife activists and NGOs, the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has put on hold the plan to capture four wild elephants in Bengal for domestic use.

Elephant Human Conflict

New Delhi-based NGOs like Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and the Wildlife Protection Society of IndiaWPSI) had taken up the issue with the MoEF, seeking more clarity on the elephant capturing plan.

Confirming the news, additional director general wildlife, MoEF, Jagdish Kishwan said that the plan has been put on hold. However, he refused to give further details. Chief wildlife warden in Bengal, S B Mondal, said that he has received a letter from the Centre on Monday stating that the plan has been suspended for now.

Permission for the elephant capturing was sought way back in 2000. But the MoEF on February 16 this year gave permission to the state to capture four sub-adult elephants from Dalma herd for captive use. Wildlife Trust of India’s conflict mitigation department head Anil Kumar Singh said they had sent a letter to the MoEF a couple of weeks back. “In Bengal, this is a major issue. And this happens due to large scale habitat loss for elephants. But capturing 4 elephants won’t solve the problem, rather it will start a bad trend,” he added.

Eminent ecologist Raman Sukumar, known for his work on elephant ecology and human wildlife conflict, said there has to be a detailed study before embarking upon such plans.

“The state should conduct a study on the routes used by the elephants, whether the forest patches are viable of holding the elephant population and identify the pachyderms which mostly lead the conflict. Unless these historical records are obtained, the entire effort to capture the elephants will remain half-hearted and won’t serve the purpose in the long run,” said Sukumar, who is also a professor with the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Echoing his view, WTI’s executive director, Vivek Menon, said: “Elephant is a social animal and capturing four from a herd will only make them more aggressive. As a member of the elephant task force in 2011, I had suggested setting up of a conflict mitigation task force in Bengal with elephant experts and ecologists, who will track the elephant behaviour, routes they follow to migrate towards south Bengal, find the number of pachyderms entering every year, damage caused by these elephants and identify the rogue jumbos.

WPSI’s executive director Belinda Wright said the problem is not the elephants, but the habitat loss. “Sub-adult or young elephants are not responsible for the conflict. The depredation is led mostly by the big elephants. Even if the forest officials capture them, they won’t be able to train those jumbos,” Wright said, adding that she had taken up the issue with some experts in Sri Lanka, where the problem is very much prevalent.

In 1977, elephants were brought under the Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and such captures were made illegal. But the Centre, under Section 12 of the same act, can give permission for capture for population control and scientific research.

News Link:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Centre-puts-elephant-capture-plan-on-hold/articleshow/15499284.cms?intenttarget=no

Video just obtained of kitten torture by Philadelphia restaurant owner

Comments Off on Video just obtained of kitten torture by Philadelphia restaurant owner

A restaurant owner in the Logan section of Philadelphia was arrested and charged on Thursday with multiple counts of animal cruelty after Police observed the actions on video.

Viewer Discretion Is Advised

Published on 28 Jul 2012 by 

Man caught on camera abusing kittens

The Pennsylvania SPCA was alerted to the situation by Philadelphia Police who were investigating another situation in the area.

While reviewing surveillance tapes of the property, the police discovered footage of the man, believed to be the business owner, intentionally harming the cats in the back alley, according to George Bengal, head of Humane Law Enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA.

“The images caught on the tape were extremely disturbing,” said Bengal. “He was swinging the cats by their tails and throwing them around and other acts of cruelty.”

SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department arrested 25 year old Yu Zhen Chen , at the Red Star restaurant on the 4900 block of Old York Road charging him four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty of the first degree and four summary counts for torturing four kittens earlier this week.

After executing a search warrant the mother cat and 2 of the kittens as seen on the tape were brought to safety at the PSPCA headquarters in Philadelphia.

The cats have been named Carmella, Sonic, and Eko by PSPCA staff members.

Additional charges are pending.

Click here to follow the Philadelphia Animal Rescue Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

Urgent tips can be texted or called in to our Tip-line at 215-821-9281.

News Link:http://www.examiner.com/article/logan-man-arrested-for-cruelty-to-cat-and-her-kittens-captured-on-video

West Bengal to trap four wild jumbos in September

Comments Off on West Bengal to trap four wild jumbos in September

“The capture technique is as follows….”In simple words, mela shikar is a chase-and-capture phenomenon where the kunki elephants separate the target elephant from the herd. Then the phandi, sitting on the kunki elephant, traps the target tusker with the lasso. Mostly, sub-adult elephants – which have less than seven feet of height – are the targets. They are then brought to the camps where food is given as incentives. Then the kunkis, which are bigger in size, are used to tame them. Usually, a captured elephant understands basic commands after 20 days and allow the mahout to sit on its back.”
“I just can’t help thinking that one elephant taken from its family will cause sever distress to the other elephants…its’ widely noted that elephants stick together in families…It’s wrong to take a wild elephant from its natural habitat & make it work for humans!”
KOLKATA: Almost after two-decades, the Mela Shikar – a traditional method of capturing wild elephants – will make a comeback in the state in September, when elephants from Dalma will head towards South Bengal.

“We have been allowed to capture four sub-adult elephants for captive use. This is usually not allowed, unless approved by the Centre,” state forest minister Hiten Burman said in state assembly on Thursday. TOI, on February 29, reported that permission for this was sought way back in 2000, but the Union ministry of environment and forests sanctioned it only on February 16, this year.

In 1977, elephants were brought under the Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and such captures were made illegal. But the Centre, under Section 12 of the same act, can give permission for capture for population control and scientific research. 

The ban has left many phandis (one with expertise of capturing the elephants) jobless. They had to work odd jobs and even became daily wage earners. The government once settled 1000 families in 13 villages near the Assam-Arunachal border.

In West Bengal, the last time such exercise done was in 1994-95 when six elephants were captured. 

Burman said, “These elephants will be trained in the Jalpaiguri elephant training centre and will add up to our herd of kumki (tamed) elephants.” There are 652 such elephants in the state.

Special CCF, western circle, M V Raj Sekhar, who is looking after the arrangements for this operation, said it will be carried out in August-September. “We have experts in our department, who will tranquillize the pachyderms, in order to capture those,” he said. Conservationist Samik Gupta said, as a long-term solution, the state should utilize the wasteland in south Bengal, lying unused, by developing those as elephant rescue centres.

“We’ve also sought permission from the Centre for two elephant rescue centres, each spread over 100 acres in Jalpaiguri’s Khoirabari and West Midnapore‘s Nayagram. The nod is awaited. We hope to put the tuskers, who’ve turned rogue, in these rescue centres as the maximum damage is being caused by them. We believe, the centres can house only one elephant per 25 acres, so eight such rogue elephants can be kept in both the rescue centres,” he said, after making a detailed statement in the state assembly.

Burman said the permission for Mela Shikar was sought with a belief, if four elephants are trapped from the herd, the rest may refuse to head to South Bengal again.

To a question raised by Congress MLA Nepal Mahato in the assembly, Burman said the state is also planning to double the Rs 7,500 per hectares compensation to people, whose cultivable land is damaged.

Elite Commandos Save 3 Tiger Cubs From Smugglers

Comments Off on Elite Commandos Save 3 Tiger Cubs From Smugglers

An elite security force in Bangladesh saved the lives of three Bengal tiger cubs on Monday when they raided a house owned by smugglers. Tracking leads that came from a rumor, the team rescued the cubs before they could be sold.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) commandos found the nearly two-month-old cubs playing inside an iron cage at the residence of a wildlife trader in the capital city of Dhaka. They arrested one person at the house.

RAB spokesperson Commander Mohammad Sohail said the house had a number of empty cages inside, indicating that it was used for animal trafficking. They found the residence after hunting down leads that stemmed from a rumor about three young cubs being taken from the forest. Officials with the Forest Department dismissed the story as false, but the RAB team decided to follow the trail which ultimately saved the lives of the cubs.

There are just 440 wild Bengal tigers living in Bangladesh and less than 2,500 worldwide, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In 2010, the Bangladesh government passed strict laws to protect wildlife, including Bengal tigers, but poaching, capturing and trading still flourishes. Experts say poachers have become more sophisticated in their methods and serve as the biggest threat to the survival of the species.

The rescue was the first for tiger cubs in the capital city. The animals were sent to a private mini zoo in Hatirpul to help them gain weight. After being fed human milk, the cubs were suffering from diarrhea and weighed about half of what they should.

Zakirul Farid, veterinarian at the Dhaka Zoo, said the one male and two female cubs were malnourished and dehydrated.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/elite-commandos-save-3-tiger-cubs-from-smugglers.html#ixzz1xbBDxokI

%d bloggers like this: