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Call to Action – Please share! Please drive cautiously in mountainous areas! Leopard hit by car in Bainskloof – Death of BM30

On Thursday 16 Feb 2017, a leopard was hit by a car in Bainskloof Pass near Wellington. The animal sustained severe injuries, including a broken back as well as internal trauma, and sadly had to be put down.

The Cape Leopard Trust Boland Project was notified of the incident by partner organisation CapeNature, and a CLT researcher inspected the carcass to take various morphometric measurements and some samples.

The leopard was a beautiful and healthy adult male. He was known to us from camera trap photos as a territorial male in the larger Bainskloof area, and was referred to as BM30 (Boland Male #30). He was quite large for a fynbos leopard, weighing in at 37kg and was estimated to be around 5 years old. Although the loss of such a magnificent animal is extremely unfortunate and certainly undesirable, the local leopard population is healthy. BM30’s home range will most likely be taken over by a strong young male who had been waiting for an opportunity to hold a territory.

Leopards being hit and killed by vehicles is fortunately not a regular occurrence in the Western Cape. However we would like to draw attention to the possibility that it can – and does – happen, and every time it does it is an unnecessary loss of life. Almost all incidents happen at night, on mountain passes and roads going through mountainous terrain. Leopards have been hit by vehicles on Piekenierskloof pass south of Citrusdal, Michell’s Pass outside Ceres, Bainskloof, the N1 through Du Toitskloof, Franschhoek pass and on the R44 coastal road between Gordons Bay and Rooiels. We would like to extend a call to action to all motorists using these roads to please exercise caution and drive slowly – not only for the sake of leopards, but also their prey and other small carnivores. Countless mammals get run over by cars on the roads leading through and around the mountains every day. Caracal, mongoose, genet, polecat, honey badger, porcupine, rabbit, hare, dassie, etc – all fall victim to reckless driving and speeding on our roads.

We ask that you share this widely and encourage everyone you know to take a moment to consider the wildlife which often has no choice but the use the roads that now traverse their fynbos habitat.

Photo caption:
A camera trap photo of BM30, taken between Eerste and Tweede Tol in Bainskloof.
Insert: a photo taken soon after the accident by a passer-by.

Shareable weblink: http://bit.ly/BM30Bains

Kattenmanieren #6-2016: Walk on the Wild Side.

As announced before, in the new issue of the Dutch domestic cats magazine Kattenmanieren, again a fabulous article on WCW and all wild catspecies. In this issue an extra touch of the wild, so also extra pages dedicated to the wild relatives of the domestic cats. Mention of all species, and of course focus on the WCW species African wildcats, Black-footed Cats, Caracals, Cheetahs, Leopards and Servals, with page filling picture of one of the ambassadors of each species. Black-footed cat Diva starring on the cover.
For sale now in the better bookshops in the Benelux, but for who wants to enjoy photography and education by WCW founder/CEO Babette de Jonge, you can order issues by writing to:
Janine Verschure (editor), info@kattenmanieren.nu. After payment for the magazine and postage she will send you the ordered copy.

Have a Blessed Christmas & a healthy, peaceful 2017!!!!

With Christmas and the New Year within our reach again, a word of gratitude and hope is essential and very welcome too. Looking back and looking ahead…..
First of all we like to send a huge thanks from the bottom of our hearts, to all our true supporters, sponsors, volunteers, (assisting) caretakers, (symbolic) adoption parents…friends and family…who through good and bad times are there and have faith in what we do, loving our ambassadorcats of all species (see mentioned below) with all their hearts. Without you all, it would be far more difficult and above all far less fun to keep the fight for the wild cats going, in natural habitat, in our one captive project (sanctuary/conservation project) and in all other projects undertaken with our foundation Wild Cats World.
2016 was a year of mixed feelings again. There’s always the great sorrow to hear how many wild cats and other wildlife are endangered and killed (for fun and greed), and how few there are left. The sabotaging of forest departments and nature orgs, making it almost impossible to do good for the cats (esp. as for releasing and free ranging projects….) in both Indonesia (Java) but also in South Africa.
In small there’s also the usual hassles at the sanctuary/conservation project in South Africa. People wanting to make it difficult for us, or criticising without knowing what you are actually doing. So not helping but obstructing the best care and future for the cats we love and respect so much.
But there were meetings with new great people, private game reserves, (assisting) caretakers, volunteers……which gives hope for the future, hope for the New Year.
There were some essential births, which also gave ourselves joy and heartache. Some were successful like with leopard Felicia, African wildcat Louise and in some, no matter how great the first time mommies were, sadly no survivors, as for serval Joy and caracal Nina.
But new hope on the horizon, first of all for Joy, who will soon have another chance and we feel convinced signs are better now.
There were sad losses in 2016, like in every year. Apart from the few new borns, also serval Mick and black-footed cat female Beauty, both to kidney failure. It was so sad having to let them go. R.I.P to our two darlings, who will never be forgotten.
Apart from losses also a few great new additions: serval male Norrick and black-footed cats Lilly and Spotty. And of course the new-born survivors Solo (leopard), Stars & Stripes (African wildcats).

With new energy, new hope and lots new projects in mind we can only look ahead to the future of Wild Cats World with hope, joy and confidence. But even more so, heartache and sorrow for the relatives in the wild, who struggle every year more to survive, and with all the wars, politics and people going mad out there……

A big thank you and we hope we can count on your support again in 2017 and the coming years!!!!

Warm wishes
Babette de Jonge (founder/CEO)

African wildcats: Sid, Louise, Max, Maurice, Ruben, Stars & Sandy
Black-footed cats: Diva, Lilly & Spotty
Caracals: Leo & Nina, but also Lea & Thilido (DCP)
Cheetahs: Speedy, Spiky & Sunny
Leopards: Feline & Félipe, Felix & Felicia, Olive, Solo
Servals: Joy & Norrick

The Ultimate Guide to the Pallas Cat

If you’ve ever wanted to see what the combination of a house cat, a leopard, a raccoon, a red panda, and a monkey would look like, then the Pallas’ Cat is the embodiment of your dream. These fluffy, furry cats native to the Central Asia steppe are incredibly cute, but not well understood. We wanted to bring more awareness to the world about this awesome feline species and that’s why we’ve put together the Ultimate Guide to The Pallas Cat. Don’t forget to read the end of the post to find out how you can help save this threatened species!

Click to read more…


 For Dutch visitors

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Photogallery

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Cat of the month

Lion (Panthera Leo)

The lion is one of four big cats (genus Panthera). After the tiger it’s the second largest living cat in the world. Wild lions currently exist in Sub- Saharan Africa and a critically endangered remnant population in northwest India (Gir forest), having disappeared from North Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia in historic times. Not many people know that also the African lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a possibly irreversible population decline of 30 to 50 per cent over the past two decades in African countries. Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern.

Visually, the male lion is highly distinctive and is easily recognized by its mane. Lions are the only members of the cat family to display obvious sexual dimorphism-that is, males and females look distinctly different. They also have specialized roles that each gender plays in the pride. For instance, the lioness, the hunter, lacks the male’s thick cumbersome mane. It seems to impede the male’s ability to be camouflaged when stalking the prey and create overheating in chases. The color of the male’s mane varies from blond to black, generally becoming darker as the lion grows older. Darker-maned individuals may have longer reproductive lives and higher offspring survival, although they suffer in the hottest months of the year. In prides including a coalition of two or three males, it is possible that lionesses solicit mating more actively with the males who are more heavily maned. Lions live for around 10-14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live over 20 years. In the wild, males seldom live longer than ten years, as injuries sustained from continuous fighting with rival males greatly reduces their longevity.

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