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Last famous words of 2015, to all supporters of Wild Cats World & Wild Cats Magazine

Last famous words of 2015, to all supporters of Wild Cats World & Wild Cats Magazine

previewLike every ending of a year I like to take the opportunity to address a word of gratitude to all supporters of my foundation Wild Cats World, and all WCW projects, but also to the readers of the webmagazine Wild Cats Magazine.  Especially a big thank you to all (symbolic) adoption parents and supporters donating generously in every other way, supporting our projects and amazing ambassadors of the African wildcats, Black-footed Cats, Caracals, Cheetahs, Leopards and Servals in our S.A. “Spotted Cats Conservation” project. A special thanks to Libor Rajm for continuous support of the Javan Leopard Release Program. Much appreciated!
Thanks are in order to the people we partnered up with in various WCW projects, especially to Richard Daniell for allowing us to do our one captive project on his land in the Eastern Cape/South Africa home to all our beloved ambassadors , and co-operation in the volunteering project “Spotted Cats Conservation”, a mutual project of Daniell Cheetah and Wild Cats World; to Willemijn Eggen of Wanicare Foundation for all the work on ground-level in our Javan Leopard Release Program and Madame X for co-operating with WCW in order to rescue many lions destined for Canned Hunting and to give them a perfect life for as long as they live.
Thanks to our caretakers Betty Dorfling (S.A.) and Jeanette Leinweber (Germany), and all volunteering assisting caretakers in 2015. Many, many thanks to Paul Hoogeveen, our webmaster, doing a great job regularly up-dating the WCW and WCM websites and to Simonne van Driessche helping me to keep the WCW social media pages up-dated, esp. during my stay in the African “bush”.   Last but not least a big thank you to my partner Anton, co-owner of the WCW S.A. project and investments, and all our wonderful ambassadorcats.
Highlights in 2015 for us in Wild Cats World:
1. Leopard female Feline giving birth to 2 gorgeous and healthy cubs, important for our leopard conservation project and Leopard Pride “experiment”, November 4th 2015
2. Arrival of a new male serval Mick and male African wildcat Max from CCT, Karoo, both successfully introduced to their new partners/friends
3. Welcome back home of the black-footed cats, females Beauty and Diva and male Blacky
4. Finishing all the current projects, forming the right couples of all species
Sad events for us at WCW in 2015
1. The sad loss of the important male ambassador of the black-footed cats Blacky, due to kidney failure
2. Sadly after a great start also black-footed cat male kitten Boy wasn’t fit to live, he died at CCT aged 2 months   
We are looking forward to a new year with many great Wild Cats World projects. And at the same time we cannot wait to meet many new (assisting) caretakers and volunteers, but also to welcome back many of you for a second or third time. We wish the best of welfare and health again for our beloved ambassadorcats, and successful births welcoming some cubs/kittens, first of all by leopards Felicia (and Felix). 
Thanks again and see you all in 2016
Merry X-Mas and a Joyful Festive Season!
Babette de Jonge
Director/Founder Wild Cats World/Spotted Cats Conservation
Wild Cats Magazine  

About: breeding in captivity

About: breeding in captivity
Of course, breeding in captivity is controversial like many other topics in conservation, and lots of people have a say. Everybody is entitled to have their opinion and to share this, but we feel it must be a bit grounded on knowledge and experience too. We in Wild Cats World for sure aren’t a true breeding program but we honestly say that a few litters of some species, like leopards, cheetahs, black-footed cats and servals are welcome, and with reason. The cubs that have been born in our project so far (2 caracal and 2 leopardcubs) were very welcome like all other (planned) births in the future.
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We mainly focus on keeping wild born cats in their natural habitat, and if occasionally in the future we will be able to complete our mission and release some of our youngsters in a reserve or any other wild environment, we would be happy and proud. Some people are very much against breeding in captivity, and we only tend to agree, if there’s irresponsible breeding and for the wrong reasons: for money and exploit with no clear plan for the future. In our project we welcome some cubs and kittens not just for educational reasons, but also not to derive our ambassadorcats from anything that would benefit their welfare and feeling of being able to live life to the fullest in a natural way.
We also feel the captive born ambassadors are the best ambassadors for their species. If they are born in captivity and treated the best way, like our ambassadors, they will always be happy cats, who never knew the wild situation and never had (or will have) the same struggle to survive like their wild relatives have. At the same time they are the best ambassadors, and people who get the chance to meet them do love them and their species, want to know more about them, without having to harass their wild relatives and interfere in their lives in the wild, unintentionally even putting them into danger. At the same time it gives us, and everyone who is interested, the best chance to observe and study the species and their behaviour and share the knowledge and exceptional facts with a large audience. In other words: responsible breeding doesn’t jeopardize the species, and remarks like “set them all free!” are just based on emotions and not on clear thinking or knowledge about the situation both in the wild and in captivity.
In conservation there’s many ways to try and achieve the best for the wild animals. Some think they can win the people’s minds by working with a pet toy and give lectures in zoos and on schools, others even think hunting does support to conservation, some say breeding in captivity is wrong and all animals should be released, then there’s some fighting the “pet industry” and others who are in favour of this “pet industry”…..worst of all: most orgs in conservation spent more time on slandering and having their opinion about other orgs.
Our honest opinion is that the wild cats are very much in danger, and if this situation is irreversable, we doubt it. We can only do so much as try to keep as much of the wild born cats in safe surroundings in their natural habitat, try not to have more natural habitat taken away from  wildlife and that is as hard as it is. That awareness and education in every way is contributing to that, we cannot deny, and we feel in our way we do what’s best. We do have an occasional litter born in captivity and we hope this will give us more info to share, will reach more people with our message, and at the same time keep the cats (and not to forget ourselves) happy.
We are against: irresponsible breeding & hunting, exploit, conservation for money instead for the cause and the animals…..and we are against bad treatment and abuse in the wild and in captivity. We hope in our way we can make a great contribution to the wild species, and keep the captive species as happy and healthy as possible!

About lion Cecil and hunting…..

In reaction to all commotion due to dentist Palmer illegally shooting lion Cecil herewith our thoughts about the matter and more…

No the world’s anger at dentist and hobby hunter Walter Palmer isn’t misplaced (well referring to a hunter is misplaced big time!), but the world’s anger must have a wider angle, so against all killers (again, this has nothing to do with hunting) of lions or any predators. All this commotion “just” about Cecil when daily huge numbers of lions and other predators are being killed (slaughtered, abused…), not to speak about the other animals, and good humans in the same horrible way. Due to this act of dentist Palmer also lots of discussions started about hunting, eating meat, using leather/fur….well, why not once and for all give our opinion about this?

Here we go. We have nothing against eating meat (non-vegetarians) and hunting in the true sense of the word. All predators are born being carnivores, whether we like it or not. Hunting is something done from the old age, and against responsible hunting we have no objection. Meat must be there (not necessarily for humans who have a choice to become vegetarians, but for 4-legged predators this isn’t an option). If a prey animal (game, horse, cow, chicken….) did have a great, respectful life and treatment and a quick, painless death, we have nothing against it. S.A. farmers have lots of game on huge farmlands and their game live like in the wild, multiply enormously and surplus and not-healthy animals are killed, and at respected places truly hunted and the meat is used for human consumption and often available for captive places with predators to give them an outstanding diet like in their natural habitat.

Nothing wrong with this, much better then all the meat around the world sold at supermarkets and butchers, of poor animals being mistreated and abused, a miserable life and a painful way of suffering until finally death follows. This is the steak or cheap chicken on your plate every night, remember that, before you join the discussions about hunting. In our eyes trophy and canned hunting predators like lions, for pleasure, has nothing to do with hunting. This is just killing! Also the sense of posing with a dead animal (“trophy”), whether game or predator, is beyond our comprehension. What on earth does this have to do with hunting? Any other then showing off the animal you killed, and what a pathetic ego you are. Also trapping and abusing animals for leather (have you seen the croc breeding farms and what abuse takes place there?) or for the use of fur in fashion, has only got to do with abuse and nothing with necessity or hunting.

So this is our humble opinion about this all. The one good thing about the commotion about lion Cecil could be if this would be regarded in a bigger perspective, and that finally action is undertaken in the world against Canned and Trophy Hunting, and the whole breeding and petting industry of predators like foremost the lions. But like we said before, we can see this interest world-wide decrease again before any action is taken. Cecil will be forgotten by the majority of people soon, and we true wildcat enthusiasts and projects fighting for their life and well being, will still be trying to rescue individuals as that is the only thing you can do, frustrating as it is.

So people don’t just talk about Cecil but do something about the lion (and others…) hunting and industry now, before it is forgotten. And as for the hunters…..only in a responsible and respectful way…..hunting in the true sense of the word (and forget the posing…..)
Amen!

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The bay cat in Kalimantan, new information from recent sightings

Through the use of camera traps we present new information on the distribution of bay cats (Catopuma badia) in Kalimantan including two new confirmed locations. Nine sites were surveyed between 2011-2014 across Central and East Kalimantan.

All new photographs were taken during daylight hours and only 1 of 4 cats was captured near water. We consider the presence and non-detection of bay cats in different forest types and at different elevations noting that the photos were obtained from cameras placed at or higher than the average altitude of the whole camera grid at each site and all from disturbed forest.

The distribution of cameras is not believed to affect detection of bay cats as long as all micro-habitat types are surveyed. We highlight the priority of peat-swamp forests for additional survey effort.

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/280154321_The_bay_cat_in_Kalimantan_new_information_from_recent_sightings

The Wild Cats World “Sponsor Space” Campaign 2015

The Wild Cats World “Sponsor Space” Campaign 2015

If you want to truly show your love for cheetah and/or leopard by contributing to their welfare? Know exactly what you sponsor and what your money is used for? Then maybe you should read on here and find out what our “Sponsor Space” campaign 2015 is all about.

We in Wild Cats World have only the welfare of our ambassadors and their relatives in the wild at heart, we already give them the best that is in our power but of course we want so much more for them. Yet, funding is the only problem that is stopping us here. We would love to keep on expanding size of the enclosures of the leopards and the cheetahcamps as fast as possible of course. Of course we know all of you, wild cats enthusiasts, would love to see this happening too and for sure you want to make a contribution, not knowing how, and if your money is spent like you hope it would be. Sadly lots of orgs that are fundraising don’t spend the money directly on the animals or projects, but support human interest with that first of all. Not Wild Cats World.

So….in this “Sponsor Space” campaign, we invite you all who want to really make a difference for our leopardambassadors Feline, Felix, Felicia and Félipe, or cheetah ambassadors Speedy, Spiky and Sunny (and neighbouring friends), and indirectly for their species, to sponsor more space for them. You can sponsor like say 100 m2 for the leopards, or 0,5 HA for the cheetahs. Used for fencing (and if possible enrichment). The more people join us the more space they will get…no limits to that, but to set a goal what we like to achieve at least: 900 m2 for the leopards (extension to current connected enclosures) and 5 HA (extension to their current huge camps) for the cheetahs. What’s in it for you? You get an exact quote how much your sponsored part will cost, your name will be on the “sponsor fence” of the enclosure/camp you sponsor with exact mention of how much you sponsored as well as on the WCW website and social media pages, you will get a full detailed report at the end about the construction and extension of the camps also (partly) thanks to your contribution, you are welcome any time at our project to see for yourself if we kept word (free entrance & photo opportunity for the sponsors). For the people who really want to sponsor big time, we will offer a free stay for a few days at our project to see what you sponsored and to meet all our ambassadorcats, as well as the Wild Cats World team. All your supportive ideas for enrichment inside the enclosures/camps (as well as the funding for it) are of course welcome too. No limits to this offer for you all to be able to do something constructive for the leopards and/or cheetahs (if successful another campaign will be started in future for the smaller ambassadors in our project).

sponsor place WCW
People who are genuinely interested in supporting and funding please contact the Wild Cats World Founder/Director, Babette de Jonge, by e-mail: info@wildcatsmagazine.nl with questions and offers! Madame X offered to sponsor 100 HA for the (rescued) Canned Hunting lions, how far will we all get together???
Best Before (or deadline): 31December 2015


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Cat of the month

Margay (Leopardus Wiedii)

wildekatvandemaandmargay1The Margay is a spotted cat native to Central and South America. It roams the rainforests from Mexico to Argentina. The margay is similar in appearance to the Ocelot, though itïs body is smaller, growing up two 25-27 inches and in comparison with the Ocelot, the margay displays longer legs and tail.

SONY DSCMost notably the Margay is a much more skillful climber than its relative, and it is sometimes called the Tree Ocelot because of this skill. Whereas the Ocelot mostly pursues prey on the ground, the Margay may spend most of its time in the trees, leaping after and chasing birds and monkeys through the treetops. The margay climbs head-first down trees. Its ankles can turn up to 180 degrees, it can grasp branches equally well with its fore and hind paws, and it is able to jump considerable distances. The Margay has been observed to hang from branches with only one foot.The Margay can jump vertically 18 feet and jump horizontally 23 feet.

soortbeschrijvingmargay3The range of the margay extends from Mexico down through Peru, parts of Paraguay to the northern areas of Argentina. The cats markings are similar to that of the ocelot and its smaller relative the tiger cat or oncilla – having dark ringed rosette markings on a tawny to yellow/buff background. However the rosettes are commonly less well defined than in the ocelot and appear more frequently as solid blotches along its back – regional differences in overall coat colour occur, with margays from mountain elevations having darker and thicker coats than there lowland forest neighbours. The margay lives exclusively in forested areas and is the most accomplished climber of all its fellow cats. Totally at home in the branches, it has specially adapted claws and ankle joints which can move through 180 degrees, enabling it to move with almost monkey like ease amongst the tree tops. Its agility is demonstrated by the apparent ease at which the cat can scamper down the trunks of trees head first and run upside down beneath branches.

soortmargay4The margay hunts almost exclusively by night and its prey includes birds, small monkeys, tree frogs and insects which inhabit the forest canopy – however it will also take prey from the ground and has been know to supplement its diet with fruit. Little is known of this small cat but the pressures of hunting for its fur and for the pet trade has led the margay to be threatened in many areas of its habitat. In the north of its range it is now almost extinct and it is listed in CITES many areas of its habitat. Some say itïs now almost extinct and it is listed in CITES Appendix 1 as an endangered species, others claim now that itïs listed “Near Threatened”.

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