Monthly Archives: December 2015
Last famous words of 2015, to all supporters of Wild Cats World & Wild Cats Magazine
Like 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
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.
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!