Thursday 1 April 2010

Siberian Tigers Starved

I guess you have heard about the Siberian tigers starved to death, all 11 (or is it 133) of them in a Chinese  Zoo (I have seen a picture of one of the starved but living tigers and it is horrendous). The zoo couldn't afford to feed them so they fed them all manner of rubbish that was highly innappropriate and eventually they starved to death at which point the zoo buried them to keep it all quiet until they were dug up.

That is not the whole picture though. This same zoo was allegedly, illegally, selling the ubiquitous tiger bone wine or is it "tonics" (a quite ridiculous product based on pure ignorance). Some zoo. The Siberian tiger is becoming extinct in the wild because of people's activities in destroying habitat and sport hunting etc. and this largest of all the tigers is being starved to death in captivity.

How bad does our behavior have to become before we take steps to change things? The whole thing disgusts me frankly. And I find it acutely depressing.

Here is some detail on the Siberian tigers starved to death:

The zoo is the Shenyang Forest Wildlife zoo. It is a semi-private operation, which means part is owned by the local or national government, which in turn means that they are equally to blame. But we already know that the Chinese government has no regard for tigers or indeed wildlife. There are thousands of captive tigers in "zoos" and horrible tiger farms (6,000 in fact1) in China and I allege that all are involved in the tiger body parts trade. That is why they exist! The tiger body parts trade is simply ridiculous and idiotic because there is no health benefits associated with consuming tiger body parts and there are alternatives that actually work. It is fraud built on fraud while the tiger is treated dispicably.

This is where this dispicable place is:-


View Larger Map

The problem is much wider and deeper. Of the 6,000 captive and farmed tigers it is said that 1,000 are starving2.

The "zoo" was created as a tourist attraction but I allege its true purpose was to supply the tiger parts business - utterly cynical behavior. But is there a silver lining? If I am correct it might mean that the tiger body part business supplying the Chinese medicine trade is on the wane, in decline. This is unlikely but possible as the tiger (Bengal or Siberian  - the others are as good as extinct) is on the very edge of extinction and that may have put more pressure on conservation albeit massively late in the day. Horribly late and in fact almost certainly too late in my opinion as tiger population sizes in the wild are unsustainable it would seem.

The assessment that the tiger body part business might be in decline is borne out by the fact (it seems to be a fact) that the zoo in question had to store tiger parts in freezers as they could not sell them. That cost money which would otherwise have been spent of tiger food. The freezers are thought to contain hundreds of tiger carcasses.

To add insult to injury the people (police and senior forestry officials)  charged with protecting wildlife including the tiger were allegedly involved in the open secret of the illegal tiger bone tonic wine. It is all horribly corrupt and a hopeless lost cause.

We must remind ourselves that there are no animal welfare or cruelty laws in China. Where there is little in the way of human rights how can there be animal rights? So not only are they starved to death they are maltreated by being declawed and detoothed2.

To round off this depressing post, it is alleged that tigers were being fed sweet buns instead of meat. Can you believe the scandal, the horror of this callous, careless, and cruel place labelled a bloody zoo?

References:
1. http://www.worldzootoday.com/
2. Guardian newpaper
3. Sky News



From to Siberian Tigers Starved Home Page

Friday 26 March 2010

Three Legged Black Cat

This is my three legged black cat, Charlie. I love him, of course. He gets around well but his disability has made him adapt considerably and he is no where near as mobile as he would have been if he had not lost his front right leg.

Three Legged Black Cat
Charlie my 3 legged cat - photo: Michael Broad @ PoC

I don't know, by the way, how he lost his leg. He was adopted by my mother from an RSPCA shelter in Hertfordshire, England.

You can see this picture on the main website, Pictures of Cats org here: Three Legged Cat Picture. This linked page talks a bit about the photography too.

Right now it is 7:30 pm and he is out in the garden exploring. It is dark and I am a bit concerned. We get foxes in the garden but I don't think foxes can cope with a large cat like Charlie. He is still quite macho despite the lost leg.

He has a fine single coat that is easy to comb and which fleas don't like as it is too thin. Fleas like nice warm and thick double coats with a nice density packed down layer. Here is a video of him too:



Charlie is a decent boy cat. He is loving. He comes to me in the morning and evening after he has been out seeking some affection, which he gets in abundance.

He then washes himself. He does this slowly and thoroughly. He likes me to use a flea comb on him all over. He purrs throughout. He has very few fleas if any sometimes because of his relatively thin coat. He is my three legged black cat.



From Three Legged Black Cat to Home Page

Monday 22 March 2010

Metallic Tabby Cat

Nice photo - which has disappeared - sorry. It has a seriously metallic look. This chunky golden metallic tabby cat has eyes that are reflecting light sufficiently to cause a reflection on what seems to be a stainless steal surface surrounding the sink.

A cat's eyes have a reflective layer behind the retina which boosts the light impacting on the retina. The gets gets two bites of the cherry so to speak.

The "M" tabby mark on the forehead is no so much an "M" but lighting! This is a very special M mark. Cats are often seen in sinks curled up. Cats often like hard surfaces to sleep on. The idea of a cosy warm basket of some sort looks good to us but not always good to a cat. I think it is because cats are perpetually in full winter clothes. It must get hot on a soft surface that prevents air flow around the body.

See more on the tabby cat. The photo is by -PhotoRoberto- and despite being fully protected by copyright it is published here because this website is part of the Pictures of Cats org website and the photo is on the cat-photo-technique Flickr group and photos that are part of this group can be published on PoC under the user conditions of the group.



From to Home Page

Saturday 20 March 2010

A Clowder of Cats in the Shade

I couldn't resist publishing this well known photograph on this Blogger site because I have just finished a post on the main site about the word "clowder" and its origins. And this picture really is of a clowder of cats in the shade. A clowder as you might know is a group of cats in one place.


The word clowder comes from old English words such as clotter (which produced the modern word clutter) and clodder meaning a clotted mass. Well, I wouldn't quite call these cats a clotted mass, just a content group of cats seeking relief from the sun. A group of kittens in one place is called a "kindle" after the word "kendel" or "kendal" or "kyndyll". See more on the word, clowder.

The photo was taken in a cat shelter in in Richmond BC Canada.This is the 1000th post on this blog - now there is a useless piece of information.

See the original photo in large format.



From A Clowder of Cats in the Shade to Home Page

Thursday 18 March 2010

Wat Arun Cats

three cats two in stone
Photo by IMP1

The above cats are described as "Wat Arun cats" by the photographer. The photograph was taken in Thailand. What are Wat Arun cats and how many cats can you see - yes three? There is a nice symmetry or harmony in this photograph. The stone cats are  mother and offspring, I suspect. The mother is washing her paw. The daughter is watching and waiting. The live temple cat behind them is also grooming itself and in a similar pose.

Wat Arun cats are temple cats and this is a Bhuddist temple at Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand. The full address is: Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand. The full name of the temple is Wat Arunratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan (วัดอรุณราชวรารามราชวรมหาวิหาร) (try and pronounce that). This is where it is:


View Larger Map

The temple is a well known landmark in Bangkok and is also known as the Temple of the Dawn (as it reflects the early morning light). This website incidentally supports a group of temple cats in Phuket, Thailand through the Soi Dog Foundation. You see the donations here: Pictures of cats org donations.

What of the cats? Monks historically look after temple cats. As I understand there are many examples of temple cats.

There is a famous (well in the cat fancy the story is famous) legend about the creation of the Birman cat breed from temple cats. The Birman comes from Burma (Myanmar) where there are temple cats too.

It would seem, and I am guessing here, that the stone cat sculptures are of  temple cats at the time that the temple was built. Construction started in 1809.

Thailand was called Siam. Siam is the home of the Siamese cat, a white pointed cat. Some say the Thai cat is a more accurate representation of the original Siamese cats. The cat behind the stone cats is a moggie. This cat is actually a bicolor moggie - black and white - not a Siamese cat. The head markings are very symmetrical and they remind me of the Turkish Van, with the inverted "V" mark. Is there a connection? Quite possibly.

This page: Cat genetics includes a paragraph about the spread of domestic cat genetics throughout the world from the origins in the Mediterranean basin.

From Wat Arun Cats to Home Page

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