Archive for the ‘caracal’ Category
Tampa is home to Big Cat Rescue, a rescue for, well, big cats. Big Cat Rescue is home to cats that have retired from circuses or part of the exotic pet trade. We took the opportunity to join one of the tours of their facility.
Big Cat Rescue got its start when rescuing bobcats from a fur farm. It takes forty bobcats to make a fur coat, and they are usually kept and killed in a brutal fashion. There really is no humane fur.
Their cougars (or, as they are known in Florida, panthers) were having a mellow afternoon.
Bengali was a circus tiger, moved from city to city. He seems quite relaxed here.
He keeps it clean.
Big Cat Rescue’s odd couple are also retired circus cats: Zabu, a female white tiger, and Cameron, a male lion.
Cameron had to be neutered to ensure he and Zabu wouldn’t create a hybrid (a liger). Because of the reduced testosterone, he no longer can grow a mane.
Hybrids are a serious issue: usually, they are caught between competing sets of instincts, and have health issues. Jojo, a caracal/serval hybrid, has serious digestive system issues. While I would not want to create hybrids, I do think he’s a very striking cat.
Sabre is a melanistic leopard. He was a pet, but abandoned by his owner. Fortunately he made his way to big cat rescue.
Why do I find myself drawn to silly black cats?
He does have striking eyes.
Frosty is one of their many servals.
Many of these cats were pets, who, well, aren’t domesticated animal. they have no reason to be in someone’s house.
When such animals are surrendered by their owners, they sign a contract to never own another exotic cat.
My personal favorite was their caracal pair, Sassy…
Big Cat Rescue is a great organization, committed to the welfare of their cats. They advocate against the many ways wild cats, when put in inappropriate settings, are a problem. We need more folks looking out for animals in these circumstances. The humans are at fault, as they expect the cat to act in a tame fashion, millenia of instincts to the contrary. Unfortunately, too often, it’s the animal that is punished.
Labor Day weekend brings the Cincinnati Zoo cheetah run. My wife did the 5K for the second year, this time with my daughter doing a good chunk of it with her.
I’m quite impressed with their running. I only run if something is chasing me (or I’m late for the bus).
After the run, we decided to walk around the zoo. Remember Gladys, the orphaned baby gorilla? She’s getting bigger.
But she’s no longer the baby! Asha was born this year. I’m sure when she gets bigger, she’ll be a great playmate for Gladys.
We stopped to say “hi” to Renji and Nubo. Renji was wondering what was with all the smelly(-er-than-usual) people.
Nubo just set about making sure his paws were clean.
Inside, I got some good pictures of the black-footed cats. They were quite active that morning.
The sand cat took a great leap!
The caracal’s enclosure was quite fogged over that morning, creating a cloudy view. However, she just looked so cute, I had to take get the best shot I could of her.
Dobby the pygmy owl saw us out.
We had a great morning! The Cheetah Run is a wonderful fundraiser for one of the best zoos in the country!
From Philadelphia, we went south to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Our first stop there was the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, otherwise known as the National Zoo. There were several animals we wanted to see, and was an amazing campus.
On entry, a prairie dog peeked up to greet us.
But, let’s face, it, I was there to see cats. The National Zoo did not disappoint. There were two sets of lion cubs, for a total of seven.
They were getting into everything!
…and on to everyone!
There dad is Luke, a very handsome dude.
If I’m reading this right, he’s the father of John, the new African lion at the Cincinnati zoo. Good looks clearly run in the family. And he knows it.
But, seven cubs can be exhausting!
There were also two tiger cubs and their mom. The cubs are right at a year old.
They like to stalk…
…have a drink…
…and, of course, take a nap. They are cats, after all.
I was excited to see a caracal, a cat they don’t have at very many zoos.
He was a bit shy.
The caracal decided to wander off. As a cat geek, I understood, even if I think I was one of the few who was most excited to see them.
As is often the case, the caracal was positioned near a bobcat.
We got to see a snoozing sand cat.
And a snoozing clouded leopard. Like I said, they’re cats; they sleep.
Another sleeping cat we saw was an old friend. Lek is a fishing cat, born in Cincinnati. I have pictures of him and his brothers as cubs.
This Queen City boy has fathered four cubs with Electra, a female.
We like cheetahs.
My daughter has also started taking photos at zoos, getting her own perspective on the animals.
There were seven Asian small clawed otter pups.
Some were busy constructing something.
I’m always amused at zoos when there are animal “tourists.” Usually it’s a squirrel or some birds. The elephants appeared to have a pet deer.
The keepers seemed to indicated this was an ongoing problem, but didn’t really pose a danger to either species.
Meet the Ruppell’s griffon vulture. While this one was hanging out on the ground, these are the highest-flying bird on the planet. They are typically cited as flying in the thin air at 20,000 feet, though there are records of them being as high as nearly 40,000 feet.
Lots of turtles on a log.
Degu are small rodents native to South America.
I’m becoming quite the fan of the burrowing owl.
We had a great day at the National Zoo, and walked over its great expanses.
The Cincinnati Zoo made a couple of announcements since my last visit, neither of which involved cats. It was, however, for two of my favorite non-felids animals. We had a gorgeous day, so I decided to go check it out.
The first was Seyia, a black rhino. She just moved here from the Baton Rouge Zoo. Like most Louisiana girls, she’s very cute*.
I confess I haven’t watched too many rhinos interacting with people. This time, I was there when her keepers were having a session with her. It was clear that she had an interest–even a fondness–for her people. It was quite cute.
The keepers train the animals behaviors that will help them in the animal’s care. In this case, Seyia has learned how to present her foot for examination.
She seems to really like watermelon.
The other new arrival was Kilua, a baby okapi. She was born on November 30.
She is a very active girl!
The black bear was enjoying the sun.
As was this penguin.
Of course I stopped by the cats! Techumseh the cougar was being active.
They fed the caracal while I was there. I remind myself that, in the wild, small birds are commonly their prey. Today, they gave her a chick. It wasn’t alive, but a bit odd to see. I’m not posting the picture here, but I did link to the picture.
Renji and Nubo, the snow leopards, were relaxed. Nubo did raise his head to say “hi.”
The tigers were even more relaxed, melting into a puddle. Not the tongue.
*Louisiana girls are cute, but I do find myself partial to women from the Midwest. :)
As I mentioned, until last week, I hadn’t been to a zoo since right around New Year’s Day. I had to look: it had been since late November—NOVEMBER–since I had been to my beloved Cincinnati Zoo.
The Polar Vortex really put a damper on our fun this year.
We made it out this weekend, to make sure we got to see Zoo Blooms. However, the blooms had come up yet.
The Polar Vortex really put a delay on our fun this year.
We did make a point of saying “hi” to the cats. Renji and Nubo were taking a nap, foreshadowing the day.
Nubo did pick his head up to greet us. What a handsome boy!
Naps were the theme inside, whether you were a fishing cat…
The fennec fox was even catching a few Z’s.
Even the animals that were awake were mellow. I’ve never seen a black footed cat on top of this log before this visit. It’s tinyness was obvious.
The caracal, another favorite of mine, was taking a bath. Her camouflage is…um…obvious.
Outside, cougar Tecumseh was also napping.
His brother, Joseph, saw something and made ready.
He gave chase, only to have his prey, a squirrel, run outside the fence.
Better luck next time!
Santos, the ocelot cub (“ocelittle”) at the Cincinnati Zoo is about the size of Eddy when I first met him. I have to remind myself that he was only two weeks old, and will sleep a lot more than he plays. I decided to check on him today, at the three-week mark. He was still a sleepily little boy.
Love the chin!
But he did start to wake up a bit. I got to see his eyes!
Clearly, he’s more capable. I got to see him walk around a bit…
And even play with a keeper, and the plush animals in his enclosure.
I was a bit crazy going out to the zoo–the temperature never saw above thirty. I stopped into Night Hunters, in part to warm up. A black footed cat was in plain sight.
And a sand cat fell asleep on top of his hill.
The bobcat looked like he had some news for me…
Miss Caracal was back!
I hadn’t seen her since at least the spring. I don’t know where she was, but I was getting a bit worried. It was really good to see her again!
While humans weren’t fond of the cold day, snow leopards live for it. Renji and Nubo were up front, and happy to have a chat.
Nubo was a bit of a show-off.
Renji maintained her mysterious composure.
While there are plenty of unusual animals in the official collection, there are “wild” animals that pass through. The problems squirrels were causing made news lately. Today, I saw a domesticated cat, probably a stray, on the grounds.
I had mentioned I didn’t get to see puffins too often. My wife pointed out the Cincinnati Zoo had them, we just don’t go in the exhibit that often. I was passing it, it looked warm, so I popped in.
I also got a family picture of all three red pandas!
While cold, it was a good day to see the zoo, and I am glad to see little Santos growing up.
It’s National Cat Day! Let’s celebrate cats both wild and domesticated.
I’ve been trying to see the baby ocelot born at the Cincinnati Zoo on New Year’s Eve all year. On the last weekend of Zoo Babies, I got to see her, and her mom.
Sometimes she wandered around looking for her mother.
Other times, as cats are want to do, they wrestled.
Such a pretty little girl.
The bonus was down the hall.
Three sleepy pallas’ cat kittens.
Who weren’t asleep for long!
Adorable balls of fluff! Of course, pallas’ cats stay fluffy.
One even came close to the window.
I love when sitting cats wrap their tails around them like that.
A sand cat was sleeping up on top of some rocks.
Miss Lop-Ears the caracal was up on the rocks, too.
The bobcat, since he couldn’t see the caracal, decided a nap was in order, too.
…and someone must have clued in Nubo.
However, the tiger was stalking in the grass.
We went to the zoo today, for the annual Zoo Blooms event. Where last year, where a mild winter left us without blooms, it was a colorful spectacle.
Of course, the main reason I go to the zoo is to see the animals. The first animal I took a picture of was a little wallaby.
The black bear was having a nap.
The Siberian lynx, however, was watching everyone.
One of the clouded leopards was on a pedestal.
She was bathing herself, in the “cello” pose.
A black-footed cat was watching what we were doing. He seemed concerned about what was up.
Miss Lop-Ears the caracal napping on top of some rocks.
Mama fishing cat was, too.
We went outside to see what was going on. I’ve been fascinated with tigers a lot lately.
Springtime is when snow leopards usually have cubs. I have no information, and snow leopard Renji has been dozing the last few times I’ve been to the zoo. Fortunately, Nubo makes a great pillow.
Two reptile animal ambassadors were out today. Periwinkle was a blue tongue skink in the Night Hunters building.
Tallahassee the alligator was hanging out in the gift shop. We’ve seen him before.
It was an absolutely gorgeous and colorful day at the Cincinnati Zoo!
Just when it looked like we’d go the whole month of March without getting out to the zoo, we had some of the best weather we’ve had in a while. The zoo also had some things going on for Easter. We caught the tail end of it, when cougars Joseph and Tecumseh were given melons to roll around.
They rolled them around like toys our coalition plays with.
Such handsome cats.
We wanted to see if the ocelittle born New Year’s Eve was out. We couldn’t find her, but did see an ocelot.
I was playing with my camera, trying to use my manual focus in some of the darker enclosures, where it seems to struggle. One result was a decent shot of the fishing cat. They had put some fish in her enclosure to chase after.
I also got a picture of the black-footed cat at the far end of the enclosure.
The other one stood up top and judged me.
U haz no skillz.
Miss Caracal, on the other hand, was posing, and looking gorgeous.
The Snow Leopard Trust was pointing out that snow leopard mating season has been going on. I have no official word, though I did want to check on Renji. She and Nubo, however, were having a cat-nap.
I thought it was birds of a feather that flocked together.