Wildcat News Archive

Conservation groups petition DOI to list the African lion as endangered

A coalition of conservation groups filed a petition in March 2011, to list the African lion, panthera leo, as a protected species under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA).  "The king of the jungle is heading toward extinction, and yet Americans continue to kill lions for sport," said Jeff Flocken, office director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, in a prepared statement.  "Our nation is responsible for importing over half of all lions brought home by trophy hunters each year.   The African lion is in real trouble, and its is time for this senseless killing and unsustainable practice to stop."  Lion populations are estimated to have dropped 50 percent over the last three decades, due to hunting, habitat loss, disease, bushmeat trade, medicine, and retaliatory killings for predation.  The current population is estimated between 23,000 to 40,000, down from 75,800 in 1980. According to the petition, at least 5,663 wild lions were traded internationally for recreational trophy hunting between 1998 and 2008, with 64 percent of those trophies being imported into the U.S.  The Secretary of the Department of the Interior has 90 days to assess whether listing the African lion under the ESA is warranted, 12 months to decide whether to impose the listing, and another 12 months to make a final decision.  The Asiatic lion, in India's Gir forest, is protected under the ESA.  Their total population hovers around 400.

Petition to list the African lion under the ESA



July 29, 2012: Global Tiger Day!
In honor of all tigers around the world, help us celebrate Global Tiger Day everyday! WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society will always strive to keep all tigers wild, safe and free!

Watch The Global Tiger Initiative's tigerific video: "Unite to Save Wild Tigers and Biodiversity!" Global Tiger Initiative


The INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme is pleased to celebrate the Global Tiger Day with its Media Release: INTERPOL wildlife operation results mark Global Tiger Day, published on July 29, 2012. The purrfect occasion to raise awareness for big cat conservation!



Feds release SF Zoo tiger attack documents

The San Fransisco Examiner reported in February 2011 that Tatiana, a female Siberian tiger killed in a hail of police gunfire after fatally mauling a man at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day 2007 likely was provoked into leaping and clawing out of its enclosure, a federal investigator said in documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Full story available online at: http://www.sfexaminer.com



Amur Tigers on ‘genetic brink’

The world’s largest cat, the Amur Tiger, is down to an effective wild population of fewer than 35 individuals, new research has found. Although up to 500 of the big cats actually survive in the wild, the effective population is a measure of their genetic diversity.

Full story at BBC Earth News: http://news.bbc.co.uk


More in Wildcat News Archive

Karl Mitchell and Big Cat Encounters violated Animal Welfare Act

United States Department of Agriculture, Administrative Law Judge, Victor W. Palmer, filed his decision and order on August 4, 2010, against Karl Mitchell and Big Cat Encounters (BCE). Judge Palmer found Mitchell and BCE in violation of the Animal Welfare Act and the Regulations and Standards under the Act by: "exhibiting tigers for compensation without a requisite license; exhibiting tigers to the public without space and barriers between the animals and the viewing public; and by refusing to allow their facilities, records and animals to be examined by inspectors employed by APHIS.  Moreover, Mitchell knowingly failed to obey two cease and desist orders previously entered against him by the Secretary of Agriculture."  A joint and several civil penalty of $50,625.00 was assessed against Mitchell and Big Cat Encounters; an additional $18,000.00 penalty was assessed against Mitchell.




USDA suspends license of big cat exhibitor

02.24.10: The United States Department of Agriculture suspended the license of Jamie M. Palazzo doing business as Great Cat Adventures for multiple violations under the Animal Welfare Act. The violations included falsifying records such as providing conflicting or incorrect dates of birth, missing acquisition and disposition dates, and missing identification of animal custody or ownership. Palazzo also failed to handle the cats in a manner that did not cause behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort and allowed tigers older than 12 weeks of age to be handled by the public including children for photographs or to feed the cats.  

Wildcat Population and Trade Reports:


Danger Signals for the Siberian Tiger


The Trade in Wild Cats and Wild Cat Parts in Myanmar.


The Trade in Wild Cats and Wild Cat Parts in Myanmar.


Paper Tigers? The Role of the U.S. Captive Tiger Population in the Trade in Tiger Parts


Skin Deep: The Need for Effective Enforcement to Combat the Asian Big Cat Skin Trade




United Nations Report

A new report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, The Globalization of Crime: A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment, includes a chapter dedicated to environmental resources with an analysis on the illegal trade in tiger parts and products.


Wildcat Events, Films & Books


International Tiger Conservation Forum ~ 

Tiger Summit



Link to Year of the Tiger Link to Year 

of the Tiger



The Last Lions

National Geographic presents The Last Lions which tells the dramatic story of a lioness, Ma di Tau, and her cubs struggle to survive in the Okavango Delta of Botswana.  Ma di Tau's mate is killed by a rival pride looking to expand its territory, leaving her to protect her three cubs and find a new home.

Visit National Geographic at http://www.nationalgeographic/lastlions for more information and local listings.

New feature film by Disney Nature explores the

African big cats fight for survival




Disney Nature presents African Cats that focuses on two feline mothers fighting for survival and raising their cubs in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve. Sita, a cheetah stuggles to support her five newborn cubs in the North Kingdom, while Layla, an injured older lioness overcomes obstacles to raise her six month old cub, Mara, in the South Kingdom.

A river patrolled by ravenous crocodiles separates the North and South Kingdoms.  For the cheetah and lion cubs to reach adulthood, both mothers must protect them against predators and keep the growing big cats well feed.



For educational materials and local listings, visit Disney Nature at http://www.disneynature/africancats



National Geographic’s
Big Cats Initiative

Africa's lion population is quickly getting smaller and smaller and action must be taken immediately to save these majestic animals. To raise awareness, the National Geographic Society launched the Big Cats Initiative in October 2009. This project will support programs and education that will help the big cats of the world, with a special focus on lions.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are one of the big forces behind the project. They are National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence who have spent over 25 years studying and working to conserve Africa's animals, especially the big cats. They want people to understand that when it comes to saving the big cats like lions and leopards, the time to act is now. “We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” Dereck says.

Learn more about the Big Cats Initiative at National Geographic

The Tiger Next Door

“Experts estimate that there are now more tigers in private hands in the U.S. than there are roaming wild in the world. The Tiger Next Door presents arguments for and against the keeping of wild animals and raises the question of the relationship we can have with wild animals when the wild is disappearing.”

The Tiger Next Door is A Rolling River Films Production; directed and produced by Camilla Calamandrei.

To learn more and for information on screenings and DVD availability please visit: http://thetigernextdoor.com

Last of the Scottish Wildcats

The Last of the Scottish Wildcats, directed by Steve Piper, presents an in-depth look into the mysterious, elusive, and the last wildcat in Scotland. The film captures the wildcats doing their wildcat thing, features interviews with leading scientists, and examines the status of wildcats in Scotland and beyond. The Last of the Scottish Wildcats, is rich with breath-taking photography and crucial information that creates a highly engaging, educational, and entertaining film. To help aid in the future survival of the Scottish wildcats, Coffee Films will be donating fifty-percent of the film's proceeds to The Scottish Wildcat Association!

To see a sneak peek of the film and to place an order, please visit: www.coffeefilms.com/scottishwildcats

To learn about the incredible work being performed by the Scottish Wildcat Association, please visit their website at: www.scottishwildcats.co.uk

Tigers of the World, 2nd Edition
The Science, Politics, and Conservation of Panthera tigris

Ronald Tilson and Philip Nyhus, Eds.

First published in 1988, the second edition of Tigers of the World, is an essential update with contributions from the world's leading tiger experts. Tigers of the World provides a comprehensive review on the state of tiger biology, conservation and politics. By incorporating images, indigenous art and poetry, anecdotes, maps, and illustrations, Tigers of the World is both fascinating and informative.

For more information and to purchase your copy of Tigers of the World please visit: www.elsevier.com