Adopt an Animal - News

Meet The Man Trying To Save The Jaguar

jaguar conservation

Ricardo Moreno is a cat loving conservationist who has focused his efforts on protecting South America’s biggest cat, the jaguar. The jaguar used to roam across a territory that spanned nearly nine million square kilometres. Its range extended from the Southern mountains of Argentina all the way up to the Grand Canyon in the United States. Unfortunately, after decades of hunting and habitat destruction, the jaguar’s range has dramatically shrunk and in the process its population has fallen by a whopping 40 per cent.

Threatened by extinction

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the jaguar is listed as being near threatened to extinction and in countries such as Uruguay and Ecuador, the species has all but disappeared. As deforestation takes place, jaguars can no longer rely on their traditional sources of prey and are forced to hunt livestock instead. This results in ranchers and landowners killing them in retaliation further reducing the population.

Grassroots conservation campaign

Mr Moreno has taken it upon himself to try and do something about this and has developed a grassroots strategy designed to put an end to the killings. He wants to make jaguars popular with locals. Over the last five years he has give more than 1,300 talks to local farmers in a variety of South American countries aiming to convince them of the jaguar’s importance as an apex predator that balances local ecosystems. Mr Moreno says he is not always successful but on some occasions, he does get through. He says the response he gets is that farmers say they really don’t like killing the big cats and because he has taken the time to speak to them they say will not kill the cat.

Paying for protection

Mr Moreno has also established a compensation program that doles out cash to locals for helping researchers keep track of jaguars. For example, if a remote camera is able to obtain an image of a jaguar on a landowner’s property, the non-profit set up by Mr Moreno will pay the resident. The information obtained is invaluable, allowing the organisation to keep track of the jaguar’s movements and in the process, enables researchers to alert farmers that a jaguar may be approaching. In such cases Mr Moreno’s organisation will help the farmer build a small enclosure for their livestock that is close to their house.

Building confidence

Mr Moreno and his team are also teaching locals how to create plaster casts when they come across a jaguar’s tracks. He says these casts can then be sold by the locals to tourists as souvenirs generating additional income. The main goal however is to generate confidence with the locals because if you don’t do this, the situation of the jaguar will never change. This is true not just for jaguars but for all big cats all over the world.


"Please note, any prices mentioned in the adopt an animal blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

The Strange Tale Of Vladik The Siberian Tiger


About a year ago an endangered Siberian tiger called Vladik terrified residents of Vladivostok, Russia’s Eastern capital as the big cat was frequently spotted just 5 miles away from downtown. People were so afraid that mothers would not even send the children to school in response to the first sighting of a Siberian tiger in the city in over 40 years. In order to ease the panic Vladik was tranquilised and for a while placed in a tiger rehabilitation centre where he was collared and ultimately released nearly 435 miles away in Bikin National Park where there are plenty of deer available to serve as potential prey.

Vladik was relocated

Sergey Aramilev director of the Far Eastern Department of the Amur Tiger Centre at the time said it was decided that Vladik be relocated to the most remote part of wild taiga where there are a large number of hoofed ungulates that could act as a ready source of food. Mr Aramilev said he hoped Vladik would stay there and not roam too far and help increase the number of tigers living in the Bikin National Reserve.

The tiger returns

Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case and it seems as if Vladik enjoyed the time he spent in Vladivostok so much, that he returned to the city almost exactly a year to the day after causing panic the first-time round. Amazingly according to his GPS tracking device, Vladik who is one of the estimated 540 adult Siberian tigers living in the wild managed to avoid a number of obstacles including the main Vladivostok-Khabarovsk highway and the Trans-Siberian railway. On his journey he killed and ate at least three black bears along with some deer and cattle.

The city stayed calm

According to the Siberian Times, Valdik was spotted quite close to the village of Yasnoe which is very near to Valdivostok Airport. This time however the city remained calm because the Siberian tiger has been carefully bypassing people for the time being at least. Officials believe that the tiger is skirting Vladivostok and is trying to make his way to China, though his final destination could well be North Korea. Vladivostok which is a port city is close to the border of both countries.

Healthy and well fed

Mr Aramilev said Vladik appears to look quite healthy and well fed, displaying a normal reaction to both cars and people. He adds that where the tiger is travelling too remains a mystery that only time will tell. Pavel Fomenko of WWF Russia says his organisation is worried about the fate of Vladik, though as of now he appears to be where he was attempting to get to. Mr Fomenko says he really hopes he settles down and everything will be fine adding that he was very happy that the tiger simply passed by settlements.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the adopt an animal blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Federal Court Rules To Protect Jaguars In The United States

jaguar conservation

Jaguars are an endangered species throughout North America and for them borders don’t mean anything, so they aren’t aware whether they are in Mexico or the United States. This means that if the species is to recover there needs to be efforts made on both side of the border. Recently a Federal court in New Mexico recognised this fact when it ruled against an attempt by ranchers and cattle groups who were trying to reverse habitat protections established for the big cats.

Maintaining critical habitat

In 2014 The US Fish and Wildlife service established a critical habitat consisting of 59,000 acres for jaguars. The recent ruling from the court maintains the protection of jaguars under the Endangered Species Act and this means that the Federal Government is prevented from making the habitat unusable for jaguars. A further 705,903 acres in Arizona was also designated as protected habitat but that decision has not been challenged.

Huge victory for jaguar conservation

Conservationists say the ruling is a huge win for jaguars who can continue to live in parts of the remote and rugged borderlands of New Mexico. The Center for Biological Diversity says far more habitat should have been protected, extending the area farther North to include the wild Gila National Forest. However, without the desert country along the border, it would simply be impossible for jaguars to travel farther North. The Center was the organisation that filed the lawsuit which resulted in the jaguar being listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Jaguars evolved in the United States

Of all the big cats, the jaguar is the third-largest species after tigers and lions. They are in fact native to North America and paleontological evidence has found that they roamed as far as Nebraska and Maryland. This suggests the species evolved in what is today the United States before migrating towards Central and South America. Historically jaguars have been seen in the mountains of Southern California as well as the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. Jaguars have been spotted in the North-Eastern part of New Mexico as well as the Texas panhandle. In fact, jaguar sightings have occurred as far afield as Louisiana, Kentucky and North Carolina.

Last female jaguar killed in 1963

Jaguars disappeared from the United States as a result of habitat destruction and retaliatory killings to protect livestock and hunting to obtain pelts. The last female jaguar in the United States was shot and killed by a hunter in 1963. Jaguar numbers in Mexico continue to fall but despite that fact one or two of them arrive in the United States periodically. Over the last year, two new males were photographed in the South-Eastern part of Arizona.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the adopt an animal blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Wild Ethiopian Lions Rescue Kidnapped Girl

Internet Expresses Outrage At The Death Of Cecil The Lion

A 12-year-old girl who found herself kidnapped and beaten by a group of men who were attempting to force her to get married was later found being guarded by three lions who according to the girl, chased of her kidnappers a policeman involved in the case said. The girl had been missing for a week and had been abducted by seven men who were trying to force her into marriage with one of them said Sergeant Wondimu Wedajo a policeman who serves in the Ethiopian city of Bita Genet.

Lions guarded girl

She was beaten repeatedly by the group of men before she was found by police and relatives on the city’s outskirts said Mr Wondimu. According to the girl, the lions had been guarding her four about 12 hours. Mr Wondimu said the lions stood guard until she was found and then just left her as if she were a gift and wandered back into the forest. He adds that if the lions had not rescued the girl, the situation would have been much worse because girls in such cases tend to be raped and beaten until they accept marriage.

‘Some kind of miracle’

Tilahun Kassa, a government official who confirmed Mr Wondimu’s story said one of the men wished to marry the girl against her wishes. Mr Kassa adds that everyone believes that this is some kind of miracle because lions tend to attack humans, but in this case, they provided assistance. Stuart Williams a wildlife expert says the reason why the girl probably managed to survive was because she was crying as a result of the trauma of her attack.

Mistaken for a cub

Mr Williams said a young girl whimpering could easily be mistaken for the mewing sound of a lion cub which would explain why the lions did not eat the girl. Ethiopian lions have huge black manes which they are famous for and serve as the country’s national symbol. Lions adorn everything from the national currency to statues. Despite Ethiopia cracking down, hunters continue to kill the animals for their skins which can be sold for as much as US$1,000. It is estimated that less than 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the adopt an animal blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

New Species Of Orangutan Discovered

Indonesian Wildfires Threatening Orangutans Of Borneo

Scientists studying a tiny population of orangutans in the Northern part of Sumatra have discovered a new species of great ape. Great apes are a group that include humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos, with orangutans being the most distant relatives of human beings. Until the latest discovery, there have only been two distinct orangutan species, the Bornean and the Sumatran. Now apparently, there is a third species of orangutan.

The discovery is exciting

Serge Wich a researcher from Liverpool John Moores University said the discovery was extremely exciting. He added that it was quite a shock to find a new species given the fact that Sumatran orangutans can be found less than 100 kilometres away. Unfortunately, the concern is how long the new species will be able to survive. The population consists of less than 800 individuals that are believed to be spread across 1,000 square kilometres. This makes it the great ape species with the lowest head count and the population faces the threat of habitat destruction and illegal trade.

Species threatened

Dr Wich says the area in which the species lives has a goldmine, many of the villagers hunt and there is also a hydroelectric power plant being planned in the region. The new species is being called the Tapanuli orangutan and is named after the part of Northern Sumatra where the apes live. Reports of orangutans living in the area date back to the 1930’s, however it was not until 1997 that the scientists rediscovered the apes and began to study them again.

The new species branched off about half a million years ago

The researchers analysed the genomes of 37 orangutans across the entire region which allowed them to develop an evolutionary family tree. The results suggest that orangutans which live to the North of Lake Toba split from the Southern population of ancestral orangutans that had arrived from mainland Asia and the split took place about 3.4 million years ago. Another split in the population living South of Lake Toba took place about 674,000 years ago which led to the establishment of the Bornean Orangutan as well as the species that has been newly discovered which, like their ancestors also live South of Lake Toba.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the adopt an animal blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

« Previous PageNext Page »