Wild tigers are returning to Kazakhstan after 70-year absence

September 8, 2017 by  
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70 years after the iconic big cats went extinct in the country, wild tigers are being reintroduced to Kazakhstan. In the past, tiger reintroduction projects in other locations, such as nature reserves in India , have been implemented in areas where tigers still live – albeit in severely diminished populations. It will be several years before the WWF-supported project is ready on the ground, as the landscape is modified and prey animals are also reintroduced. The first wild tigers are expected to arrive in 2025. If this project proves successful, it would stand as the first instance in which wild tigers have been revitalized in a region from which they had gone extinct for nearly a century. Although tigers once inhabited a vast area that included most of Asia, they have lost 90 percent of their historic range and have become isolated in scattered populations throughout the continent. Between 1900 and 2017, the global wild tiger population fell from 100,000 to 3,900. In Kazakhstan , poaching and encroaching human development have impacted both tigers and their native prey, such as the  kulkan , or wild donkey, and bactrian deer. Reintroducing these animals is only one part of the process. “[Preparing for the tiger reintroduction] means tackling poaching and illegal activities, having well-trained and equipped rangers, thriving prey populations and engaged local communities,” said Ekaterina Vorobyeva, the director of WWF-Russia’s Central Asia program. Related: China approves massive new park for endangered leopards and tigers The tiger reintroduction project, which is set to operate in the Ili-Balhash region, is also an exercise in international cooperation. “Thanks to years of close collaboration between Kazakhstan and Russian conservation experts, we have now identified the best possible territory in Ili-Balkhash for the restoration of a thriving wild tiger population,” said Igor Chestin, the director of WWF-Russia. “Our continued cooperation will be key in the successful creation of a new reserve, the restoration of rare native species and, in a few years’ time, achieving an unprecedented trans-boundary relocation of wild tigers to central Asia .” Via The Guardian Lead image via Depositphotos , others via Dmitry Teslya , Neil Turner , and  Torekhan Sarmanov

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Wild tigers are returning to Kazakhstan after 70-year absence

Chinese circus ties up endangered tiger so that visitors can take selfies

January 12, 2017 by  
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A horrifying video posted on Chinese video platform iQiyi shows circus trainers brutally binding a tiger to a metal table – all for the sake of selfie photographs. The animal is believed to be an endangered Siberian tiger, and it was cruelly lashed down so that children and adults could sit on its back for photos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4SDV_Xi3To The video’s description says the circus was performing in the Hunan province, and that the tiger was strapped down “to be safe for everyone to take pictures – but the expression of the tiger is very desperate.” When the tiger was finally freed, it bounded up and dashed away from the table. Related: Tigers punched for fun at horrifying “sanctuaries” in China Mashable reports that in China the God of Wealth is often portrayed sitting on tigers, and the act is associated with the deity. In the video a small child can be heard saying (as translated by Mashable), “I’m scared, I’m scared,” and one trainer responded, “Isn’t it cool to sit on a tiger? It can keep you away from the devil and earn you promotions and wealth.” Many commenters condemned the actions of the trainers and the parents who gleefully allowed their children to sit on the poor tiger. One iQiyi user said, “What kind of values are these parents teaching their children?” Another user wrote, “You can’t earn much from this, and instead you’ve brought so much pain to the animal, do you think it’s worth it?” Siberian tigers, also called Amur tigers, are found in the Russian Far East, China’s border areas, and possibly in North Korea, according to the World Wildlife Fund . There are only up to 540 of the endangered tigers left in the world. Via Mashable Images via screenshot

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Chinese circus ties up endangered tiger so that visitors can take selfies

Bollywood star spent seven years buying up land in India to save wild tigers

August 31, 2016 by  
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Although tiger populations in many parts of the world are on the rebound after years of being endangered, they still need help. In the foothills of the Himalayas, where the largest population of wild tigers in the world live, one man is using the private purchase of forest land to ensure the big cats’ safety for years to come.  Abhishek Ray has made his living as a Bollywood singer, musician, and composer, and he decided to use his earnings to buy forest land adjacent to Jim Corbett National Park in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand to create a nature reserve for tigers and other wildlife. The Bollywood composer learned more than 10 years ago how human activity can devastate the natural habitat of tigers and other wild creatures. Village life, unsustainable agriculture, and poaching all threaten the wildlife in India, leading Ray to the conclusion that purchasing land for a wildlife reserve was the only way to make a real difference for local wildlife. Over the course of seven years, Ray bought land from native families and worked to eradicate a dangerous parasite, created a year-round water source for animals to drink from, planted 400 trees, and worked to grow grass on stretches of land where none had been, thereby increasing usable habitat for many plants and animals. Related: Tiger populations have increased for the first time in 100 years The Sitabani Wildlife Reserve is home to at least 35 royal Bengal tigers, according to a recent count, as well as other animals that need protection: the Asiatic Black Bear, the leopard, the Goral (mountain goat-antelope), the elusive Serow, the yellow throated Pine Marten, and more. Over 650 species of birds also live on the reserve. Ray’s motivation to turn his private estate into a wildlife reserve is the culmination of a lifetime of environmental protection work. He began supporting environmental protections as a child, and feels a close connection with nature. Ray even says his musical compositions are inspired by the natural world, including the composition he wrote and sang that became India’s national anthem for tiger conservation. “The forest has its own sounds and those are the best that I have heard,” he told reporters. “I inhale nature and exhale music.” + Sitabani Wildlife Reserve Via Lifegate Images via Wikicommons and Abhishek Ray/Sitabani Wildlife Reserve

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Bollywood star spent seven years buying up land in India to save wild tigers

Tigers punched for fun at horrifying "sanctuaries" in China

August 1, 2016 by  
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Even today, when global organizations like the World Wildlife Fund have brought conservation to the forefront of conversation, animal abuse still happens. Some of it is covered up by organizations posing as “sanctuaries” that do good. Wildlife photographer Paul Hilton recently shared an Instagram photograph taken at one such “sanctuary,” the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village in China, of a tourist cheerfully punching a tiger for fun. Hilton snapped the photo of a tiger being hit a few years ago, but said the practice continues today. At the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village, tigers are drugged and then punched . The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) estimates there are 200 tiger farms in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, where unspeakable crimes against animals are being perpetrated. Related: 40 lifeless tiger cubs discovered in Thailand temple’s freezer Not only are tigers hit for entertainment at tiger farms, they’re often ” speed bred :” tiger babies are taken away from mothers instantly after birth, and the mothers are forced to breed again swiftly. The babies are often used for selfies. Tigers are also killed so their bones can be used for tiger wine, which many believe acts as an aphrodisiac. There are up to 8,000 tigers forced to live in these horrific tiger farms, while only around 3,890 tigers still live in the wild. The issue of tiger abuse is by no means limited to Asia. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), about 5,000 tigers live in captivity in the United States. But most of these tigers aren’t in zoos – 95 percent are “privately owned,” often by people who have no idea how to properly care for them. Further, ” tiger encounters ” – where people can pose for pictures with tigers, often young cubs – mean there’s motivation for people to own and breed tigers. When tigers used for selfies grow up, it’s more difficult for the illegal owners to feed them and the tigers often end up in the hands of illegal wildlife traders who sell them in parts. WWF started a petition to Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture, to “fully ban public contact with tigers in the US.” WWF policy experts say action in the United States will send a ” positive signal ” to governments in Asia considering what to do about the appalling tiger farms. + Sign On to Help Protect Tigers Via One Green Planet Images via Paul Hilton on Instagram and Pixabay

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Tigers punched for fun at horrifying "sanctuaries" in China

Foldable bike scooter combo runs entirely on electricity

August 1, 2016 by  
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Seen On Screen TV (SONT) is crowdfunding on Indiegogo right now for their ScootMatic : a foldable scooter and bicycle combination that’s powered completely by electricity . SONT describes the ScootMatic as the lightest “bike/scooter” in the world. The ScootMatic can travel 28 miles on one charge and recharges in three to five hours. SONT’s vision was to design a “unique, innovative, and smooth” vehicle. They came up with the ScootMatic, a hybrid that blends the functionality of a scooter with a look similar to a bicycle . Another goal was to create an environmentally friendly vehicle, so SONT gave the ScootMatic a Samsung lithium battery allowing it to run on electricity. The vehicle also features an LED headlight and LED display. Related: Movpak hybrid backpack and electric skateboard is a commuter’s dream The ScootMatic can reach speeds of 16 miles per hour, and SONT says it navigates up hills with ease. They recommend the ScootMatic for those looking for a fun alternative to cars or public transportation in cities and suburbs. The scooter bike combo is light and easy to transport: it weighs about 39 pounds, and when it is folded, it has a length of 48 inches, height of 22 inches, and width of 9.5 inches. SONT says the ScootMatic folds up in just one second. The scooter bike sports other fun features like a leather seat, remote control starter, and Bluetooth speakers. It’s made of “aviation aluminum” and includes a “car-like alarm system.” According to SONT, the team has been working on the ScootMatic for more than a year, and as opposed to other tech products that can be found on Indiegogo, “…the SONT INC team has the experience of bringing many projects to life.” There’s just under one week left to go in the campaign; you can check the ScootMatic out on Indiegogo here . After the campaign, the ScootMatic will cost $1,799; an early bird special offers the scooter bike for just $799. + ScootMatic + Seen On Screen TV Images via Seen On Screen TV

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Foldable bike scooter combo runs entirely on electricity

Watch Hoover the tiger released into nature after 12 dreadful years in a circus cage

June 16, 2016 by  
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After 12 years living in a circus cage and enduring terrible abuses, Hoover the tiger is finally free. He was rescued from a circus in Peru last April , where he had been enslaved his entire life. Circus trainers whipped and beat him, forcing him and up to 11 other tigers to perform on demand. After a year being nursed back to health by his rescuers, Hoover now lives in southern Florida, where he will enjoy warm breezes and shady grass for the rest of his life at a natural woodland sanctuary shared by other rescued tigers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRxrJv78J3Q Animal Defenders International (ADI) released the above video, which begins with a peaceful scene showing Hoover at his new home at Big Cat Rescue  wildlife sanctuary near Tampa. Hoover creeps cautiously toward a natural pool in a wooded area and, with trepidation, the big cat dips his toes into the water. It is perhaps the first time Hoover was ever able to experience nature directly after a lifetime at the circus. (For our readers who are sensitive to violence against animals , be aware that the above video contains graphic scenes after 0:30.) Related: Tiger populations have increased for the first time in 100 years Hoover’s freedom was hard-won. Animal rights activists were able to secretly film the abuses and alert Peru’s wildlife department, SERFOR (Peru’s forestry department) and police. The circus attempted to evade the law by hiding in the mountains for eight months. Eventually, authorities caught up to them and, in a surprise raid, Hoover was rescued by ADI. Unfortunately, the other 11 tigers in Hoover’s original group perished prior to the raid. Little is known about how or when each one passed away, but Hoover’s poor health and undernourishment suggest the other tigers may have succumbed to their handlers’ neglect and abuse. “Hoover was very lucky to survive,” said ADI President Jan Creamer. “His last cage mate had died before we could get to him. We were very grateful for the public support and information that helped us to track the circus down, now he can live in peace in his wonderful new environment.” + Animal Defenders International + Big Cat Rescue Images via ADI

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Watch Hoover the tiger released into nature after 12 dreadful years in a circus cage

Germany’s Roller Coaster Walkway Thrills Visitors with Views to the Surrounding Landscape

November 17, 2011 by  
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Read the rest of Germany’s Roller Coaster Walkway Thrills Visitors with Views to the Surrounding Landscape Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: crouching tiger hidden turtle magic mountain , druisberg , environment sculpture , green art , Heike Mutter , public sculpture , recreation ground , rollercoaster walkway , sculpture walkway germany , Ulrich Genth , visitor site , zinc production germany

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Germany’s Roller Coaster Walkway Thrills Visitors with Views to the Surrounding Landscape

Male Tiger Plays Mom to a Litter of Orphaned Cubs

May 18, 2011 by  
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Photo: law_keven / cc In nature, raising tiger cubs to maturity is almost always the job of mom alone, with tiger-fathers showing little interest in child rearing if any at all.

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Male Tiger Plays Mom to a Litter of Orphaned Cubs

The View From the Peak (Cartoon)

May 18, 2011 by  
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Click to enlarge “The View From the Peak” by Option-G This the latest in a series of daily cartoons on TreeHugger, exploring a variety of green themes and ideas through visual art. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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The View From the Peak (Cartoon)

Senate Sinks Offshore Drilling Bill

May 18, 2011 by  
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Photo credit: mikebaird via Flickr / CC BY The US Senate shot down a bill designed to expand offshore drilling in Alaska, Virgina, and the Gulf of Mexico. Three separate pro-drilling bills passed the House of Reps last week , and would open up the amount … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Senate Sinks Offshore Drilling Bill

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