There is a world somewhere between reality and fiction. Although ignored by many, it is very real and so are those living in it. This forum is about the natural world. Here, wild animals will be heard and respected. The forum offers a glimpse into an unknown world as well as a room with a view on the present and the future. Anyone able to speak on behalf of those living in the emerald forest and the deep blue sea is invited to join.
--- Peter Broekhuijsen ---

  Play this video for your dog
Posted by: Siegfried - 05-11-2014, 09:02 PM - Forum: Wildlife Pictures and Videos Gallery - No Replies
and see what happens.

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  German Shepherd and Rottweiler behavior
Posted by: Siegfried - 05-10-2014, 05:37 PM - Forum: Wildlife Pictures and Videos Gallery - Replies (3)

This video raises two questions to me.  I will address them both.

Question 1:  Why is this video not considered dog fighting which would be flagged as animal abuse on youtube?
While there is obvious aggression in the video, as the title suggests it is about canine dominance.  This is certainly a worthy topic of study.  Just as there is much nudity on youtube, there is no pornography.

Question 2:  What is the rationale for posting it in a wildlife forum?
The most basic instinctual behavior of the subspecies canis lupus familiaris is no doubt identical to their wild cousins the gray wolf.  
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  White, Black & Golden Tigers
Posted by: Pckts - 05-08-2014, 09:58 PM - Forum: Tiger - Replies (129)
This thread is for facts, myths, data and infromation about white tigers, black tigers and golden tigers in the WILD.

Only Bengal tigers naturally possess these peculiar colours's gene, I believe. Any siberian or other subspecies' tiger carrying these coloured coats is thus also crossbred and never can it be a purebred.
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  John Varty & Tiger Canyon
Posted by: sanjay - 05-08-2014, 02:08 AM - Forum: Projects, Protected areas & Issues - Replies (197)
John Varty is a controversial South African wildlife filmmaker. John is also leading a controversial project which aims to create a free-ranging, self-sustaining tiger population in Africa. However, some experts feel that this is a money making concept by John Varty in an attempt to earn money from the tourism industry. One of his famous documented film is "Living with Tigers".

Here is a recent interview of John Vart by Sizie Modise

SM: How long have you been doing Tiger Conservation?
JV: 14 years

SM: What is your overall objective?
JV: To get a population of over 50 wild Tigers and create a park where Lions, Leopards, Cheetah and Tigers all coexist.

SM: Your recent expansion invested 1000 Hectares for Cheetah?
JV: Like Tigers, Cheetah suffer from loss of home range to humans and they are more vulnerable to being out competed by Lions, Leopard and Spotted Hyena. Cheetah lose kills and cubs to these rival predators. Cheetah are listed as a threatened species. Before we introduced Cheetah, there were no wild Cheetah in the Free State.

SM: Do you ever see Cheetah and Tiger co-existing?
JV: I would need a lot more land, more than 60 000 Hectares.

SM: What does it cost you to run Tiger Canyons per day?
JV: I have no idea, a lot of money.

SM: What does it cost to support and adult Tiger per year?
JV: R100 000

SM: Can I sponsor a Tiger?
JV: Yes you can, through the Tigress Julie Foundation.

SM: Have you had any big corporations sponsor a Tiger?
JV: No, only individuals.

SM: Does the South African Government give you any support?
JV: None. I have called for the government to create a full national park for Tigers, but I doubt it will ever happen.

SM: Has Tigress Ussuri replaced Julie as your favourite Tiger?
JV: They are different relationships. Julie was hand raised, while Ussuri is wild born and wild raised. Both are incredible ambassador Tigers. All the Tigers are my favourite, even Corbett.

SM: Do you bear any grudge against Corbett?
JV: None whatsoever, I am counting the days to when he walks free - it should be in 8 weeks time.

SM: How many pictures have already been taken of Ussuri?
JV: Hundreds of thousands. Ussuri is a very accessible Tigress and she chooses very picturesque den sites. Ussuri interacts with her cubs all the time so the photographic potential is huge. The afternoon light at Tiger Canyons is the best I have ever filmed in, Ussuri and her cubs literally glow in the afternoon light.

SM: What would it cost me to rename Ussuri?
JV: $100 000

SM: What will it cost to name one of her cubs?
JV: $10 000

SM: Why did you vasectomise Seatao?
JV: Seatao fathered Julies second and third litters. He is also the father of Shadow's two cubs. His son Mahindra is a very fine male, is well bred and carries his genes.

SM: Why has Shundarban never impregnated a Tigress?
JV: Shundarban suffers from a condition called Kryptorchen. This means his testicles are inside his body. The result is that the temperature of his sperm, is too high.

SM: How do you control who Tibo mates with?
JV: I have no control who she mates with, especially when all the internal fences are removed and all the Tigers are co-existing. Our policy is not to produce white Tigers but rather preserve the rarity of the white Tiger. I am DNA profiling every Tiger at the moment, but once the big area is operational, I have no control.

SM: Why do you use Mahindra vehicles
JV: They are cheaper than Landrovers

SM: Your motto is "Tread lightly on the Earth" – why?
JV: The truth is, the human population is now at more than 7 billion. Everyday we are burning fossil fuels. We are heating the planet and our footprint is heavy. Tread lightly is an objective I would love to achieve in the future….for now it remains marketing.

SM: What is your major environmental contribution?
JV: We are creating a wild population of Tigers outside Asia, this is valuable, extremely valuable. We are creating huge awareness through our films, newsletters and the website. Apart from this, perhaps our biggest contribution is that we have changed the land use system from destructive domestic stock to indigenous wildlife on a large piece of land. We are creating jobs as well.

SM: How many jobs have you created in Philippolis?
JV: I have created as many as 109 jobs. Presently 50 guys are fencing the last 14km of fence.

SM: How strong is your tourism?
JV: Very strong. The Big Cat Safari puts Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Tiger together in one safari. There is nowhere else in the world you can achieve this. 52 Nationalities have visited Tiger Canyons.

SM: What kind of guest is visiting Tiger Canyons?
JV: Professional photographers, international film crews, knowledgeable, concerned people….. a pleasure to be with.

SM: When will you build a Lodge?
JV: When the bank lends me the money.

SM: Will your children go into conservation?
JV: I hope so, it's their journey.

SM: What succession planning do you have in place?
JV: Rodney and Lorna Drew have invested heavily in wild Tigers and Cheetahs. This helps me shoulder the responsibility. If Corbett had killed me, it would have been all over.

SM: What kind of return can an investor get from an investment in wild Tigers?
JV: A small financial return - a bigger environmental return and an even greater spiritual return.

SM: What is the spiritual return?
JV: I get to swim with tiger cubs, go hunting with Cheetah, film and photograph wild tigers in an area with no noise, no pollution and no crime. That’s a pretty spiritual lifestyle.

SM: One of your recent newsletters called for a champion for Tigers. Have you had any luck?
JV: There are many wealthy individuals interested in investing in the project. There are a few likeminded.

SM: You are working on your first musical, tell us about it.
JV: It’s a DVD with some of the songs which I have written 20 years ago. Now I have professional musicians recording for me. What’s exciting is that it’s a live show, I put microphones and drums in the audience and the lyrics are written on a big screen so the audience can sing along. It’s story telling at its best and a giant ‘sing song’.

SM: Who influences you musically?
JV: I have been influenced by musicians who have used their music to protest a situation. Bob Dylan and Joan Baez protested the Vietnam war. Barry McGuire’s "Eve of Destruction" had a big impact on me. Rodriguez's anti-establishment "Cold Fact" was a favourite of mine, Rodriguez, because he was half Native American, never got the recognition he deserved in America. Johnny Clegg’s anti-apartheid cross-over music was perfect in the liberation struggle. Bob Marley brought the opposing politicians together in one of his concerts in Jamaica.

SM: Do you have any protest songs in the musical?
JV: The song "In Cages Around the World", is a protest song against the use of tigers and indeed all wild animals in circus acts.

"in cages around the world you pace
60 000 in a never-ending futile race
In circuses you perform
But your teeth are pulled
And your claws are all gone…"

SM: Who helped you with this production?
JV: I would like to thank the many artists who performed in the show. Bobby Johnson of Rebirth Music did a fantastic job of professionalizing the music and Tidi Modise edited the production. The show will go out on DVD and on YouTube. All proceeds of the show will go to Tiger conservation. The concert is dedicated to Nelson Mandela and Tigress Julie. If you would like to order the DVD and a signed booklet with lyrics it costs R750 plus postage. The limited edition leather bound DVD and signed booklet with lyrics is R1500 plus postage. You can order through . Delivery will be in 90 days. All proceeds go to Tiger Conservation.

SM: Where do you want to take your music?
JV: I would like to produce an album which highlights the plight of Tigers. The album would have artists like Ziggy Marley, Rodrigues, Johnny Clegg, Peter Sarstedt, Chris de Burgh, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Ronan Keating, Bryan Adams, Yusuf (ex Cat Stevens) all creating and performing.

SM: You better get going…some of those artists are getting old!!
JV: …And so am I (smile)

SM: You are writing 4 books this year, tell me about them.
JV: I am doing a book with Marsel van Oosten and Daniella Sibbing on Tiger Conservation and saving the Tiger. I am doing a book on the Big Cats: Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Tiger with Daryl and Sharna Balfour. I am doing a book with my two boys Sean and Tao Varty. It’s a fun book. My last book is called "All the Girls", its about all the ladies I have known, 2 legged, 4 legged, furry.. and not so furry. It spans from Tina Turner to Tigress Julie, from Brooke Shields to Mother Leopard. It should be fun…..

SM: Do books make any money?
JV: None, but they carry powerful messages and they are fun to make.

SM: Do you ever get lonely?
JV: Never

SM: Have you ever been married?
JV: Never

SM: Would you like to be?
JV: Are you making me an offer I do not understand…?



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  Black Bears
Posted by: GrizzlyClaws - 05-07-2014, 09:09 AM - Forum: Bears - Replies (63)
Perhaps the best climbers of the animal kingdom.

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  Never turn your back on big cats
Posted by: Siegfried - 05-07-2014, 05:53 AM - Forum: Captive & Domesticated Animals - Replies (2)
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Video Excellent Animal and Nature Videos
Posted by: sanjay - 05-07-2014, 01:40 AM - Forum: Wildlife Pictures and Videos Gallery - Replies (131)
An incredible sighting of a wildebeest struggling to free itself from a crocodile after it was caught in its massive jaws at Londolozi Game Reserve, bordering the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

The struggle lasted over 90 minutes and eventually the wildebeest manages to free itself. A short while later, as it tries to move away from the waters edge, it finally collapses and is discovered by the Camp Pan male leopard who proceeds to feed on it.

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  Butterfly and Bee Sips Tears from Caiman Eyes
Posted by: sanjay - 05-07-2014, 01:27 AM - Forum: Miscellaneous - Replies (1)
Ecologist Carlos de la Rosa spotted a Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) and a solitary bee (Centris sp.) sipping tears from the eyes of spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) that was basking on the bank of Costa Rica's Puerto Viejo River. He, with his team, observed, photographed and filmed the scene for about 15 minutes. The crocodile was quiet all through.

In his feature in the May issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the ecologist says that though this was rare to be seen, it is not an uncommon phenomenon among insects, as they indulge in lapping up tears to balance their diet by obtaining salt and proteins from concentrated sources.

Earlier, a similar incident was reported when a solitary bee (Centris sp.) was interacting with a yellow-spotted river turtle. But the scientific explanation for this phenomenon comes from Carlos.

This behaviour is not just limited to insects drinking tears of turtles and crocodiles. It was reported in 2009 about Apidae (a kind of honeybee) drinking human tears in Thailand.
Here is the video recorded by Ecologist Carlos de la Rosa and his team in December 2013:

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  Babies, Hatchlings & Youngsters
Posted by: Siegfried - 05-06-2014, 01:19 AM - Forum: Wildlife Pictures and Videos Gallery - Replies (20)

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  Indian Cheetah
Posted by: Vinod - 05-03-2014, 10:22 AM - Forum: Extinct Animals - Replies (2)
Just another predator that fell prey to Royal hunting games, the Indian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) is the only specie which became extinct in India in last 100 years.

*This image is copyright of its original author

It is believed that the last three Indian Cheetahs were shot in 1947 in Sarguja, Madhya Pradesh by Maharajah Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo. He can be seen here with the last Indian Cheetahs

*This image is copyright of its original author

a rare footage of pet Cheetahs hunting for their masters

A cheetah party returning from hunt c 1900

*This image is copyright of its original author

 an Indian cheetah preserved at the Regional Museum of Natural History, Mysore.

*This image is copyright of its original author

a photograph of Indian Cheetah cubs by Major G.S. Rodon at Dharwar, August 17, 1897

*This image is copyright of its original author

a hunting party Baroda, around 1895

*This image is copyright of its original author


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