As everyone knows Mystic Jungle is committed to the conservation and preservation of the Asian Leopard.
In order to diversify the gene pool it is necessary to “line share” with other facilities. Our very own Sampson is on loan to Single Vision Inc to breed with the female Sita. This is imperative that we focus on this species of big cat at this time. Why? Please read:
In India a decade ago there were over 8,000 Asian Leopards with a human population of 1,045,845,000. India is now the second largest populated nation in the world. In 2011 (last census taken) the Asian leopard population is down to 1,150 with the human population up to 1,210,193,422. With this increase of population is the need for more resources such as water plants, crop fields, electric plants etc which leads to deforestation. Pair that with the fact that poaching (the taking from the wild for their BODY PARTS such as nails, pelts, teeth, penis etc) and human/leopard conflicts are now at an all time high and it is a grim outlook for the Asian Leopard in their native land.
A leopard takes 18-24 months to sexually mature. The Leopardess will mate and carry 91-93 days with the result of 1-3 cubs. The mortality rate is 50% on the cubs from natural predation (snakes, other big cats etc) and the remaining cub(s) will remain with the mother until it becomes 18-24 months.
So it takes TWO YEARS for ONE leopard to reach maturity and they are being eradicated at the rate of FOUR A WEEK in India.
This is WHY captive breeding programs are so important here in the US! The AZA does NOT breed them nor have they been placed on the SSP. The AZA is an accrediting organization not a governing body and they dictate how many of a species and what species that can bred COLLECTIVELY among their member zoo’s. The private facilities such as Mystic Jungle Educational Facility Inc. and Single Vision Inc, are the only hope this cat has of survival.
Send good thoughts that the result is a healthy litter of Asian Leopard cubs!!
Fury is the cat that started the passion to fight for the Asian Leopard.
The Leopard pound for pound is the strongest of the big cats. They can carry three times their body weight up a tree. They are among the most adept at tree climbing and do so to rest safely, or to eat.
They are also among the most vocal and their version of a roar is a sound that sounds like two lumber jacks with one of those old style saws going at a huge oak tree. I don’t the neighbors have figured that sound out yet.. LOL
They also have a tuft at the end of their tail although it is not as predominant as the Lions.
Unlike the Lion and Tiger in nature, they tend to be more aloof, and also a bit more unpredictable. This is probably the main reason that the private sector does not handle or breed them a lot, and why they are in jeopardy not only here in captivity but in the wild. If the AZA zoo’s do not breed them, and the private sector does not breed them.. what can help them from extinction this time?
Thousands of years ago, the Leopard was on the brink of extinction. There was a mass kill off that to this day, no one knows or understands why. Yet despite all odds, they rebounded even with a genetic bottle neck. The Cheetah also suffered the same fate, but their gene pool is so tight that even the sperm can be deformed thus why they have such a poor conception rate.
Facts- A Leopardess takes 18-24 months to sexually mature. She will seek out a mate by calling with that saw like roar, and the traveling male will meet with her and what appears to be an all out war between the two, copulate.
The resulting pregnancy takes 91-93 days. The litter size is usually anywhere from 1-3 cubs with a 50% mortality rate (less in captivity normally) due to natural predation (other big cats, snakes etc) so usually only 1 cub will make it out of 2-3.
The remaining cub(s) will remain with the Leopardess until they themselves reach sexual maturity (the males tend to stay longer as they do not challenge the mothers alpha position as readily as a daughter of hers would) and the mother will usually not seek to re-breed during this time (she will not risk bringing a male near her young and hormones from lactation accounts for this)
So at the rate of ONE leopard surviving and making it to adulthood is two years and the current rate of poaching is four a week or 208 year, not counting human/leopard conflicts resulting in the death of the cats how long do you give them to survive?
As I have stated and stand firm on. The SSP is not the final answer. WE ARE. It takes a nation to save the Leopard. Is is going to be America?
As many know here at the Jungle, even though we offer help, consultation, and homes to all native and exotic wildlife, our main focus is on the Asian Leopard.
A decade ago, in India, the population of the Asian Leopard was over 8,000. Today there are less than 1,200 left on preserves and in the wild. India is the world’s second largest populated country, projected by the US Census Bureau to be the LARGEST by population by 2025. What this means is that a decade ago, there were a lot more forests for the prey and habitat of the majestic Asian Leopard. With human encroachment comes the need for power plants, fields for crops, Water plants and of course.. housing. This entails encroaching into the forested areas and driving out the prey of the big cat.
The Leopard is an opportunist at it’s best. They study the “problem” and like all cats are observational learners. So if there is not any of their native prey, they will take the next easy target. MAN. And their choice is either a woman or a child as they are smaller and weaker. Sometimes they do attack men, but usually it is while the man is in a compromised position, such as a bathroom break, that they strike. When this happens the Leopard is attacked by an angry mob and either lynched, burned alive in a cage, electrocuted, hacked to death or beat to death with cane polls. The totals for 2012 was an average of four leopards a week (208 a year) but this total reported was for poaching only. Did you know that poaching is death to the animal? These cats are not being poached to be sold as “pets” nor for zoo exhibits. They are being poached for their body parts… a body chop shop. These numbers do NOT reflect the Leopards killed during human/Leopard conflict!
It takes a Leopard 18-24 months to sexually mature. The Leopardess will mate and carry for 91-93 days, delivering 1-3 cubs. Of those 1-3 cubs, there is a 50% mortality rate from natural predation. Of that 1.5 (statistically) cubs that do make it, they remain with the mother until they are 18-24 months of age. During this time, the leopardess does not seek to re breed. So that is 1.5 cubs every 18-24 months and they were killed at the rate of 4 a week!
So, 208 were killed last year, and now from January 2013 up until March 2013, the totals have already began to roll in. NINETY FIVE (95) have been killed by POACHING ALONE!! this year!!
AZA Zoo’s do not breed the Asian Leopard nor are they on their SSP (Species Survival Program) , as they only allow the breeding of the Snow and Amur Leopard. The AZA is merely an accreditation organization that sets guidelines that all their collective zoo’s must abide by or lose their accreditation. They are only allowed to breed what the AZA says they are allowed to as they are permitted to have so many species that is divided up among all the member zoo’s collectively.
The survival of the Leopard now falls upon the private sector such as us. The SSP is NOT the final Answer.WE ARE.
We are focusing right now as our number one priority to enlarge Spikes and the boys enclosures. The money that was made at the yard sale, after insurance and food costs will be set to the side to start getting the supplies. Even if we have to get a few posts at a time, a few rolls of chain link at a time we WILL get this done!!
Please consider a donation today to the enclosure enlargement projects. Our goal is to make them happy and healthy!!! All the boys are outgrowing their enclosures and this needs to be done ASAP!
NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL!! Please, I know how you feel, thinking if I only send five dollars they will think less of me. I know this because I have done it myself!! But you are not the only one that thinks that way so, if five people think that.. then that is twenty five dollars that was missed as a donation to better the lives of the boys!
Help us help them!!
This is why we do what we do. MJEF is committed to the conservation and preservation of the Asian Leopard. I predicted last year that by 2016 the Leopard in India would be extinct… I fear it will be sooner now.
Please educate yourself on what big cat bans will do.
1. Bans do NOT work. It creates a black market and criminal atmosphere.
2. The cats here in the US are the products of 15 generations or more of captive breeding with a diverse gene pool via the private sector. Banning big cats in private owners is banning facilities like Mystic Jungle Educational Facility. The wording is much to broad and encompasses too many areas.
3. Hasten the extinction of the Asian Leopard. Why? Because AZA zoo’s do not breed them and that is what the current bill is proposing.. only AZA zoo’s and sanctuaries (which the latter does NOT breed) will be allowed to have these cats and only AZA zoo’s will be allowed to breed… please refer to the first part of my statement!) can have big cats. The Asian Leopard is a big cat.
From what I understand there is only one other facility that concentrates on the Asian Leopard and they are up north… and also a private facility.
4. Cost more cats their lives. Just where are these cats supposed to go? Does the end justify the means? When people clamor for something to be “banned” oftentimes the big picture is not thought through..
This is tragic. Let me clarify a few misconceptions that are being propagated here.
1. Captive big cats are the result of over 15 generations in captivity. They are not taken from the “wild” since the induction of CITES in July of 1975. This restricts the importation of endangered species such as Lions, tigers, Jaguars, Leopards et al.
2. Banning will simply A. Hasten the path of extinction on these endangered species as a lot of them are NOT BRED by AZA zoo’s (the AZA is merely an accreditation organization NOT a governing body) B. Cause the rise of more poaching as it will drive the black market value on these animals up. They are already worth more dead than alive.
3. The “poaching” that you hear of is regarding the poaching and KILLING of these beautiful animals. These cats are worth more dead than alive.
These is a tragic event. MJEF extends our heart felt sympathies to the family and friends of the victim. We also refuse to cast judgement and blame on anyone. We were not there and have no idea how it happened.
In this field we work in, it is an known and accepted risk that working with big cats, that an injury can happen. We know this. But that does not make it any easier when on occurs. The park that had this tragedy had an impeccable safety record. But to put it into perspective there were NINETEEN skydiving accidents in 2012 and NO BIG CAT accidents in 2012. But then again the animal rights groups were not on the scene to report those.
Sky divers know and accept the risks… as do we, the protectors of these endangered species.
Be sure to watch the videos on our You Tube Account to get those ratings up there! The more we let people know what is happening to these big cats the better chance we have at their survival! Just copy and paste the links to view!! More to come of the facility itself and the residents there!
The first two months of the year have been deadly for leopards in India as 92 big cats were poached, poisoned, killed by mobs and forest guards and met with accidental deaths during this period. Leopards belong to the Schedule -1 species, under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and need the highest level of protection. Sadly, despite so much noise being made over their protection, the poachers managed to kill 36 leopards and 12 others fell prey to mobs.
A host of others were found dead under mysterious circumstances, run over on roads and died during rescue operations etc. The Pioneer obtained these figures from the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).
Uttarakhand tops the list of the maximum leopard fatalities, with 42 deaths being recorded in the State. There were also seizures of 14 leopard skins and 8.8 kgs of bones in the State.
Madhya Pradesh stands at a distant second with a total of nine leopard deaths. Four of them were poached.
SS Sharma, Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand said that the hilly State has 65 per cent forest cover and nearly 2,000 leopards, hence the incidents of leopard-human conflict are more rampant here.
“Out of the 42 cases of leopard deaths in the State at least eight to ten were a result of revenge killing by the local communities. During the same period, leopards also killed 11 people,” he said. “Growing human pressure, fragmentation of their habitat, scarcity of water and prey in the forests are also compelling the leopard to venture out in open every now and then,” he added. “The need of the hour is to take the issue of leopard conservation seriously and evolve long-term strategies”, pointed out Tito Joseph, Programme Manager, WPSI.
The situation has been alarming for the last three-four years, with 325 leopard mortalities being reported on an average, each year. “There is an urgent need to take up studies on its actual population status and its prey base,” Joseph added.
The Environment Ministry had come out with specific guidelines in 2011 on how to tackle the incidents of man-leopard conflicts. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recently released Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to deal with incidents of big cats straying into human habitats. This includes leopards as well.
However, according to experts, these guidelines are not being implemented at the ground level.
“The State is also very vulnerable to poaching as it is close to the borders of Nepal which is a hub of illegal wildlife trade,” said Vidya Athreya, a biologist in the Wildlife Conservation Society, who is working on leopard conservation. “Conflict levels have accelerated and people are losing their tolerance”, pointed out Prerna Singh Bindra, member of National Board For Wildlife. “There are reports of leopards being beaten, stoned and even burnt to death. Yet, there is no strategy in place to mitigate and address conflict or tackle poaching”, she regretted.
I often sit and wonder how in the world did I end up where I am now.
Born in a small town in Florida, the sixth generation Floridian, and my father one of the original “Florida Crackers” driving cattle across the unfenced lands of Florida, I was raised to be a “cowgirl”.
I did the gammet of barrel racing. I was a yahoo rider for many many years. In fact I will tell people that I have ridden almost my entire life but learned to ride at the age of 31 years of age. Sharon Camarillo and Shirley Ankum put me in my place. In fact they made me cry. But it made me mad enough to push myself to do better and as a result, my horse and I went on to the World Championships and became a TEAM. I learned the ART of barrel racing (Approach, Rate, Turn) I learned HORSEMANSHIP from the ground up. And I also learned that barrel racing, true barrel racing is in fact in itself, if done correctly a form of dressage. The infinate training levels that are between man and beast.
I was so passionate about my horses then. I bred only the best to the best. To me second place was the first loser and I went at it with a vegenence.
Then I moved to Live Oak. The market of horses went down the drain. Even a GREAT barrel horse that once sold for 40,000 dollars could now be had for less than 10,000! I had to work long hours to make one quarter of what I made down south.
During all this time I had animals of all kinds. I was never prejudiced when it came to my love of animals (well except for things that slither and have more than four legs.. LOL) and had even mentored under an exotic veterinarian down south to get my Class II and III primate license. Being the wise one that I am, after I got my license, I decided to NOT get a primate as it is like having the infinite two year old.
Then my dear husband made the announcement that we were getting some big cats. These cats were not in a crisis situation so to speak. They just needed new homes as the owner was retiring due to health problems. Mark had mentored under him, and the cats that were to come were the ones that meant the most to the man. And Mark had promised the man that he would take them should the need ever arise. Well the need arose.
Now mind you, I at the time was TERRIFIED of big cats. (I am STILL RESPECTFUL of them today and everyone SHOULD BE!) and wanted nothing to do with them. But my dear hubby is a very smart man.
On Thanksgiving day of 2009, I am in the bathroom, blow drying my hair, when all of a sudden from behind my calves are butted and there is this weird “huff huff huff” sound.. HUH? I turned around and there, at the end of a loose dangling leash was the most amazingly sweet BIG tiger cub I have ever laid eyes upon. Spike had arrived.
When people tell you that it is harmful to the cub to allow “photo shoots” I must argue with them. Human beings are of the type that they must touch, feel, hear, and smell something, be it animate or inanimate in order to understand and care about something. When I looked into those eyes, my heart melted. Spike broke the ice for what was to come.. the biggies… the infamous LEOPARDS.
Now I knew Chewy and Cheyanne were coming, and I had really no problems with that other than the fact that they were older cats. And again, I must state I am not against having older cats, other than I know my time with them will be cut short. I hate the partings. But the leopards were another story. I had read up on all the big cats and from what I had gathered the Leopard was not one that anyone would really want to deal with. Pound for pound the strongest of the big cats, the most cunning and the most deadly. I was NOT looking forward to their arrival. My poor father was also worried and wore a gun on his hip when he was doing the chores around the ranch, after the arrival of Rosie and Sampson.
Sampson was the first to break the ice with us. My father was givng a tour and had his back to him. Sampson managed to get his paw through the bars and just laid his paw on my dad’s shoulder. My dad about crapped his pants but did not panic. (Sampson was de-clawed sometime before we got him) He turned around and asked Sampson if he had lost his mind. To that Sampson replied by runing around like a kitten, then throwing himself onto his back and rolling around like a fool! As soon as Sampson warmed up, then Rosie began to get friendlier and friendlier. As I watched these two, like an old married couple I began on a journey that will continue unto my death bed.. the love and respect of this magnificent animal called the Leopard.
Rosy and Sampson had been paired for sometime and evidently thought to have became barren…. HA! Shortly after arrival, Fury arrived. Of course we were not set up for a nursery as breeding was the furtherest thing from our minds, so Fury slipped out of the den box, underneath it and was there anywhere from 24 -36 hours unbeknownst to us. When we found her she was dehydrated, sickly and very very critical. I rushed her to my clinic and well… from there the rest is history.
Like my passion for the horses, my thirst for knowlege drove me to find out more and more on this big cat. What I found horrified me. The Asian Leopard being killed off faster than they can reproduce.
India is the worlds second most populated nation. The US census bureau estimates them to be the worlds biggest populated by 2025!! Just a decade ago, Leopards numbered over 8,000 and as of 2011 they are now at 1,200 ! The year 2013 is looking pretty grim now also… we are only into the first of a third month for this year and they estimate the leopard deaths through poaching, human/leopard conflict to be already at 25-50!!
A leopard takes 18-24 months to sexually mature. The leopardess will breed then carry a litter of 1-3 cubs for 91-93 days.
After the delivery, the 1-3 cubs face a mortality rate of 50% from natural predation. That leaves 1.5 cubs statistically. That 1.5 cubs will remain with the mother until THEY reach sexual maturity and are hunting on their own. During that time the mother will not seek to re-breed. So that is 1.5 cubs produced in 18 months to two years and they are killing them off at the rate of at LEAST four a week… do you think the leopard in India will be around in 2016, heck for that matter.. 2015?
AZA zoo’s do not breed them. They only breed the Amur and Snow leopards. Not that they are not worthy also, but the AZA is a accreditation NOT a governing body. When you become a member zoo you must abide by their rules and can only breed what they say you can and all the collective zoo’s only have so many “cage spaces” allocated to so many species. THAT is why the private sector is so vital in the conservation of MANY of the big and lesser cat species. As they say it takes a village to raise a child.. it takes a nation for conservation and preservation.
So think about this before signing that next petition to ban private big cat ownership. The word “private” is very broad and it encompasses places such as ours.. but also private owners that have contributed a LOT to the gene pool of many threatened species!! The AZA zoo’s CANNOT DO THIS ALONE!!
The SSP is NOT the final answer on their survival. WE ARE!
What man does not understand, he fears. What he fears, he destroys.
Mystic Jungle Educational Facility Inc. is a non profit 501(c)3 facility. Here we focus on conservation, education of the public on exotic animals.
To educate young and old on the importance of conservation and preservation of all native and exotic species.
Mystic Jungle Educational Facility Inc. is a non profit 501(c)3 facility
13429 US Hwy 129
Live Oak, FL 32060