Genetics and the ever shrinking gene pool

    Social media has became the main way for a lot of people to gain information. Be it right, wrong or indifferent. You will also get those “arm chair quarterbacks” that have never taken a course in big cat husbandry, genetics or handling, nor have they spent any time in the world of the animals that they love to cite themselves on as experts. If their comments were not so hurtful to the animals, they would be laughable. 

The most recent postings were the so called experts speaking of a white lion and how they would never survive in the wild, leaving the readers to believe that this is only found in captivity. WRONG AGAIN. There is a pride, native to Timbavati, that are critically endangered, but no they are not man made. In fact there was once upon a time, white tigers that roamed the wilds.. until man eliminated them from their native lands. These very same people cite the rhetoric that captive breeding programs by non AZA facilities is not conservation, without doing one bit of research. Yes, the gene pool is small but all big cats have a small gene pool due to teetering on the brink of extinction for so long. Also a lot of endangered species, such as the Asian Leopard are not listed on the AZA created SSP (remember the AZA is the Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums and not a governing body and they created the SSP which is known as the Species Survival Program) and they only have on there what they have availability to breed in their member zoo’s. So if we listened to the un informed general public that has no idea what is truly happening there would be a lot more species disappear from the face of the earth. In fact the Eastern Cougar is now declared extinct right here in the US. 

And again I will address the fact that they argue that most cats here in the US are not pure and their roots cannot be traced back to the wild. That is absurd because they ALL originated from the wild and not being able to trace their roots simply means (and they are citing this without understanding the reason behind it) that they are no listed in an AZA stud book. As far as the lines not being pure they mean that species such as a Bengal Tiger has been bred with a Siberian, etc…which are different sub species. Well, again I will address the fact that here in the US our own government did in fact breed two different sub species in order to save a species. They did it with the Florida Panther and the Grey Wolf of Yellowstone. But none of your anti captive exotic advocates have bothered to research these facts. 

I post only facts and can back every word I write with documentation. My hope is that one day the world will sit up and listen before it is too late and if just one person that is touting about how they think they know so much about genetics of these cats reads this and learns and does their own investigation, instead of taking everything they read on the internet as gospel… my job is complete! 

Spike the main man!

Spike the main man!

About the Author
Vera is a sixth generation Native Floridian and born in the small community of Arcadia Florida. She has been a Barrel racer,making it to the NBHA national finals for 3 years in a row. She was the President in the Potowattomie County Humane Society, Shawnee Oklahoma 1983. She is a Veterinary Technician and in the veterinary medical field for over thirty nine years, starting by volunteering in Ft. Lauderdale at Three Oaks Animal Hospital for OJT at the tender age of 13 years. She has had a Life time of working and living with all species of animals, domestic and exotic. She holds an Associates in Animal Science. Vera also is an active member of the FCF (Feline Conservation Federation - ) and accredited by the FCF as a Wildlife Educator, as well as licensed by the state of Florida as a wildlife rehabilitator

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