Big Cat Quick Guide
Often times, the term "big cats" only includes tigers, lions, leopards (panthers) and jaguars. However, many people also include cheetahs and cougars (aka mountain lions, pumas) as big cats.
It's estimated that in the United States alone, there are about 15,000 tigers, lions, leopards and other species of big cats are kept as exotic pets.
Leopards can be found living naturally in Asia, Africa and even in Southern Europe, and are the third largest member of the big cat family, just after tigers and lions. They are extremely strong for their size, able to carry large prey up trees, where they can be eaten in safety from lions and hyenas.
Just like human finger prints, each leopard has a totally unique pattern of spots.
Black leopards are often called "black panthers". When mating a male leopard with a lioness, the offspring are called "leopons". However, breeding "lipards" (male lion, female leopard) haven't been successful, likely due to the fact that female leopards aren't big enough to carry offspring as large as a lion's. Mating leopards and pumas has brought some success with the cubs refereed to as "pumpers".
While tigers are only found in Asia, they can be found naturally in a wide range of conditions ranging from the cold of Siberia (Siberian tiger) to the tropical rain forests of Bangladesh and India, and can live in almost any climate.
Tigers are ambush hunters, using their orange coat with black stripes for camouflage in forests. Tigers are excellent swimmers and truly enjoy a dip in the water.
Tigers are an endangered species. The number of tigers living in the wild has dramatically declined from about 100,000 in 1900, to only about 6,000 today.
Male tigers average 500 pounds
Are about 40" high at the shoulder
They average 7 to 9 feet from tip to tip
They live 15-20 years.
The tiger is the largest cat, with the largest tiger being the Amur Tiger.
Lions are the only cats to live in family groups, known as prides, which will have any where from 5 to 40 members. Most prides consist of 1-3 male lions, with the rest being made up from related females.
Unlike most other big cats which live in forests or jungles, lions live in wide open spaces of the African savanna, or grasslands.
Male lions average 400 pounds
Are 3 feet (36 inches) at the shoulder
Average 6 to 8 feet long, from tip to tip
Live 15-20 years.
Jaguars are the largest cat found in the western hemisphere and are found throughout South and Central America. Jaguars have the strongest teeth and jaws (and bite force) of any cat, and rely on their strength more than speed. They prey on small rodents, deer, turtles and caiman. Like tigers, they also love water and will often swim. Due to a smaller larynx, jaguars don't "roar".
Preservation of the jaguar is tough from a political point of view, as the range of the jaguar spans at least 18 counties, most of which have no laws protecting it. In the 1940s, Jaguars became extinct in the United States, but have recently been reported in Southern Arizona. But there is some good news...More than 60 years after becoming extinct in the southwestern United States, jaguars have recently been sighted again in southern Arizona.
Big Cats as Exotic Pets
In the 1960s and 70s, it became "cool" for the wealthy to keep big cats as pets. At that time, it was perfectly legal to own a big cat and no special licenses or permits were required.
Back in the 60's/70's I'm sure that people used to keep these exotic pets without any kind of license and it wasn't illegal back then. Big Cats were once kept as pets by the rich and famous. Since then, 19 U.S. states have banned the owning of big cats and other dangerous animals.
However, in the remaining states, it is amazing easy to obtain big cats as pets, with the sad part being reportedly that 98% of big cats obtained as pets will die with in two years, with many others given to zoos or sanctuaries.
Big Cat Wildlife Tours:
Wildlife Travel: Mountain Lions
Wildlife Travel: Jaguars
Wildlife Travel: Cheetahs
Wildlife Travel: Tigers
Wildlife Travel: Lions
Wildlife Travel: Leopards
Big Cats in the Newz:
First Ever Census Of Jaguars Completed; New Technique Could Determine Accurate Population Of Big Cat
a team of scientists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society has completed the first-ever census of one of the world's most elusive big cats the jaguar.
Why a suggestion not to tranquillise the wild cat was rejected?
The case of the leopard's death at Sindhi Vihir village near Khapri-Thana has snowballed into a major controversy, with representatives of many NGOs deciding to form a committee to investigate into the alleged negligence
A new breed of cat that retails for $22,000
Developed by crossing two exotic feline bloodlines -- the African serval and the Asian leopard cat -- with a regular old domestic cat, the Ashera has leopardlike spots and contrasting tiger stripes
It is thought that cheetah promiscuity must provide an evolutionary benefit to the species that offsets the associated risks to the female from predation...
Cool Swimming Tiger Pics
Six years old, and at the prime of his life, Odin lives at the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Zoo in Vallejo, near San Francisco. He is about 10ft long from nose to tail, and is an excellent swimmer.
Caution urged after sightings of pumas
Three mountain lion sightings in the past two weeks have prompted Danville police to ask that residents use caution around their home and in nature...All of the recent sightings have come in parts of town with few people, and they were not all confirmed as mountain lions.
Wall of Big Cat Videos:
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