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Saving The Big Cats

TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- If we’re not careful, lions and tigers could die out in our lifetime. The big cats are at the top of the food chain and without them, biologists warn other species could come under attack. So what can we do?

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From the jungle to the big screen, “The Last Lions” chronicles the epic journey of a lioness battling to survive with her cubs in Africa. It’s a survival story Jeff Kremer of the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida follows closely.

“If we don’t save the habitat in the wild, we’re going to have no chance to save these species in the wild because there’s not a second chance to go back,” Jeff Kremer, employee at the Big Cat Rescue, in Tampa, Fla. told Ivanhoe.

Home to 115 animals on 55 acres, all have either been abandoned or abused. In the wild the biggest threats to these animals is habitat loss and poaching. Sixty years ago there were close to half a million lions in Africa. Today there are only 23,000. And get this, African lions are the only big cats not protected by the U.S Endangered Species Act. In fact American’s kill more lions for sport than any other country.

“We can all be a voice for these animals, we can make a positive difference, but we have to care,” Jeff Kremer added.

Tiger populations are also at a critical low. Territory markings around this tree trunk used to be a common sight in Africa, but with only 3,200 tigers remaining in the wild, tigers could be extinct in 10 years.

Siberian tigers were nearly wiped out in the 1940s--greatly diminishing the genetic pool for tigers. A recent study of DNA samples of 15 wild Siberian tigers found while there are about 500 Siberian tigers in the wild, the gene pool shows there are only 14.

“There are actually more tigers in the United States now than all of the world in the wild.” Kremer added.

There are actually 5,000 more. Take for example the popular white tiger. For every one born, dozens of others are born the wrong color and cast off.

“If we collectively as a worldwide society work and are diligent we can save a species of living creature on planet earth. If we don’t, we’re at the tipping point,” Kremer concluded.

One you and I will ultimately decide. A petition was filed this year with the U.S government to place African lions on the endangered species list. The decision could take two years. As for tigers, three tiger subspecies have become extinct in the past 70 years. There’s currently a worldwide effort to double the population of the remaining six subspecies by 2022—the next Chinese year of the tiger.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Jeff Kremer
Director of Donor Appreciation
Big Cat Rescue

This Month's TV Reports
Saving The Big Cats

If we’re not careful, lions and tigers could die out in our lifetime. The big cats are at the top of the food chain and without them, other species could come under attack. Find out what you can do to make sure the king of the jungle survives humankind.


Saving The Sea Turtles

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Saving The Great Apes

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Prior Reports
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