This picture was taken by a guest who was on a tour I led at Serenity Springs Wildlife Center. Here I’m playing with Willy, a Siberian Tiger that retired from show business. He loves to play a stalking game with some of the volunteers and it is a joy to have this interaction with him.
Siberian Tigers are also known as Amur Tigers and though their territory used to extend from the Northeast coast of Russia all the way to the boarder of China and Mongolia they are now only found along the coastal region. The last population survey done indicated that there are fewer than 400 of these magnificent animals left in the wild. Those that do remain are under intense pressure from poachers for their pelts and bones which are used in Chinese Medicine. The current kill rate is estimated to be about thirty per year, maybe more. Habitat loss and illegal hunting of their primary prey are also having an impact on their survival.
Most recent surveys show that of the five remaining tiger species still in existence in the wild, their total population equals approximately 3000.
It is likely that without dramatic changes in human behavior, all 3000 will be gone by 2035.
Costa Rica Bans Sport Hunting
Costa Rica just became the first country in Latin America to ban hunting for sport. Costa Rica’s Congress voted unanimously on Monday to approve the ban, which will protect the country’s wildlife – including several species of native big cats. Any hunters caught breaking the new law will face jail time or hefty fines.
Australia Bans Lion Trophies
Last month, Australia became the world’s first country to ban the import or export of lion trophies, often taken from so-called canned hunting where lions are raised solely to be shot by foreign hunters.
“These new rules mean that if you go overseas and engage in the appalling act of canned hunting, you can forget about bringing your lion trophies back to Australia,” said Greg Hunt, Australia’s Environment Minister. “You don’t deserve the right to celebrate the slaughter of these amazing creatures.”
Lions have been decimated across Africa due to habitat loss, prey decline, human-lion conflict, snaring, poaching, poisoning, and, some conservationists argue, legal hunting. Today some 20,000-40,000 lions roam the continent, down from 100,000 a half century ago. The situation has become so dire that some conservationists believe all remaining lion populations should be fenced in. Even more worryingly the West African lion–a distinct subspecies—is down to just 250 animals but, at least a few years ago, was still legally hunted in some countries.
Lions have also become increasingly targeted for their bones and body parts, as substitutes for tiger parts in Asia. The species is currently classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.
Anna Breytenbach Helps Abused Black Leopard
The black leopard Spirit, shown in the video below, was rescued from a zoo that had been abusing him. Because of the treatment he received there, he was unable to trust humans and growled at anyone who would come near his cage. The couple running the big cat rescue that became Spirit’s new home had no idea how to gain his trust, though they had always had great success in dealing with other big cats. At a loss, they brought in an animal communicator, Anna Breytenbach, to see if she could communicate with Spirit and make him feel more at ease in his new surroundings.
Breytenbach is based in the Western Cape, South Africa, and she has been practicing animal communication for twelve years across multiple continents. She studied this skill at the Assisi International Animal Institute in California, and has worked with numerous types of animals ranging from large cats like Spirit to elephants. Her mission is to deepen the relationship between animals and humans while also raising awareness of the true nature of animals. Her methods of communication with animals are extremely subtle; as you will see in the video below, she only needed to look at Spirit to form an understanding of him as a creature as well as to learn about his troubled past.
On her website, Breytenbach explains how her form of telepathic communication works:
“Energetic preparation and intentional connection with the animal happens first. Information is then received in the form of thoughts, ideas, words, images, sensations in the body, sounds in the mind, emotions, sudden knowings, etc. It is possible to have any sensory experience telepathically. Whilst the actual mechanism for this is unknown, various investigative sciences (e.g. new physics) attribute it to an aspect of the energy that animates all matter. Thoughts and emotions, too, have a very real electromagnetic energetic consequence that can be perceived. In practice, the key to receptivity lies in intention – which is as much a matter of the heart as it is of the mind.”
While it may be hard for some to believe that Breytenbach actually achieves telepathic communication with animals, the interaction that she has with Spirit is undeniably powerful. The video below is thirteen minutes long, but we at SF Globe were riveted by every single second. This story is undoubtedly worth watching from beginning to end. Seeing Breytenbach interact with Spirit is truly one of the most remarkable interactions we have ever seen between a human and an animal.