Thursday, 30 October 2008
Snowstorm leopard Image: Steve Winter/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008
Steve Winters winning image of a snow leopard on a night-time prowl
In pictures: Images from Wildlife Photographer of the Year
A picture of an elusive snow leopard on a night-time prowl has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 award.
Steve Winters image was captured during a 13-month quest to snap the perfect photo of the endangered species in its hostile habitat high in the mountains of Central Asia.
Speaking about his winning snap, Mr Winter said: “I was thrilled to have finally captured the shot I had dreamed of – a wild snow leopard in its true element.”
The competition, now in its 44th year, is run by BBC Wildlife magazine and Londons Natural History Museum.
The panel of judges spent months shifting through more than 32,350 entries before deciding on the winners.
“Everything comes together in this striking picture,” said judge Mark Carwardine on Mr Winters image.
“The drama of the snow, the mystery of the darkness, the posture of the rarely photographed snow leopard and the intriguing composition.”
On Christmas Day, the same day the tragic tiger event happened at the San Francisco Zoo, a horrific story seemed to fall through the cracks.
Tiger Found Shot To Death in Dallas, TX, the same day an escaped tiger in California kills one teenager and mauls two others.
By DAVID SCHECHTER / WFAA-TV DALLAS – Sanitation crews in Dallas made a shocking discovery after they received a call about a dead animal on Christmas Day.
A female Bengal tiger was found dead when the crews searched a wooded area near Interstate 35E and Overton Road. A city spokesperson said the tiger was shot several times. The animal, which was declawed and wearing a make-shift leash, was taken to the Dallas Zoo.
A necropsy, the animal version of an autopsy, was completed at the zoo early Thursday evening. The tiger was estimated to be around one-year-old and weighed about 180 pounds. Shell casing were found in the tiger’s chest and face. In all, there were five bullet entries. Chuck Siegel, deputy director of the Dallas Zoo, said he believes the tiger may have become more than the owner could handle.
“I find it very, very disturbing to see the nature of the collar-leash, which looks more like a bicycle cable than anything else,” he said. “And this rusted wire, which is tangled around the leash, is obviously very hazardous.”
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the United States Department of Agriculture are investigating the incident and searching for the owner of the tiger.
***BIG CAT RESCUE IS OFFERING A $5,000.00 REWARD FOR INFORMATION RESULTING IN THE ARREST AND CONVICTION OF THE PERSON OR PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING THE FEMALE TIGER WHO WAS FOUND SHOT TO DEATH IN DALLAS, TEXAS ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
EMAIL INFO AT: INFO@BIGCATRESCUE.ORG
No one knows for sure how many tigers are in private hands in the US because no agency tracks that information other than Big Cat Rescue and we can only do so by gathering information from public reports.
Experts agree that the number could be as few as 5,000 up to as many as 15,000, but what we all agree on is that there should be mandatory reporting to protect the public and the animals.
At the time of this incident there are only 1,200 to 1,500 tigers left in the wild and they are being poached at a rate of one per day. None of the tigers bred in captivity are candidates for repopulating the wild however because there is no habitat for them. Until the human population explosion in their native range is brought under control there is no reason to be breeding tigers in captivity.
—>$5,000 Reward Big Cat Rescue (Another $2,000 has been added to the reward from another group)
According to reports on Big Cat Rescue, several captive big cat incidents happened in just the last few months.
The Dallas Christmas killing seems to be a case of the owner killing his overgrown pet.
- In sanctuaries tigers have lived more than 26 years, as compared to 15 in the wild. Tigers only live 10-12 years in zoos.
- Last year alone, there were more than 210 million wild animals imported to the United States for zoos, exhibitions, food, research, game ranches and pets.
- Many carry infectious diseases that can jump to humans (Zoonotic), including
- Hanta virus
- West Nile fever
- Bolivian hemorrhagic fever
- Herpes B virus (extremely dangerous to humans)
- H5N1 bird flu virus
- Mystery diseases
- 50 million people worldwide have been infected with zoonotic diseases since 2000 and as many as 78,000 have died.
- Five of the six diseases the CDC regards as top threats to national security are zoonotic.
A wild animal will be in the bush, and in less than a week it’s in a little girl’s bedroom,” said Darin Carroll, a disease hunter with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The exponential growth of the human population, from 1 billion in 1900 to 6.5 billion in 2006, has led to major ecologic changes and drastic wildlife habitat reduction. Many examples of the emergence or reemergence of zoonoses related to human encroachment on wildlife habitats exist, including tuberculosis.
There are about 10,000 exotic cats living in captivity in this country, bought and sold through this exotic animal trade.—and remember, less than 5,000 are left in the wild!
There are more tigers in backyards across this country than in all the zoos together. The exotic animal trade is a 17 Billion dollar a year industry second to drugs and weapons
Exotic Cat owners fight back with their side
Don’t hesitate to chime in, my friends.
Though no truly accurate global numbers exist, conservationists estimate that 5,000 tigers remain in the wild. About 150 years ago, 100,000 tigers may have roamed throughout much of Asia, according to some estimates.
The Tiger Farms of China-where tigers are bred and slaughtered.
Warning! Graphic photos!
–>Tiger Farm Media Kit For Journalists
This video contains a selection of tiger farm images from the Xiongsen Bear
and Tiger Mountain village in Guilin, China. Farms like these are selling tiger bone wine and other products, and lobbying for the lifting of a 14-year ban on trade in tiger parts that would re-ignite demand for tiger parts that could jeopardize wild tiger populations. Tigers raised on these farms are weak and malnourished, kept in cages from birth to death. Poaching wild tigers is a lot less expensive than raising these farmed animals, and if the ban on the trade is lifted, it’ll be like declaring open season on wild tigers.
Images are from the International Tiger Coalition and may be freely used to illustrate any articles or reports on the issue, but please give appropriate credit to Save The Tiger Fund.
Stockpiles of Dead Tigers Should be Destroyed, Experts Urge China
27 July 2007, Beijing – Disturbing new images of tiger carcasses piled
up in cold storage at one of Chinas largest “tiger farms” raise
questions about enforcement of tiger trade bans in effect in China and internationally.
Sadly, tigers are killed for their skins and also for their body parts.
There is the belief in traditional chinese medicines that body parts from the tiger can be used as an ingredient to cure certain ailments.
None of this has been proven.
We need to stop the death of this magnificent creature NOW, as it is the guardian of the forest, along with those who depend on the forest for their lives.
We do not need to eat tiger penis soup, drink tiger bone wine, or wear tiger skins to show we are wealthy.
A tiger a day is being killed in the wild.
HARBIN, June 17 (Xinhua) — Eighty-four cubs of Siberian tiger, one of the most endangered animals in the world, have been born since March this year at a breeding center in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province.
The Siberian tiger breeding center plans to train and release 620 Siberian tigers into the wild in the future, according to Liu Dan, an official with the Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Center.
Editor: Yao Siyan
The breeding center also expects 20 to 30 more cubs to be born by October.
Xinhua – English
New Threat faces Wild Tiger Populations from Re-Opening of Trade in Tiger Parts
Science Daily – The Hague — In the cover story of this months BioScience journal, leading tiger experts warn that if tigers are to survive, governments must stop all trade in tiger products from wild and captive-bred sources, as well as ramp up efforts to conserve the species and their habitats. The paper, “The Fate of Wild Tigers,” describes the wild tigers population decline as “catastrophic” and urges international cooperation to ensure the animals continued existence in the wild.
Habitat loss and intense poaching of tigers and their prey, combined with inadequate government efforts to maintain tiger populations, have resulted in a dramatic reduction in tiger numbers. These big cats now occupy just 7 percent of their historical range, according to the BioScience paper. And the possibility that China could reopen trade in parts harvested from farmed tigers represents a new threat, the authors say.
ScienceDaily: Viable Tiger Populations, Tiger Trade Incompatible
Four decades ago, approximately 4,000 South China tigers lived in the wild. Today there are only about 30. An additional 64 live in 19 zoos in China.
The tigers are in more danger of extinction than China’s most famous animal, the giant panda, according to Cai Qinhui, chief veterinarian of Guangzhou Zoo in southern China’s Guangdong Province. China’s Tigers.
Li Quan, a native of Beijing, former head of Gucci’s worldwide licensing business, founded –>Save China’s Tigers, in 2000. Photos of Li Quan, and her Chinese Tigers in South Africa
Fascinating Photos from Save China’s Tigers website. How interesting, these Chinese tigers actually have slanted eyes. Or am I imagining it?
Do You Know Who Painted these Tigers?
My pair of wonderful Japanese paintings on Silk.
Three Tigers, two on one, and a magnificent male on the other.
They stalk you right out of a bamboo jungle.
Though perhaps they will not eat you. Right away.
First Image, the pair of silk paintings together: (These will be ‘LightBoxed’, so just click on the thumbnail and a lightbox will popup. Then click on either side of image to go forward or back, or scroll down to bottom to close. These are Large Graphics for detail-might take a long time to load.)
I posted these photos of my pair of Japanese Silk Paintings to assist in identifying the artist.
What we know so far:
- Purchased in 1965 from a dealer on Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, California.
- Soldier brought them back from Japan after WWII.
- The pair are on silk panels, with real gold paint, size 18 inches by 56 inches. ( 45.72 cm x 142.24 cm)
- The silk panels were originally mounted on paper scrolls, which fell apart from age. They are now unmounted.
- Two opinions from ‘Antique Experts’:
- Early 1900’s, by either “Kazan”, or “The Artist who Paints Tigers”, approximate value in 1999 – $4,500 to $5,500.
- The silk pattern on the photos of the signatures is a type of silk made after 1920.
- The ‘chop’ or the hanko is ‘Yokoyama Kazan’, but it is unlikely that he was the actual artist.
- Comparison of the artists styles mentioned above does not match the style of these paintings.
- So, it is possible that these were actually painted by an artist in post-WWII Japan, with the use of the signatures to boost the value of the paintings in those hard times.
Please DON’T recommend I contact a museum, gallery or an auction house to ask one of their experts about the paintings, or to help me identify the artist. None of them have responded to my repeated requests for assistance. I believe it is beyond their capability.
My LinkedIn connection, David Lucas, has helped me identify the signature as “Kazan”, but shares my opinion that that artist could not have painted these. He suggested I ask the LinkedIn network to assist us in solving this intriguing mystery. As he wrote me:
Although the hanko is Yokoyama Kazan, it is unlikely to be his painting for a few reasons. First and foremost it is a war-era work, possibly post-war, and too many painters copied these paintings and styles, especially to sell to American soldiers. Signatures and hanko were also copied liberally.
I don’t mean cheap whipped-out copies, but serious painters from great schools who did these copies to make a living post-war, some of whom studied with the masters from the late 1800’s and were still working post-WW2.
They’re still worth good money as excellent paintings, but they’re murder to attribute to anyone accurately.
You present an intriguing mystery, though, and everyone loves a mystery!
Put out a public question on LinkedIn–‘Are there any East Asian art experts on LinkedIn?’ And post the photo in a link to your question, and see what we get.
Keep me posted, I’m addicted already.
The pair of paintings are truly magnificent. I do need to raise funds right now, and any assistance in identifying the artist will help me get them valued by providing the missing provenance.
I believe only Japanese will be able to do this. So any Japanese LinkedIns please examine these images closely, ask your parents or grandparents if they recognize the artist’s style. That will probably be the only way to identify the artist at this point.
Another possibillty would be if someone has a similar painting in their collection, with possibly a better idea of who the artist was. But the styles have to come very close, and so far none have been found, in any gallery or museum online, so far. I have done extensive searches online as well as in books on art collections in libraries.
Why no experts from museums, auction houses or galleries have responded to my queries?
David’s comment may explain: “They’re still worth good money as excellent paintings, but they’re murder to attribute to anyone accurately.”
I invite you to join us in the Hunt to solve the Mystery of the Japanese Silk Tigers.
But I repeat: Don’t refer me to auction house, galleries, or museums unless you know an expert there actually from Japan who is Japanese to recommend.
I HAVE ALREADY BEEN THERE, done that, searched and queried every one that deals in Oriental Art. I even fruitlessly scoured the Chinese museums and galleries for a possible Chinese artist, etc., since the style and the signatures share similarities.
So Please. Don’t waste our time, yours or mine.
You can contact me through LinkedIn, or leave a comment here. To comment on this blog does require registration with a real email address, but your email address will not be revealed on this blog.
I hope you enjoy these Japanese Silk Tigers as much as I have. We used to have them in a small library with a red light on them at night. They looked like they were coming right at you out of a bamboo jungle.