Texas man wanders into abandoned home to smoke weed, finds large tiger

A fellow who walked into an abandoned home in Houston, Texas to smoke weed was surprised to see a caged tiger in the garage. Fortunately, he called police.

"We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger," said Sgt. Jason Alderete of the Houston Police Department's Major Offenders, Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit.

From KTRK:

The tiger was found in a "rinky-dink" cage in the garage, which was not locked, police said. The garage was secured with a screwdriver and a nylon strap, according to police.

"A pretty small cage inside basically a garage in a house that didn't look like it was in the best shape. So it was important that we get it out of that situation," Lara Cottingham, with the city of Houston, said.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the tiger will be moved today to a wildlife refuge. Read the rest

China reinstates ban on using tiger and rhino parts in traditional medicine

After the whole damn planet declared its disgust with China's lifting the ban on using tiger bones and rhino horn in medicine, the Chinese government has decided to back peddle on its declaration: using the exotic, endangered animals bits and pieces will remain off limits to the world of eastern medicine.

From The New York Times:

Making a rare concession, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said that it had decided to postpone an order made last month to undo a 25-year ban on the trade.

“The Chinese government has not changed its stance on wildlife protection and will not ease the crackdown on illegal trafficking and trade of rhinos, tigers and their byproducts,” Ding Xuedong, a top official with the council, said in remarks published in the state-run news media on Monday.

I'm having a hard time believing that anything to do with any government would be good news this year, but here we are.

It is worth noting, however, that the Chinese ban on slapping bones and horn into medicine isn't permanent. It could be rescinded at any point in the future. However, as The New York Times points out, China's working hard to sort out a greater share of respect on the world stage. Not murdering rare animals for their bits and pieces? That's an easy win.

Now if we could just get them to knock off the shit they're pulling with Muslims in their nation, we'll be getting somewhere.

Image by Soumyajit Nandy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link Read the rest

There could be as many as 7000 tigers living in American backyards

If school shootings, the former leader of the free world's alienation of long-time allies in favor of getting cozy with dictators, or the systematic destruction of the environment and the norms of human decency aren't enough to keep you awake at night, this ought to do it: America may have a tiger problem. In many states, no one has a clue of how many tigers are being kept as pets or in private animal sanctuaries.

From the BBC:

Taj was a four-month-old tiger cub when purchased at a Texas truck stop by the driver of an 18-wheeler lorry. But after Taj began tearing up the truck's cab, the driver contacted Austin Zoo to get the animal off his hands. The zoo now looks after the fully grown 17-year-old Bengal tiger male.

Taj is one of as many as 7,000 tigers living in the US either in zoos or privately owned, according to some estimates. That's nearly double the estimated 3,890 tigers still prowling in the wild around the world.

Tigers. Being sold at truck stops.

To be fair, given the number of calories, sugar and sodium in a single 52-ounce refill of Coca Cola available at any Flying J travel center, an apex predator is pretty far down the list of dangerous things you can buy at a truck stop these days.

According to the BBC, the biggest problem going, where tigers in America are concerned, isn't that no one has a bead on how many are being kept as pets. Read the rest

Trailcam photos of naked, tripping man who thought he was a tiger

UPDATE: As I had cautioned, The Mirror indeed had its "facts" muddled. According to this October article in Vice, the photos seen here are actually from the woods around the University of Virginia’s Mountain Lake Biological Station. No idea if the fellow was actually tripping or thought he was a Siberian tiger. Shame, as the below story is quite delightful.

Original uncorrected post:

This gentleman from Liberec, Czech Republic was reportedly tripping on LSD to combat depression when he began to hallucinate that he was a Siberian tiger. He then stripped naked and pursued imaginary prey for miles along the Czech-Poland border where he was spotted on trailcams. According to the Mirror, "police said that, because the man did not have any drugs with him, he was only fined and will not face any further charges."

If this story is true, I hope the fellow had fun and that the experience alleviated his depression.

Read the rest

Tiger's whiskers are pulse detectors

Sierra Club magazine discusses "4 Ordinary Animals with Superhero Abilities." (Flight is not included.) My favorite tidbit is about a tiger's whiskers:

They are filled with sensitive nerve endings, which help them detect distances and changes in their surroundings. When tigers hunt, they go for the kill shot: the carotid artery located in the neck. After the tiger’s canines have pierced the artery, the whiskers move forward, encircling the prey’s neck, and determine if the prey’s pulse is gone.

Correction: Contrary to what the Sierra article says, the nerve endings aren't in the whiskers but rather the hair follicles.

"4 Ordinary Animals with Superhero Abilities" Read the rest

Tiger kills Lion

A tiger at Ankara zoo managed to find a gap between its cage and that of a lion, which it attacked and killed. From the BBC: "The tiger severed the lion's jugular vein in a single stroke with its paw, leaving the animal dying in a pool of blood, officials said." Read the rest