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UNTAMED CATS

UNTAMED CATS
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Why do tigers live alone?
Tigers have their own territories and generally interact only during mating season. A male will leave his territory in search of females but then will return after the season ends. If tigers encounter each other when it is not mating season, they will try to defend their own territories. A female tiger will interact with other tigers when she is protecting her cubs. 

Tigers  live in dense jungles where lines of sight are short and it’s much easier to lie in wait for an ambush or creep up within pouncing distance without being seen. A group of tigers hunting together would just increase the likelihood of spooking their prey and, unlike some cats, tigers don’t have the stamina for a prolonged chase, so they normally abandon an attack if they are spotted too early.

Except for a mother and her cubs, tigers live and hunt alone. But that does not mean they are not social. Scent marks and visual signposts, such as scratch marks, allow tigers to track other tigers in the area and even identify individuals. A female tiger knows the other females whose territories abut hers; in many cases, a neighbor may be her daughter. 

Females know their overlapping males (and vice versa) and probably know when a new male takes over. All tigers can identify passing strangers. However tigers do get together at times to hunt. Especially when the prey is big like a water buffalo.So, solitary tigers actually have a rich social life; they just prefer to socialize from a distance.

Why would it be so bad if animals like lions, tigers were to go extinct?

There is a natural ecosystem in place in the world. Animals such as tigers, lions are at the top of the food chain. If one were to remove one element of the food chain, the whole ecosystem is affected adversely. The tiger, for example, preys on animals such as wild boar, deer, sambhar deer, and gaur. If the tiger was out of the equation, the population of these animals would increase exponentially. 

This would mean that they now eat a lot more food – plants and vegetation. Now because of that, the forest vegetation would deplete and the habitat of smaller animals and insects would be in danger. The insects will now move on to farmland crops to survive and they will, in turn, damage crops. This will adversely affect human food resources.This is just the ecological aspect. 

There are a lot of other implications such as economic impacts, co-extinction of dependent species, climate change. The extinction of one animal can change everything. There were thick forests in the Sahara region. When tigers and large cats were hunted to extinction this is exactly what happened and now the whole area is a desert.  

Can special licenses be obtained for keeping wild/exotic animals as pets?

The private possession in India of endangered cats listed under Schedules 1 and 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act is prohibited unless the person has a certificate of ownership for a wild animal he or she possessed at the commencement of the Act in 1972. Trade involving these animals is also prohibited under the Act. Considering that it is 2016 now , the chances of these animals still being alive is almost impossible which makes most elephant owners  criminals under this law. An animal shelter or a zoo can get special permissions but that is all.

Is a feral cat the same as a stray cat?
No, feral cats are not the same as stray cats. Stray cats are used to human contact and they are either lost or have been abandoned. Feral cats, on the other hand, are not used to human contact and shy away, or are fearful of humans. Stray cats may be reunited with their families or be adopted by someone else but feral cats won’t be pets. 

Why do tigers live alone?

Tigers have their own territories and generally interact only during mating season. A male will leave his territory in search of females but then will return after the season ends. If tigers encounter each other when it is not mating season, they will try to defend their own territories. A female tiger will interact with other tigers when she is protecting her cubs. Tigers  live in dense jungles where lines of sight are short and it’s much easier to lie in wait for an ambush or creep up within pouncing distance without being seen. A group of tigers hunting together would just increase the likelihood of spooking their prey and, unlike some cats, tigers don’t have the stamina for a prolonged chase, so they normally abandon an attack if they are spotted too early.

Except for a mother and her cubs, tigers live and hunt alone. But that does not mean they are not social. Scent marks and visual signposts, such as scratch marks, allow tigers to track other tigers in the area and even identify individuals. A female tiger knows the other females whose territories abut hers; in many cases, a neighbor may be her daughter. Females know their overlapping males (and vice versa) and probably know when a new male takes over. All tigers can identify passing strangers. However tigers do get together at times to hunt. Especially when the prey is big like a water buffalo.So, solitary tigers actually have a rich social life; they just prefer to socialize from a distance.

Why would it be so bad if animals like lions, tigers were to go extinct?

There is a natural ecosystem in place in the world. Animals such as tigers, lions are at the top of the food chain. If one were to remove one element of the food chain, the whole ecosystem is affected adversely. The tiger, for example, preys on animals such as wild boar, deer, sambhar deer, and gaur. If the tiger was out of the equation, the population of these animals would increase exponentially. This would mean that they now eat a lot more food – plants and vegetation. Now because of that, the forest vegetation would deplete and the habitat of smaller animals and insects would be in danger. The insects will now move on to farmland crops to survive and they will, in turn, damage crops. This will adversely affect human food resources.This is just the ecological aspect. There are a lot of other implications such as economic impacts, co-extinction of dependent species, climate change. The extinction of one animal can change everything. There were thick forests in the Sahara region. When tigers and large cats were hunted to extinction this is exactly what happened and now the whole area is a desert.  

Can special licenses be obtained for keeping wild/exotic animals as pets?
The private possession in India of endangered cats listed under Schedules 1 and 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act is prohibited unless the person has a certificate of ownership for a wild animal he or she possessed at the commencement of the Act in 1972. Trade involving these animals is also prohibited under the Act. Considering that it is 2016 now , the chances of these animals still being alive is almost impossible which makes most elephant owners  criminals under this law. An animal shelter or a zoo can get special permissions but that is all.

Is a feral cat the same as a stray cat?
No, feral cats are not the same as stray cats. Stray cats are used to human contact and they are either lost or have been abandoned. Feral cats, on the other hand, are not used to human contact and shy away, or are fearful of humans. Stray cats may be reunited with their families or be adopted by someone else but feral cats won’t be pets. 


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