Did You Know? (Animal Facts)

That the biggest threat to wild tigers is poaching for the Asian medicine market?

That in the year 1900 the estimated world wild tiger population was 100,000 animals?

That the most recent wild tiger population estimate is 3,890? Their numbers have decreased by 95% in the last 110 years. In recent years the population has increased by a very small amount, which is good news, but there is a lot more work to be done.

That tiger habitat losses are estimated to be 93% in that same amount of time?

That the wild Amur (Siberian) tiger population is estimated to be less than 350 animals? Wild Siberian tigers are more endangered than wild giant pandas.

That the biggest long term threat to wild tigers is habitat loss and depletion of their natural prey?

That a male lion's mane is for protection as well as show? Male lions fight for territory and breeding priveleges. Their manes protect their necks during fights. Currently at Bear Creek we have 4 African lions.

That male lions will form coalitions to take over existing prides? Their chances are better that way.

That lion prides are made up of related females, who coordinate to hunt. Male lions don't hunt unless they have to.

That lions and tigers don't purr? Cougars are the largest cats that can purr. Tigers make a noise called "chuffing" that can be mistaken for purring. Chuffing is how tigers say "hello".

That a cougar can jump 18 feet straight up from a standstill?

Why cougars can purr? Their hyoid (throat) bone has cartilage in it, which makes it flexible enough to purr. (Like a house cat.) Large cats have a solid hyoid bone, which enables them to roar, but isn't flexible enough for them to purr. While cougars are very large, they are scientifically classified as small cats.

That servals have long necks and long legs to see over the grasslands where they live in Africa? They have giant ears that swivel like radar towers to locat their prey. Servals have the longest leg length to body size ratio of any cats.

That you can hear a wolf howl from 6 miles away?.

That timber or gray wolves are the largest wild canids (dogs) and are the ancestors to domestic dogs? A timber wolf can weigh up to 130 pounds.

That it is illegal to own a wolf or a wolf-dog mix in Ontario without a permit? These animals are smart, strong, and difficult (or impossible) to train. Wolves don't make good pets!

That red foxes aren't always red? They can be white, silver gray, black, blue, or any combination of those colours.

That grapes and raisins are poisonous to all wolves, foxes and dogs? Please don't feed grapes or raisins to your dogs!

That male emus incubate their eggs? They don't eat or drink while they do, and care for the babies for up to 8 months. Emus originate in Australia.

Great horned owls are the only animal that will eat a skunk because they have no sense of smell. (The owl, not the skunk!)

That avocados, cherry pits, chocolate and caffeine are poisonous to parrots? That includes macaws, cockatoos, cockatiels, lovebirds and parakeets.

That monkeys are stronger than they look? Some scientists estimate that a full grown chimpanzee is 10 times stronger than an adult man. All primates are strong and extremely intellegent and don't make good pets