Organization!

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I am working on organizing all the Wildlife images, which I took between 2001 and 2010. This is a major undertaking which will take me many month.

But one of the rewards of this -sometime tedious – work is that I find some good images I have never published before. Here is one of them. Three Cheetah cubs watching their mum going off to hunt.

Precious 🙂

Growing Fast!

Our four small Lion subs are growing up fast. But they are still the favorites for most of the Thanda guests 🙂

For the first time!

Today I saw the new Lion cubs of the Thanda North Pride for the first time.

The first-time-mom allowed us a few minutes of looking at the four cubs before she led them into thick bush.

Picture of the Week 18 – Climb!

Small Cheetahs – as all other small cats – love to climb. Once they grow up it is much harder to get onto trees with their “semi-retractable” claws. These claws are designed like spikes to aid fast acceleration.

Nevertheless, in the picture below an adult male Cheetah climbed a low branch for a better look around in the morning mist.

Enjoy the pictures 🙂

For more Cheetah images go to http://www.sperka.biz/cheetah

Picture of the Week 17 – Smack!

These two Cougars cubs were smacking their lips when I took the picture(s).

This picture is a merger of two almost identical images with one of the cubs smacking the lips in the one picture and the other in the another picture.

The picture series was taken at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

More about Cougars:

The Cougar (Puma concolor), also known as puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount or panther, depending on the region, is a mammal of the family Felidae, native to the Americas. This large, solitary cat has the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America.

Although large, the cougar is most closely related to smaller felines and is closer genetically to the domestic cat than to true lions. While it is a large predator, it is not always the dominant species in its range, as when it competes for prey with other predators such as the jaguar, grey wolf, American Black Bear, and the grizzly bear. It is a reclusive cat and usually avoids people.

For more Cougar pictures go to http://www.sperka.biz/cougar

Three days old!

This video shows two litters of Clouded Leopard cubs, which were born in February and March this year at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.

Two of them were 3 days old and the other two were one month old at the time I recorded this video. Enjoy the cubs!

For more images of Clouded Leopards at Nashville Zoo at Gassmere go to http://www.sperka.biz/cloudedleopard

From the Nashville Zoo Press Release:

Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the births of two litters of clouded leopards. On Feb. 13, Lom Choy and her mate Luk welcomed two cubs, one male and one female. On March 11, Jing Jai and her mate Arun also welcomed a male and female pair. Both sets of parents are housed off-exhibit, and the cubs are being hand-reared together. In the coming weeks, a female clouded leopard cub born March 8 at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. will arrive to join Nashville’s four. The Zoo plans to place all five on public exhibit this summer. A specific date will be announced soon.

Introducing clouded leopards to potential mates is difficult due to the cat’s reclusive disposition. Male clouded leopards are often aggressive and have been known to attack and kill potential female partners. To reduce fatal attacks, cubs are hand-raised and introduced to mates at a young age. Since 2009, 11 cubs have been born at Nashville Zoo’s off-exhibit facility.

CAPTIVE and WILD

Captive and Wild – Lion Cubs

I was preparing this collage for one of my PowerPoint presentations and I thought I share it with all of you.  It is not easy to identify which of the pictures was taken in the wild and which was taken in captivity. Have a guess yourself. I will publish the correct answer with next week’s Picture of the Week!

I will give my CAPTIVE and WILD Presentation three times in February. You are welcome if you like to come to any of the events.
> February 6, 2012 – Paducah Photography Club, Broadway Church of Christ, 2820 Jefferson St., Paducah, Kentucky, USA – 6:30pm
> February 7, 2012 – Northwest Tennessee Photography Club, UT Martin Campus Library, Martin, Tennessee, USA – 6:30pm
> February 13, 2012 – Murfreesboro Art League, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA – 7:00pm

Picture of the Week 45 – Warm Up

This week’s picture is of four Cheetah cubs looking straight into my camera at sunrise on a cold winter morning.

The picture was taken at on Mziki Marsh, my favorite area on Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

About Cheetahs:
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized cat inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only cat with semi-retractable claws. Cheetahs achieve by far the fastest land speed of any living animal – between 110 and 120 km/h (70 and 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and have the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.

Females give birth after a gestation period of ninety to ninety-eight days. The average  litter size is three to five. Cubs are born with a downy underlying fur on their necks, called a mantle. This gives them a Mohawk-type appearance. This fur is shed as the cheetah grows older. It has been speculated this mane gives a Cheetah cub the appearance of the honey badger, to scare away potential aggressors. Cubs leave their mother between thirteen and twenty months after birth. Life span is up to twelve years in the wild, but up to twenty years in captivity. Unlike males, adult females are  solitary and tend to avoid each other.

For more Cheetah pictures go to www.sperka.biz/cheetah