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  1. Peritonitis Another possible cause of stomach swelling in dogs, this serious infection is usually caused by puncture or rupture of your dog's stomach or intestine, due to splinters from a bone, ulcers, tumors, or other causes. Peritonitis can also occur if the gallbladder or urinary bladder ruptures. Extremely painful, a dog with peritonitis may be listless, reluctant to move, have a swollen abdomen, or vomit. Shock is likely, so emergency treatment is crucial. Treatment for peritonitis may include intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and pain relief. Surgery will also be necessary to repair the puncture, remove the infected fluids, and flush the abdomen. Cushing's Syndrome A dog with a pot-bellied look may have hyperadrenocorticism, or Cushing's syndrome, a condition caused by the overproduction of the hormone cortisol. More common in dogs 6 years or older, other signs of Cushing's syndrome include eating, drinking, and urinating more, as well as hair loss and increased panting. Cushing's syndrome is usually caused by the pituitary gland overproducing a hormone; less commonly, it is due to a tumor on one of the adrenal glands. There is a newer medication that treats both forms of Cushing’s syndrome. However, surgery can be done to remove the tumor associated with the adrenal form of Cushing’s syndrome. Ascites Ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, often leading to swelling. Ascites can be caused by a wide range of problems, including heart failure, liver disease, kidney problems, or severe intestinal disease. Treatment for ascites varies depending on the condition causing it. Other Causes of Dog Stomach Swelling Stomach swelling in dogs can also result from the dog eating too much all at once, internal bleeding due to trauma or a ruptured mass, intestinal obstruction, or tumors. Severe roundworm infection in puppies can also cause a swollen abdomen. Tips to Prevent Stomach Problems in Your Dog To help prevent stomach problems, be sure to take your dog in for regular checkups so that your vet can keep tabs on the health of your pet's heart, lungs, stomach, bowel, and other organs. A quick exam of your dog's abdomen can also help you recognize some of the signs of stomach trouble. To examine your dog's stomach, feel for tenderness to touch, heat, stickiness, lumps, and of course, swelling. Take your dog to the vet right away if you notice any problems.
  2. Stomach swelling in dogs can be a life-threatening emergency, or it can be as simple as your dog eating too much. To keep your canine companion in good health, it helps to know the signs of dog stomach problems and what you can do when they happen. Dog Stomach Swelling: Common Causes and Treatments Because stomach swelling in dogs can be dangerous, never try to diagnose the cause of your dog's stomach trouble yourself. If your dog's abdomen looks bloated or unusual, get your pet to a veterinary hospital or emergency veterinarian immediately, as timing can be critical. Some causes of stomach swelling in dogs include: Bloat / Gastric Dilation Volvulus Called "the mother of all emergencies," untreated gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) can be fatal to a dog within hours. Bloat happens when gas or food stretch a dog's stomach. GDV happens when the distended stomach rotates, trapping the gas inside, and blocking off the stomach's blood supply. Extremely painful, there doesn't seem to be one cause for GDV, though swallowing air plays a part; heavy exercise after a meal can be a trigger, too. The exact cause of GDV is still debated. A few of the many proposed things that can increase a dog's GDV risk include: Being deep-chested. Breeds like the Great Dane, St. Bernard, and Weimaraner are at the greatest risk for bloat; as a matter of fact, dogs weighing over 99 pounds have a 20% bloat risk. Though rare, small dogs can also suffer from the condition. Feeding your dog only one meal a day Using elevated food/water bowls. A family history of bloat/GDV Eating too quickly Being older; dogs between 7-12 years old are at highest risk. Treating bloat requires immediate emergency care and may include decompressing the stomach (releasing excess gas from the stomach), managing shock, and stabilizing the heart, often followed by surgery once stable. If your dog's abdomen looks swollen or distended, or if your dog seems uncomfortable, don't wait; rush your pet to a veterinary hospital immediately. Preventing bloat is hard because so many things may play a part in causing it, but a few things you can do that may reduce your dog's risk include: Feed your dog two or more meals daily Include canned food Make sure your dog rests after a full meal; no strenuous exercise on a full stomach
  3. Grooming supplies Your pup needs to stay clean and well-groomed, so it is essential to get grooming supplies before your puppy arrives. You need to clean and brush the pup’s coat, trim his nails, and brush his teeth from an early stage. Starting the grooming routine early helps your pup to learn how to behave during the process. Some of the grooming products that you will need include bristle brushes, conditioning spray, shampoo, towels, toothbrush and dog toothpaste, ear cleaning solution, and nail clippers. Food and treats Do not be fooled by your pup’s tiny body size. Puppies have huge appetites and a massive calorie requirement for their growth, so you need to have some food and treats when your pup arrives. The ideal food to get is puppy food like Nutro Wholesome food. Puppy food is much better than general dog food because it contains all the nutrients that your pup needs for a healthy development. Treats, on the other hand, are essential for behavior training and other forms of training. You give the treats to your puppy when he behaves well to condition him into repeating that behavior in the future. Food and water bowls Your pup needs feeding bowls when he gets home. There are many varieties to choose from, but the main ones are plastic, ceramic, glass, and stainless steel. Plastic bowls are the cheapest, but they are light and can harbor bacteria in cracks. If you decide to get plastic bowls, make sure that they are made from hard plastic and replace them immediately you notice signs of wear. Ceramic and glass bowls are heavier and durable if you can keep your pup from breaking them. You should go for dishwasher-safe bowls if you choose to go with glass or ceramic bowls. Stainless steel bowls are the most durable, but they are also a bit pricey. Conclusion: It is essential to get all these items and set them up beforehand so that your pup transitions smoothly to the new surroundings. In addition to getting all these items, you also need to puppy proof your home for the puppy’s safety. Move plant pots and cables out of the way and make sure that no tiny objects are lying around which your puppy might ingest.
  4. You are about to receive your new puppy either from an orphanage or a breeder. You are excited as you prepare for the arrival of a new furry addition to the family, but you are feeling a bit nervous amidst all the excitement. Just like every other new puppy owner, you are not sure of what you will need for your puppy. Getting a puppy does not have to be complicated when you know the right things to get for your pup. Let us look at the items that you should have on your shopping list as you prepare for the puppy’s arrival. Appropriately-sized crate and containment You will need a crate when going to pick up your puppy, so it is essential that you buy it beforehand. Both the crate and containment should be big enough for the puppy to stand, stretch, and turn around. We do not want the puppy to feel like a captive, do we? Since crates and containments come in different sizes and shapes, it is good to know your puppy’s breed and his estimated size. Crates come in different materials like steel, fiberglass, and plastic. Steel crates are durable, but they are not very cozy. Plastic and fiberglass crates replicate a cozy den when outfitted with a warm, soft bed and blanket. Fiberglass and plastic varieties also provide security and safety to your puppy especially when flying or driving. Containments are essential for use in the house where you can confine your puppy for observation. They are also good since they aid in house training a pup. Just like the crate, the containment should be large enough for your puppy to move freely and stretch. Collar/harness and leash It is essential to get a collar or harness and a leash for your puppy when you bring him home. A collar holds the pup’s identification details and attaches to the leash when you want to walk the puppy. The harness serves the same purpose as the collar but takes the stress away from the pup’s neck to prevent trachea injuries that occur when puppies keep yanking at the leash. The leash attaches to either the collar or the leash when you are walking your puppy and during obedience training. The best collar for your puppy is an adjustable light nylon collar with a two-piece buckle. Make sure to fit the collar snugly so that it’s neither too loose to fall off, nor too tight to choke the puppy. You should be able to fit two fingers between your pup’s neck and the collar when your pup wears it. The leash should be well-made and sturdy. The link that attaches to the collar or harness should also be strong. The ideal leash size for walks should be about 4 feet. You will, however, need a longer leash for obedience training. Dog bed Your puppy needs a soft surface to lay his head after a long day of playing and looking cute. You will need to get a small bed for the containment area since that is where your pup will spend most of the time. A fleece or fur dog bed like MidWest Deluxe bed is the best for your puppy since it is warm and cozy. Once your puppy is house trained, you can get a real dog bed or pillows. Keep an eye on the puppy to make sure that he does not chew his beddings. Chewing the beddings might cause intestinal problems in your puppy. Identification Pet identification is essential for your puppy. The primary importance of pet identification is helping find lost pets. The two main types of identification are a microchip and a tag. A microchip is a device the size of a rice grain containing a code which links to a database with your contact details. A vet injects the microchip between your puppy’s shoulder blades to help identify the puppy. In case your pup is lost, a worker at the animal shelter scans the microchip with a handheld device and uses the code to pull your contact information from the database. A tag is a medallion made of plastic or metal with your contact information engraved on it. You can include your name, phone number, and address on the tag. In case your pup gets lost, anyone who finds him can call you and arrange for you to collect the pup. Toys Puppies need toys to entertain them and help them develop. One of the types of toys that you need for your puppy is a non-toxic, chewable rubber toy. Puppies have a strong urge to gnaw at things, and chewable toys help satisfy that urge. Another type of toy that you need to get your pup is a plush animal to provide comfort to your puppy. Puppies can get lonely in their containment areas, and they need some form of company. Plush toys act as companions to your pup so that he does not feel too lonely. Treat dispensing toys are another smart choice of toys for your puppy. Treat dispensing toys play a crucial role in improving your puppy’s intelligence and critical thinking capabilities. You can also get fetching toys like flying discs and balls for your puppy’s entertainment when you take him outdoors.
  5. It’s important to know all the facts about Cushing’s disease. This disease is presently being diagnosed at earlier stages in life. However, a dog should still have some of the symptoms and a low urine specific gravity to consider it. Both Trilostane and Lysodren are detoxed by the liver. In fact, it’s clearly stated that you shouldn’t give Trilostane to a dog who has kidney or liver disease. So there’s no good reason to place an animal with a liver problem and not Cushing’s disease on either of these drugs. I wanted to bring you the very best information on Cushing’s syndrome, I spoke with Dr Rhett Nichols. Dr Nichols is a world renowned expert in endocrinology. He said: “I believe these tests are reliable if used properly. A major point that should be made is that any screening test for any disease should only be applied to a population of animals/people where it is likely they have the disorder based on history, physical exam findings, and lab work. If a screening test is applied to animals where the disorder is unlikely, false positives (outliers) are going to occur. Bottom line? The screening tests are not bad, but their use in certain situations (eg high ALP with no clinical signs, sick animals with no signs consistent with Cushing’s) is questionable.” Holistic Options What if your dog really does have Cushing’s disease? Is there anything holistic you can do? I’ve used homeopathic ACTH with some slight success and Chinese herbs with great success. The most effective Chinese herbs I’ve used, from the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine, are: Rehmannia 11 Rehmannia 14 Ophiopogon Powder Liver Happy You can get these herbal combinations from a variety of Chinese herb companies. [RELATED] There are several natural remedies to help you manage Cushing’s disease in dogs. Find them here. I apologize for the rather clinical disposition of this article. I wanted you to know the facts and understand how the testing procedure for Cushing’s disease works. This info will help save unnecessary expenses and worry. Both pickles and Cushing’s disease can make one thirsty but there’s no need to be in a pickle with Cushing’s. Deva Khalsa VMD Since beginning her holistically oriented veterinary practice over 25 years ago, Dr Deva Khalsa has been incorporating homeopathy, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutritional advice into her practice. She also offers her unique Allergy Elimination 4 Pet technique to naturally reboot your pet's inappropriate immune system responses. She's the author of Dr Khalsa's Natural Dog, now in its second edition.
  6. There’s another misunderstanding called atypical Cushing’s disease. I’m convinced that a dog diagnosed with Cushing’s without corresponding symptoms doesn’t have the disease. While there is such a thing as atypical Cushing’s disease, it’s not what most people think it is. About ten years ago, veterinarians at the Royal Veterinary College in England observed dogs that had all the classical signs of Cushing’s disease. These dogs: Were drinking a lot of water Were urinating a lot Had urine specific gravities below 1.025 Had pot-bellied appearances Showed muscle wasting Had weakness in the hind legs Had ravenous appetites and excessive panting But their Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression test and ACTH Stimulation tests came back normal. And they all got better on Lysodren. So these vets did some excellent research. They found that every dog had an elevated sex steroid called 17-hydroxyprogesterone. This was thought to be a marker or possibly the cause of all the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. Yes, these dogs with atypical Cushing’s disease had all the symptoms of the disease. But in the end a different hormone was causing these symptoms.
  7. Cushing’s disease seems to be on every veterinarian’s mind these days. Because of this, many screening tests are recommended to diagnose Cushing’s disease. These tests are relatively reliable if there are signs and symptoms as well as lab abnormalities. But what if these same tests are used on animals that aren’t showing these signs and symptoms? False positive results can occur. In addition, these tests are done at the veterinary hospital. That has impacts too. The dog is caged and the stress of hospitalization alone may cause a false positive result. Even the suggestion that a dog will wind up at the vet is enough to start the dog’s adrenals working overtime. Because of its sensitivity, many vets consider the Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test the best option. The problem with this test is it gives too many false positive results. As I said before, the stress the dog is undergoing will have a definite influence on the test results. Being locked in a cage and having blood drawn is definitely enough stress to create a false positive. Another test, the ACTH Stimulation Test, is a popular screening test. I can’t tell you why. In general, this kind of test would be used for hypofunction, not hyperfunction, of the adrenal glands. This test misses many animals that have the disorder. I’m talking typically 20% to 30% of dogs with pituitary abnormality and 50% with an adrenal tumor. These tests should only be used when the animal has the clinical signs of the disease. These are all the signs I mentioned above that Spot didn’t have. There’s an excellent test you can do on your dog’s urine called a Cortisol-Creatinine Ratio Test. This test is very useful for ruling out Cushing’s disease; it has an accuracy rate of 90%. The urine has to be taken at home and the dog can’t be stressed out. Don’t even let him know that he might be going to the veterinarian’s office later on that day! When you bring the urine sample for testing, ask the veterinarian to do a urine specific gravity. A urine specific gravity of less than 1.025 is consistent with Cushing’s disease. Dogs with a urine specific gravity greater than 1.025 are less likely to have Cushing’s. By far, the most accurate, safe and effective method of diagnosing Cushing’s disease is the Cortisol Creatinine Ratio on an unstressed urine followed by an ultrasound. So let’s look at this scenario. Spot has none of the signs and symptoms of Cushing’s disease. He has a high alkaline phosphatase. His cortisol creatinine ratio is elevated. What do you do? The best thing to do is find a specialty clinic that has a radiologist who does ultrasounds. Ask for a full abdominal ultrasound and have the doctor check and size both adrenals. If they’re normal in size, and your dog has none of the symptoms, it’s very likely your dog doesn’t have Cushing’s disease.
  8. I wrote this article because Cushing’s disease in dogs is often over-diagnosed. Over-diagnosed is a euphemism for “your dog never had it in the first place.” And that’s a problem. My goal? To give you the facts on how the testing procedure for Cushing’s disease works and what exactly vets are looking for. This should help save unnecessary expenses and worry. So it’s important that we fully understand this disease. What Is Cushing’s Disease In Dogs? Cushing’s disease is an endocrine disorder of middle aged and older dogs. It’s the result of the overproduction of cortisone by the adrenal glands. These are tiny glands the size of a pea located on each kidney. Normally, your dog’s pituitary responds to stress by producing something called ACTH. This stimulates his adrenals to produce more cortisol/cortisone. In Cushing’s disease, really high levels of cortisone hormone are produced continually. Cushing’s disease results from three possible situations: A dog will have a microscopic benign tumor of the pituitary gland. This tumor overproduces ACTH. This stimulates the adrenal glands to produce too much cortisone. About 85% of Cushing’s cases in dogs are due to a pituitary tumor. Cushing’s disease is caused by a tumor in the adrenal gland that’s busy secreting too much cortisol. This is the case in about 15% of dogs. The third scenario occurs when a veterinarian prescribes excessive steroids as a medication. With NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), the incidence of this is waning. And when it comes to Cushing’s disease in dogs, there are two problems to contend with: Tests that determine if your dog has Cushing’s disease are expensive and can be unreliable. One commonly used drug to treat Cushing’s, Lysodren, will destroy your dog’s adrenal glands. This just compounds the problem created by an incorrect diagnosis. Let’s start at the very beginning, using a typical experience that might very well happen to you and your dog. Let’s name your imaginary dog Spot. Spot is over six years old and you take him in for his annual examination. He gets his annual Wellness Profile: a blood test. Spot has none of the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. He’s not drinking a lot or urinating a lot. He doesn’t have a sagging, bloated, pot-bellied appearance or excess panting. He’s not extra hungry or stealing food, hasn’t gained weight and he’s not weak on his hind legs, having no loss of muscle mass. His coat is beautiful and thick with no thinning of his fur and he has no areas of pigmented skin. He never gets an infection. Spot has one thing and one thing only: elevated alkaline phosphatase. This is a liver enzyme and if it’s 2 to 3 times the normal range, Cushing’s disease is often pegged as the likely problem. But any disorder causing endogenous stress can cause high alkaline phosphatase in dogs …
  9. Amazing Facts About the GorillaCross River Gorillas and Mountain Gorillas are both classified as Critically Endangered and Endangered by the IUCN since 1996 – that is two out of five gorilla subspecies. There are currently only 200-300 Cross River Gorillas left in the wild, and 900 Mountain GorillasAfrican apes (gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos) diverged from a common ancestor about 5 million years ago and belong to the family Hominidae.Gorillas are one of our closest living relatives, after chimpanzees and bonobos. They share between 95% and 99% of our DNA!Gorillas and chimpanzees walk quadrupedally (on all fours) and use their knuckles to carry the weight of their head and torso.There are two different gorilla species (each with two sub-species). The Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) has the sub-species: Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli); while the Eastern Gorilla (Gorilla beringei) has the sub-species: Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) and Eastern Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri). All species are endangered due to habitat loss and hunting amongst other threats, however the Cross River Gorilla is the rarest with fewer than 300 wild individuals remaining in eight small isolated populations in Nigeria and Cameroon.Scientist have shown that gorillas display individual personalities.Gorillas have been observed displaying emotions such as grief and compassion for other primates, including humans.Gorillas live in fairly stable social groups comprising of one adult male usually referred to as the silverback (because of the silver hair on his back which signals full adulthood) and multiple females with juveniles and infants. When young males reach the age of 8-11 they will usually emigrate away and either join another group or form new groups.Gorilla family groups each live within relatively small areas of land. Different groups can however occupy converging areas and co-exist peacefully.Gorillas will groom each other by combing each other with their fingers and teeth. This ‘social grooming’ is an important aspect of gorilla groups which helps to establish and reinforce social bonds.Gorillas are mainly herbivorous, with the majority of their diet consisting of leaves, shoots and stems, some fruit and some small animal prey such as grubs, caterpillars, snails, termites and ants. Western Lowland gorilla diets have a much higher proportion of fruit.Love181ShareFemales will start giving birth at about 10 years old and will have offspring every 3-4 years. When in oestrus she will be able to conceive for only three days in the month.Gorillas have a gestation period of nine months like humans, but babies usually weigh less than humans at approximately 4 pounds, their development is however roughly twice as fast.Gorillas spend a good deal of their time on the ground rather than in the trees, and will make new nests on the ground each night.Gorillas were seen for the first time using simple tools to perform tasks in the wild in 2005. They were observed using sticks to test the depth of muddy water and to cross swampy areas.In Mountain gorillas, the ‘belch vocalization’ is a contact call and sign of contentment while foraging. Most gorillas will use a low grumbling sound to both locate each other and as sign of contentment. Aggressive displays, such as the beating of chests and charging are quite rare but will be used by male gorillas as a warning if surprised or threatened.Although gorillas are generally quiet, they have a range of complex vocalisations which are used to communicate information in numerous contexts including teaching survival skills to young, searching for food, and during courtship. Like some other apes such as chimpanzees and orangutans they are even capable of learning basic human sign language.
  10. Since the millennium, the Sumatran Orangutan has been classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered with approximately 80% of the population lost in the past 75 years mainly as a result of mass deforestation. This awful trend continues to put pressure on the remaining population of 6,600 Sumatran Orangutans that are estimated to remain on this earth Amazing Facts About the Orangutan As orangutans and humans are 96.4% the same genetically and share 28 distinct physical characteristics, it’s no wonder this magnificent creature’s name means person of the forest in Malay. There are two separate species recognised depending on physical characteristics and where they live, the Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelil) and the Borneo Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Sumatran Orangutans are thinner than Borneo Orangutans and have a paler, longer red coat and a longer face. Orangutans diverged from the other apes over 10-16 million years ago. They are more arboreal (tree-dwelling) and more solitary than all the other great ape species. Scientists have found that orangutans have a sense of empathy and mimicry which forms an essential part of laughter. Orangutans have been shown to display individual personalities. Orangutans are renowned for their high intelligence. Their use of tools even extends beyond foraging and nest building. Wild orangutans (P. pygmaeus wurmbii) in Tuanan, Borneo, were observed using tools to aid acoustic communication, using leaves to amplify their ‘kiss-squeak’ vocalisations. It is believed that this is done in order to deceive listeners into thinking that they are larger than they really are. Love116 Share Orangutans have one of the most prolonged developments of any mammal. Young orangutans are highly dependant on their mother’s love and care for survival, and for the first few years of life they hold on tight to their mother’s body as she makes her way through the forest canopy. Male orang-utans may not develop the fatty cheek pads that characterize full adulthood until they are between 15-19 years old. Females will have their first infant between 12-15 years of age and only give birth every 7-8 years after that. This low reproductive rate means populations are highly susceptible to the rapid habitat deforestation that has taken place over the last few decades. Both species are currently considered highly endangered. Diet in the wild consists mainly of plants and plant parts (fruit, seeds, leaves, bark and flowers) but animal prey such as insects, eggs, birds and small mammals are also eaten. At one study site in Ketambe, Sumatra, female orangutans were seen to kill and eat slow lorises. One population of Sumatran Orangutan found in a lowland swamp has been documented to modify and use sticks as tools in order to obtain honey and insects from holes in trees. They also use stick tools to remove seeds from fruits with stinging hairs. Orangutans have an enormous arm span with a potential reach of 8ft, which are well suited to fit their lifestyle of living in trees and suspending themselves from branches to feed. The male long call, a long series of reverberating grunts, can carry over 1km through the forest canopy and is used to signal a resident males location. Orangutans in the care of humans have been taught American Sign Language, one orangutan called Chantek learned to use over 150 different signs. Orangutans are also very good observers of human behaviour, in rescue centres they will often imitate the activities of their human carers such as washing clothes, rowing boats and hammering nails into wood.
  11. In the past 25 years, the Sumatran Elephant has lost an astounding 70% of its habitat to deforestation for palm oil plantations, agriculture and human settlements. Less than 2000 are estimated to exist and in 2011, the Sumatran Elephant was classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered Amazing Facts About the Sumatran Elephant The Sumatran Elephant is the smallest subspecies, but the largest mammal existing on the island of Sumatra. They can weigh up to 5tonnes and reach 9ft in height! With a stranger appearance to their African cousins, the Sumatran Elephant is almost completely bald with small rounded ears. Female Sumatran Elephants rarely have tusks, but the females that do keep them hidden away from sight until they open their mouths! Where do Sumatran Elephants live? These creatures love to roam the luscious lowland forests of Sumatra, sometimes venturing uphill to mid-altitudes so long as it is below 300m! The island of Sumatra is located within Indonesia, and contains a wide range of animal and plant species. Unfortunately many of these species have become endangered as a result of tropical forest loss. Currently, there are only 2,400-2,800 Sumatran Elephants left. What do Sumatran Elephants eat? As herbivores, these noble animals spend their days munching on 150kg of plants as seeds as they move through the forests. That’s the weight of two entire male humans in plants… every day! Do they need to worry about predators in Sumatra? Due to their enormous size they have very few predators, however on the odd occasion a courageous tiger will prey on baby Sumatran Elephants. Love156 Share Are Sumatran Elephants social? Just like other elephants, Sumatran Elephants are sociable animals and need large areas of land with enough food and shelter for populations to flourish. Females travel and gather in groups, looking after one another whilst the males live solitarily. Check out our Elephant family page for more facts on Elephant behaviour. What conservation threats do Sumatran Elephants face? Habitat loss is the main cause of population decline, with 69% of potential Sumatran Elephant habitat lost between 1980 and 2005. In a similar time frame, Sumatra also lost 50% of it’s Elephants as a result. Increasing human populations and need for land are the main drivers of tropical forest loss, and you can find out more about this conservation crisis here. Poaching is also a problem in Sumatra, most notably from agriculturists who own or are setting up palm oil plantations. This illegal act of killing occurs through poisoning, electrocution and trap methods. Although Sumatran Elephants are categorised as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, this act continues, and organisations have called on the Sumatran Agriculture Ministry to tighten restrictions.
  12. The tiger has long been hunted for its distinctive patterned fur. Of the nine tiger subspecies, three are already extinct, many are endangered but it is the South China Tiger and the Sumatran Tiger that currently face the biggest threat to their survival. Tragically, the South China Tiger is thought to be extinct in the wild as it hasn’t been spotted since the 1970s. The Sumatran Tiger is the only surviving tiger subspecies indigenous to Indonesia and as of 2008 it has been classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered. Less than 500 of these tigers exist today in comparison with a population estimation of up to 1,000 in 1978 Amazing Facts About the Tiger As the largest member of the cat family, tigers are strong, powerful and one of nature’s most feared predators. Their beautiful orange and black striped coats provide camouflage when hunting prey at night when they can reach speeds of 65 km/hr (~40 mph). How many sub-species of tiger are there? There are six living and three extinct tiger sub-species. Extant (living) species include the: Sumatran tiger – Panthera tigris sumatrae Amur tiger – Panthera tigris altaica Bengal tiger – Panthera tigris tigris Indochinese tiger – Panthera tigris corbetti South China tiger – Panthera tigris amoyensis Malayan tiger – Panthera tigris jacksoni And extinct species include the: Bali tiger – Panthera tigris balica Caspian tiger – Panthera tigris virgata Javan tiger – Panthera tigris sondaica (adsbygoogle = window.adsby Where do tigers live? Tigers are native to Asia, but their range today is much smaller than it used to be, and includes South-east Asia, India, western China, and some parts of Russia, with breeding populations present in Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia and Nepal. In terms of habitat, tigers inhabit a range of environments, but generally prefer areas with dense cover, like forests, with access to water and plenty of prey. Dens are positioned in secluded areas such as in caves, among dense vegetation or in hollow trees. Love203 Share What do tigers eat? Tigers are powerful apex predators that are at the top of the food chain and capable of killing animals over twice their size. They are nocturnal hunters and will travel many miles to prey on a variety of animals including deer, buffalo and wild boar; native ungulates are the favourite. Not wanting to waste food, remains of large kills may be dragged to a thicket and loosely buried with leaves, ready to be returned to later. Are tigers solitary? Tigers are solitary, living alone in scent-marked territories that vary in size depending on the availability of prey. If there is plenty of prey available, the area can support more tigers, so territories will be smaller and tiger numbers higher. Do tigers mate for life? Female tigers reach sexual maturity at around 3–4 years of age, whilst males mature later at around 4–5. There is no particular breeding season, with female tigers entering oestrus, and therefore able to conceive, every 3–9 weeks. However, tigers usually breed in the cooler months from November to April. Females attract males and let them know they are ready to reproduce by vocalising and marking their territory with distinct smelling urine. Litters of two to six cubs are born around 16 weeks after copulation. Male tigers have nothing to do with the female or the young. Cubs remain with their mothers for two to three years, after which they disperse to find their own territory. Hunting lessons begin when cubs are around six months old, with them becoming competent hunters at around 11 months and fully independent at around 18 months. Why do tigers have stripes? Large predators need to be able to sneak up on their prey, and the tigers distinctive coat acts as camouflage, hiding them as they stalk prey in dense vegetation. No two tigers have the same stripes, enabling individuals to be identified by their unique pattern of stripes. Can tigers swim? Unlike other cats, tigers are good swimmers and often cool off in lakes and streams during the heat of the day. Why are tigers endangered? Three sub-species of tiger are already extinct and one species, the South China tiger, is thought only to survive in captivity. Tigers are endangered, and some the biggest threats to their survival include illegal poaching, loss of habitat due to agriculture and urbanisation, and reduction in prey availability. Increased interactions between tigers and humans and tiger attacks also results in tigers being killed.
  13. Two types of sea turtles are amongst the most endangered species in the world: the Hawksbill Turtle and the Leatherback Turtle In the past 100 years, the Hawksbill Turtle has lost 90 percent of its population, 80 percent of which has been lost in the past 10 years. As of 1996, the IUCN classified it as a critically endangered species. The Leatherback turtle is listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable, yet many subpopulations are facing extinction.
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