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Newsletter 152
14/10/17

JV's Response To Letter From Elayna Kinley

Hello Friends

Dear JV

I have looked on the Tiger Canyons site, and have been unable to find a current list of tigers, let alone an up-to-date family tree for the tigers. For instance, the father of Panna's cubs, Khumba. Where did he come from? Is he a tiger that is completely unrelated to the Panna, or is he related to her? There should be no reason why the only available data on the tigers, other than mentions in newsletters, is over 4 years old. There's nowhere to learn of births and deaths. And if I'm going to get invested in an animal, I want to have regular updates on them, without having to scour each and every update on the off chance that tiger might be mentioned. You have the time to write all those newsletters, but you can't even do at least a yearly update on the major events that have happened to each tiger? Why not have a sub area where all the information for the tigers in kept, with separate pages for each tiger. Have how old the tiger is, their history, who their relatives are, how big their territory is, how successful that are at hunting, how shy they are, who their neighbors are and if they're had any major fights with them. That way, if someone saw a video about Panna, or Corbett, or so on and wanted to know more about that tiger, they could simply click on that tiger's page and find out all about them. The idea that if I want to learn more about one of the tigers I have to trawl through every single newsletter ever released on their site for just a few mentions of an individual tiger has completely turned me off the idea of finding out anything about your tigers. 

You trumpet that you're focused on conservation, but without a diverse gene-pool, you're dooming the tigers that will be born in the future to having short, illness stricken lives. Just looking at the current state white tigers are will demonstrate that. All white in captivity that come from a 'pure' line originate from four individuals which were intensively inbred so that they could ensure that all cubs born would be white. And the tigers have suffered from it. It has happened time and time again that when a gene pool narrows too much, defects will show up. Just look at pedigree dogs. There isn't a single breed of pedigree dog that doesn't have health issues. If you're really serious about conserving tigers, rather than just using them as an attraction to bring visitors to your park, then you must ensure that inbreeding is prevented. And inbreeding doesn't just mean matings between siblings. It also means matings between cousins and second cousins. 

As tigers aren't native to Africa, unlike with lions you can't simply exchange animals with another park. And as your tigers aren't part of the tiger studbook used by zoos, you can't bring in an unrelated individual from a zoo or park to boost genetic diversity. As that is the case, why not get together with conservationists and scientists to see if your tigers can be used as a case study for artificial insemination of wild tigers? Not only would this allow the genes of completely unrelated males to be introduced into the park, but it would also be a major contribution to saving tigers world wild. Most wild populations of tigers are fragmented and isolated, meaning that to prevent inbreeding animals have to be moved from park to park. This has a lot of risks attached. But if conservationists could simply collect sperm from say a captive male and use it to inseminate a wild female in an area with a low tiger population, it could very well save the species. 

I hope that you can read this email with an open mind and not see it as me dumping on you, but in the spirit with which it is intended, as constructive criticism. I do think the work you're doing is important, but if even one aspect of it isn't putting the tigers first, especially an aspect that could so negatively affect them in the future, then it needs a serious rethink.

Regards 

Elayna Kinley

JV Response:

Hello Elayna  

Thank you for your Email.  

I agree with your first paragraph. Our web site needs updating, we will do this soon. Thank you for all the good ideas.

“You trumpet that you are focused-on conservation, but without a diverse gene pool, you’re dooming the tigers that will be born in the future to having short, illness stricken lives” 

I wish I could play the trumpet, I only play guitar & harmonica. 

Any tiger that is inbred, is vasectomised or sterilized. We have a cub introduction system whereby we introduce cubs not related into the litter & thereby keep our genetics diverse. In the case of Khumba, when the cub introduction failed (I could not find Shadow’s den), he was hand raised. 

Khumba has fathered cubs with Panna & Oria giving us excellent breeding stock. Therefore, your comment about short, illness stricken lives, is incorrect. Julie lived to 14, Shadow is 12, Ron was 12, Seatao was 10, Sunderban is 9, Panna is 9. So, our tigers are living a long time. We have had no illnesses, only a bite from a Cape Cobra claimed Seatao’s life. 

"Just looking at the current state of white tigers I will demonstrate that all white tigers in captivity that come from a 'pure' line, originate from four individuals which were intensively inbred so that they could ensure that all cubs born would be white. And the tigers have suffered from it. It has happened time and time again that when a gene pool narrows too much, defects will show up"

All white tigers came from a white male tiger called Mohan who traveled from India to USA in the 50’s.   

We have bred two white tigers from carriers Seatao & Julie. (A carrier has one white gene and one normal gene) 

The first white tiger was Shine, who was killed by hunters trying to steal her for a canned tiger hunt. 

The second white tigress is Tibo who is still alive & has produced three cubs that have dispersed. 

Tibo is a very fine specimen & is quite aggressive. She has killed a young female called Aurora and recently she killed her sister Indira. (Her son Bird helped her kill both Indira & Aurora) 

Our policy at Tiger Canyons is to preserve the rarity of the White tiger & therefore, we are concentrating on wild born, wild raised, self-sustaining, normal tigers. 

“As tigers aren’t native to Africa, unlike with lions, you can’t simply exchange animals with another park”  

A group of scientists at Wits University believe the Tiger was in Africa & went extinct. These scientists believe that in time with fossil evidence, they will prove the Tiger was in Africa. 

The Wits scientists hypotheses is that the Tiger after being widely spread, crashed & small population survived in Asia. It is from this population that the modern tiger evolved. This would explain why there are no Tigers on the island of Sri Lanka. The land had split from the mainland by the time the remnant population radiated outwards. 

This would also explain why Tigers have such a narrow genetic base, because it came from one remnant population. (Cheetah are also very genetically narrow) 

“As that is the case, why not get together with conservationists and scientist to see if your tigers can be used as a case study for artificial insemination of wild tigers” 

Artificial insemination has been tried before by others, with disappointing results. It is expensive, difficult & very invasive. 

Because of canned tiger hunting in South Africa, (Lion canned hunting is legal; Tiger canned hunting is illegal) there is a wide genetic variety of Tigers in South Africa. Therefore, natural mating and cub relocation as explained, is a far better option. 

“Most wild population of tigers are fragmented and isolated meaning that to prevent inbreeding animals have to be moved from park to park” 

India is a perfect example of where the island scenario is emerging. Tigers have recently gone extinct in Sariska & Panna & no cross pollination of genes between parks like Rhanthambore, Kanha & Bandhavgarh exists.  

Indian conservationists would do well to examine cub relocation. A non-related cub can be sourced & the Tigress can be darted & the non- related cub introduced into the litters. I have had success with both lion & tiger using cub relocation. 

However, my fear is with India’s huge human population (India is through 1.4 billion) and it’s notorious bureaucracy, this kind of forward creative thinking will never materialize in India. 

Several senior Indian government officials and conservationists will be visiting Tiger Canyons in the near future & I will certainly be showing them how cub relocation works. However, I’ m not holding my breath. 

“I do think the work you are doing is important, but if even one aspect of it isn’t putting the tigers first, especially an aspect that could so negatively affect them in the future, then it needs a serious rethink” 

I don’t quite understand this remark. Have you ever been to Tiger Canyons? Have you ever sat down with me & discussed my management policies? 

I have spent the last eighteen years of my life living in a dilapidated house. Every cent I have earned has gone into land, fencing & prey for the tigers. I could quite easily stay at Londolozi & live in luxury.  

My reward is a spiritual one. I get to interact with this magnificent cat on a daily basis. I get to see young cubs mature, disperse, mate & have cubs of their own. I also have the sorrow when one of the tigers dies. 

So let me ask you, apart from sitting behind your computer, what have you done for Tigers? 

Thank you for your Email, you make some constructive points. 

Tread lightly on the Earth
JV

 

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


Newsletters


Newsletters 155
13/11/17
The Indian Connection

Newsletters 154
28/10/17
Desertification

Newsletter 153
20/10/17
Supermarket Shopper vs. Hunter Gatherer

Newsletter 152
14/10/17
JV's response to Elayna Kinley letter

Newsletters 151
29/09/17
Running on empty

Newsletter 150
14/09/17
The Survivor

Newsletters 149
05/09/17
In pursuit of Alan Root

Newsletters 148
09/08/17
Open letter re schools plus Panna cubs

Newsletters 147
17/07/17
It's Finished

Newsletters 146
31/05/17
Hunters

Newsletter 145
20/05/17
King Corbett

Newsletter 144
08/05/17
Hunting versus Non Hunting

Newsletter 143
14/03/17
If it Pays, it Stays

Newsletters 142
14/02/17
Best Photographs at
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Newsletters 141
16/01/17
Lady Hunters

Newsletter 140
10/12/16
Londolozi and Love

Newsletter 139
23/11/16
Life is Not Fair

Newsletter 138
17/11/16
The Trump Card

Newsletter 137
22/10/16
Most Admired People on the Planet

Newsletters 136
13/10/16
Captive vs Wild

Newsletter 135
08/10/16
To trade  or not To Trade

Newsletter 134
08/08/16
A Defining Moment

Newsletter 133
08/07/16
I Have Lost A Friend

Newsletter 132
13/05/16
The World is Changing

Newsletter 131
08/04/16
Icon Cats

Newsletter 130
31/03/16
Sylvester the Lion

Newsletter 129
22/03/16
An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
15/03/16
An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
28/11/15
Satellite Tracking

Newsletter 126
12/11/15
Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
28/10/15
The Break Out

Newsletter 124
05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
13/09/15
Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
Driven Hunts

Newsletter 120
01/09/15
Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
11/08/15
Real Hunters

Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
08/07/15
Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
13/04/15
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
26/03/15
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
22/03/15
The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
26/02/15
The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
24/01/15
Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
25/11/14
Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
30/09/14
Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
15/08/14
The Power of the Picture

Newsletter 97
18/07/14
Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
11/07/14
Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
18/06/14
Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
12/05/14
Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

Newsletter 93
07/05/14
John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

Newsletter 92
20/04/14
Marion's Big Cat Safari

Newsletter 91
24/02/14
Full energy flow

Newsletter 90
10/02/14
Investing in wild tigers

Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
27/01/14
Managing the Genes

Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
 Sept 1999 - 5 Des 2013

Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
Sparked by the whole Melissa Bachman Debacle
by Maxine Gaines

Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

Newsletter 73
02/07/13
The Evolution of the Tracker

Newsletter 72
02/07/13
An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

Newsletter 71
06/06/13
Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
14/05/13
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best eyesight of them all?

Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
25/03/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
07/03/13
Wild Cheetah return to the Free State after 100 years

Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
06/02/13
Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
22/01/13
In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

Newsletters 62
30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

Newsletters 61
09/12/12
A Journey to Nowhere

Newsletter 60
03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

Newsletter 59
28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
the wrong decision

Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
26/09/11

Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

Newsletters 46
08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

Newsletter 40
18/11/10
Ron's Journey

Newsletter 39
20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

Newsletter 37
18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

Newsletter 35
05/07/10
The Ethics of
Tiger Green Hunting

Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

Newsletter 33
26/05/10
The Year of the Tiger

Newsletter 32
11/02/10

Riding the Tiger


Newsletter 31
24/01/10

Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
that is the question...

Newsletter 29
07/12/09

Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
24/09/09

International Tiger Day


Newsletter 25
17/08/09

To all Photographers


Newsletter 24
16/07/09

A Shot in Anger


Newsletter 22
24/04/09


Newsletter 21
24/03/09


Newsletter 19
14/01/09

Tiger Birth
at Tiger Canyons


Newsletter 16
10/10/08

Tiger Courting


Newsletter 11
29/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Newsletter 9
27/10/07

Newsletter 8
28/09/07

Newsletter 7
14/09/07

Water Cats


Newsletter 6
14/08/07

Tiger Intelligence


Newsletter 5
16/05/07

Tiger language
Tiger Boma


Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust