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Newsletter 159
12/04/18

All pictures in this newsletter were taken by Christo Schmidt during his recent exclusive tiger safari with JV. Christo and his family stayed at the new Tigress Julie Lodge


Predator Aggression

Hello Friends 

Iím filming a male lion by the name of Satan, who is part of the Mapogo coalition at Londolozi Game Reserve. Satan is trying to mate with a lioness who appears to be in a light or false estrus. The lioness rejects Satanís advances, so he kills her. The body of the dead lioness is not eaten by Satan. 

It is estimated that in Satanís lifetime, he kills 7 adult lionesses and an unknown number of cubs. 

A female leopard has been mating for two days with the dominate male (male 1). Exhausted, the male leopard falls asleep and while he is sleeping, the leopardess slips away and crosses into the territory of another male (It has been proved that all cats can become impregnated by more than one male in one pregnancy).

The leopardess locates the second male (male 2) and mates with him several times. When the leopardess tries to leave male 2, to return to male 1, male 2 prevents her from leaving. A fight breaks out and male 2 kills the female leopard. The body is later consumed by hyenas. 

At Tiger Canyons, we move a young tigress into an area where there is space for her to set up a territory. In this area is a non-related male and potential breeding partner for her. 

The young Tigress is put on birth control which will interrupt her estral cycle for 20 months. The moment we introduce the birth control we change the dynamics, because the resident male now sees her, not as a potential mate, but rather as a competitor, competing for food.

The dominant male kills the young female but does not eat her.  

Two male lions spend the night searching for 5 cheetah cubs in the grass, eventually killing 4 of them. None of the cubs are eaten. 

A lioness attacks and kills two leopard cubs while they are playing at the base of a marula tree. Up in the marula tree, the mother of the cubs is feeding off a freshly killed impala. The mother leopard fails to see the approaching lioness and is unable to defend her cubs. 

The lioness spends an hour trying to reach the mother leopard who has gone to the top of the marula tree. (The thin branches at the top of the marula tree will not support the weight of the lioness). Eventually, unable to kill the mother leopard, the lioness takes the impala kill onto the ground where the rest of the pride finish the kill in 20 minutes. 

Hours later the mother leopard descends the tree, picks up the bodies of her two cubs and partially eats them. Then the remains are buried in the sand in a dry river bed. (Having lost her cubs, the mother leopard will within a few weeks come back into estrus). 

A pack of wild dogs has killed an impala. The whole pack including puppies are feeding on the kill. One by one the puppies, their bellies full, leave the carcass and wander away. The adults are still feeding and are not vigilant. 

A female leopard is watching from her vantage point in a buffalo thorn tree. The leopard descends the tree and kills the first wild dog pup. This she hoists into a knob thorn tree. Then the leopard kills a second and a third pup, before the adult wild dogs realize the leopard is attacking.

The wild dogs immediately attack the leopard, but she makes it safely into the buffalo thorn tree. The wild dog adults carry the bodies of the pups away. They spend 20 minutes circling the knob thorn tree where the first pup is hoisted, but they are unable to retrieve it. 

An hour later the leopard descends the buffalo thorn tree and moves off. The leopard makes no attempt to feed off the dead wild dog pup hoisted in the knob thorn tree. 

Clearly food is not the motive when a rival predator kills another rival (Having said that, if a predator is extremely hungry it will eat a rival predator it has killed) 

The reason I believe, is that all predators are competing for space and for resources. Resources are obviously prey animals but in the case of females it could be den sites. 

At leopard gorge in the Masai Mara a lioness from the Marsh Pride wanted to give birth to cubs in a cave. Nearby the cave was a mother leopard with 2 cubs. The lioness killed the mother leopard and the cubs to make the place safe for her own cubs. 

A mother leopard (leopard 1) with cubs moves into an adjacent territory and kills the cubs of another mother leopard (leopard 2). The less leopards competing for the impala, the bushbuck, the nyala and grey duiker in leopard 1ís territory the better for  leopard 1. 

In addition when the cubs of leopard 2 begin to disperse, they will begin to look for territories. These dispersing leopards could threaten leopard 1ís territory and they will compete with leopards 1ís cubs for territory. Therefore if she can kill them as cubs, leopard 1 removes the competition. 

The smaller an area and the denser the predator population, the more the competition for resources will intensify. 

Inter predator aggression is also natureís way of controlling the predator populations. If every cub from every litter survived, then the prey populations would not be able to support the number of predators and the whole system would simply collapse, resulting in extinction of both predator and prey. 

In the case of human beings, the regulating forces which once controlled our populations, have largely been removed and now we are expanding towards 10 billion strong. 

However like the predators, the competition for the earths resources are intensifying and at some point, breaking point will be reached. 

Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV


The Language of Trees

Hello Friends 

I urge everyone to read "Trees Talk To Each Other" and the corresponding TED talk by Professor Suzanne Simard.
https://returntonow.net/2018/02/28/trees-talk/

It has huge ramifications for the future of the planet.

JV


Good Rains

Tiger Canyon has experienced excellent rains and the landscape is looking spectacular. 

Four sets of cubs are providing outstanding photo opportunities against a beautiful backdrop. 

Photographically, we are having our best season ever!

Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV


In the Jaws of the Tiger

The second version of "In the Jaws of the Tiger" dedicated to  Phumlani Mchunu, is out on SoundCloud.
https://soundcloud.com/john-varty-268142172/in-the-jaws-of-the-tiger

Tread Light
JV


Dame Daphne Sheldrick 1934 - 2018

I would like to pay tribute to Dame Daphne Sheldrick who died on Thursday. Daphne represented the very best of humanity. She provided a bridge between the elephant and human world. Daphne has left a deep and lasting legacy. To every hunter who has gunned down an elephant and to every poacher who has orphaned an elephant calf, l say Daphne will be watching you. Kind, generous, compassionate, with a deep resolve. I met Daphne twice. Both meetings were inspirational. I intend composing a song in Daphne's honour.

www.thedswt.org/dame-daphne-sheldrick-2018

Love Light and Peace
JV


Tread lightly on the Earth

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


Newsletters


Newsletters 161
22/05/18
Reach for 200

Newsletters 160
06/05/18
The Power of the Photograph

Newsletter 159
14/04/18
Predator Aggression

Newsletters 158
19/02/18
Open letter to Cyril Ramaphosa

Newsletter 157
14/02/18
SCI bans canned lion hunting

Newsletters 156
26/01/18
Tibo produces white cubs

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
Tiger Canyons

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