Helen Cowie does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. The decision — which Chipperfield intends to appeal — marks the end of a long tradition of lion taming in Britain. It reflects a gradual shift in public attitudes towards circuses and a growing sense that making wild animals perform unnatural tricks is both dangerous and cruel.
While it has taken nearly years for such views to result in a formal ban, these sentiments have been around for a long time. From its origin in the early 19th century, lion taming has elicited both awe and horror.
It has also attracted a socially diverse range of tamers, whose performances have been both praised and condemned. Born in Fishkill, New York State, Van Amburgh toured Europe between and and achieved notoriety for his performances with big cats. Some level of peril was acceptable, and gave lion taming its thrill value, but excessive risk drew public condemnation. Soon a new trend swept the menagerie business: the phenomenon of the female lion tamer.
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By the late s, having a female tamer on the staff was virtually a necessity for any self-respecting menagerist. Needless to say, not everyone was comfortable with the idea of letting a woman perform with wild animals, and the lion queen craze subsided in when tamer Ellen Bright was killed by a tiger in Kent.
According to witnesses, the accident happened when Bright, who was only 17, was coming to the end of her final performance of the evening. This shocking incident precipitated a flurry of impassioned protests against lion queens. Once again, the motives of both performers and spectators were under scrutiny, triggering a bout of national soul searching. Another common critique of lion taming — even in the 19th century — was the cruelty it inflicted on animals. Unfortunately, due to their secretive habits and preference for dense forest habitat, clouded leopards are extraordinarily difficult to see in the wild.
There are no reliable places to suggest, apart from noting that they are sometimes seen in India on wildlife safaris. While the status of the snow leopard was changed from Endangered to Vulnerable by the IUCN last year, this decision is hotly disputed by conservation organizations on the basis of lack of scientific data to support it.
Scientists estimate that there are between 3, and 6, snow leopards left in the wild.
The snow leopard is perfectly adapted for its inhospitable snowy habitat. Its white coat with black spots allows the animal merge to with the grey environment of the rocky slopes so perfectly, that it seems to disappear in front of your eyes. Low numbers, an inhospitable habitat, and exceptional camouflage make the snow leopard one of the most difficult big cats to see in the wild. The snow leopard-spotting trip is not for the fainthearted. It involves camping on high-altitude mountain ranges with night temperatures as low as Centigrade.
Daytime activities involve long hours of scanning the slopes for the chance of spotting the leopard. But the rewards of seeing one of the most elusive big cats on the planet well outweigh the difficulties. For the best chance of success, book your adventure with Ladakh-based Exotic Ladakh Travel.
Photo: Spencer Wright. The clouded leopard is one of the least-known wild cats and it was only in that the Sunda clouded leopard, occurring on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, was declared a separate species from the mainland clouded leopard. The Sunda clouded leopard is also listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List , with less than 10, individuals remaining in the wild and the population decreasing due to habitat loss and poaching.
Until recently, the Sunda clouded leopard was as difficult to see as its mainland cousin. In the last three years, Deramakot Forest Reserve in Borneo has been gaining a reputation as the go-to place for spotting the Sunda clouded leopard. However, even in Deramakot, finding a Clouded leopard is no easy feat. Be prepared for long nights of driving along the forest roads, often in pouring rain. Wildlife watching in the dense tropical jungle is quite different from an African safari since your view is limited to the first row of trees on either side of the road.
But the longer you search, the more rewarding the sighting will be when you finally spot the elusive cat. Book a trip with the local Adventure Alternative Borneo for your chance to see the elusive cat. Only slightly smaller than the Siberian tiger, the lion is the second-largest big cat. There are two broad types of lions: the African lion and the endangered Asiatic lion, that occurs only in the Gir Forest National Park in the Indian state of Gujarat.
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Hunting as a group allows the lions to take down larger prey and share the kill among the pride. While lions do not rely on camouflage as much as all other cats, their tawny-colored coat allows them to merge with their sandy habitat. The reality of a wildlife watching trip in Africa is quite similar, but keep in mind that if you are looking for a particular species, you might spend more time searching for it than observing it.
Unpredictability is the name of the game in wildlife watching. Even in Africa. To see the Asiatic lion, head to Gir Forest National Park and book your visit online directly with the park. The Asiatic lion safari is a little different. Most of Gir National Park is covered by forest.
As a result, the wildlife sightings are not as frequent as on the open savannah. But the forest is beautiful, and there is always a peacock or a langur rustling in the trees to keep you entertained while you are looking for the serious stuff.
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