Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Last Lions

 Jouberts share vulnerability of species during ‘Big Cat Week’
 “One of the alarming things for us, which was the sort of genesis of this film and this ‘Big Cat Week,’ actually, is that we discovered that in our lifetimes, lion numbers have dropped from 450,000 down to 20,000, and the leopard numbers are from 700,000 down to 50,000,” said Dereck Joubert.
The two-hour premiere of “The Last Lions” airs Dec. 16.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Will El Lobo Survive?

For an update on the Mexican wolf recovery effort, read this excellent article by Jess Edberg, Information Services Director -- International Wolf Center:

Mexico’s work on recovering wolves

Friday, November 4, 2011

My, What a Loud Voice You Have!


photo by Scotti Cohn
"It had previously been thought lions roar deeply because the vocal folds are heavy with fat, but the new study suggests the fat gives the vocal folds their square shape as opposed to the more traditional triangular vocal folds found in most species, and may cushion the vocal folds and provide repair material when they are damaged."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"From the Cave to the Kennel"

". . .what the evolutionary history of the dog tells us about another animal: ourselves. From a cave in France, a new picture has emerged of canines as our prehistoric soulmates."

A fascinating article by Mark Derr, author of How the Dog Became the Dog: From Wolves to Our Best Friends.  

Photo by Scotti Cohn

"The standard explanation was that once the dump-diver became a dog, humans took charge of its evolution through selective breeding, choosing those with desired traits and culling those who came up short. This account is now falling apart in the face of new genetic analyses and recently discovered fossils."  - Mark Derr

Photo by Scotti Cohn

Read the full article HERE.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Which Genus is a Genius?

Whoever coined the expression "cats rule, dogs drool" may have to reconsider that position.

As posted on one of my favorite web sites, Coyotes,Wolves,Cougars..forever! 

photo by Monty Sloan
"Oxford University Study concludes that animals who live in social groups need to think more than solitary animals do and as a result have bigger brains......So as a Genus, members of the dog family (wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackels, etc.) have larger brains than those of the cat family (cougars, bobcats, lynx, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs--lions being the exception as they do live in groups) ..."

photo by Scotti Cohn
I doubt this will cause my feline friends to lose those smug expressions they always wear, but perhaps this research will allow canids to hold their heads a little higher.

To read the complete article, click on this link:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Encouraging News from Florida


Photo by Scotti Cohn
"Florida cattle ranchers understand that a balance needs to be reached between protecting endangered panthers and addressing the financial impacts of losing calves to panther predation," said Russell Priddy, owner of the 9,000-acre JB Ranch near the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Big Cats in Britain

I feel a Warren Zevon song coming on... Only instead of "Werewolves in London" it's called "Big Cats in Britain." MRRROWWWW!

I see these stories all the time coming out of Great Britain. Sometimes the stories have a sort of "Loch Ness Monster" quality to them, but they are so common that I have trouble believing it's all a myth. It does remind me somewhat of people in various parts of the U.S. who are *positive* they saw a wolf near their home, even though people who keep track of such things say it was no doubt a coyote or dog. Here is a story from Wakefield about a BIG CAT:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big Cats vs Laser Pointers

This video (linked below) is making the rounds, and I couldn't resist sharing it here. I'm a big admirer of the folks at Big Cat Rescue and I hope to visit there someday soon. Meanwhile, enjoy these video clips!


Check it out at the
where you can see other cool videos.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Man-Eating Lions Attack by the Dark of the Moon

"If you want to avoid becoming a lion's dinner, keep an eye on the moon. A new study reveals that the big cats are most likely to attack people during the 10 days following the full moon. That's when it's darkest during the hours that humans are out and about at night—and when lions are at their hungriest".
from an intriguing article by Rebecca Kessler about man-eating lions:

Man-Eating Lions Attack by the Dark of the Moon

Monday, July 11, 2011

Interview with Robyn Hood Black

Today I am pleased to introduce you to Robyn Hood Black, author of WOLVES (illustrated by Colin Howard, Intervisual Books, Animal Vault Series, Ages 8 and up).

Robyn Hood Black
I "met" Robyn not long after my book One Wolf Howls was published by Sylvan Dell Publishing. We were brought together by Robyn's friend Gail Karwoski, another Sylvan Dell author, who noticed that Robyn and I shared an interest in wolves.

You can find out more about Robyn from her website at


Hello Robyn, and welcome to Wolf and Cat!

Thanks for having me!

I'm going to start by having you share a little bit about yourself. What basic information would you like readers to know about Robyn Hood Black?

Basic – hmm. I love to read, love to write, love to draw – and I’ve been crazy about animals since I was a baby pup myself. I enjoy writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children. I’m very active in SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and am the new assistant editor for an online haiku journal, Berry Blue Haiku. I also enjoy presenting to all age groups – school visits, book festivals, etc. My husband and I share life with a daughter in college and a son in high school. We’re all vegetarian – my husband’s a vegan, in fact.

It's obvious that you love animals. Do you have pets? Can you tell us a little about them?

The only time in my life I was ever without a pet was when I was in college. My husband and I married right after college graduation. When he was in grad school (seminary, then med school later), I nudged a move out of our nice little student housing duplex into a virtual shack after the first year, just so we could get a puppy – a Norwegian elkhound. We soon had a cat, too, of course. We just celebrated our 27th anniversary, and our current animal companion list includes a hound-shepherd mix, two dachshund mixes, and two cats – we’ve had all but one of them 10 years or more. We’ve lost two older kitties in the past year.

How did you become interested in wolves?

I don’t remember ever not being fascinated with wolves. During school visits, I enjoy showing kids my yellowed, tattered copies of the classics Kavik the Wolf Dog (Walt Morey) and Call of the Wild (Jack London) that I read at their age. We always had dogs growing up – usually shepherd or husky types – I’ve always loved wolfy-looking dogs!
photo by Alison Womack
You volunteer at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Georgia. When did you start volunteering there? What has that experience been like for you?

It’s been a real blessing. I’ve been volunteering there over three years now. It’s a small, nonprofit zoo on about 20 acres, founded by C. W. Wathen almost 20 years ago. Much of his experience, by the way, is with big cats, and there are several at the preserve. Many of the animals there are rescues, given up by private owners or coming from other situations – sometimes the preserve is their last hope. 

Some of the resident animals were born there, such as Luna, a three-year-old wolf I’ve worked with since she was a pup. The other wolf currently at the preserve came a year ago when he was three months old. His name is Rio, and he’s now as big as Luna. 

I especially enjoy talking to kids about wolves, at the preserve or in schools – many young wolf enthusiasts keep me on my toes with their questions! I appreciate getting to share wolf education with people of all ages. And I’m always learning more myself.

How did you come to write the book WOLVES? What was the easiest aspect of writing it? What was the most difficult aspect?

At one of our SCBWI Southern Breeze conferences, I met an editor whom I’d previously “met” online, Peggy Shaw. At that time, she was a senior editor with Dalmatian Press/Intervisual Books and was looking for writers for an animal vault series. I waited patiently to talk with her, after hearing she needed a book on wolves, and handed her my business card with the words “loves wolves” written on it. We talked, and she kindly invited me to interview with the publisher, and they hired me! My good friend/critique group buddy Donna H. Bowman had just been hired to write the BIG CATS book in the series.  

The easiest aspect of writing the book was immersing myself in wolf information for weeks, and it was great fun coming up with ways to organize facts into the spreads. I had to write fast, so I called upon my inner newspaper writer from a few years back to churn out lots of words in a short period of time. It was a little challenging coming up with ideas for the interactive elements – I consulted lots of pop-up books. And now the most difficult aspect is that the series is sadly out of print. Some used copies are available online, and I have a few stashed away for school visits. [Fun fact:  In 2010, Donna’s and my books were printed in Portuguese in Brazil!]

photo by Betty King
You do a lot of school visits. What is the most unusual, most interesting, most unexpected, or funniest question a child has asked you about wolves?

Last year I was in a cafeteria with several hundred K-2nd graders piled in on the floor. I left a few minutes at the end of my presentation for questions, and the hand of a beautiful little blond-haired girl shot up – maybe five years old or so. “How can you tell if it’s a man wolf or a lady wolf?” she asked. I quickly noted the concerned look on the faces of a couple of teachers, and responded something to the effect of, “Well, just like with people – they are different.”   I moved on to the next question, and I think I heard the media specialist exhale.

Please tell us three things you would like everyone to know about wolves.
1.)     Wolves are incredibly intelligent, resourceful, social animals.
2.)     Even wolves in captivity are still wild animals and should be respected as such.
3.)    Wolves and so many other animals are dependent upon having wild places in which to live, and it’s our responsibility to protect their habitats even as human populations grow. 3 and a half): Wolf management is a very controversial issue, but the fate of wolves and other species depends upon “opposing sides” being able to work together.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Just a hearty thanks to you for allowing me to visit, and for your continued commitment to wolves, cats, and other animals! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Big-cat activist gives own theory on mountain lions

 "What I believe is there is a small population or small number of wild mountain lions out there, mountain lions that clearly in the past have been held in captivity, who are maintaining themselves and breeding."
~ Alan Rabinowitz, Chief Executive, Panthera
Complete article:
Big-cat activist gives own theory on mountain lions

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

There's a panther in the house!

I really enjoyed this column by Jill Pertler -- particularly since I also have a "black panther" in my house.

My "black panther" : Karma

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Asiatic Golden Cat

I highly recommend the International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC) Canada for information on wild cats and their status.

asian golden cat karen stout

Here is a fascinating article about the Asiatic Golden Cat (Pardofelis temmincki):

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Florida Panthers Caught on Camera

An article at tells about a Florida woman who managed to get some once-in-a-lifetime shots of
a Florida panther mother and two cubs in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve.

Go to the link posted above to take a look at these wonderful photos!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hunting Lions: Unpalatable but Necessary for Conservation?

photo by Scotti Cohn

In an article printed in The Huffington Post (link below), Dr. Luke Hunter, Executive Vice President of Panthera, explains and defends his view that "whatever one's personal feeling, hunting should be regarded as yet another tool in the arsenal of options we must consider if we are to conserve the lion."

Take a look at the article, and see what you think. I confess that I'm hopelessly conflicted about the issue.

Hunting Lions:

Unpalatable but Necessary for Conservation?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fear as an ecosystem engineer

Here is a link to a fascinating article by Cristina Eisenberg, conservation biologist at Oregon State University.

Eisenberg writes about "whether the vigilance of ungulates—such as elk, deer and other hooved animals— varies based on wolf population dynamics or other environmental factors that can influence predation risk."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Artist of the Week: Angela Cater

I'm going to take an opportunity from time to time to showcase artists who either specialize in wolf or cat art, or who are just cool artists who happen to make wolves or cats, among other things.

Today I want to direct your attention to artist Angela Cater of Manchester, England. Angela has created the most wonderful felines, and her Portrait of a Tigress recently won FanArtReview's "Art in Nature" competition.

Please visit Angela's site and admire her beautiful art! If you find that you just have to have some of it for yourself, I'm sure she will be happy to help you!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Really, Nikon?

Nikon Cameras sponsors Coyote kill weeks in Upstate NY providing prizes for those culling the most songdogs....................

photo by Scotti Cohn
This is distressing to me on many levels. For one thing, my understanding is that predator killing does not limit coyote populations in the long term and can actually grow those populations. And what (or who) are we "saving the deer" for in this case? So that hunters can kill them for sport? Nice. Whatever.

Sunda Clouded Leopard

I just came across a fascinating article by Charles Q. Choi in the Christian Science Monitor:
"... the newest species of big cat known to science, the mysterious Sunda clouded leopard, actually comes in two different types. . . .These big cats apparently owe their origins to cataclysmic super-volcano eruptions and rising sea levels, researchers found."

Monday, January 24, 2011


The publication date for Big Cat, Little Kitty is fast approaching! Here's a video trailer I made to (hopefully) stimulate interest in the book and entertain viewers at the same time.

The video gives you a peek at pretty much every aspect of the book: narrative text, illustrations, and educational material. The book is available for pre-order from Big Cat, Little Kitty

I know my cats will be excited when the advance copies arrive. Watch this space for pictures!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Great Web Site/Organization

Photo by Scotti Cohn
After reading an article about Barbara Meyer's photography of big cats HERE, I visited the Big Cat Photography web site. You should too! It's amazing.

(I took the shot on the left. The pics on the Big Cat Photography site are much better!)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big Bad Wolf loves Cheetahs!

How could I resist? I came across a blogger who calls himself One Big Bad WOLF, and his blog post today is about CHEETAHS! How perfect is that?

As far as I know, the blogger (who also goes by the name Brady Darnell) is not related to B.B. Wolf, the alpha male of my own personal wolf pack. . .

Here's a link to: