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Posted Fri Jul 8 2011: from The Independent:
Extinction of the Big Cats?
"There were 450,000 lions when we were born and now there are only 20,000 worldwide," says Dereck, white-ponytailed and ramrod-straight at 55. "Leopards have declined from 700,000 to 50,000, cheetahs from 45,000 to 12,000 and tigers are down from 50,000 to just 3,000," his elegant wife and collaborator adds. The bleak prospect is that our grandchildren will never be able to see these animals - or even the elephants, buffalo, zebra and antelope who survive by fleeing their predators - in the wild. "We're expecting mass extinctions of big cats within 10 or 15 years unless something is done about it," Dereck says. He's looking to African governments to do this, without whose change of heart and legislation all efforts to save the beasts will be fruitless. "Look at tigers - despite all the conservation efforts going on around them, there are less than 900 left in India, and whatever happens to tigers will happen to lions. We are in real trouble." "Every year, 600 male lions are taken legally in safari hunts in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia - seven countries in total," Beverly adds. "You can shoot leopards in all those countries too, and 2,000 a year become a legal hunting trophy."
[Read more stories about: predator depletion, hunting to extinction, ecosystem interrelationships]

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'Doc Jim says:
Kellogg's better get on this. Frosted flakes would never be grrrrrreat again!
Not to mention Pumas, and Chee-tOs, and who knows how many corporate brands dependent on big cats!

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