The Big Cats
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Links, information and pictures of Cats that are in trouble.
|The five sub-species of tigers that are left.|
|Asiatic Cheetah (and African Cheetahs)|
|Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia)|
|Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)|
The Gene Pool of the cheetahs is one of the narrowest of any wild animal; this makes them genetically very fragile. A narrow gene pool means that they are all closely related, meaning as closely related as brother and sister. This does not bode well for their long term survival.
When a feline (cat) disease gets into a zoo and the big cats get sick it is always the cheetahs that are the most vulnerable, precisely because they are so closely related (inbred). Cheetahs also suffer more birth defects than other cats because of their narrow gene pool.
Modern humans did not cause the problem with the cheetahs, something happened in the past that wiped out most of them. So, all the cheetahs on earth today go back to just a handful of them; perhaps only two.
What we can do to unsure the survival of these beautiful animals is to keep isolated populations of them in as many areas as possible. Over time, like some thousands or perhaps a million years or so in the future, the gene pool will start to broaden once more. This would mean that genetically, they would become a little more stable and resilient than they are at present.
However, they would never regain their former genetic strength that they enjoyed before their gene pool crashed; for whatever reason that was.
NB some of the five sub-species of tigers, especially the Chinese tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis), and two of the five species of rhinoceroses are getting very close to the problem that the cheetahs have with inbreeding (narrowly based gene pools); it is also fast heading that way for the highland gorillas.
Does anybody care? You could ask your favourite sports hero if they care; they have the media eating out of their hands so they could easily say something constructive, if they cared.
If you know a sports hero you could send them to this website. They might find something that they care about and then speak to the media. The media love that. That famous cricketer Imran Khan of Pakistan spoke up for the tigers and people listened. Imran Khan forgot his ego for a bit and did something for the world; he�s my hero for that reason alone because i know nothing about cricket. Jacki Chan the film star also did the same for the tigers and people listened.