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Pet Patter - Catrina Skepper's Blog

Cool Cats and Other News

Posted on: 3/10/2010 9:51:17 AM under General
Over the weekend I noticed an amazing tale of survival in the press. It was the story of the cat who had been trapped in a frozen food warehouse. Incredibly, the cat is thought to have survived in temperatures as low as -2C for around a month. Reports say that the, very, cool cat munched on frozen peas and licked moisture from packets of food in an attempt to keep hydrated.

No one is sure how the twelve-month-old, black and white tabby cat, who has been named Frosty, found his way into the warehouse but it is suspected that he may have, initially, been trapped on the back of a lorry.

Staff working at the warehouse had made several attempts to catch him, but in the end he was caught by the RSPCA. Officers left an overnight trap for him and Frosty soon wandered in following the lure of milk and other treats.

Even though Frosty had done remarkably well to survive in such freezing conditions, he didn't escape completely unscathed. Sadly, vets amputated his ears and tail, a result of severe frostbite.

Frosty is now in the capable hands of the RSPCA at Woodside Animal Centre in Leicester. Rachel Allcock, from the centre, told the Daily Mail: "When he came into us he was pretty shy, which isn’t suprising considering the ordeal he'd been through.
"He's a lovely cat and has become very playful. We’re looking to his full recovery and getting him to his new home."

A member of staff at the warehouse has kindly volunteered to give Frosty a toasty new home, and I am sure they will be very happy together.

In other news, the death of Dawn Brancheau, a trainer at SeaWorld, Orlando, who was killed by an Orca, Tillikum, is still on people's minds. Just recently, Orange County Rescue have released the harrowing 911 call made by an employee at SeaWorld.
Dawn Brancheau was clearly devoted to her work and loved animals, it is a terrible shame that this tragedy happened.

Orcas or killer whales, as they are more commonly known, are not naturally aggressive creatures, however high stress situations can cause them to become dangerous.
Tillikum was captured in the waters of Iceland when he was only two years old. Since then he has been kept in captivity for 30 years, moving from one theme park to another. It is thought that the killer whale is the largest of his kind to be kept out of the wild.

Tillikum, or Tilly, has been responsible for the deaths of three people now, but, fortunately, his life has been spared.

The Whale and Conservation Society has now spoken out about the debate, saying that it is time to recognise that keeping these animals, which can measure up to 26ft long, in small tanks for entertainment is no longer acceptable.

Orcas, in captivity, generally only survive for around four years. In their natural habitat they can live for up to 90 years. I think this itself proves that Orcas and other wonderful mammals shouldn't be living captivity despite their apparent willingness to work with humans for the "entertainment" of the public.

Naomi Rose is a marine mammal scientist with the Humane Society of the United States. She spoke to The Guardian and explained that she had been studying Tillikum's behaviour for some time. She said: "It's not his fault what happened, just as it wasn't Dawn Brancheau's. The fault lies with using these wild animals for entertainment – this was an accident waiting to happen".

What happened was a terrible tragedy - understanding these animals surely should not come at the cost of holding them in captivity for the entertainment of the general public. I hope in the future we strive to work with these incredible creatures to prevent similar incidents ever happening again.

I am really interested to know what you think about this latest incident. Please tell me you thoughts. You can email, facebook or tweet me. It is always wonderful to hear from you.

All the best,
Catrina