The Crocodile Hunter
Steve Irwin

It's not how long you live, but how you lived.

We are devastated to lose such an awesome guy! Our prayers are with his family and we know they will continue Steve's hard work raising awareness of the need for involvement in conservation of wildlife and their habitats. Bindi his daughter and young son Bob will follow in their Dad's footsteps and he will live on through them. We have lost a very special human being and he will be dearly missed throughout the world. May his passion for life never be forgotten.

A Jungle Eyes Special Message!

Dear Friends,
"The Jungle Eyes Pride" is looking forward to "2006", with great enthusiasm. It has been an honor to share our Hidden Treasure with our guests throughout the year,as we thoroughly enjoy what we do! Jungle Jim and his reptile exhibit have become the talk-of-the-town and what fun it is learning about all of the exotic critters with Jungle Jim & Marsha guiding you along the way. We will continue to do what we believe is our calling in life. It is a privilege to be able to care for these exotics and native wildlife critters from Tigers to Wallabies, Raccoons, Squirrels and slithering snakes, while providing you with a rare, once in a life time experience..

We would like to convey a special thanks to our county officials for their overwhelming show of support & belief in us! Jungle Eyes is proud to be a part of Montgomery County!

Please check back as we will keep you posted on current Jungle News.

The Black Cat Gene

Legend tells us that black cats are unlucky. But as this Science Central News video reports, thanks to new genetics research, the reputation of these supposedly frightening felines may be about to change.

Lucky Cats?

Black cats have a tainted reputation. Some people think of them as bad luck, which is why they are so common at Halloween. But if black cats are so bad, why are they so common in nature?

"There are actually 37 different species of cats," says Stephen O'Brien, chief of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), "and about a dozen of them have two kinds of appearances" a dark black appearance, and either a striped or spotted yellow kind of coat."

O'Brien and his colleague Eduardo Eizirik compared the genes of different species of black cats to see what they could uncover about their coats. They were interested in the fact that almost every type of wildcat has a domestic cat look-alike (tiger and striped tabby; jaguar and black cat, etc.). Did all of these mutations happen once in the wild and persist throughout evolution to the domestic version, or did each type of black cat express its own mutation? "This was our question, and we could solve this by looking at the genes that were responsible for the black coat in all these cats," says O'Brien. "We went into the cell line and blood samples that we collected from jaguars, leopards, the target South American small jaguarundi, and the house cats."

O'Brien found that there are at least four different genetic changes that cause the cats' black coats. "We had one genetic mutation in one gene in the domestic cat, and a different one in the jaguars. And we actually found a third in the jaguarundi. The genetic basis of the black coat was different in all three species." That means the mutations showed up independently on each lineage of cat, which indicates that black-coated cats were repeatedly favored by evolution.

Does this cat look like it needs protective camouflage? Zoological Society Of San Diego Scientists are still not sure why the black fur mutation is so common, especially since the black fur gene is a recessive gene, which means a cat must carry two copies of it in order to be black. One idea is that it provides camouflage at night, but strong beasts like leopards and jaguars don't really need this kind of protection. So O'Brien thinks the mutation may have to do with health. He found that the black coat mutation in the jaguar and jaguarundi affects a gene in a family of proteins called target seven transmembrane receptors. Viruses often use these receptors to get inside cells, and it is thought that HIV might be one of those viruses. A mutation in this gene might provide resistance to diseases caused by those viruses.

Because cats get a lot of the same diseases we do, such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS, figuring out how cats evolved to resist disease could give scientists insights into treating the same ailments in people. "Perhaps we could get a better handle on some of the natural defenses that the animals have used," says O'Brien, "animals that don't have hospital rooms or HMO's or pharmacies to treat their ills, how they have adapted using natural selection and spontaneous genetic mutations to defend against some of the same diseases that humans have today."

This research appeared in the March, 2003 issue of Current Biology and was funded by the Intramural Program of NCI.

Siegfried & Roy

When any animal vanishes from the earth, all of us are diminished. We are all stewards to a precious legacy of life and beauty, and we all have so much to learn about the wondrous animals with which we share this planet. It is our deepest hope and desire that you share our amazement in the face of these living miracles and that you will answer the call to conservation in your own special way." -Siegfried & Roy

Click their Photo to learn more about these AMAZING MEN and their Conservation Work!

These men are phenomenal in their knowledge and passion for their cats. They have been a major factor in the survival of the endangered, Timbavati White Lions, White Tigers and other endangered cats by doing their part in conservation. We commend them for making this their "Life's Work".

Jungle Eyes
Needs your Help

Thank you for your support!

Siberian Tiger Population
holding steady
July 26, 2005

The Siberian Tiger (also known as the Amur, Korean, Manchurian, or North China Tiger) is the largest and most powerful subspecies of naturally occurring feline. [1] The Siberian Tiger is almost totally confined to a very restricted part of eastern Russia, the Amur-Ussuri region of Primorye and Khabarovsk, [2] a location it shares with the Siberian leopard, [3] where they are now being actively protected. About 10% of Siberian tiger populations reside in China.

The tiger population in the Sikhote-Alin was 250 in 1992, increasing to 350 as of 2004, despite significant losses of cubs due to car accidents on the single road that crosses their territory. Illegal poaching has been brought under control thanks to frequent road inspections. It is rumoured that there are still around 20 of these tigers in the Mount Changbai area of China.

As the total population of these tigers fell to 150 in the wild, many subpopulations are possibly not genetically viable, subject to potentially catastrophic inbreeding. However, Russian conservation efforts have led to a revival of the subspecies, and the number of individuals in the Primorsky region of Russia has risen from 450 to 500 in the past decade, indicating positive growth.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
US: Environment News Service

Our Jeff Corwin Experience!
Montgomery County
(Conroe, Texas) March - 2003

Check out who's in the photos with us! You got it if you said "Jeff Corwin" from Animal Planet. We were honored to meet him in person on a recent Wolf Rescue in (Montgomery County) Texas.

If you ever wondered if he is a genuine, down to earth person, you can take our word for it. As shown in the photos he is involved in a Wolve rescue while his crew filmed it for his show.

Some of the Wolves were being prepared for their long journey to a wonderful sanctuary in Colorado, while others were adopted by Texas sanctuary's. Animal Planet is lucky to have him because he is very knowlegable, professional, humorous & even better looking in person than on TV. We were all a bit Star Struck & Excited to watch him and his camera crew filming a segment of his on-going show "The Jeff Corwin Experience". What a memorable moment in time for us & a fantastic addition to The Jungle Eyes Adventure's!

Jeff and his crew recently got back from this trip out west. The shoot's theme was Wolves. See a preview of what you'll see in this new show airing this fall. (Some parts filmed in Montgomery County where we met him)Click Here

Dangerous Exotics as Pets?

A Jungle Eyes View

The definition of a wild animal is an animal that has not been domesticated by man. These exotic animals do not make pets as we are familiar with. They do form an indescribable bond with people, however, they are potentially dangerous at any given time. They are not domesticated, nor tamed, they are imprinted or acclimated due to several generations of captive breeding