The Big Cats: Leopards and Jaguars [F-12-7]

Presenter: John McDonald
Location: SUNY: Maxcy 104
Classes: 2 Sessions 1.5 hours
Dates: Mon 1:00 PM 09/10, 09/17
Status: CLOSED

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Fall 2011 we covered lions, tigers and cheetahs. This fall we continue the big cat series by discussing the leopards and the jaguars, covering the evolution and history of the species as well as their similarities and differences.

  • Session 1: Leopards, the most numerous and geographically dispersed of the big cats.

  • Session 2: Jaguars, a species unique to the Americas where it ranges from the southern US, through Central America and over much of South America; if time permits, we will also discuss the American cougar.

We will examine physical characteristics, habitat, behavior and social structure. We will also look at human and cat interactions and conflicts as well as the geopolitical influences which will either save these animals for future generations or result in their extinction in the wild.

John McDonald retired from IBM and Arrow Electronics. He has had a lifelong interest in the big cats. While in college he worked in primate research; after that he spent some time with Dave Hoover, the lion and tiger trainer for the Clyde Beatty and Cole Bros. Circus. He corresponded with George Adamson of “Born Free” fame and was offered the opportunity to conduct field research on Adamson’s lions in Kenya. John recently has returned from Africa after spending time working as a volunteer with wild cheetahs at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s research facility in Namibia.


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