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SCIENCE
November 12, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The oldest fossil of a previously unknown ancient leopard species, found in Tibet, is shaking the pantherine evolutionary tree, suggesting that big cats arose in Asia, not Africa, according to a new study. During a 2010 expedition to Tibet, paleontologists led by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and USC discovered a large portion of skull and several intact teeth that they now attribute to a previously undescribed sister species to the modern snow leopard. In all, they collected seven specimens from three individuals, and dated them to 4.1 to 5.9 million years ago - dialing back the clock on big cat evolution by as much as 2 million years, according to the paper, published online Tuesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Panthera blytheae , named for the daughter of longtime museum benefactors Paul and Heather Haaga of La Cañada Flintridge, was slightly smaller than the snow leopard and probably roamed the Tibetan plateau for several million years, dining on antelope, pika and blue sheep, according to paleontologist Zhijie Jack Tseng, lead author of the paper.
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SPORTS
January 31, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
  The Lakers played against a bunch of guys who used to be on their team, and the result was like everything else this season. Boring. Uneventful. A loss. The Charlotte Bobcats were the winners Friday, 110-100, extending the Lakers' stupefyingly futile run to 3-18 since Dec. 21. Four former Lakers got in on the action for the Bobcats, but Al Jefferson trumped everybody with 40 points and 18 rebounds at Staples Center. Pau Gasol's body language is usually a good indicator of the Lakers' temperature.
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NATIONAL
May 2, 2012 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON--The scare caused by the release of dozens of exotic animals from an Ohio backyard menagerie last year is spurring a drive in Washington to put restrictions on the private possession of dangerous big cats.  The measure would require anyone who possesses big cats, such as lions, tigers, cougars, leopards and cheetahs, to register with federal authorities to keep the animals they own.  It would outlaw the breeding of any big cat...
SCIENCE
November 12, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The oldest fossil of a previously unknown ancient leopard species, found in Tibet, is shaking the pantherine evolutionary tree, suggesting that big cats arose in Asia, not Africa, according to a new study. During a 2010 expedition to Tibet, paleontologists led by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and USC discovered a large portion of skull and several intact teeth that they now attribute to a previously undescribed sister species to the modern snow leopard. In all, they collected seven specimens from three individuals, and dated them to 4.1 to 5.9 million years ago - dialing back the clock on big cat evolution by as much as 2 million years, according to the paper, published online Tuesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Panthera blytheae , named for the daughter of longtime museum benefactors Paul and Heather Haaga of La Cañada Flintridge, was slightly smaller than the snow leopard and probably roamed the Tibetan plateau for several million years, dining on antelope, pika and blue sheep, according to paleontologist Zhijie Jack Tseng, lead author of the paper.
NATIONAL
November 10, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A keeper at an Oregon sanctuary for big cats was killed over the weekend, and sanctuary officials hinted Sunday that she may have been violating safety rules when she was attacked by one of the animals. WildCat Haven Sanctuary officials said Renee Radziwon-Chapman had been a head keeper for eight years at the Sherwood, Ore., facility in the Portland suburbs. She was found dead in an enclosure Saturday evening. KGW News in Portland reported that she was killed by a cougar. Clackamas County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Wurpes told the Associated Press that the animal suspected of killing Radziwon-Chapman was locked in a cage after the attack.
NEWS
October 16, 1997
An animal trainer was bitten on the ankle by a black panther Wednesday afternoon during a remake of the movie "Swiss Family Robinson" in a remote area of Malibu Creek State Park. Sylvie Rodriguez, 46, was listed in fair condition at UCLA Medical Center after surgery to repair her broken ankle. The trained animal was leashed on the movie set in Calabasas, as required by state law, and witnesses were unable to offer a reason for the attack.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 1985
The mountain lion has made a comeback in California since 1963, when the state Legislature ended 56 years of bounty hunting for the big cat. The lion population has grown from an estimated 2,400 to somewhere between 4,000 and 5,500 in the intervening years. The lion is a loner and a roamer, so an accurate census is difficult to get. Now the campaign to kill lions is under way again--basically at the behest of ranchers who claim that stock losses, mostly sheep, have risen to intolerable levels.
OPINION
February 15, 1987
Your splendid editorial was well researched and beautifully presented. The last line tells it all--"The answer is no." BOB BARKER Hollywood
NEWS
November 18, 2003 | J. Michael Kennedy
With a spate of incidents involving not-quite-domesticated wild animals fresh in the news, including the mauling of tiger trainer and illusionist Roy Horn, the U.S. Senate has passed a bill cracking down on the burgeoning trade in exotic big cats. The bill would ban interstate and foreign commerce in dangerous exotic animals, including lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars and cougars.
NATIONAL
November 10, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A keeper at an Oregon sanctuary for big cats was killed over the weekend, and sanctuary officials hinted Sunday that she may have been violating safety rules when she was attacked by one of the animals. WildCat Haven Sanctuary officials said Renee Radziwon-Chapman had been a head keeper for eight years at the Sherwood, Ore., facility in the Portland suburbs. She was found dead in an enclosure Saturday evening. KGW News in Portland reported that she was killed by a cougar. Clackamas County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Wurpes told the Associated Press that the animal suspected of killing Radziwon-Chapman was locked in a cage after the attack.
OPINION
October 2, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Catching a glimpse of a bobcat, the exotic wild feline with a bobbed tail that prowls California, is one of the draws for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Joshua Tree National Park. In that park and certain others around the state, bobcats are protected from hunters and trappers throughout the year, a smart rule designed to protect the state's ecosystem and preserve its wildlife from exploitation. But this year there was an outcry after it became known that bobcat traps were being set just outside the boundaries of Joshua Tree and that trappers were using scented lures and battery-powered pet toys that mimic dying birds to lure the animals out. Trapping bobcats is an increasingly lucrative business as demand for the fur rises in foreign markets, including China, Russia and Greece, driving up the price of a premium belly fur pelt to $700, sometimes more.
WORLD
June 13, 2013 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
CALI, Colombia - Ask Ana Julia Torres how many children she has, and she'll say 652: two human offspring plus the hundreds of tigers, lions, mules, snakes, monkeys and other species residing at her refuge north of here. The creatures have typically been seized from or cast off by narcos, circuses, animal traffickers and bored collectors. Her reference to the "children" inhabiting her 8-acre private facility, named Villa Lorena after her daughter, reflects her deep love for the animals.
SCIENCE
April 24, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Scientists have uncovered a Canadian lynx specimen that briefly roamed the British countryside, at least until it killed two dogs and was dispatched by a gun-wielding farmer in southwestern England. The discovery probably will cause fanatics of the British Big Cat Theory to smile like a Cheshire Cat. They've been trying to convince skeptics that people who've reported seeing a large black panther and any number of smaller feral felids are not crazy. This lynx, however, is long dead.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2013 | By Kate Mather and Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times
DUNLAP, Calif. - For Dianna Hanson, getting an internship at a remote feline conservancy in the hills east of Fresno was the culmination of a lifelong love of big cats. As a young girl, she drew pictures of tigers and told people she wanted to be a "pet store lady" or zookeeper. After graduating from college, she moved to Kenya to work at a wildlife conservancy. Then on Jan. 1, the 24-year-old and her father drove from Washington to this small Fresno County town where Hanson began a six-month internship at Project Survival's Cat Haven.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2013 | By Diana Marcum and Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
DUNLAP, Calif. - A 26-year-old woman was attacked and killed by a lion at a Fresno County cat sanctuary Wednesday, and deputies shot the animal as they rushed to rescue the victim. Project Survival's Cat Haven houses lions, tigers, cheetahs and jaguars in enclosures on a boulder-strewn hillside about half a mile off the main road to Kings Canyon National Park. The nonprofit sanctuary, which raises money for conservation causes, gets about 10,000 visitors a year but is closed midweek.  At the time of the attack, there were only two volunteers, both women in their 20s, at the 93-acre park. The woman who was killed was an intern; the other is a more experienced volunteer at the park.
OPINION
December 9, 2012 | By Michael Krikorian
In 1985, I shot someone. It happened outside the Rustic Inn, a bar in an unincorporated section of Los Angeles near Compton, which was where I spent most of my free time back then. Moments before the shooting, I had been in a barroom brawl. My friend George and I were drinking Heinekens and taking sips off a half-pint of Seagram's VO we'd stashed atop a rickety wooden beam at the beer-only bar's side-porch entrance. Three guys walked in and began staring at us. George, a big guy quick to unleash his fists, asked them - in Comptonese - what they were looking at. It was on. I'm not a great brawler, but I'm a good friend, and I couldn't let George go one-on-three.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 2012 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
For the premiere episode of its third annual Big Cat Week, National Geographic Wild has upped the stakes. Having already explored man-eating lions and most of their lethally gorgeous kindred, this Big Cat Week opens Sunday night in Kabul where big cat tracker and National Geo fave Boone Smith and his team stops before entering the mountains in search of the elusive snow leopard. Hoping to find a part for their busted radio transmitter, they wander the streets of the Afghanistan capital like "Homeland" extras, while the requisite urgent voiceover explains that the Taliban is currently on a killing spree and that Smith and his team would do well to keep a low profile.
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