Thursday, April 30, 2009

2009 Felid TAG Meeting
I've been quiet with posts lately because we have been gearing up for the annual meeting of the Felid Taxon Advisory Group. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is the host facility for this year's meeting so we have been very busy planning all the details for this important event. The Felid TAG is a group of cat experts from AZA zoos and the meeting is also attended by people from the private sector and other facilities around the world. This year we have about 80 attendees from many U.S. zoos as well as contingents from the U.K. and South Africa.

In addition to the scientific and information sharing nature of the meeting, another important purpose is networking, reuniting of old friends, and establishment of new relationships with colleagues working with cats. So to kick off the meeting tonight we held an icebreaker. The event included a cat trivia game geared for this group of experts...can you say MAJOR competition! Despite some disputes with the judge (me), we all had a great time and had two teams tie for first which meant a sudden death play off - taking turns listing all the species of wild cats. It was a fierce competition, coming down to the bitter end with only four species left when one team erred. The victors will be gloating the rest of the weekend, I'm sure!

More on the meeting later, but here are a few photos from the trivia challenge:

Question: What are the three species of cat that cannot fully retract their claws?

Answer: Cheetah, fishing cat, flat-headed cat

Question: What is the world's smallest species of cat?

Answer: Rusty-spotted cat

Players intent on decipering the cat vocalization challenge. (Answers were cougar, lion, cheetah)


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