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Introduction to Six Species of Predatory Cats

At the Tiger Homes Sanctuary, Owner & President, David Hartsock accompanied by Jason Abels, Vice President introduce students to six species of predatory cats. These wildlife experts take us on a journey of epic proportions to meet the "Power Cats". We meet the resident Lions, Tigers with an introduction to the five remaining subspecies alive today (three species are now extinct), Caracals, Cougars (Florida Panther), Lynx, Cheetah and the extremely rare King Cheetah. The animals featured live in captivity at the Sanctuary and neighboring facilities. We see them in naturalistic habitat settings interacting with our hosts. We learn about their anatomy, their territory ranges, population and some of the characteristics that define these amazing "Power Cats". Students are made aware that most of the "Power Cats" featured in the film are critically endangered. An introduction is made to the various organizations, legislation and worldwide efforts in place to save them from extinction. The team also introduces viewers to the Tiger Homes website www.tigerhomes.org, our interactive educational website, where they can log on and observe these "Power Cats" (and other species) in their sanctuary habitats.

Power Cats: Locked and Loaded” introduces students to the "Power Cats" and their place in the Animal Kingdom. Through the eyes and narration of the conservationists at Tiger Homes Sanctuary and the neighboring facilities, where the featured endangered species reside, students learn about the characteristics that define these magnificent animals. Many of these "Power Cats" are among the most awesome of predatory animals on earth today. A basic introduction is made defining the species, population, range of existence, extreme dangers and threat of extinction these animals face today. Students will also learn about the characteristics that separate one cat species from another and a little bit about their lives in the wild and in captivity. The film gives explanation of the tremendous importance of global conservation and the ultimate goal of protection of habitat for preservation and survival of these species.

From the film and related activities students should have an initial understanding of the following concepts:

  • Basic definition of predatory cats

  • Introductory understanding of the ordering of the animal kingdom

  • Learned the basic history of the predatory cat species and subspecies
  • presented in the film.
  • In-depth understanding of the cats

  • Some threats to these cats in the wild

  • How different cat species are similar to each other

  • How cat species differ from each other

  • What animal anatomy can tell an observer about species’ habits and lifestyles

  • How interactive and informational internet resources can add to a student’s understanding of science, particularly wildlife and these "Power Cats"

  • Practical application of some internet skills as they relate to animal behavior

  • Imaginative responses to zoological ideas

This Curriculum is designed to give teachers some very basic background information about predatory cats and their place in the animal kingdom. This information will provide the educational tools to better help them to teach about these predatory cats, and to pursue further explorations in zoology, wildlife and conservation. A set of activities in the form of longer projects and shorter work sheets and quizzes have been provided to enhance students understanding not only of felines but other zoological concepts and methods as well. Teachers are encouraged to modify any of these activities to best serve the learning needs of their students. TigerHomes.Org's "PowerCat" curriculum provides teachers an excellent resource tool and may be used for additional class projects or extra credit assignments with several e-research links provided, after viewing the film.

Elements of this program (field guide entries, quizzes, and worksheets) have been formatted to allow teachers to photocopy them easily for class distribution, either by animal sections or in its entirety. For example, the Animal Picture Word Puzzle is appropriate for students ranging from Kindergarten to elementary grade levels. Each project length and activity can be used and modified for a broad range of ages and learning abilities.

Each of the four quizzes vary in degree of difficulty, i.e. #1 is the easiest and is designed for grades 3-5, with #4 respectively appropriate for students up to the high school level. Answer keys are provided.

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