A Litoria frog, which uses a loud ringing song to call for a mate, was discovered in a rainforest during a Conservation International (CI) led Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) expedition of Papua New Guinea's highlands wilderness in 2008 is pictured in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Steve Richards/Conservation International/Handout


"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Twelve Killed in Sukabumi Landslide

Jakarta Globe, AFP, Mar 29, 2015

Rescuers carry a dead body after a landslide hit Jemblung village, in Central
Java's Banjarnegara district, on Dec. 13, 2014. (EPA Photo/Gugus Mandiri)

Jakarta. Twelve people were killed and 11 houses buried after a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Indonesia’s main island of Java, an official said on Sunday.

The landslide hit Tegal Panjang village in Sukabumi district in west Java late on Saturday after a particularly heavy downpour, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

“We found all 12 bodies,” he said in an update, revising the earlier death toll of 10 and two missing.

He said heavy rain caused a cliff to collapse and hit the village, burying 11 houses.

Landslides triggered by heavy rains and floods are common in tropical Indonesia during the rainy season.

The BNPB estimates around half the country’s 250 million population lives in areas prone to landslides.

The vast Indonesian archipelago is one of the most natural disaster-prone nations on Earth, and is also frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Agence France-Presse

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Chinese company fights for flamingos in Angola

Want China Times, Xinhua 2015-03-27

Flamingos at a park in Nanchang, Jiangxi province,
March 27, 2003. (File photo/Xinhua)

A Chinese company is actively involved in preserving the wetlands of the southern harbor city of Lobito, Angola a key part of the migration route of flamingos from neighboring Namibia to Kenya.

Thousands upon thousands of flamingos can be seen on the wetlands during the peak time of migration though only hundreds of flamingos stopped by the wetland during the past week due to torrential rains, said Zhang Huaqiang, a project manager of China Harbor Engineering Company (China Harbor).

China Harbor, a key player in the reconstruction of harbors in the formerly war-torn African country, joined hands with local volunteers and governmental environmental protection organizations in safeguarding the wetlands, removed dustbins, and levelled the banks of the two lakes to provide a better environment for the migrating birds.

The Chinese company also organized on-spot awareness campaigns on wetlands to educate local residents and Chinese expats working in Lobito on the breeding, growth and habits of flamingos. The group also joined local volunteers to patrol the area to guard against poaching of the birds, which were a symbol of Lobito city.

Zhang said his company entered Angola in 2006 and constructed or rebuilt 16 harbors there, and the protection of flamingos and conservation of the wetlands in Lobito is part of his company's efforts to shoulder its social responsibilities and pay back to local societies.

China Harbor is not only actively involved in the post-war reconstruction process but also became a part of local society, and his company is willing to share the dividends of economic development with the local population, Zhang said.

China Harbor is now building a new oil tanker terminal in Lobito with an investment of US$120 million from the Angolan government. Before this, it reconstructed the container terminal and the terminal for bulk minerals at Lobito, 550 kilometers south of the capital city of Luanda.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

World's leading zoo association overlooked horrific cruelty to animals

Zoos belonging to World Association of Zoos and Aquariums filmed allowing shocking mistreatment of elephants, dolphins, lions, bears, penguins and whales

The Guardian, Oliver Milman, 24 March 2015

A white tiger jumps for his food at Taman Safari in Indonesia. Tourists
are able to pose with tigers there. Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters

Dozens of examples of harrowing cruelty towards animals in zoos have been overlooked by the world’s top zoo organisation, animal welfare groups have alleged.

Zoos belonging to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Waza) have been filmed over the past five years making animals perform dangerous tricks, confining them to inadequate premises and beating them, contrary to Waza’s code of ethics, which demands the “highest standard of animal welfare”.

In November, an animal keeper at Mysore zoo in India was filmed beating an elephant, and Taman Safari in Indonesia runs a travelling dolphin circus in which dolphins are forced to jump through flaming hoops. Tourists are also able to pose with tigers for photos.

Zoo Negara in Malaysia has been condemned by a local MP for the terrible condition of its animals, and Dehiwala Zoo in Sri Lanka has come under fire after the deaths of a hippo, a lion and all the zoo’s penguins. The zoo has also been criticised for an elephant show in which handlers threaten the animals with sticks to make them do tricks.

A manacled performing elephant has been filmed at Dusit Zoo in Bangkok, and Almaty zoo in Kazakhstan and the National Taiwan Aquarium have been accused of housing bears and beluga whales, respectively, in sub-standard enclosures.

In 2009, a South Korean TV show filmed a small, terrified bear being placed inside a tiger enclosure at Everland Park.

All these zoos are members of Waza, a Switzerland-based organisation that acts as the peak member body for the world’s zoos. As revealed by the Guardian, Waza is being taken to court by an Australian conservation group over its alleged complicity in the infamous dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan.

Waza’s code of ethics states that where animals are used in performances by zoos, they must “focus on natural behaviour” and “not demean of trivialise the animal in any way”.

It states: “Waza and its members should make all efforts in their power to encourage substandard zoos and aquariums to improve and reach appropriate standards. If it is clear that the funding or the will to improve is not there, Waza would support the closure of such zoos and aquariums.”

Despite these stipulations, Waza has confirmed that no zoo featured in the videos of alleged cruelty has been expelled, or publicly or privately condemned.

Waza has more than 300 individual zoo members, including London Zoo, the Zoological Society of San Diego, Toronto Zoo, Bronx Zoo and Melbourne Zoo.

Sarah Lucas, head of Australia for Dolphins, which is leading the court action against Waza, said the organisation was too closely wedded to the interests of its members.

“It’s very easy to find abuses in these zoos – elephants being beaten or bears being kept in tiny, grimy cages – but Waza doesn’t call out its members on any of these abuses,” she said.

“It’s easy to form the view that Waza is an organisation that protects its members’ interests above that of the animals.

“Many of the zoos and aquariums do take the code of ethics seriously, but there’s clearly a significant number that don’t and Waza itself doesn’t take it seriously. They need to enforce it, to take action. They’ve either got to do their job or stop pretending to be a policeman for zoos and aquariums.”

Lucas said Waza’s dual role as a voice for zoos and a conservation organisation was “inherently conflicted”.

Waza has previously expelled zoos for breaches of conduct, such as Johannesburg Zoo for the illegal importation of animals last year.

A spokeswoman for Waza said it took “reputable and reasonable complaints” very seriously. She said there had been no complaints over any of the examples of abuse highlighted by the Guardian, but that the man filmed beating an elephant at Mysore zoo had been fired.

The claims have raised concerns among Waza members, with one, Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden, weighing up whether to quit the organisation.

The director of the zoo, Mats Höggren, said he could not be part of the same organisation as the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which takes dolphins from the Taiji hunt.

“We can’t be even indirectly associated, that’s not possible,” he said. “We feel horrible about what’s happening over there and we need to put pressure on Waza to do something.

“We will wait a little longer but there needs to be something constructive or we will terminate our membership, for sure.”

Höggren sits on the executive committee of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, and said it would also discuss Waza membership.

Sir Richard Branson has added his voice to the condemnation of Waza’s link to the dolphin hunts.

“I was shocked to learn that the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which is meant to protect animals, has members that are heavily involved in the horrific capture of dolphins in Japan,” the Virgin founder said in a statement.

“I join with Australia for Dolphins in calling on Waza to end its support for these organisations, and to end its toleration of taking animals from the wild using traumatic methods. Waza is the world’s peak captivity body and it should take a strong stance – no dolphins or whales should be captured from the sea ever again.”



Related Articles:

World's top zoo organisation accused of links to Taiji dolphin slaughter in Japan


Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Giant rats helping to sniff out tuberculosis in Mozambique

Kitten-sized rats are being used by scientists to detect tuberculosis-causing bacteria in a project which hopes to save both time and money

The Guardian, AFP, Tuesday 24 March 2015

A giant rat used to detect tuberculosis-causing bacteria at Apopo research
 centre in Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique. Photograph:
Adrien Barbier/AFP/Getty Images

Giant rats may strike fear and disgust into the hearts of homeowners worldwide, but researchers in Mozambique are improbably turning some of them into heroes.

At Eduardo Mondlane University in the capital Maputo, nine giant rats are busy at work – sniffing out tuberculosis-causing bacteria from rows of sputum samples.

These are no ordinary rats, as they have undergone six months of training in Tanzania. Their most distinguishing asset is their impeccable sense of smell.

Placed inside a glass cage, a rat darts from sample to sample, then stops or rubs its legs, indicating that a sample is infected with a TB causing bacteria.

Once the task is complete, it is given a treat through a syringe for a job well done.

“Within 30 minutes, the rat can test close to a hundred samples, which normally takes a laboratory technician four days,” said Emilio Valverde, TB program director at APOPO, the organisation leading the research.

The project, which started in February 2013, has brought hope to thousands of TB sufferers who sometimes receive false results and test negative using the standard laboratory system.

In 2006, tuberculosis was declared a national emergency in Mozambique, with 60,000 people in 2014 said to be infected, according to the ministry of health.

That number was a 10 percent increase from 2013.

Samples delivered to the university for testing are collected from 15 health centres across Maputo.

Belgian group APOPO is planning to expand the program to other parts of the country, while working on getting the system approved by the World Health Organization.

The organisation claims rat testing is more cost effective than other conventional methods.

Each rat costs around $6,700 to $8,000 to train, with a six-to-eight-year life span.

The cost is lower compared to rapid diagnostic test GeneXpert, which costs up to $17,000 per device, setting the state back between $10 and $17 per test.


They are light enough to cross terrain without triggering the mines, and are followed by de-mining experts who reward the rats with bananas.

The rats weigh up to 1.5 pounds and are said to be “easier to catch and train” – according to Valverde.

Samples pointed out by the rats to contain TB bacteria are then sent for further tests using fluorescence microscopy, a more sensitive laboratory technique.

The results are sent back to health centres, allowing patients to start treatment early.

Although TB is a treatable disease, in underdeveloped countries like Mozambique it can be deadly if left untreated and is particularly harmful to people living with HIV.

Mozambique is one of the countries worst affected by TB and 1 in 10 adults is HIV-positive.

With World Tuberculosis Day being marked on Tuesday, the Mozambican Ministry of Health said it was cautiously monitoring the APOPO work.

“This technique has to be compared to others that are available and already WHO approved, such as GeneXpert or LED microscope,” said Ivan Manhica, who heads the national programme for tuberculosis at the health ministry.

According to the WHO, TB killed 1.5 million people in 2013.



Dogs prove successful at sniffing out bowel cancer

DutchNews.nl, March 24, 2015

Dogs being trained to sniff out bowel cancer can already recognise its smell after less than a year in training, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

The five cocker spaniels are being trained by the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation KNGF and have sniffed 380 samples of human faeces including some from patients with bowel cancer. They are already able to pick out the 20 tubes containing faeces from bowel cancer patients in 80% of attempts. 

The KNGF is working with the VU medical centre in Amsterdam on this pilot project to train dogs as medical detectives. According to the VU, it is an important step in the early diagnosis of bowel cancer which is discovered in 15,000 people a year.

‘Bowel cancer is mainly diagnosed following a colonoscopy,’ the VU’s professor Henk Verheul says on the KNGF website. ‘This is uncomfortable for the patient and leads to late diagnosis. It would be fantastic if we could use specially trained dogs to search for cancer by sniffing faeces or breath.’ 

The intention is to train dogs to recognise other forms of cancer in the future.

Related Article:


Saturday, March 21, 2015

US lawyer argues chimps are people too

Yahoo – AFP, Glenn Chapman, 21 March 2015

Attorney Steven Wise argues that apes, chimpanzees, elephants and orcas
 are as entitled to the rights of "persons" under law as are people or corporations 
(AFP Photo/Sia Kambou)

Vancouver (AFP) - Attorney Steven Wise is on a crusade to prove that, as a matter of law, chimps are people too.

For that matter, so are dolphins, elephants, gorillas and orcas.

Wise made his argument at the TED Conference that wrapped up in Vancouver, Canada on Friday.

"I had to invent the field of animal juris prudence," Wise told AFP at TED.

Nonhuman Rights Project president and
 attorney Steven Wise pictured in 
Vancouver, Canada on March 20, 2015,
 where he spoke at a TED conference
(AFP Photo/Glenn Chapman)
"Coming here is implicit affirmation that people are interested in what we have to say."

Wise argued that apes, chimps, elephants and orcas are as entitled to the rights of "persons" under law as are people or corporations.

Legal systems around the world have granted rights of personhood to holy scripts, mosques, companies, and even a river.

"Personhood is not a biological concept, it is a public policy concept," Wise said.

"The legal system decides it; human being is not synonymous with person."

He has devoted decades to the cause, which is now making its way through courts in the US state of New York.

Seeing animals as slaves

Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, is hoping a legal tactic successful in getting a slave legally transformed from property to person in a historic case in Britain will do the same for chimpanzees and other animals.

He will use the writ of habeas corpus, in which judges order prisoners or detainees brought before the court. Such writs, by definition, assign rights of personhood to those targeted.

Members of the project found chimpanzees in abysmal conditions in several parts of the state of New York, then filed for writs of habeas corpus in respective courts to get the animals moved to a refuge.

Reactions from judges have been mixed, with even sympathetic members of the bench averse to breaching the legal wall separating people from animals, according to Wise.

"Even in America, no judge wants to be the first to make this leap of faith," the animal rights champion said.

Wise, author of "Rattling the Cage" and other works defending animal rights, has been waging this legal battle since the early 1980s.

"They truly are slaves," Wise said of chimps, bonobos and other animals proven to have feelings, memories, language, foresight and other traits considered human.

"I realized there was no one looking out for their interests and they were just being exploited."

He recalled being met with hostility and ridicule early in the battle. Rival lawyers would bark when he walked into courtrooms.

After decades of laying groundwork and gathering allies, Wise and his team filed an opening salvo of lawsuits in New York about two years ago.

"We are going state by state, animal by animal and we are going to lose a lot before we start to win," he said.

"I expect to win, and not all that far into the future."

An orca swims with its baby at the Marineland animal exhibition park in
 the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France on December 10, 2013
(AFP Photo/Valery Hache)

Tide of history

Victory would come in the form of a non-human animal being legally recognized as a person for some purpose, no matter how limited.

"Once that wall is pierced, judges will realize that they have to make more nuanced, rational decisions," Wise said of establishing that some animals have a right to be treated better than mere property.

Wise is working with lawyers in Europe, Argentina and other parts of the world.

"I think there is a tide of history and judges need to swim with it and not against it," Wise said.

"Orcas, apes, chimps and elephants should at least have the right to bodily liberty. I am not talking the entire animal kingdom, but lines have to be drawn."

The Nonhuman Rights Project is looking to hit US courts with its next case, on behalf of circus elephants, late this year.

"I think it may change the way people view entities that aren't human," Wise said of his quest.

"They may not have the knee-jerk reaction that we can exploit them."


Killer whales have been thrilling whale watchers this week in Puget Sound. But
they were especially exciting Tuesday when nearly three dozen orcas surrounded
 the ferry from Seattle as it approached the terminal on Bainbridge Island. NOAA
Fisheries Service photo by Candice Emmons

Related Articles:




Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.


Question: Dear Kryon: I was wondering about the way I feel about whales and dolphins. I've had a feeling that I have to go to them sometime, but I don't know how or what I'm to do when I get there. Please help.

Question: Dear Kryon: I'm a Turkish/Islam woman of 57. I live in Ankara and work for the European Commission's project in Turkey. I've read almost all of the Kryon books twice, and I'm planning to read them once more. My question is about the whales. Why do they commit mass suicide? What is the reason for this very sad event? Is it a kind of protest against Human Beings?

Answer: Dear ones, we've channelled many times about the whales of this planet. In review, they're the living portions of an actual grid-system! They contain the "history of Earth" within their beings, and they're sacred for that reason. They coordinate and cooperate with the crystalline grid of your planet, which is currently being rewritten (see Kryon channelling on the Website: "What's Next?" December 8, 2002). Doesn't it strike you odd that these mammals are the only ones protected against hunting by more than 90 percent of the countries of Earth... even the places without oceans? Do you think that this is an accident or a coincidence? No. It's cellular information for all humanity to protect the whales and keep them safe. Dolphins are their cousins and support group, and they play a role in the whales' development. This is why you're so attracted to them.

Whales do not commit mass suicide. They have no consciousness to allow for this, and it has never happened. Instead, you see whales often beaching themselves and then being saved by Humans, only to re-beach themselves and die. This takes place mostly on the coastlines of your continents, and often on those areas of topography that "stick out," such as a peninsula or isthmus. Your Cape Cod is a good example in America, and is also a place where this has recently happened (up to 47 whales on a beach).

The reason is that whales, dolphins, amphibians, birds, and even insects all navigate to their breeding ground or migration areas each year via the magnetic grid of the planet! Each group follows the ley lines of magnetic influence, almost as if they had a built-in compass. In fact, they actually do!

The magnetic grid of this planet has changed so much, so quickly, as we told you it would in 1989, that there hasn't been time for the pods of whales to adjust with time to these changes. Instead, many simply follow the old magnetic lines of migration, only to find themselves on a beach instead of the open ocean, as the old magnetic direction used to take them. They're confused, and they simply line up and try again, just as they have for years. These things are temporary, and as tragic as you might see them, it's all part of "pruning" the system, and the calves will go around in the future, establishing new instinctive information for the new whales regarding the grid changes. This information has even now been validated this year (2003) by your scientists.

Feline Fun for All at Cutie Cats


The cats are the often indifferent stars of the show that is the newly opened
Cutie Cats Cafe in Kemang, South Jakarta. (JG Photos/Lisa Johanna)

Some say the world has gone to the dogs. Nihilism aside, judging from the rapidly growing number of cat cafes popping up around the globe in recent years, the world is obviously going to the cats — and Indonesia is no exception to the overload of fluffy cuteness.

Jakarta cat lovers, go ahead and let out that suppressed squeal of delight (you know you want to) at the news of Cutie Cats Cafe, the first of its kind in the archipelago. Since the late 1990s, Asia has seen a boom in this CATegory of feline-friendly businesses, but Jakarta’s first taste of this growing trend hopes to set itself apart in several ways.

The sheer concept of a cafe where customers pay money to be surrounded by cats is so bizarrely quirky that it had to have come from Japan, the land of all things adorable — with an unconventional twist. But surprisingly enough, the world’s very first cat cafe opened in Taiwan in 1998.

“Japanese tourists coming to Taiwan, they took on the idea and then the first one opened in [the year] 2000-something in Tokyo and that’s actually the place where the most cat cafes are at the moment,” explains Michael Kurtz, co-owner of Cutie Cats Cafe. “There, the people have the same problems [as in Jakarta]; there, the people live in very small places that are very cramped. [So] it’s quite popular for people to go to cat cafes, to sit and relax, and play with the cats of course.”

Japan now boasts more than 150 cat cafes, according to Smithsonian magazine, while Singapore has five. Other cities to join the fray include Bangkok, Melbourne, Sydney, London, Vienna and Munich. Thanks to Michael and his wife Lia Kurtz, the driving force behind their establishment, Jakarta now also has a cozy haven for cat lovers.

(JG Photos/Lisa Johanna)
 Located in Kemang, South Jakarta, the capital’s unofficial center of contemporary art, hipster hangouts and expat housing, Cutie Cats Cafe is a purrfect fit for the area — especially in the row of pet shops, independent boutiques and modern furniture stores on which it’s nestled. For those craving a meal — or a pint — after their visit, Bremer Beer Garden, Tree House and Pizza Barboni are a short stroll away.

The cafe isn’t the easiest to spot; situated above a boutique, the first telltale sign of the place is a narrow glass door with a logo of a smiling yellow cat. Look up, and if you’re lucky you’ll spot one or two of Cutie Cats’ residents lounging against the floor-to-ceiling window of the second floor.

Once through the doors, a hallway leads to a flight of stairs where you’re greeted with that familiar cat smell — one all cat lovers know and love. And though the quaint counter of Mama Cats Kitchen looks inviting with its range of cakes and drinks, all you’ll want to do is dash over to the framed window for a look at the furry occupants on the other side. Before entering, however, you’ll be asked to hand over Rp 55,000 ($4.20) for your first hour of play time, exchange your shoes for a pair of sandals, and spread a few drops of sanitizer on your hands.

Don’t expect a rousing welcome; cats will be cats and though they might give you an apathetic glance, they’re more likely to lay their heads back down on a comfortable pillow, sharpen their claws on one of the room’s many scratching posts, or leap onto a maze of perching platforms fixed to the wall. The best time to have the room and all 16 cats to yourself is at opening time, 10 a.m. Business picks up an hour later, and as per the Jakarta social landscape where nothing is done individually, customers come in hordes.

“Afternoons are quite full, evenings are really full and weekends are packed. We take reservations from people with prepayments,” Michael says, urging guests who have booked their spot to arrive on time. Should the cafe reach its maximum capacity of 20 people, including up to five children and one Cutie Cats employee, you won’t have the option of exceeding your allotted time. The cafe has even had to turn away visitors who show up without a reservation on a busy day.

A month after its launch, Michael says the response has been overwhelming, joking that he and his wife would have created a larger space “if we had known from the very beginning that so many people would come.”

Store manager Lisa concedes that she and her staff were caught completely off guard on opening day.

“It was completely full. People were lining up,” she says. “We actually only expected guests who were friends of [the Kurtz’s] or maybe their relatives, but we immediately received real customers!”

The cafe’s priority remains its brood of 16 cats, which includes a Bengal, several Exotics, Himalayans, Scottish folds, Persians and mixed domestics. Guests are given a strict list of Dos and Don’ts to follow, available in English, Japanese, German and Indonesian: do play with the cats, but use only the toys made available; feel free to take pictures and tag them @cutiecatscafe on Instagram, but don’t use the flash; by all means, pet the cats, but not while they’re asleep; and above all, please don’t pick them up. Ultimately, these rules amount to one holy tenet: The felines are in charge and we are mere congregants of their cuteness.

Even cafe employees are always at the ready to do their bidding, with the start of each day dedicated to their grooming needs — a part of the job Lisa finds most challenging.

“Sometimes [the cats] are on the very top platforms and we have to [coax them down],” she says. “Or they run away and we have to chase them. It can be a real struggle.”

Throughout the day, Lisa and her staff keep a sharp eye on the cafe’s goings on, making sure the cats are treated well and cleaning out their litter boxes as often as needed. Hygiene is another top priority, which is why — unlike many other cat cafes — the kitchen and cake display are kept separate from the play room, Michael explains.

The treats on offer at Mama Cats Kitchen are “foods that cats typically don’t like,” he adds. “We only provide cakes and savory things” to ensure the cats don’t try to sneak a bite.

But that still doesn’t stop Spotty, a black-and-white Persian mix and one of the most active of the bunch, from deftly hopping onto my table and tentatively sniffing at my carrot cake with wide, expectant eyes. The 1-year-old is also one of the more fearless, approaching anyone holding a cup of juice or cupcake with, well, cat-like curiosity. Another spirited member of the family is 6-month-old Argo, a beautiful Bengal who roams around the elevated bridges, leaping gracefully from one platform to another like his wild cousins. Seven-year-old Candy, an Exotic and the eldest of the group, prefers to lounge on the carpet, giving the toys waved in front of her an indignant glance before once again closing her eyes for a snooze. And then there’s the baby: 3-month-old Usagi (rabbit in Japanese) is a gray-and-white Scottish fold who perhaps attracts the most attention for being just so darned adorable.

Come to Cutie Cats Cafe at your own peril; these furry felines will melt your heart and leave you planning your second, and third and fourth trip for more cuteness overload.

Rino Kakinuma, 7, plays with toy poodles, beagles and a golden retriever
at the Dog Heart cafe in Tokyo, February 22, 2015 (AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

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Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dogs by the hour: Japan offers pet rental service

Yahoo – AFP, Bianca Cheung, 20 March 2015

Rino Kakinuma, 7, plays with toy poodles, beagles and a golden retriever
at the Dog Heart cafe in Tokyo, February 22, 2015 (AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Apartment not big enough for a dog? Too busy for walkies? In crowded Tokyo you can rent a mutt for a few hours of wet noses and unconditional loving from Man's Best Friend.

For seven-year-old Rino Kakinuma, surrounded by toy poodles and beagle pups, it is the perfect solution -- a fortnightly chance to play with her four-legged friends.

"She really likes dogs but our home is not suitable for pets," her father Shinji Kakinuma tells AFP.

"I was a bit sad for her so I looked for places where she could hang out with dogs."

Rino Kakinuma, 7, plays with a beagle at the
 Dog Heart cafe in Tokyo (AFP Photo/Yoshikazu
Tsuno)
Rina and her father are not alone.

The tightly packed Japanese capital can be a challenging place to keep a pet; even if your building managers allow animals, the average apartment is just 60 square metres (650 square feet) -- barely enough room to swing a cat.

That is where places like Dog Heart come in.

Just a few minutes' walk from Yoyogi Park, one of Tokyo's main green lungs, Dog Heart is part petting zoo and part rental shop.

Visitors can choose between sitting and stroking the more than 20 animals, or taking them for a walk around the park.

Half an hour of play-time costs 950 yen ($8), while 60 minutes of dog-walking will set you back 3,600 yen. Both can be extended for additional cost.

Since opening in 2012, owner Yukiko Tsuchiya, 50, says her business has been growing, with some clients coming in weekly.

"In the suburbs, it is easier to get in contact with dogs, but in Tokyo, there is a demand for a places like this," she says.

"People bring their kids here, couples come for dates, men and women come on their own... and elderly people as well, because they feel too old to have a pet at home."

But not everyone is impressed.

The Japanese Coalition for Animal Welfare (JCAW), a campaign group, says dog rental shops subject animals to possible physical and psychological risks, such as mental stress from poor handling.

"The animals will no doubt be confused or frustrated with the wide variety of people that will come to the facility," JCAW head Koichi Aoki said.

"If any interaction is unacceptable to the animal they will display avoidance behaviour and may even be traumatised."

Dogs that go out for walks with paying clients might be forced to perform beyond their physical limits, possibly resulting in fatigue, lameness or inflammation of joints, he says.

Dog Heart's Tsuchiya says she is very careful to look after her animals, all of which, she says, are happy to be walked, petted and picked up.

"Some people worry that the dogs are exposed to too many people... but they were born in this environment so it is not a problem," says Tsuchiya.

"People say that it is stressful for the dogs, but when the weather is bad and no customers come, the dogs get bored.

"They are actually less stressed when the customers are here."


China politicians' tiger breeding ring busted

Yahoo - AFP, 19 March 2015

Three local politicians in China raised at least 11 endangered Siberian tigers, 
state media has reported, after one of the animals jumped to its death from a 
high-rise building ( Photo By Patrik Stollarz/AFP)

Three local politicians in China raised at least 11 endangered Siberian tigers, state media reported Thursday after one of the animals jumped to its death from a high-rise building.

The cub leapt from the 11th floor of an apartment building in the eastern city of Pingdu last month when it was spooked by fireworks set off to celebrate the Chinese New Year, officials said.

Investigations revealed that the seven-month-old cub was being raised by Yang Wenzheng, a member of a municipal People’s Congress, the Communist-controlled local legislature, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing officials.

With one of his fellow deputies, Yang had obtained two tigers from a third councillor, who had eight of the animals but found the costs of raising them -- 1,600 yuan ($260) per day in total -- too expensive to bear.

They bred at least three cubs that later died, CCTV said.

Tiger meat and bones are said to have curative properties in traditional Chinese medicine and farming them can be lucrative -- the China Daily said tigers can fetch 1 million yuan on the black market.

East Russia and China's northeast are home to the big cats, also known as Amur tigers.
Hundreds of them once roamed the lush pine and oak forests of Manchuria, but due to centuries of poaching only a couple of dozen are believed to still survive in the wild in China.

All three have resigned from the municipal People's Congress and were each fined 3,000 yuan for the "bad impact" of raising tigers without official permission, but were not prosecuted, the reports said.

CCTV reported that the surviving animals have been moved to a local zoo.


A resort complex in northwest Laos targeting Chinese visitors has become a
 "lawless playground" for the trade in illegal wildlife ranging from tiger meat to bear
paws, an advocacy group says (AFP Photo)

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