Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"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)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

US zoo to breed rhino siblings

Google – AFP, Kerry Sherdian (AFP), 27 July 2013

Suci, a female Sumatran rhino is shown at Cincinnati Zoo, July 23, 2013
(The Cincinnati Zoo/AFP, Tom Uhlman/Michelle Curley)

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia — In a desperate bid to preserve a critically endangered species, a US zoo is taking the controversial step of trying to mate brother and sister captive Sumatran rhinoceroses.

The coupling of six-year-old Harapan and his older sister Suci could take place as early as August at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, animal keepers say.

The tactic has stirred strong emotions, but Terri Roth, director of the Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, said she has no other choice.

"We are in a really tough spot and we just don't have any other options," she told AFP.
Conservation experts say there are as few as 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in their native lands of Indonesia and Malaysia.

In captivity, there are only 10 in the world. Four of them are closely related, with three having been bred in recent years at the Cincinnati Zoo.

A fourth born in Indonesia last year that was the son of a Cincinnati-bred captive rhino and a formerly wild rhino.

For Suci, who is marking her ninth birthday next week, the only available suitors are her relatives, Roth said.

Graphic on the critically endangered Sumatran rhino
(AFP Graphic)

The other captive male of age in Indonesia is her older brother.

Harapan, who is on the cusp of adulthood, was brought to Ohio earlier this month from his previous home at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Artificial insemination has never worked in Sumatran rhinos, so shipping sperm from a genetically unique mate is not a viable alternative.

"Unless Indonesia were to capture more animals and an unrelated male became available to us, we don't have the genetic diversity that we need," Roth said.

In the meantime, experts say female rhinos need to breed in order to keep their reproductive organs from developing cysts that eventually render them infertile.

"Female rhinos, if they don't reproduce they tend to lose the ability to reproduce. It is kind of use it or lose it with them," said Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation.

Ellis said the population of Sumatran rhinos has dwindled dramatically due to humans encroaching on their land and poaching for their horns, which some Asian cultures believe carry healing powers though they consist of simple keratin, the same protein as in nails, hair and hooves.

"The species has really hit a crisis point," said Ellis.

"There are maybe as few as 100 animals left in the wild."

Still, the decision to breed siblings carries risks, including abnormalities, harmful genetic mutations and poor sperm quality in the offspring.

"In general, we are very much against the idea of breeding relatives because we know that more often than not it causes problems," said David Wildt, head of the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

US-INDONESIA-ANIMAL-CONSERVATION (The Cincinnati Zoo/
AFP, Michelle Curley)

"I don't know if I would call it a solution. I think it is a strategy. And it really opens up some healthy debate," he added.

"If those were the last animals on the planet, what else would you do? But this isn't the situation here, though. These aren't the last two animals on the planet."

Zookeepers are hopeful that the Indonesian government will take steps to capture some wild rhinos that may be in isolation already due to deforestation, and add them to their captive sanctuary population in order to boost breeding options.

Roth said she was aware of the publicity the decision to mate siblings would bring -- both good and bad -- and she hopes it raises people's interest in preserving the habitat of these precious creatures.

The Sumatran rhino "is not like the giant panda that everybody knows about and follows. I thought people need to know about this," she said.

"We are about to lose this rhino quietly, without a whimper, and I don't want to see that happen."

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