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)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Danish auction house stops ivory sales after protests

Yahoo – AFP, 24 Nov 2015

Ivory, as displayed here at an auction on October 28, 2008 in Windhoek, Namibia,
is sold for jewellery and decorative objects, with much of it is smuggled to China,
where many increasingly wealthy shoppers are buying ivory trinkets (AFP)

Denmark's second largest auction house said Monday it had stopped selling ivory products amid a social media storm over its planned sale of two tusks belonging to an African elephant.

The nearly two-metre (80 inch) tusks, weighing 28 kilogrammes (62 pounds) each, were to have gone under the hammer for a total of 150,000 kroner (20,107 euros, $21,344) on Wednesday.

"We try to be as aware as possible of what can cause offence," Kasper Nielsen, a sales director at Bruun Rasmussen, told AFP.

The move had been based on "the reactions we have received both" from the conservation group WWF "and our customers on social media," he said.

The decision also covered any tusks and horns belonging to the endangered species listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the company said.

The auction had been slammed by the WWF as immoral, and on the company's Facebook page one user had left comments that said: "Supporting the poachers is horrific!" and: "I will never do business with this outfit again."

Rampant poaching of elephants in Africa has caused a major drop in their numbers over recent decades.

There are between 419,000 and 650,000 elephants left, according to conservation group Save the Elephants.

In a bid to show their determination to end the trade in ivory, Kenya's wildlife authority last week vowed to destroy its vast ivory stockpile from several thousand elephants, nine times more than the largest pile torched so far.

Ivory is sought out for jewellery and decorative objects and much of it is smuggled to China, where many increasingly wealthy shoppers are buying ivory trinkets as a sign of financial success.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Russia gives France puppy to replace killed police dog

Yahoo – AFP, 21 Nov 2015

Russia has offered to send an Alsatian puppy named Dobrynya (pictured) 
to France in a gesture of solidarity after police dog named Diesel was killed
during a raid on jihadists linked to the Paris attacks (AFP Photo/HAND OUT)

Moscow (AFP) - Russia has offered to send an Alsatian puppy to France in a gesture of solidarity after a police dog was killed during a raid on jihadists linked to the Paris attacks.

Russia's interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said he had written to his French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve offering to send a puppy named Dobrynya to replace Diesel, a Belgian Shepherd killed in a huge raid north of Paris last Wednesday.

Kolokoltsev said that as "a sign of solidarity with the people and police of France," he was offering the puppy, which "will be able to occupy the place in service of the police dog Diesel killed during a special operation to neutralise terrorists."

The dog is named after a hero of Russian folk legend, Dobrynya Nikitch, famed for his strength, goodness and courage, he added.

The ministry late Friday posted pictures of the small fluffy puppy and a video of him playing with a ball, which can be viewed here: https://mvd.ru/news/item/6802710.

The puppy was also shown on state television on Saturday.

A member of a French special police unit and a police dog during a raid on an
 appartment in the Paris suburn of Saint-Denis on November 18, 2015 following
attacks in the capital city that claimed 130 lives (AFP Photo/Francis Pellier)

Dobrynya is two months old and lives at a police dog centre in the Moscow region, Channel One television reported. He will have to undergo medical checks and quarantine before going to France.

Two dog-handlers from Moscow police's special forces also posed with their dogs and signs with the hashtag "Je Suis Diesel" on the service's Instagram account.

"Our four-legged friends also serve the police, protecting society from terrorist threats," the Moscow police service said.

The hashtag #JeSuisChien (I am a dog) trended on Twitter after French police announced that seven-year-old Diesel died in the raid targeting Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the November 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

Three people died during the massive operation at the apartment in Saint-Denis north of Paris -- Abaaoud, his cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen, and a suicide bomber who has yet to be identified.

Seven people arrested during the raid were freed on Saturday.

Related Article:


Friday, November 20, 2015

US government ends research on all chimpanzees

Yahoo – AFP, 19 Nov 2015

Captive chimpanzees were listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife
Service last year (AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi Chiba)

Washington (AFP) - Chimpanzees will no longer be used for US government research and the remaining 50 chimps in federal custody will be sent to a sanctuary for retirement, health authorities said.

The decision by the National Institutes of Health came two and a half years after the agency announced it would phase out most of its biomedical research using chimpanzees, which are humans' closest living relative and share 98 percent of the same genes.

Since 2013, no new applications for research using chimps have been approved, and last year, captive chimps were listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The NIH said the endangered designation requires researchers to obtain an extra permit for any experiments that could harm the animal, and that no such permits have been sought.

"As a result of these numerous changes over the last few years and the significantly reduced demand for chimpanzees in NIH-supported biomedical research, it is clear that we've reached a tipping point," NIH director Francis Collins said in a statement.

"In accordance with NIH's commitment in June 2013, I have reassessed the need to maintain chimpanzees for biomedical research and decided that effective immediately, NIH will no longer maintain a colony of 50 chimpanzees for future research."

The NIH-owned chimps are "now eligible for retirement" at the Federal Sanctuary System operated by Chimp Haven in Keithville, Louisiana, Collins said.

The NIH said it will continue to use other non-human primates for research.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Dutch appeal court upholds fur farming ban

DutchNews, November 10, 2015

Photo: Romoro via Depositphotos.com
The ban on fur farming introduced in the Netherlands in 2013 has been upheld by the appeal court in The Hague. 

A lower court last year found in favour of fur farmers who are furious at being ordered to shut down their companies without compensation. The appeal court, however, said on Tuesday that the new legislation does take the interest of fur farmers sufficiently into account because of the 11 year changeover period. 

Fur farmers said in a reaction to Tuesday’s ruling that they will take the issue to the high court. ‘We have already said that we will pursue this case to the bitter end,’ a spokesman for the fur farmers association NFE told news agency ANP.

 ‘We are extremely puzzled as to why last year the court found in our favour and now opinions have changed. This is both a surprise and a disappointment, because we had not expected it,’ the spokesman said.

The ban on fur farming came into effect on January 15, 2013 and included an 11-year transition for existing companies. 

The Netherlands has some 160 fur farms producing five million pelts a year. The sector employs some 1,400 people. The Netherlands is the third biggest fur farming nation in the world behind Denmark and China.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Eagle owl which terrorised Purmerend faces ‘life’ in captivity

DutchNews, November 8, 2015

An eagle owl. Photo: Brocken
Inaglory via Wikimedia
The eagle owl which terrorised the Dutch town of Purmerend earlier this year is to remain in captivity for the rest of its life, local paper Noordhollands Dagblad said at the weekend. 

The risk that the bird will continue to attack people if it is released is too great, the local authority is quoted as saying in a briefing for councilors. 

The owl was caught in mid March after officials issued a special permit for its capture. They have now asked for government permission to keep the bird in captivity, the paper said. 

The owl attacked dozens of people in the town, north of Amsterdam, and generated newspaper headlines around the world. Several people had to get hospital treatment for wounds to their heads during its five-week reign of terror, and the council recommended people carry umbrellas as protection.

Experts at the bird sanctuary where the eagle owl has been placed say it is a young male in good health and with strong eyesight. They have also concluded the bird was born in captivity and is used to people. 

No ring

The bird is not ringed or chipped and no clue has been found as to where the bird has come from. Eagle owls can have a wingspan of almost two metres when fully grown and it may have been released into the wild by its owner, the council briefing said. 

Even if it is released a long way from civilization, the bird is likely to return to places where people live, the council quotes the experts as saying. The sanctuary would like to keep the owl but does not have a zoo licence. It has now applied for one, the paper said.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rare Sumatran rhino 'Hope' arrives in Indonesia to mate

Yahoo – AFP, 2 Nov 2015

This photo obtained November 2, 2015 courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo shows
 male Sumatran rhino Harapan in his crate upon arrival in Sumatra (AFP Photo)

Jakarta (AFP) - A rare, US-born Sumatran rhino arrived Monday at his new home in Indonesia, an official said, where it is hoped he will find a mate and give his critically endangered species a shot at survival.

Harapan, an eight-year-old male whose name means "Hope", arrived at a specialist rhino sanctuary on Sumatra island at dawn after a long journey from a zoo in Cincinnati.

A senior biodiversity conservation official in Indonesia's forestry ministry told AFP the rhino was "adapting well" after travelling 36 hours by air, sea and land to reach to the national park.

"He is healthy and has a great appetite," Bambang Dahono Adji told AFP.

Harapan, a male Sumatran rhino, pictured
 in a photo taken on July 23, 2013 courtesy
 Michelle Curley of the Cincinnati Zoo, 
Ohio (AFP Photo)
"We noticed this morning he was lapping up all the leaves. Being Sumatran, perhaps he preferred local fare, like rice instead of cheese," he joked.

Sumatran rhinos are among the rarest in the world, with just 100 believed to still exist.

Harapan was the last remaining rhino of his kind in the US, but without a mate there it was decided he should return to Sumatra to have a chance at producing offspring.

His older brother, Andalas, also moved from a zoo in Los Angeles to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park in 2007.

Since then, he's fathered a calf at the park, with a second offspring expected in May.

Harapan will be quarantined for just over two weeks before entering the sanctuary, Adji said, where it's hoped he will follow in his older brother's footsteps and mate with one of three female rhinos there.

"Like his brother, we hope he will be able to breed and boost the Sumatran rhino population here," Adji said.

Challenges ahead

Rhino experts welcomed news of Harapan's return to his ancestral homeland, especially given the desperation in recent years as the species' future looked bleaker than ever.

With few alternative options, the Cincinnati Zoo took the controversial step in 2013 of trying to mate Harapan with his older sister Suci. The female died the following year in yet another blow for conservationists trying to save the species.

"It's good news that he's (Harapan) here in Indonesia to mate with unrelated females," Widodo Ramono, head of the Rhino Conservation Foundation of Indonesia, told AFP.

"Inbreeding would cause genetic degeneration, which brings problems such as illnesses and defects."

Another forestry ministry official Andhika Respati said Harapan's transition out of captivity would come with challenges, though a vet and two keepers from Cincinatti accompanied the rhino to offer advice to his new carers.

"One challenge is how to get him used to life and finding food in the forest, as he had been living in the zoo from birth," Respati told AFP.

"However we think he will adjust just fine."

Sumatran rhinos are the only Asian rhinoceroses with two horns. They are covered in woolly hair that ranges from reddish brown to black in colour.

While Javan rhinos are considered the world's rarest rhinos, Sumatran rhinos are under increasing threat by poachers and continue to lose precious forest habitat.

Dutch government initiates animal-free testing fund

DutchNews, November 2, 2015

Photo: vkovalcik via Depositphotos.com
The Dutch government wants to set up a new investment fund which will put money into developing animal-free research. 

The cabinet plans to fund the start-up costs but the rest of the investment will have to come from the private sector, junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma said in a briefing to parliament. 

The fund will be open to researchers who want to develop techniques for testing drugs and other substances without using animals, Dijksma said. 

Every year some 500,000 animals are used in scientific experiments in the Netherlands. Around half of the experiments are for scientific purposes and a third for the production and testing of drugs. The rest were used for assessing dangerous substances and for training purposes. 

Dijksma said the Netherlands aims to be the world’s most advanced nation in terms of animal-free research by 2025.