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.

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)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Panda diplomacy: Two giant pandas from China land in Indonesia

Yahoo – AFP, 28 September 2017

One of two giant pandas stays inside a cage as they arrive at the
Sukarno-Hatta airport in Indonesia

Two giant pandas from China arrived in Indonesia on Thursday in an act of "panda diplomacy" aimed at celebrating 60 years of bilateral ties.

Cai Tao and Hu Chun, both aged seven, arrived from Sichuan province and will be housed at a safari zoo in Bogor, a city near the capital Jakarta.

The pandas were lent by Beijing to mark the diplomatic anniversary despite recent tensions between the nations, with a number of clashes between Chinese and Indonesian vessels in the South China Sea.

The delivery is the first time Indonesia has been lent pandas, the country's forest and environment ministry said, making it the 16th country to be gifted with the animals by China.

A safari zoo will be their home for the next ten years once they clear an initial month-long quarantine.

"We hope we can breed them, that Hu Chun and Cai Tao will mate so they'll have offspring while they're here," said Yulius Suprihardo, a spokesman for Taman Safari Indonesia.

The zoo has built a 1,300 metres squared panda home for Cai Tao, who weighs 128kg (282 pounds), and Hu Chun, who weighs 113 kg (249 pounds).

Giant pandas are considered vulnerable and there are only about 1,800 in the wild, according to conservation organisation World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

China's use of giant pandas -- a national icon -- as gifts has a long history and has been dubbed "panda diplomacy".

Indonesia maintains it has no maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea, unlike other Asian nations, and does not contest ownership of reefs or islets there.

But Beijing's expansive claims in the sea overlap Indonesia's exclusive economic zone -- waters where a state has the right to exploit resources -- around the remote Natuna Islands.

The skirmishes have prompted Indonesia to bolster defences there.

In July, Indonesia changed the name South China Sea to North Natuna Sea to show its sovereignty in the waters, prompting criticism from Beijing.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Frida, the four-legged heroine of Mexico's quake rescues

Yahoo – AFP, Yemeli ORTEGA, September 23, 2017

Frida, a rescue dog belonging to the Mexican Navy, with her handler Israel Arauz
 Salinas, takes a break while participating in the effort to look for people trapped at
the Rebsamen school in Mexico City, on September 22, 2017 (AFP Photo/
OMAR TORRES)

Mexico City (AFP) - With protective goggles fitted under her furry ears and boots on all four paws, Frida wags her tail as she scales the mountains of rubble left by this week's devastating earthquake in Mexico.

The golden labrador is using her sense of smell to try to detect any survivors left in the wreckage of buildings brought down on Tuesday by the 7.1-magnitude earthquake.

The courageous canine has become iconic in Mexico, a four-legged symbol of the solidarity behind the rescue operations whose fame has been spread on television and social media.

One man in Mexico's northeast has even had her image tattooed on his arm. And a t-shirt maker is selling a line with her face above the slogan "We can be heroes."

The dog is part of the Canine Unit of Mexico's Navy, which has been active at the sites of 39 buildings brought down in the quake.

Frida was notably deployed at a collapsed school in the capital's south where 19 children and six adults died. Officials say there is still the possibility that an adult is trapped alive in the debris.

"Frida is a specialist in detecting people alive under rubble," her handler, Petty Officer Israel Arauz told AFP.

In her career, which included being sent to Ecuador for a major earthquake last year, she has saved 12 lives, he said.

When she turns up, many Marines drop their stern military demeanor to rush to pet her and have a photo taken alongside her.

"She brings joy, tenderness and hope. Civilians salute her and applaud her in the street," said one soldier as he rubbed her belly.

The dog's personality is "very gentle, but also very strong temperamentally," Arauz said, adding that she would likely be retired next year when she turns eight.

"For me, it's an honor to handle her on these missions," he said.

Frida, a rescue dog belonging to the Mexican Navy, with her handler Israel Arauz 
Salinas, takes a break while participating in the effort to look for people trapped at
the Rebsamen school in Mexico City, on September 22, 2017 (AFP Photo/OMAR TORRES)

Dogs lost and found

The spontaneous display of solidarity in Mexico against natural disasters has been a source of surprise and inspiration internationally.

Media around the world covering this week's quake have highlighted the generosity of Mexicans who have donated food, medicine and basic supplies, as well as the volunteers who have leaped forward to help professional emergency crews to remove rubble.

That same rush to help can be seen with dog-owners.

"We have come to support the UNAM brigade to detect people and rescue them," said Jean Louis Zuniga, an amateur dog trainer who turned up at a collapsed building with several of his charges, including a labrador, a border collie, a boxer and a pitbull.

But dogs weren't only part of the rescue teams -- they were also among the quake's victims. Several died, others became trapped in the rubble after losing their owners or becoming injured.

Many have been rescued, with some being hauled out of windows on ropes.

There are also free veterinarian clinics dotted around the city to look after injured animals, and centers dispensing dog food and medicine.

"I'm so desperate, I am looking for my Candy," said Cecilia Vega, a university student ceaselessly going to each center, with a photograph in hand of her chihuahua missing since the earthquake.

Like Candy, many dogs have been found without owners. Images of them have started to circulate on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, on forums created especially.

"She's called Precious and she got lost during the earthquake. She has problems breathing and is skittish," read one posting on the Twitter feed of @MascotasSismo (translated as QuakePets), under the image of a white dog with the tongue hanging out.

"Back with his owners!" read another, showing Brook, a grey pitbull.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Elephants hide by day, forage at night to evade poachers

Yahoo – AFP, Marlowe HOOD, September 13, 2017

Normally elephants forage for food and migrate in daylight, while resting
under cover of darkness (AFP Photo/TONY KARUMBA)

Paris (AFP) - Like escaped convicts, elephants in eastern Africa have learned to travel at night and hide during the day to avoid poachers who are hunting tuskers into extinction, researchers reported Wednesday.

Normally elephants forage for food and migrate in daylight, while resting under cover of darkness.

But a sharp increase in illegal hunting driven by the global trade in ivory has forced the massive land mammals -- against their nature -- to upend their usual habits.

"As most poaching occurs during the daytime, their transition to nocturnal behaviour appears to be a direct result of prevailing poaching levels," said Festus Ihwagi, a researcher at the University of Twente in The Netherlands.

In an upcoming study, Ihwagi details his findings, based on data gathered from 60 elephants in northern Kenya tracked with GPS devices for up to three years during the period 2002 to 2012.

Working with the NGO Save the Elephants, which has fitted more than 100 of the animals with GPS collars, Ihwagi monitored the movements of 28 females and 32 males in and around the Laikipa-Samburu ecosystem.

Females live in close-knit families and often have young calves at their side, while bulls tend to be more solitary.

To determine how, and to what extent, poaching had changed elephant behaviour, he compared two sets of data.

The first measured the distances travelled during the day and at night, and was logged as a ratio between the two.

The second -- drawing from the Illegal Killing of Elephant programme database -- identified zones and time periods when poaching was more or less severe.

Slaughtered for ivory

"Simultaneous elephant tracking and monitoring of causes of death presented a perfect 'natural laboratory'," said Ihwagi.

The nighttime movements of the elephants increased significantly in sync with poaching levels, especially for females.

In high-danger zones, females reduced daytime activity by about 50 percent on average compared to low-danger zones, Ihwagi told AFP.

Changing their behaviour in this way may help keep elephants alive in the short run, but could have long term implications for their survival, he added.

Despite their intelligence, deeply ingrained foraging strategies and mating patterns developed on an evolutionary timescale may limit the capacity to adapt.

"For mothers with very young calves, the risk of predation of the calves by lions or hyenas would be higher at night," Ihwagi said.

"For the mature elephants, it implies an alteration of their normal social life."

The real-time data from GPS devices could be used as an early warning system to alert environmentalists and park rangers, the researchers noted.

A sudden uptick in nocturnal travel, for example, could signal that elephants feel threatened.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the number of African elephants has fallen by around 111,000 to 415,000 over the past decade.

The killing shows no sign of abating with around 30,000 elephants slaughtered for their ivory every year, mainly to satisfy demand in the Asian market for products coveted as a traditional medicine or as status symbols.

"The escalation of poaching has become the greatest immediate threat to the survival of elephants," Ihwagi said.

The findings will appear in the January issue of the Journal of Ecological Indicators.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dutch give big cats hunting lessons in return to the wild

Yahoo – AFP, Sophie MIGNON, September 6, 2017

The hunting simulator is operated by a joystick and aims to return the big
cats to peak condition and ultimately, possibly, to the wild (AFP Photo)

Anna Paulowna (Netherlands) (AFP) - Suspended from a large butcher's hook, a prime piece of raw steak glides and then zigzags through the air in a big arena under the watchful eye of Dumi, the lioness.

With her hunter's instinct taking over, the big cat runs down her "prey" across the rocks and ponds of an artificial savannah at a lion sanctuary north of Amsterdam, then hooks her claws into her quarry after a spectacular leap.

Perhaps one day, thanks to this unique hunting simulator manipulated by a joystick, former circus performer Dumi will be able to hunt on African plains.

"It's a system which is meant to train the animals and not only give them back a little of their instinct, but also improve their motor control, their muscles, strength and reactions," said Daphne Pels, a keeper at the Stichting Leeuw (Lion Foundation) refuge.

There are 35 wild cats at the sanctuary in the small town of Anna Paulowna, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Amsterdam.

Most have been born in captivity, and the foundation aims to get the big felines -- lions, tigers, cougars and leopards -- back into peak condition to improve their lives and ultimately, even to hunt in the wild.

The big cats train in an artificial savannah and are challenged according to
their physical condition, while some have become lazy in captivity (AFP Photo)

 'Dependent on humans'

The cats were mostly rescued from inexperienced and sometimes malicious private owners.

Some are survivors of circuses that used wild animal acts -- now partially or totally banned in some EU countries -- and find it too expensive to feed the rapacious carnivores that can devour up to six kilogrammes (13 pounds) of meat a day.

Like Omar. Used as a cub by a circus to attract tourists who could hug the baby lion for selfies, Omar was eventually sold to a Slovakian mafia boss, who kept him in his garden as a pet.

When the foundation rescued Omar in March 2015, the male lion suffered from advanced malnutrition and was basically just skin and bones, with no muscle, and covered in sores and faeces.

It took Omar two years to recover. He now sports a large fawn-coloured mane, but he bears a scar on his muzzle and his small, amber eyes remain vigilant and mistrustful.

"These are animals that depend on humans a lot because they were bottle-fed, born in the circus and declawed" by their tamers or owners, said Pels.

"We can't just put them back in the wild," she told AFP.

Established in 2011 by a passionate businessman, the Stichting Leeuw (Lion 
Foundation) refuge in The Netherlands is looking after 35 wild cats (AFP Photo)

Chasing prey

Now Sarabi, the lioness, and Ambra and Laxmi, two tigresses, regularly train in this "playground" of roughly 80 metres by 50 metres (262 feet by 164 feet), which took three years to build.

Prey can vary: sometimes it's a toy, sometimes a piece of meat and even, when there's no audience, a dead rabbit or pigeon to help rekindle their hunting instincts.

The cats' target is suspended a few feet up in the air and moved around in a random fashion by keepers using the joystick in a small control room. The aim is to push the cats, which have sometimes become lazy in captivity, to chase their prey.

The small, artificial savannah is dotted with obstacles such as rocks, pools and tree trunks "so the animals have to learn how to watch and run at the same time," Pels said.

"The first few times we see them maybe bump their noses or accidentally fall into the water," she said laughing.

Training is adapted to each individual depending on its physical condition, age and needs.

"We are able to give the animals some training (too), but it's natural training. They don't have to jump through a hoop."

A puma, as well as lions, tigers, cougars and leopards, are among the big 
felines at the foundation and most were born in captivity (AFP Photo)

Back to Africa

Established in 2011 by a passionate businessman and financed through private donations, the foundation hopes to relocate Omar back to Africa this year "to give him a family."

Relocation costs 25,000 euros ($29,700).

Now aged five, Omar will join five other lions already living at the Emoya sanctuary in the Bahati wildlife estate in northern South Africa. Two Bengal tigers are also expected to join the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand (WFFT).

Once in their new homes, the felines have to learn to adapt. Those too dependent on humans will live in a small one- to two-acre area of savannah.

Others move on to the next stage, living in an enclosure of 50 to 100 hectares learning to hunt for real.

But it's a long-term project.

"We have to start with small prey and have to observe whether they will develop skills" to be able to feed themselves before introducing larger animals, Pels said.

"For now the most important thing is to bring the animals to Emoya to upgrade their lives and free up space for new animals that need help," Pels added.

This includes elephants, which the foundation hopes to take in in the future.



Sunday, September 3, 2017

93-year-old American woman donates $22 mn to Cologne Zoo

Yahoo – AFP, September 1, 2017

Snow leopard mother Siri stands next to her male cub Barid on August 13, 2015 
at the zoo in Cologne, western Germany (AFP Photo/Federico GAMBARINI)

Berlin (AFP) - A 93-year-old widow from the United States has donated $22 million to the zoo in Cologne, Germany, saying she wanted to give back to the city where she and her husband met during World War II, German media reported Friday.

"We never forgot Cologne," Elizabeth Reichert told the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper by phone from her home in Philadelphia.

She said she and her Jewish husband Arnulf Reichert both grew up in the western German city. They met in 1944, she recalled, when Arnulf lived in hiding to avoid being discovered by the Nazis.

They married a year after the war ended and briefly moved to Israel before settling in the US, where they lived the American dream and made their fortune.

Reichert said she worked as a hairdresser, while her husband took a job for a wholesaler selling pets and pet supplies, before setting up his own business and making millions.

Shortly before her husband died in 1998, the childless couple agreed to bequeath their money to the Cologne Zoo after their deaths.

"When you start thinking about who you want to leave your money to, memories play a big role. With the zoo, the money is well spent," Reichert said.

The couple had already shown their affection for the zoo in 1954, when they gifted a soft-shell turtle.

The considerably larger donation this time will come into effect after Reichert's death, when a foundation named after her husband will provide the zoo with an annual payment.

The zoo's director, Christopher Landsberg, said he was taken aback when he learned of the windfall from across the pond.

"I nearly fell off my chair," he told the DPA news agency.