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)

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Bird traders face fine, jail for dyeing parrots different colours

DutchNews, February 19, 2020 

A yellow-headed Amazon. Photo: Lizzy Foulkes via Wikimedia Commons
A father and son from Zaandam accused of fraudulently exporting parrots by dyeing their feathers and beaks different colours and falsifying paperwork are facing a €7,500 fine and a year in prison respectively, broadcaster NOS reports. 

The public prosecutor said the pair, who trade in exotic birds, had been flaunting export rules for years, particularly when it came to health tests and certificates. The paperwork is necessary, officials say, to protect countries against bird flu, virulent Newcastle disease and psittacosis, which can also affect people. 

The son also stands accused of dyeing certain parrot species different colours in order to export them to countries which restrict the import of some parrots but not of others. 

Apart from dyeing the animals’ feathers he also dyed the beaks of 28 yellow headed Amazons so they would look like a yellow-crowned Amazon which are subject to less stringent import rules. 

In 2015 and 2016 the son was caught at Schiphol trying to ship a consignment of painted birds to Taiwan, many of which dead or dying. 

Complaints about fraudulent dealings by the two have been accumulating since 2008, NOS said.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Chinese turn to social media to feed stranded pets in virus city

Yahoo – AFP, February 3, 2020

A man carries his dog in a shopping bag at a pet fair in Shanghai. China is home
to a growing population of pet owners, with pet-related spending in China reaching
nearly $24 billion in 2018 (AFP Photo/JOHANNES EISELE)

Beijing (AFP) - China's unprecedented quarantining of virus-hit Wuhan has separated millions from their families -- and many from their pets, prompting worried owners and kind strangers to take to social media to ensure left-behind animals are looked after.

The virus that has killed more than 360 in China emerged during the Lunar New Year when hundreds of millions were travelling across the country, and the subsequent lockdown on Wuhan and central Hubei province has left many stranded.

The hashtag "save the pets left behind in Wuhan" became the third-most searched term on the Twitter-like Weibo platform Monday, receiving millions of views from those unable to return to the city, where the virus is believed to have originated, and others willing to help.

"Please help me feed my cat", one user posted on January 30.

On Monday, he used the hashtag to post the happy news he had found a "young man" who had agreed to go and feed his cat Maomao.

"In the video chat, after the man opened the door Maomao meowed so miserably, no one has been home for more than a dozen days..." he said.

More than 2,000 people also joined a group created by the Wuhan Small Animal Protection Association on Chinese chat app QQ to look for "kind-hearted people" willing to feed pets left behind in Wuhan by owners unable to enter the city.

One member on Monday asked if anyone would be willing to feed a pet snake. "I'm worried to death" the user, who posted anonymously, said. "I didn't let him hibernate this winter because he's a baby snake."

That post had no takers as of late Monday.

"If any cats and dogs are stranded and you can let me in, I can help you feed them on livestream," wrote Katherine Cui in eastern Zhejiang province -- where the city of Wenzhou was placed under a similar lockdown to Wuhan on Sunday.

"I have many pets at home, and plenty of cat food, dog food and kitty litter, I know too well how important fur babies are."

The drive to save pets comes after multiple Chinese media reports said apartment complexes had banned pets to stop the spread of the virus, as well as unverified reports that people had thrown animals to their deaths for similar reasons.

While the novel coronavirus is believed to have crossed over from animals to humans at a Wuhan market known for selling live wildlife, the World Health Organization has said on its Weibo account there is "no evidence that dogs, cats and other pets can catch the novel coronavirus."

China is home to a growing population of pet owners, with pet-related spending in China reaching 170.8 billion yuan ($23.7 billion) in 2018, according to a report by Pet Fair Asia and pet website Goumin.com.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Pigs beaten in undercover images from Dutch slaughterhouse

DutchNews, January 31, 2020 


An animal welfare group has published undercover footage of pigs in a slaughterhouse being beaten with paddles and an apparently crippled animal being pulled by the tail.

Ongehoord claims that the hours of images were made in August 2019 by ‘Johan’, a volunteer for the group working at the Westfort slaughterhouse in IJsselstein. 

The slaughterhouse, whose website says it sells ‘sustainable meat from the Netherlands’ told RTL Nieuws that it was investigating the images and implementing immediate measures to ensure poor treatment does not happen in future. 

‘Harsh herding and beating pigs isn’t allowed and shouldn’t be allowed,’ it said in a statement. ‘We take full responsibility for this and will implement [a set of] measures. The permanent camera supervision will also be intensified and a team including two of our own vets will monitor the images.’ 

However animal welfare experts told RTL Nieuws that beating animals in order to herd them – especially using the sharp side of a paddle – would count as ‘abuse’ and contravene European guidelines. 

Carla Schouten, agriculture minister, called the images ‘unacceptable’ and pledged to reduce the speed of slaughter at such factories.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Fugitive giraffe found dead in Thai canal

Yahoo – AFP, January 30, 2020

One of the runaway giraffes was spotted crossing the road in Bang Khla, Thailand
(AFP Photo/Jongput JIRA-APAKUL)

Bangkok (AFP) - A giraffe whose daring escape from convoy en route to a Thai breeding station won hearts online was found dead in a lotus-clogged canal on Thursday after a two-day search using drones and hang gliders.

Two giraffes made a bid for freedom from the back of a poorly secured truck as it slowed in highway traffic after leaving Bangkok's main airport on Tuesday.

The animals had been imported from an unnamed African country and destined for Safari World, a popular attraction outside Bangkok which describes itself as "an open zoo".

Rescuers caught one of the creatures after stunning it with a tranquiliser gun, but the other escaped into scrubland -- cheered on by hundreds of thousands of people on social media.

The story took a tragic turn, however, after it was found dead in a lotus swamp near a main road, according to Safari World.

Vets will determine the cause of death.

Hundreds of thousands of Thais followed Facebook live videos of journalists trailing the hunt for the runaway ungulate.

Comments lamenting its fate poured onto social media.

"Hope you reincarnate in a better world lil giraffe," said one.

Safari World is Thailand's biggest animal park, but the multi-million dollar company has in the past been criticised for training its creatures to perform for entertainment -- including staging boxing matches with orangutans.

Zoos and animal shows are common in Thailand, where tourists pay to have their pictures taken with tigers or watch elephants play football and perform tricks.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Glass frogs reappear in Bolivia after 18 years

Yahoo – AFP, January 28, 2020

The Bolivian Cochran frog is a species of glass frog native to Bolivia and
notable for its transparent belly (AFP Photo/Oliver QUINTEROS)

La Paz (AFP) - A rare species of frog native to the eastern slopes of the Bolivian Andes has been spotted in the South American country for the first time in 18 years, the investigation team that made the discovery told AFP.

The Bolivian Cochran frog is notable for its transparent belly, leading to its nickname, the "glass frog".

"The rediscovery of this species fills us with a ray of hope for the future of the glass frogs -- one of the most charismatic amphibians in the world -- but also for other species," said investigation team members Rodrigo Aguayo and Oliver Quinteros, from the Natural History Museum "Alcide d'Orbigny", and Rene Carpio of the San Simon University in Cochabamba.

The team came across the frogs on January 8 during a mission to rescue reptiles and amphibians threatened by a hydroelectric project in the Carrasco National Park to the east of Cochabamba, the fourth largest city in Bolivia.

Glass frogs are tiny, measuring only 0.7-0.9 inches (19-24 millimeters) and weighing just 2.5-2.8 ounces (70-80 grams). They can be found in the departments of La Paz (west), Cochabamba, Santa Cruz (east) and Chuquisaca (southeast).

Some frogs' hearts and digestive tracts can be seen through their transparent bellies.

Those found in the Carrasco National Park had a transparent belly with a "white chest. The bones and vocal sac of the males are dark green," the team said.

The three frogs found were taken to the K'ayra amphibian conservation center at the Alcide d'Orbigny museum.

Experts will try to encourage the frogs to breed as part of a conservation strategy.

The K'ayra Center is also home to a pair of Sehuenca water frogs, known as Romeo and Juliet, that scientists have been trying to convince to mate to help preserve their critically endangered species.

Their attempts have so far been in vain.

‘New’ wasp species found during expedition to Amsterdam park

DutchNews, January 28, 2020 

Photo: Jiangli Tan (Northwest University, Xi’an) 

The Vondelpark in Amsterdam is home to a hitherto undiscovered species of wasp, which has now been named after it, the Parool reported this week. 

The Aphaereta vondelparkensis, a type of parasitoid wasp, was discovered last year at the park’s Koeienweide, a small area of grassland, by a team of scientists and local researchers. It was caught in a trap consisting of a jar of rotting chicken which had been buried in the ground. 

The five-day project was set up by Taxon Expeditions, which organises research trips to all corners of the world. The company’s founder Menno Schilthuizen chose the location to explore how biodiverse a spot in the middle of a busy city can be, the paper said. 

Apart from the unexpected presence of the wasp, the team’s findings were ‘spectacular’ in other ways as well, city ecologist Remco Daalder told the paper. ‘In just five days we found over a hundred moths, 85 species of beetle, 21 species of spider and 15 species of snail. It goes to show that the biodiversity in only a few hectares in a city can be huge.’ 

Daalder said Schilthuizen had broadened the idea of biodiversity.’When we say biodiversity we usually think of rabbits or blackbirds. But Schilthuizen looks at the soil and it contains a wealth of species. We are talking to him about exploring other parks to see what creatures we can find there.’

Saturday, January 18, 2020

New cases of cruel slaughterhouse practices revealed: RTL

DutchNews, January 17, 2020

Pigs on a factory farm. Photo: Depositphotos.com

A number of slaughterhouses in the Netherlands are still causing unnecessary suffering to pigs despite pledges from agriculture minister to curb the practice, RTL Nieuws reports. 

RTL said that between January 2018 and July 2019 several new instances had come to light in which pigs were placed in vats of very hot water while still alive. The broadcaster bases its claim on reports requested from Dutch health and safety watchdog NVWA by pig protection organisation Varkens in Nood. 

In the reports, NVWA inspectors said they had personally witnessed six cases in which live pigs were placed in the vats and tried to swim. They also reported seeing a live pig dumped on a pile of bodies and pigs being beaten by workers. 

The practice of immersing live pigs in vats of hot water first came to light in Belgium in 2017. In 2018 RTL requested Dutch inspection reports and found that as many as 19 Dutch slaughterhouses had been fined 48 times over animal welfare issues, including placing and drowning live pigs in very hot water. 

One particular slaughterhouse had been fined 11 times in the space of six months in 2018, RTL said at the time

Dutch farm minister Carola Schouten said at the time she would tighten up the rules on abattoir closures and increase fines for animal cruelty following revelations about conditions in Dutch slaughterhouses. 

NVWA inspectors are a permanent fixture at the 21 big slaughterhouses in the Netherlands but smaller ones are only checked at intervals. It is not clear at which of the slaughterhouses the latest cases were found to have occurred. 

Varkens in Nood spokesperson Frederieke Schouten said all slaughterhouses need more supervision. ‘The only solution are cameras at every slaughter line. A slaughterhouse that does not keep to the rules more than once will have to be closed immediately.’

Animal sector calls for ‘fair trade mark’ for dogs

DutchNews, January 17, 2020 

A healthy and happy spaniel.

There is a fair trade mark for cocoa – so why not for pets? 

Animal rights and vets organisations, concerned about the sale of puppies of unknown backgrounds and health problems, have set up a FairDog platform. 

The website, which aims to be up and running within two years, should offer pet buyers puppies with a certified pedigree and reliable details about their health, behaviour and breeding method. 

According to the NOS broadcaster, some 150,000 puppies are sold each year in the Netherlands. It reports that many are cheap, come from Eastern Europe, and could suffer from health problems such as viruses and bacterial infections. 

Piko Fieggen, of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals which is one of the FairDog project’s founders, told the NOS. ‘If you take on a dog, you want a nice dog that you can enjoy without problems. The goal is that in the Netherlands we soon only have healthy and well-socialised dogs.’ 

The initiative will offer a quality stamp for dogs offered on its site, and dogs from abroad will be checked rigorously for infectious diseases. The aim is that it will also offer advice for people who might want to adopt, for instance, a former racehound or stray. 

Linda Wouters, a dog breeder, told the NOS that a screening programme was wise, especially for dogs with a risk of genetic issues. ‘The French Bulldog is a race that often has a lot of problems and often it is simply bred rather than people making an effort to improve the breed,’ she said. 

Vet Mijntje de Beer, who works in Boxtel, warned that a cheaper dog would not come cheap in veterinary bills if it is not healthy. ‘I often see dogs from eastern Europe that just aren’t healthy, which have parasites or specific bacteria or viruses,’ she reportedly said. ‘You can’t take a puppy with diarrhoea to a training course so they quickly get behind in their development.’ 

There are an estimated 1.5 dogs in the Netherlands, and the demand for the pet is thought to be greater than the regulated supply. The FairDog partners have also submitted a report to the Dutch government calling for more co-operation to ensure only ‘well-trained and healthy dogs’ are for sale.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Plea for New Zealand to house fire-threatened koalas

Yahoo – AFP, January 13, 2020

Koalas and their habitats have been hit hard by Australia's devastating bushfires
(AFP Photo/Tristan Kennedy)

Wellington (AFP) - Thousands of people have signed a petition for koalas to be introduced to New Zealand to escape Australia's devastating bush fires, but the proposal has been given the thumbs down by officials.

A group calling itself the Koala Relocation Society said koalas were "functionally extinct in Australia" but could thrive in New Zealand which has nearly 30,000 hectares planted in eucalypts.

There have been estimates of up to a billion koalas and other animals affected by the fires raging across Australia and there are concerns about how the survivors will cope given the loss of vegetation.

As of midday Monday, the online petition had 7,500 signatures, but a spokesman for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Television New Zealand that the government's focus was on helping to get the fires under control so koalas "can stay in their natural habitat".

Wellington Zoo animal science manager Simon Eyre believed any assistance should be provided directly to the Australian authorities dealing with the fallout from the fires.

"For us, it would be assisting in Australia and it wouldn't only be koalas, it would be other species affected by the fires as well," he said.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Walker gored by Tauros bull on Brabant nature reserve

DutchNews, January 6, 2020 

A Tauros bull in the Netherlands. Photo: Henri Kerkdijk-Otten via Wikimedia
Commons 

A man out walking in the Maashorst nature reserve in Brabant has been seriously injured after he was gored by a bull, local broadcaster Omroep Brabant reported on Monday. 

It is not yet clear why the bull attacked, but the man may have gotten too close to the animal in an attempt to photograph him, the broadcaster said. 

Several herds of Tauros cattle and European bison (wisent) live on the reserve as part of an ongoing project to keep grass growth under control and improve biodiversity. 

Last year, two walkers were also attacked by Tauros on the reserve and one broke her ankle as she attempted to flee. 

The Maashorst reserve covers 2,400 hectares and the large mammals roam freely over around one third of it.