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)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Monkeying Around at Jakarta's Schmutzer Primate Center

The Jakarta Globe, Tasa Nugraza Barley

The Schmutzer Primate Center, located inside Ragunan Zoo, has created an environment that aims to emulate the natural habitats of the animals. A bridge and a tunnel have also been installed for visitors to get a better view. (JG Photo/Tasa Nugraza Barley)

The zoo keepers who take care of the apes and monkeys at Ragunan Zoo have a problem: Their wives get jealous of the time they spend caring for their charges.

“All I can say to her is that it’s my responsibility to look after these animals,” said Dwi Suprihadi, who has worked at the zoo since 1994, transferring to the Schmutzer Primate Center when it opened in 2002.

Dwi and 22 other zoo keepers are tasked with keeping the center’s primates healthy and happy.

Zoo keeper Namin, who has worked at the zoo for seven years, said taking care of monkeys was like taking care of babies. “Primates are like humans and need love and care,” he said.

Namin said that primates, especially the apes, also feel emotions like anger, sadness, even jealousy. Sometimes, he added, the older primates get angry or jealous if he gives food to the younger ones first. “For that reason, a zoo keeper has to remember each primate’s character traits,” he said.

The center is named after a Dutch woman, Pauline Schmutzer, a painter who lived in Wonorejo, East Java. Schmutzer proposed the idea of opening the first primate center in Indonesia. She also donated much of her wealth to make such an undertaking possible.

Schmutzer, an active member of The Gibbon Foundation, an organization that campaigns to preserve endangered animals in Indonesia, died in 1998, four years before she saw her dream become a reality.

The center, which opened in August of 2002, occupies 13 hectares of the zoo’s 140-hectare facility at Ragunan and proudly claims to be best primate center in Southeast Asia, citing its size and the fact that it is the only center in the region to host gorillas.

Aburizal, 25, and his friends recently visited the center for the first time.

“I was shocked to see that the primate center was this good,” he said, adding that he had expected it to be similar to other tourist attractions in Jakarta, by which he meant poorly maintained.

He said he also was surprised by the size of the gorillas.

“They look kind of scary, but it looks like they’re actually quite nice animals.”

The Schmutzer Primate Center has six species of primates: orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, macaques, gibbons and leaf monkeys.

Dwi said that over the past seven years, the center’s staff members have worked hard to create facilities that resemble the natural habitats of the primates in an attempt to create the best possible enclosed environment for the animals.

“In some of the enclosures, natural food is grown so that the primates can feel like they are living in the real jungle,” he said.

Visitors to the Schmutzer Primate Center are prohibited from bringing food or drinks with them.

If you happen to be carrying even a bottle of mineral water, you have to store it inside one of the lockers provided at the entrance gate. The idea behind these strict measures is to make sure that visitors aren’t tempted to feed the primates.

“We strictly implement this policy because we monitor the diets of all the primates very carefully,” Dwi said.

He added, however, that there were still some visitors who would badger the animals.

“Some visitors like to make funny sounds or throw things at them. The gorillas don’t like that, they can get stressed,” Dwi said.

For that reason, the zoo keepers are always encouraged to conduct routine patrols during busy hours.

Of all the primates at the Schmutzer Primate Center, it is the gorillas that receive the most attention from the visitors.

Namin said the center was proud to be the only place in Southeast Asia that kept gorillas. Currently, there are three male gorillas at the Schmutzer Primate Center.

The gorillas were donated in 2002 by the United Kingdom’s Howllets Wild Animal Park.

They are low-land gorillas originally from African countries such as Congo and Gabon.

The three gorillas are named Kumbo, Kihi and Komu . All weigh about 170 kilograms. Both Kumbo and Kihi were born in 1995, while Komu was born in 1997.

“Gorillas can live up to 40 to 50 years. These gorillas that we have can grow up to 200 kilograms,” Dwi said.

Due to their size, and the influence of such Hollywood films as “King Kong,” there is a general misconception among the public that the largest of the primates are killing machines.

“That’s not true,” Dwi said.

He explained that a gorilla was highly unlikely to attack unless provoked. “That’s why we sometimes refer to them as gentle giants,” he said.

However, Dwi emphasized that gorillas were still considered wild animals and even the zoo keepers had to be careful not to make direct contact with them.

Rusdi Indradewa, 25, another visitor to the center, said he had suffered from a phobia of monkeys for a long time and that he had come to the Schmutzer Primate Center to overcome this fear. He said he had never liked monkeys and that just being around them left him shaking.

“Those gorillas look so big and scary,” Rusdi said. But he was surprised to find out that gorillas only ate fruit and vegetables.

“I have to say that it wasn’t easy, especially being so close to those big and scary gorillas. It took me an hour to work up the nerve to go inside the complex,” he said.

The Schmutzer Primate Center has worked to provide comfortable enclosures for the animals and also to give visitors the opportunity to view the apes, gorillas and monkeys from different angles in enclosures resembling as much as possible their natural habitats.

A seven-meter-high bridge crosses one section of the gorilla enclosure, and visitors are able to watch the animals interacting with one another from above.

A walk through a tunnel in the orangutan enclosure allows visitors to get up close and personal with the “man of the forest.”

Dwi acknowledged that, as a zoo keeper, a strong emotional attachment had grown between him and the gorillas.

“I see them as my friends and family,” he said. “I always get angry when people try to harm or annoy them.”

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