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, April 28, 2011

Illegal Logging, Mining Ravages Kalimantan, Costs Indonesia $36.4b

Jakarta Globe, April 28, 2011

Related articles

The Ministry of Forestry says illegal logging, land clearance, forest fires and mining has devastated Indonesian Borneo and cost the country an estimated Rp 311.4 trillion ($36.4 billion).

Raffles Panjaitan, director for forest investigation and protection at the ministry, said an estimated 1,236 mining firms and 537 oil palm plantation companies were operating illegally in Central, East and West Kalimantan on the Indonesian half of Borneo.

The companies had caused losses put at Rp158.5 trillion in Central Kalimantan, Rp 31.5 trillion in East Kalimantan and Rp121.4 trillion in West Kalimantan, he said.

The figures for the number of companies were supplied by district heads and governors.

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hassan said the names of the companies, including a number of large operations with thousands of hectares of concessions, were not being released because they were still under investigation by the ministry in conjunction with the Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force.

Also involved in the investigation were the AGO and the Environment Ministry, as well as the Corruption Eradication Commission who were investigating alleged abuses by authorities regarding the issuance of licenses.

He said the investigation would take three months.

Antara & JG

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WWF urges govt, businesses to save forests together

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Wed, 04/27/2011 10:09 AM

More than 230 million hectares of forested areas across the globe will disappear by 2050 if no action is taken, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warns.

WWF's Living Forests Report, released Wednesday, calls on policymakers and business entities to unite around a goal of zero net deforestation and forest degradation (ZNDD) by 2020, as a groundbreaking global benchmark to avoid dangerous climate change and curb biodiversity losses.

The first chapter of the report comes as business and political leaders are scheduled to meet this week in Jakarta at the Business 4 Environment Global Summit (B4E).

The report examines the drivers of deforestation and identifies opportunities to shift from the business-as-usual paradigm to a new model of sustainability that benefits government, business and communities.

"We are squandering forests now by failing to sort out vital policy issues such as governance and economic incentives to keep forests standing," WWF international forests director Rod Taylor says in a press release received by The Jakarta Post. (swd)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Switzerland: Smelly corpse flower draws thousands

BBC News, 23 April 2011

The 17-year-old amorphophallus titanum has never bloomed before

Related Stories

Thousands of people are flocking to the northern Swiss city of Basel to see a giant, stinky flower bloom for the first time.

The amorphophallus titanum - known as corpse flower because it exudes a smell of rotting flesh - is the first to blossom in Switzerland in 75 years.

The Basel Botanical Gardens expects the 6.6ft (2m) plant to attract 10,000 people whilst in bloom.

The bloom is set to wilt late Saturday or Sunday.

Worldwide, there have been only 134 recorded blooms from artificial cultivation, according to AP news agency.

The flower first began to poke out of the soil in March, and in the past few days it had been growing at about six centimetres a day, according to Swissinfo news website.

Its mother plant last bloomed in the Frankfurt Palm Garden in 1992.

Originally native to the tropical rainforests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the plant requires a humid climate to grow and rarely blossoms, even in the wild.

The flower's smell, said to be a cross between burnt sugar and rotting flesh, is designed to attract insects for pollination.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Studies Link Low IQ to Prenatal Pesticide Exposure

Jakarta Globe, Kerry Sheridan, April 21, 2011

High levels of pesticide exposure in pregnant women have been
linked to lower IQs in their children, a new study says
Related articles

High levels of pesticide exposure in pregnant women have been linked to lower IQs in their children, according to three separate US studies.

Two studies were done in New York City and a third was in Salinas, a farming area of northern California. All spanned nearly a decade, tracking levels of pesticide in expectant mothers and testing nearly 1,000 children up to age nine.

Researchers looked at exposure to a family of pesticides known as organophosphates, which are commonly used on fruit and vegetable crops. The reports are published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

In the California study involving 392 kids, "researchers found that every tenfold increase in measures of organophosphates detected during a mother's pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 drop in overall IQ in the seven-year-olds."

The differences held even after researchers accounted for factors such as education, family income, and exposure to other environmental contaminants, the study, released on Thursday, said.

Researchers at Mount Sinai, New York measured 400 women and their children from 1998 onward.

They found that "exposure to organophosphates negatively impacted perceptual reasoning, a measure of non-verbal problem-solving skills" between the ages of six and nine.

They also found that about one-third of the mothers studied carried a gene variant that made them less able to metabolize the pesticides, and that the negative effects in children were limited to this subgroup.

The third study, done by researchers at New York's Columbia University, looked specifically at one pesticide, chlorpyrifos, which was widely used to kill cockroaches and termites until it was banned from residential use in 2001.

In the sample of 265 minority children born before the ban took effect, higher prenatal exposure was linked to lower intelligence scores and poorer memory.

Children in the top 25 percent of exposure levels scored 5.5 percent lower in working memory tests and 2.7 points lower in IQ.

"These observed deficits in cognitive functioning at seven years of age could have implications for school performance," said lead author Virginia Rauh of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health.

"Working memory problems may interfere with reading comprehension, learning and academic achievement, even if general intelligence remains in the normal range."

Even though the studies were carried out independent of each other, the similarity in results raises concern, said lead author of the California study, Maryse Bouchard.

"It is very unusual to see this much consistency across populations in studies, so that speaks to the significance of the findings," she said.

Principal investigator Brenda Eskenazi described the associations as "substantial, especially when viewing this at a population-wide level."

Organophosphate pesticide use declined more than 50 percent between 2001 and 2009, the Berkeley researchers said.

However, both diazinon -- another common organophosphate that was banned from residential use in 2004 because it was a known neurotoxicant shown to have health risks for children -- and chlorpyrifos continue to be used in agricultural fields.

Most of the modern-day exposure to such chemicals would likely be through eating food treated with the pesticides. Experts recommend washing produce with running water and rubbing it to remove residue.

Related Article:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Freeport Halts Underground Mining After Accident

Jakarta Globe, Bambang Djanuarto & Yoga Rusmana, April 19, 2011

The Indonesian unit of Freeport- McMoran Copper and Gold Inc. stopped underground mining at its Grasberg mine in Papua province after an “industrial accident” killed one worker and another remains missing, a spokesman said.

The accident happened at about 11 p.m. local time yesterday at the Deep Ore Zone mining area, Ramdani Sirait, a spokesman at PT Freeport Indonesia, said in a mobile-phone text message today. Freeport’s rescue team is trying to locate the missing person, he said.

“Mining operations at DOZ have been stopped for cleanup process and investigation by inspectors from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry,” Sirait said, referring to the underground mining site by its initials.

Grasberg, which began operation in 1990, contains the world’s largest recoverable reserves of copper and the biggest single gold reserve, according to Freeport’s website.

Copper production at the mine fell to 1.22 billion pounds last year from 1.41 billion pounds a year earlier, according to the website. Gold output declined to 1.79 million ounces from 2.57 million ounces.

Last month, landslides blocked a key access tunnel for workers to enter the Grasberg mine without causing any disruption to production and shipments, Sirait said March 7.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ministry launches REDD website

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 04/18/2011

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan launched on Monday Indonesia's official Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program website,

Published in Indonesian, the website contains information regarding REDD implementation in the country, pilot projects, REDD-related regulations and other environmental information.

The website acts as a reference regarding REDD such as what REDD is and how it works.

It is also linked to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among other social network sites.

Zulkifli launched the website at the 3rd IndoGreen Forestry Expo opening at the Jakarta Convention Center, Antara reported.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Landslide kills nine people in Malang

Antara News, Sun, April 17 2011

Malang, East Java (ANTARA News) - Nine people died and eight others were injured when a landslide hit Klangon hamlet, Pandansari village, Ngantang sub-district, East Java on Sunday.

The dead victims were identified as Suwandi,25, Suwoko,43, Sugianto,41, Alipiyo Supatin,42, Dirham Nur Abidin,32, Poniman,30, Misdianto,44, Ngasno,21 and Mulyono,30, ANTARA learned here on Sunday.

While, other victims who suffered from injuries are

Raun,53, Ponari,36, Agung,13, Suwono,55, Lukman,11, Slamet Wahyudi 41, Nuriyanto,20 and Slamet Riyanto,21.

In addition, Muji Utomo, one of the Indonesian Red Cross members said, avalanches that fell from the cliff with a height of 80 meters, buried all the nine villagers.

All the dead victims have been evacuated at about 03.30 pm local time, and were laid in state in a mosque prior to their burial.

An eye-witness, Priyanto said that the accident happened at about 11.30 am local time when they were picking up firewood.

When taking the firewood on the edge of the Nambaan River, that its position just below the steep cliffs, a number of stones and soil suddenly fell off a cliff, Priyanto added.

Editor: Ruslan Burhani

Related Article:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Govt offers 3 million hectares for plantations

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 04/14/2011

The government is offering three millions hectares of land for plantations after revoking 251 licenses from companies deemed to be failing in managing the land.

“Especially for sugar cane, related to our sugar self-sufficiency program,” Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said in Jakarta on Thursday as quoted by

He added that rubber trees and oil palms were the next priorities.

The ministry's director general for planology, Bambang Supijanto, said the land was part of forested areas ready for conversion into plantations.

“Most of them are situated in Central Kalimantan,” Bambang said, adding that the rest were spread across other in Indonesia except Java Island.

Forestry minister stops logging permits

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 04/14/2011

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said on Thursday that the government has stopped new concessions for forest production companies for between two to four years.

“We’ve already provided forest concessions to process 26 million hectares of our forests within the last 30 years. We’re not going to give any more concessions for between two to four years,” Zulkifli said during the opening of the third IndoGreen Forestry Expo 2011 at the Jakarta Convention Center.

Zulkifli also called on forest production companies to conduct sustainable forest management.

“With sustainable forest management and the principal of ‘selective logging and replanting’, 26 million hectares is more than sufficient for forestry companies’ timber extraction needs,” he said. (swd)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rich Jakartans try their hands at farming

Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 04/13/2011

Green fingers: Members of the Jakarta Berkebun (Gardening for Jakarta)
group pose after harvesting water cress at the Springhill Golf Residence
in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. The group promotes farming and gardening
for middle-class Jakartans during weekends. JP/Nurhayati

Rapid urbanization has effectively separated people from the food they consume, which results in a majority of people in big cities being unfamiliar with how their food is grown.

A small group in Jakarta, however, has been trying to reverse this trend and decided to grow its own food. Armed with scraps of borrowed land and little knowledge about farming, these people are trying to do almost the impossible: become urban farmers.

One such hopeful is Radix Hidayat, a member of Jakarta Berkebun (Gardening for Jakarta) community.

At first, he just wanted to know what it was like to grow his own food.

“It turned out to be fun, farming in the midst of the jungle of buildings. And now I know a little about planting seeds and harvesting,” he said.

Last week, Radix joined other members of the community to harvest water spinach grown on a plot of land lent by the Springhill Golf Residence in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

It was a mild success, with members harvesting only the water spinach, but they took it as a job well-done considering the fact that the community started only in October last year and relied mostly on micro-blogging site Twitter as its means of communication.

Early on, the community stated its mission clearly that the objective was to encourage people to grow their own vegetables and fruit in their own yards and support the idea of turning every empty scrap of land into green space.

Jakarta Berkebun chairperson Milly Ratudian Pontoh said the community took off after it secured a three-year lease of 10,800 square meters of land at the Springhill Golf Residence for free.

“When we first came there, twenty of us, all of our ideas and plans that we laid out in our first meeting seemed ill-suited,” she said.

Milly said the land was full of litter, and they would soon run out of ideas of how to turn it into farmland.

Eventually, the community members had to learn from a pro. “People in the neighborhood finally lent a hand. They showed us how to dig the land,” she said. These locals even came to helped them on a daily basis to water the plants

And with the help of a community member who knew about agriculture, Jakarta Berkebun could finally make it through the harvesting season.

During the harvest on Sunday, members of the community decided to give away the water spinach to the locals who had diligently watered the plants.

As for the members of Jakarta Berkebun, they relished their chores of sharing tips on gardening through the Twitter account, @JktBerkebun, and the Jakarta Berkebun account on Facebook.

Members only meet on Sundays at the Springhill Golf Residence to plant seeds and water them, and they are more than happy to have the weekly labor.

“Here I can apply the knowledge of agriculture from school into practice. Also, I can learn about organic farming,” community member Sigit Kusumawijaya said.

More than anything else, Jakarta Berkebun could become an alternative weekend pastime for its members rather than going to malls in the city.

Now, people in other cities such as Bandung and Surabaya have caught the bug of weekend farming. Inspired by Jakarta Berkebun, they have set up their own urban farming communities.

In Bandung, members have leased a plot of land and started planting seeds. In Jakarta, the community has also expanded.

Members will soon be able to start their weekend farming on land secured in Cengkareng, West Jakarta, and the prime location in Mega Kuningan.

Related Articles:

Michelle Obama takes part in the third planting of the White House
kitchen garden with local children on Wednesday. Photograph: AP

Thursday, April 7, 2011

RI gives agricultural training to developing counties

Antare News, Thu, April 7 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Agriculture officers of five developing countries are taking part in a two-week long training and apprenticeship program which opened in West Java`s resort area of Lembang on Thursday.

Retno LP Marsudi. (kemlu)
Director General of America and Europe at the Foreign Ministry Retno Marsudi opened the event held jointly with the Agriculture Ministry.

The event consists of international training on fruit and vegetable post-harvest technology for Asia Pacific countries and apprenticeship program for Comoros farmers.

The five countries are Bangladesh, Fiji, Laos, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste.

In her address Retno said the two activities were one of the manifestations of the Indonesian government`s commitment to help develop the agriculture sector of fellow developing countries.

"The agricultural sector is the important asset of Indonesia`s soft power diplomacy and for more than three decades Indonesia has played an active role in facilitating the exchange of experience in the agricultural sector through training, apprenticeship and dispatch of skilled workers to various counties in Asia and the Pacific and Africa," she said.

She expressed her belief that developing countries could contribute to improving the global food security which currently came under the spotlight from the international community.

Secretary General of the Agriculture Ministry Hari Priyono meanwhile said the government`s policies on national food security had yielded fruits with the attainment of self-reliance in rice in 2008.

"The agricultural sector is a strategic sector in the Indonesian economy and the Indonesian government will always try to meet the national consumption needs to ensure the public access to foodstuffs which constitutes one of human beings` basic rights." he said.

"Through the two activities the Secretary General of the Agriculture Ministry expects that the participants could improve their technical competence so that it could be applied to support the development of the agricultural sector in their respective country," he said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH

Related Article:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Caterpillar epidemic now in three C. Java districts

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 04/06/2011

Caterpillars plaguing a district in the Central Java town of Kendal have now spread to two other nearby districts, aggravating the people and destroying plants.

Caterpillar reported Wednesday that while last week caterpillars were concentrated in Kendal district, they were now plaguing Ngampel and Brangsong Kendal districts.

“The number of caterpillars is growing,” Eko Suyono, a resident of Bugangin village in Kendal district, said Wednesday.

Eko, a public officer at the local public works agency, said he now could not work comfortably because caterpillars were entering his office.

Kendal agriculture agency officer Sudoyo said his office had received complaints regarding the caterpillars from the communities and that it was spraying pesticide and tree lopping in an attempt to reduce the caterpillar population.

Sudoyo added, however, that it would take time to get the situation under control.

Related Articles:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A day this elephant will never forget: Anne's retirement begins as campaign to build safe-haven for circus animals is launched

Daily Mail, By JANE FRYER, 4th April 2011

Anne’s first steps are faltering as, slowly, she shuffles forwards, back legs dragging painfully on the concrete floor, her head bobbing nervously up and down, and breath coming in loud, whooshing blasts. Everything about her looks tired and creaky and sore, from her arthritic joints to her dry, wrinkled skin.

Her dark brown eyes are weepy, her huge yellow toenails chipped and gnarled. Her tail finishes in a sad, knobbly stump — the feathery end chewed off decades ago.

But as she edges further across the lush green grass of her new enclosure, towards a flock of pink flamingos and a herd of eland basking in the spring sunshine, she seems to savour every second.

Jumping for joy: Anne enjoys playing with a tyre as
she explores her new home

Every few paces she stops to feel the sun on her back, curl a tuft of grass in her trunk, or have a satisfying scratch against a fallen log.

And, presumably, to revel in her sudden good fortune.


Because, thanks to the Daily Mail — and, more importantly, to the unfailing support of our readers — Britain’s last (and oldest) working circus elephant has finally hung up her undignified feather headdress.

After 54 years of performing and relentless touring, Anne has begun her long overdue retirement in a tranquil, 13-acre enclosure in the beautifully landscaped grounds of Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.

It couldn’t be more of a contrast to the home where she has lived for the past half century — a corrugated metal compound, littered with animal droppings, owned by the Bobby Roberts Super Circus.

In the shower: Warden Andy Hayton turns on the hose -
something that Anne clearly relishes

Play time: Anne is learning how to enjoy herself for the first time.
A daily sand shower is one of her main pleasures

Over the past year, she was shackled by one foot, stabbed with a pitchfork and kicked in her painfully arthritic leg by a monstrous Romanian groom called Nicolae, who has now fled the country.

Anne’s plight was revealed by the Mail last week in secret video footage filmed by animal welfare group Animal Defenders International. Since then, animal welfare experts, safari park bosses, vets and animal charity representatives have been locked in debate over her fate.

How could Anne best be saved? Where should she go to recover from her ordeal? Was she well enough to travel? Or — awful though it sounds — would it actually be kinder to end her suffering once and for all?

Brutal: Secretly-filmed footage showed Anne being
violently beaten around the head, legs and body with
a pitchfork and other implements
All of which seems slightly surreal today, because, from the moment she arrived at Longleat on Sunday, — accompanied for her journey by police, a private vet and an elephant specialist — the 59-year-old Asian elephant has behaved as if to the manor born and obviously desperate to show that, despite being the oldest elephant in Europe, she is anything but on her last legs.

Yesterday, she wolfed down two bales of hay, a small mountain of grain, dozens of apples, countless bananas (she prefers them lightly browned), bags of carrots and the odd handful of wine gums, all washed down with gallons of water — and still had room for her favourite snack of banana or jam sandwiches, on brown.

She has also enjoyed a 45-minute scrub-down courtesy of Longleat resident elephant keepers Andy and Ryan, two stiff blue scrubbing brushes, two huge yellow buckets of warm soapy water, a pressure hose and a constant battle with Anne’s very energetic trunk.

Next on the agenda — after her promenade round her outer enclosure — is a frolic in her very own 40-ton sandpit (spraying sand over her head, neck and back), a cooling paddle in her shallow pond and a quick game of football with an enormous rubber tyre.

Indeed, despite her horrific ordeal, it’s hard to imagine her settling in better.

One trunk against another: Anne tests her strength against
a giant tree trunk

‘An elephant’s eye tells you a lot,’ says keeper Andy Hayton.

‘You can see it in their eyes if they’re in pain: they go dull and sad, rather than bright and beady.

‘And you can hear their mood in their voice. If an elephant is happy, she’ll talk to you — and Anne has been rumbling and purring away to me ever since she arrived.’

While Anne couldn’t look happier to be here, and less like a geriatric old lady by the minute, she will never forget her last dreadful years.

April shower: It's clear that Anne is perfectly content
in her new home

‘Elephants are very intelligent emotional animals, with very long memories,’ says Andy.

‘They’re not like goldfish; they’re like us. That’s what makes them so special.

‘So Anne won’t just remember what’s happened over the past year, she’ll remember 50-odd years back. She’s got a lifetime of memories in there.’

And sadly, of course, not all of them good.

Anne was just a calf when she was trapped by hunters in Sri Lanka in 1954. From there she was shipped to the UK, and in 1957 sold to Bobby Roberts Super Circus for £3,000.

Since then, she has spent every single circus season performing demeaning tricks, acting as a moving platform for clowns and dancers, rearing up on her hind legs like a four-ton stallion, and standing patiently as thousands of children queued for £6-a-pop photographs with her.

Out of season, she has spent a horrendous portion of her life shackled by chains in her horrid metal shed.

She was bullied by her late fellow elephants Beverly and Janie, who barged her and chewed her tail, and then by the monstrous Nicolae.

Flashback: How the Mail broke the story of
Anne's tragic plight
And while her 68-year-old owner Bobby Roberts and his wife Moira, 72, today insist they couldn’t have loved Anne more, there can be little doubt that 50 years of being pushed and prodded and poked must have taken their toll on such a dignified and majestic animal.

Which is why Longleat staff are determined that, for once, it will be Anne, not her keepers, who sets the pace for her retirement.

They have vowed to take things at her pace, and not to overdo a planned treatment schedule of hydrotherapy, dust baths, scrub-downs and physiotherapy that would make even the most pampered celebrity jealous.

‘We need to take things at her speed,’ says Jonathan Cracknell, director of animal operations at Longleat. ‘We need to stimulate her and make sure she isn’t bored. But we mustn’t forget that she’s an old lady.

‘And just like any old lady, some days she’ll be in the mood to go out and charge round the shops, and others she’ll want to put her feet up and watch Loose Women on telly.’

For now, Anne will be sharing the park’s old-fashioned concrete-floored elephant shed and enclosure with the resident rhino, antelopes, flamingos and pelicans.

But this is very much a stop-gap, and plans are afoot to build a custom-made elephant enclosure, with swimming pool, central heating, wading area, enormous sandpit, proper fencing and umpteen acres that would become the first port of call in the future for distressed elephants from Europe and further afield to recuperate after appalling treatment.

She may be old and grey and badly lame, but there is something very special about Anne.

As Jonathan Cracknell puts it: ‘Elephants have emotions — they feel things and remember things. They’re like people with trunks, who just happen to weigh four tons.’

As I stroke her goodbye (close up, she is warm to the touch, with soft, kind eyes, surprisingly springy skin and a trunk that immediately snakes round my waist), it is impossible to imagine how anyone could treat this wonderful animal with anything other than love and respect.

We can only be thankful that, after half a century of being forced to perform, Anne is finally being given a dignified retirement.

Help build a haven for more victims like Anne

Anne’s plight has highlighted the appalling misery faced by captive elephants in circuses and crowded zoos around the world.

Now the Daily Mail has joined forces with Longleat Safari Park to raise funds for Europe’s first purpose-built safe haven for distressed elephants.

The £1million, state-of-the art sanctuary will be home for Anne and other elephants who suffer similar ill-treatment — both today and in future.

Jonathan Cracknell, from Longleat, believes the sanctuary will provide space, veterinary care and security for six rescued elephants. Some will use Longleat to recover before going to a larger sanctuary in the U.S. Others will stay at the Wiltshire park for life.

‘There is a desperate need for a sanctuary in Europe,’ he says Mr Cracknell.

‘We want a purpose-built building with pools, so they can swim, and where they can roam over a large area.’

If you would like to contribute to the creation of this sanctuary, please fill in the coupon on the right, or make your donation via the telephone number or web address provided.

Related Articles:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Protected cockatoos returned to nature conservation agency

Antara News, Mon, April 4 2011

Related News

Pontianak, April 4 (ANTARA) - Pontianak`s Quarantine Office handed back five protected red-crested cockatoos (Lorrius domicellus) to the local Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) on Monday for safekeeping after the undocumented birds were about to be smuggled to East Java from West Kalimantan, according to the BKSDA office.

"The birds have been returned to the BKSDA because they are a protected species," said Azmal A.Z., head of Pontianak BKSDA.

Azmal added that one of the five birds, however, had been found dead because the cage they were put together was too small to be able to accommodate them healthily before they were handed over to the BKSDA office.

Azmal explained that the red-crested cockatoo is one of protected members of fauna based on the government regulation number 7 year 1999 on the preservation of flora and fauna species. Based on this regulation, this species of birds cannot be for sale or buy nor for being made a pet animal.

In addition, the confiscation of the birds based on local government regulation on the temporary banning of fowl transfers due to measure on containing avian flu. The violation of the regulations carries a penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of 150 million rupiahs.

In related action on the matter, Niken Wury, Forest Ecosystem Control Coordination, a sub-division under the West Kalimantan BKSDA, said that she will move forward with legal proceeding against the violator of the regulation, Mrs. Sartinah of Bondowoso, East Java, who possessed the birds.

Mrs. Sartinah may face a jail sentence of up to maximum fife years for breaching the regulation based on the Law No. 5 Year 1990 on the conservation of nature resource and the ecosystem.

The birds will be turned in to the Sinka Zoo in Singkawang city as this zoo has been designated as a conservation institution.

"After undergoing a rehabilitation program at Sinka Zoo, the birds will be released back to their habitat," said Wury.

Editor: Aditia Maruli