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)

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Montreal horse-drawn carriages take one last lap

Yahoo – AFP, Anne-Sophie THILL, December 27, 2019

A horse-drawn carriage passes by in a street of Old Montreal, Quebec, Canada
on December 22, 2019.Montreal's horse-drawn carriages will be taken off the roads
on December 31, ending a long feud between the city and coachmen and a
quaint means of local travel that dates back to the 1600s. (AFP Photo/Eric THOMAS)

Montreal (AFP) - To tourists they are a time-honored, charming way of seeing the sights but animal rights activists say Montreal's horse-drawn carriages are a cruel and unnecessary relic of yesteryear.

A longstanding feud between the coachmen and their critics looks set to end however with the unique mode of transport set to disappear from the streets of Canada's second city by year end.

"You can pet him if you want," Nathalie Matte tells onlookers attracted to her hoofed beast with its flowing mane and tail.

In the heart of Montreal's Old Port neighborhood, a half dozen horses and carriages are lined up outside the Notre Dame basilica, waiting for riders.

A group of tourists, tempted by offers of a languid and comfortable ride along cobblestone streets, and a complimentary blanket across their lap on a cold winter's day, snap pictures.

Horse-drawn carriages line up in front of the Notre-Dame basilica in Old-Montreal, 
waiting for tourists in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on December 22, 2019.Montreal's 
horse-drawn carriages will be taken off the roads on December 31, ending a long
 feud between the city and coachmen and a quaint means of local travel that dates
back to the 1600s. (AFP Photo/Eric THOMAS)

The carriages this time of year are decorated with red ribbons and fir branches to mark the Christmas holidays.

"It's a unique way to see the city rather than just taking the bus or the subway," says Mujtaba Ali, 29, who is visiting with family from neighboring Ontario, as he steps off a carriage.

Horses and landaus -- four-wheel, convertible carriages named after the German city of their origin -- are a part of Montreal's cultural heritage, says owner Luc Desparois.

"They've been around as long as Montreal has existed," he told AFP.

The Quebec city was founded by European settlers in the 1600s at the site of an indigenous village inhabited as far back as 4,000 years ago -- although the landau itself was invented in the 18th century

City Hall has ordered an end to the tourist rides out of concern for the horses. In 2018, the council passed a by-law banishing horse-drawn carriages, starting in 2020.

Two horse-drawn carriages pass by in a street of Old Montreal, Quebec, Canada 
on December 22, 2019.Montreal's horse-drawn carriages will be taken off the roads 
on December 31, ending a long feud between the city and coachmen and a quaint 
means of local travel that dates back to the 1600s. (AFP Photo/Eric THOMAS)

The death of a horse in 2018 while pulling a carriage was the last straw for animal rights groups, and prompted mayor Valerie Plante to speak out against the carriage industry, saying it was no longer welcome in Montreal.

The decision will put some 50 coachmen and their horses out of work.

Animal welfare

"It is a tradition that has long been appreciated but today I think it is time to move on," said Jean-François Parenteau, the city's pointman in the case.

The city, he said, must "show concern for the animals."

His comments drew praise from Galahad, a Quebec association for the protection of horses, which lobbied for the ban. Its founder Chamie Angie Cadorette said the horses faced tough working conditions.

"It is not just an hour a day. It is eight hours a day, going up and down roads in traffic," she said, accusing horse owners of neglect.

"They say they are mistreated. Prove it," retorts Desparois, who recently lost a legal challenge to the ban.

A coachwoman puts a cover on her horse while waiting for tourists in freezing 
temperatures in Old Montreal, Quebec, Canada on December 22, 2019.Montreal's 
horse-drawn carriages will be taken off the roads on December 31, ending a 
long feud between the city and coachmen and a quaint means of local travel 
that dates back to the 1600s. (AFP Photo/Eric THOMAS)

City Hall, under pressure from activists, had long sought to ban the carriages, but until now had managed only incremental steps, such as requiring horses be taken off the road when summer temperatures soared.

That did not satisfy animal rights groups.

In April, to prevent out-of-work horses from ending up at slaughterhouses, the city said it would pay the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Can$1,000 (US$760) for each horse offered a refuge or adoptive family.

As of December 16, only one application to join the program had been made.

The offer is a "total insult" for Desparois, owner of the Lucky Luc stable, which has a total of 15 horses and employs 15 coachmen.

"You could offer me $10,000 tomorrow morning and I would not sell them to you," he said, adding that after 34 years in the business his animals mean more to him than money could.

After the ban comes into effect, the "king of horse-drawn carriages" -- as local media has dubbed him -- plans to take his horses to other nearby communities or maybe even to Ottawa.

Coachwoman Nathalie Matte, 52, who's about to lose her job after Montreal's 
horse-drawn carriages will be taken off the roads on December 31, waits for 
passengers in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on December 22, 2019.Montreal's 
horse-drawn carriages will be taken off the roads on December 31, ending a long 
feud between the city and coachmen and a quaint means of local travel that 
dates back to the 1600s. (AFP Photo/Eric THOMAS)

Neither option, he says, will be as profitable as rides in the Old Port, where he charges Can$53 per half hour ride or Can$85 for an hour with an average of two to seven rides per day.

Older coachmen will simply take early retirement. Others will likely leave the profession.

"I won't have a choice but to quit. I won't have the means to move to Ottawa," said Nathalie Matte, 52, a coachwoman who plans to return to a previous job as a groom.

City Hall, meanwhile, is working on a retraining program to help coachmen transition to other tourist jobs.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Indonesia hits European Union with WTO lawsuit over palm oil

Yahoo – AFP, December 16, 2019

Indonesia has accused the European Union of discrimination against its palm
oil exports (AFP Photo/Mohd RASFAN)

Indonesia has filed a World Trade Organization lawsuit against the European Union over plans to phase out palm oil-based biofuel for cars, the trade ministry said.

The action could escalate a trade dispute between Indonesia -- the world's top palm oil producer - and the EU, which plans to end its use of biofuels by 2030, citing concerns over widespread deforestation caused by the sector.

The EU earlier imposed duties on imports of subsidised biodiesel from Indonesia saying it was needed to level the playing field for its producers.

In response to what it called "discriminative" policies against its key palm oil exports, Indonesia said it filed a complaint with the WTO last week.

"Indonesia officially sent a request for consultation on December 9, 2019 to the EU as the initial step for the lawsuit," Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said in a statement Sunday.

Neighbouring Malaysia, the world's second-biggest palm oil producer, has also threatened WTO action against the EU.

Teresa Kok, the minister overseeing Malaysia's palm oil sector, told AFP on Monday that she will head to Europe in March, and a challenge will not be filed until after then.

She said she wanted to try to convince European officials to change course on her trip.

"I want to give my trip a chance and see whether I can avoid filing the case at the WTO," she added.

Palm oil is the world's most widely used vegetable oil and a key ingredient in a wide range of products from food to cosmetics.

But environmentalists say it drives deforestation, with huge swathes of Southeast Asian rainforest logged in recent decades to make way for palm plantations.

Iman Pambagyo, Indonesia's director general for international trade negotiations, said Jakarta had previously tried other bilateral avenues to reach an agreement, without success.

"We need to assert Indonesia's stance on EU policy," Pambagyo said, referring to the WTO complaint, and adding that he hoped for a "best solution".

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Golden jackal caught on camera in Drenthe, third sighting in three years

DutchNews, December 6, 2019 

A golden jackal. Photo: tontantravel via Wikimedia Commons

A golden jackal has been spotted in Drenthe, a first for the province, local broadcaster RTV Drenthe reports. The animal was photographed by chance when it walked past a wild life camera in a undisclosed location. 

The sighting dates from November 22 but has only now been made public to prevent people from going out and trying to find the notoriously shy animal. 

There are only two other reported sightings of the jackal in the Netherlands – in 2016 and 2017 two of the animals were spotted in the Veluwe nature reserve. The camera that caught the jackal in Drenthe was part of a project by the Zoogdierenvereniging Nederland to count mammals such as otters, beavers and pine marten. 

‘When I saw the pictures on my camera I was flabbergasted, volunteer Cindy de Jonge-Stegink told the broadcaster. De Jonge-Stegink thought at first she was looking at a wolf but was put right by Forest Commission warden Aaldrik Pot. ‘It was relatively small, with pointy ears and snout’, he said. 

Jackals have been making their way to northern Europe from eastern Europe for a number of years now and have been spotted in Germany and Denmark as well. There have been no signs the animals have actually settled there. 


The organisation’s wolf expert Glenn Lelieveld said jackals are shy and only need a small habitat of around four square kilometres. ‘It might well be that the jackal has been walking around in Drenthe for quite a long time. But it may have crossed the border by now. They can walk hundreds of kilometres in search of a new area to settle in and their tracks are very difficult to see.’ 

Jackals are omnivores and it has been suggested that if jackals were to settle here they could help reduce the deer population in a natural way. 

Jackals are not a danger to humans. ‘If you leave them alone they will leave you alone,’ Lelieveld told RTV Drenthe.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Rescued tigers leave Poland for Spain

Yahoo – AFP, December 1, 2019

The tigers (including Gogh pictured at the Poznan zoo) were found in late October
emaciated and dehydrated in the back of a truck taking them from Italy to a zoo
in Russia's Dagestan Republic (AFP Photo/Wojtek RADWANSKI)

Warsaw (AFP) - Five of nine tigers that narrowly survived a gruelling journey across Europe set off on Saturday for their new home at a Spanish animal refuge after weeks of recovery at a Polish zoo.

"The tigers have left. We're very happy that in just 24 to 30 hours they will arrive," said Malgorzata Chodyla, spokeswoman for the zoo in Poznan, western Poland.

Their destination is the Primadomus Wildlife Refuge in the southeastern Spanish town of Villena.

Chodyla said there was a brief scare, as two of the tigers did not want to sleep, despite the sedatives they were given.

"When the whole team has to enter the enclosure to carry out the tiger and it suddenly lifts its head up, those are some tense moments. But everything happened safely," she told AFP.

She added that the vehicle had heating and the tigers had enough room to switch positions.

In late October, Polish border authorities found 10 emaciated and dehydrated big cats in the back of a truck taking them from Italy to a zoo in Russia's Dagestan Republic.

Polish prosecutors charged two Italian truck drivers and a Russian man believed to have organised the journey with animal abuse after the truck got stuck for days on Poland's border with Belarus.

Prosecutors also charged a Polish border service veterinarian for failing to properly examine the tigers when they first arrived at the Koroszczyn crossing, where one of them died.

The surviving nine tigers were taken to two Polish zoos.

The Poznan zoo described them as "emaciated, dehydrated, with sunken eyes, excrement stuck to their fur, urine burns, in a total state of stress, without the will or desire to live" when they were first discovered.

According to animal rights organisations, there are only between 3,200 and 3,900 tigers in the wild worldwide.

Another 7,000 are held in captivity, mainly in Asia.