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, June 27, 2020

MPs vote to close mink farms early, after coronavirus hits 17 farms

DutchNews, June 26, 2020 

Mink on a fur farm. Photo: Dzīvnieku brīvība via Flickr 

A majority of MPs voted earlier this week to close down the Dutch mink farming sector three years ahead of schedule, after coronavirus outbreaks on 17 farms in Brabant and Limburg. 

Over 600,000 mink have been gassed since Covid-19 was first found on two farms at the heart of the mink farming industry in Brabant. 

MPs voted in favour of a motion drawn up by Esther Ouwehand, from the pro-animal PvdD, to end mink farming and to ensure the farms which have been have been emptied because of Covid-19 cannot fill their cages again. 

‘Mink farming is not only morally disgusting but a danger for human health,’ Ouwehand said. ‘And by stopping now, rather than in 2024, millions of mink will be spared a miserable life.’ 

There are some 200 mink farms in the Netherlands operated by 165 companies, and the Netherlands is the third biggest mink producer in the world behind Denmark and China. MPs agreed in 2013 to phase out the industry by the end of 2023. 

A spokeswoman for farm minister Carola Schouten told  she is working on plans to help mink farmers stop close down their farms ahead of schedule, but did not comment on the parliamentary vote. 

The vote in the lower house of parliament does not mean fur farming will actually be phased out early. The upper house of parliament will also have to vote in favour and it is unclear if there would be majority support.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Canada launches investigation after 38 dead puppies found on plane

Yahoo – AFP, June 20, 2020

French bulldogs, like those pictured here, are a popular breed in Canada
(AFP Photo/Gary Gershoff)

Montreal (AFP) - Canada has launched an investigation after some 500 puppies -- 38 of them dead -- were found on board a Ukraine International Airlines plane at the Toronto airport, officials said Saturday.

The surviving French bulldogs, a popular breed in Canada, were suffering from symptoms including dehydration, weakness and vomiting when they were found on the flight from Ukraine which landed at Toronto Pearson Airport on June 13, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said in a statement.

The agency "will determine next steps once the investigation is complete," it said.

A dog handler who was picking up another animal from the airport cargo area where the puppies were discovered last Saturday told the CBC of a "horror scene," adding: "It was a nightmare."

UIA offered its "condolences for the tragic loss of animal life on our flight" and said on Facebook that it was working with local authorities.

Puppy sales are "lucrative" in Canada, Scott Weese of the University of Guelph told the CBC.

Most buyers believe the animals are bred in Canada, but the reality is "we have no idea how many dogs come in, where they go, where they come from," he said, adding that there was "potentially some organized crime component."

"You mentioned 500 French bulldogs. If those are going for sale at $3,000 to $4,000 a dog, that's a massive amount of money," he told the broadcaster.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Wuhan lab had three live bat coronaviruses: Chinese state media

Yahoo – AFP, May 24, 2020

The director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told a Chinese state broadcaster
that the lab has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but that claims the
coronavirus could have leaked from the facility were 'pure fabrication' (AFP Photo/

The Chinese virology institute at the centre of US allegations it may have been the source of the COVID-19 pandemic has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new global contagion, its director has said.

Scientists think COVID-19 -- which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide -- originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal.

But the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster CGTN that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others the virus could have leaked from the facility were "pure fabrication".

In the interview filmed on May 13 but broadcast Saturday night, Wang Yanyi said the centre has "isolated and obtained some coronaviruses from bats".

"Now we have three strains of live viruses... But their highest similarity to SARS-CoV-2 only reaches 79.8 percent," she said, referring to the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19.

One of their research teams, led by Professor Shi Zhengli, has been researching bat coronaviruses since 2004 and focused on the "source tracing of SARS", the strain behind another virus outbreak nearly two decades ago.

"We know that the whole genome of SARS-CoV-2 is only 80 percent similar to that of SARS. It's an obvious difference," she said.

"So, in Professor Shi's past research, they didn't pay attention to such viruses which are less similar to the SARS virus."

Plans for more labs

Conspiracy rumours that the biosafety lab was involved in the outbreak swirled online for months before Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brought the theory into the mainstream by claiming that there is evidence the pathogen came from the institute.

The United States and Australia have called in recent weeks for an investigation into the origins of the pandemic.

Chinese scientists have said that the virus first emerged at a market selling live animals in Wuhan, though officials in Beijing more recently cast doubt about its origins.

Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi on Sunday blasted what he called efforts by US politicians to "fabricate rumours" about the pathogen's origins and "stigmatise China".

He said China would be "open" to international cooperation to identify the source of the novel coronavirus, as long as any investigation is "free of political interference".

The World Health Organization has said Washington offered no evidence to support the "speculative" claims about the Wuhan lab.

The Wuhan lab has said it received samples of the then-unknown virus on December 30, determined the viral genome sequence on January 2 and submitted information on the pathogen to the WHO on January 11.

Wang Yanyi said in the interview that before it received samples in December, their team had never "encountered, researched or kept the virus".

"In fact, like everyone else, we didn't even know the virus existed," she said. "How could it have leaked from our lab when we never had it?"

At a press conference Sunday, Zhao Chenxin, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, said every Chinese prefecture must have its own P3 laboratory to ramp up preparations against infectious diseases.

Apart from the P3 lab plans -- the second-highest biosafety classification for labs handling pathogens -- Zhao said each city should also have a lower-level P2 laboratory so they could "quickly respond in a major epidemic".

The Wuhan institute has both P3 and P4 labs.

Related Articles:

"Kryon on Corona", Reykjavik, Iceland, Mar 13, 2020 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (>13.46 Min - Reference to the Global Coronavirus crisis and the Wuhan lab)

Monday, June 15, 2020

Chinese conservationists battle to save pangolins from poachers

Yahoo – AFP, June 12, 2020

The pangolin was found in a fishpond by a farmer and brought to the
government-run rescue centre in Jinhua (AFP Photo/Handout)

Rescued from a farmer's fishpond, a young pangolin's release back into China's wilderness this week was hailed as a small victory in the battle to save the critically endangered animal.

The freeing of the scaly creature in the eastern province of Zhejiang came after Beijing's Forestry and Grassland Administration granted the world's most trafficked mammal similar protections to that of giant pandas.

It was among at least six pangolins -- poached for their meat and prized scales -- returned to the wild in the last month, according to conservationists.

"This is a great miracle, we have really changed the status quo so that now pangolins are released back into the wild," said Sophia Zhang, director at the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation.

The charity's staff, working with Jinhua Animal Rescue Centre, released the young female pangolin into a forest on Thursday.

It was found in a fishpond by a farmer, who reported it to police, and the animal was brought to the government-run rescue centre in Jinhua.

Beijing granted one of the most trafficked mammals similar protections to 
that of giant pandas (AFP Photo/Handout)

Zhang, who helps wildlife rescue centres across China release pangolins back into the wild, said May to July was primetime for spotting the creatures.

"They will often roam around and get lost outside their natural habitat, or end up in farmers' homes in search of food."

But she said it is hard to accurately gauge the number of Chinese pangolins remaining in the wild -- only that "very few" are left.

Zhang added that four creatures, who cannot survive in captivity, were set free last month and another was released in eastern Anhui province last week.

The mammals, native to parts of Africa and Asia, are thought by some scientists to be the possible host of the novel coronavirus that emerged at a market in China's Wuhan city last year.

Beijing recently banned the sale of wild animals for food, citing the risk of diseases spreading to humans, but the trade remains legal for other purposes -- including research and traditional medicine.

The young female pangolin was released into a forest in eastern China's 
Zhejiang province (AFP Photo/Handout)

However, pangolins were left out of the official Chinese Pharmacopoeia this year, the state-owned Health Times reported this week.

The landmark development in the creature's conservation efforts was hailed by campaigners who had lobbied for the change for a long time.

Their scales are prized in traditional Chinese medicine -- despite a lack of scientific proof -- and used for the treatment of various diseases such as arthritis, ulcers and tumours.

A practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine told AFP, using his online name Xinglin Daoren because of the sensitivities involved, said the new restrictions would impact some treatments.

He explained: "It can't be replaced."

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Mink farm clearances deal final blow to a dying industry: Volkskrant

DutchNews, June 8, 2020 


As mink farm clearances continue in the wake of high levels of COVID-19 infection among the animals, the Volkskrant took a look at a dying industry. 

The Netherlands is home to some 128 mink farms concentrated in the south of the country, making it the third largest producer of mink pelts in the world after Denmark and China. 

The use of fur and the conditions the animals were kept had prompted calls to ban the industry since 1989 but didn’t result in a law prohibiting the practice until 2013. At the time, fur farmers were told they would get until the end of 2023 to make good on their investments. 

The impact of the impending ban on some farmers was such that a number of them committed suicide, the paper writes. But for some the fur trade – most of it is exported to China, Russia and Japan, and in Europe to Italy and Greece – has been a lucrative business. 

The biggest earner is Jos van Deurzen from Elsendorp who became a multimillionaire with an estimated fortune of €89m. Van Deurzen has at least ten fur farms in the Netherlands and abroad and also owns factories making mink feed and cages. 

Apart from the blow dealt to the industry by COVID-19, fur farmers had been struggling anyway, the paper says. Overproduction in the last few years has caused the market for fur to collapse and instead of €70 for a pelt the price has now halved. 

In September last year the sector came under the scrutiny of the tax office for suspected tax fraud and money laundering. Over €50m of revenue was thought to have been channelled out of sight via accounts in Luxembourg. 

It is not known whether the fur farmers will be compensated for the mink which have been gassed because of Covid-19 or whether farms will be allowed to start up again once the virus has disappeared, the Volkskrant said.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Thousands of mink on Dutch fur farms to be culled to clear coronavirus risk

DutchNews, June 3, 2020


Thousands of mink living on eight fur farms where coronavirus has been found are to be gassed, government sources have told website and RTL Nieuws. 

The eight farms, operated by six different companies, are all in Noord-Brabant province, which is at the centre of the Dutch fur farming industry. 

Officials have decided the farms should be cleared for public health reasons, said. At least two farm worker has been infected with coronavirus via the animals. 

The Netherlands is due to have phased out fur farming by 2024. In 2016, the Netherlands had some 160 fur farms producing five million pelts a year and the country was the third biggest fur farming nation in the world behind Denmark and China. 

The government is due to make a formal announcement later on Wednesday.

Related Articles:

Monday, June 1, 2020

Singapore otters' lockdown antics spark backlash

Yahoo – AFP, Catherine Lai, May 30, 2020

With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping
centre, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey
fish stolen from a pond (AFP Photo/Roslan RAHMAN)

Singapore's otters, long adored by the city-state's nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the coronavirus lockdown but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull.

With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping centre, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond.

While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife.

There are estimated to be about 90 otters in Singapore, making up 10 families, and appearances at popular tourist sites around the city-state's downtown waterfront have transformed them into local celebrities.

They featured in a documentary narrated by David Attenborough, are tracked avidly by the local media -- and have been spotted more frequently since people were asked to stay home and workplaces closed in April to fight the virus.

While many think of Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also
relatively green and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant
wildlife (AFP Photo/Roslan RAHMAN)

"When there's restriction of movement, there's less vehicles and there's less people, so the urban space opens up," said N. Sivasothi, a biologist at the National University of Singapore known as "Otterman" due to his work on the animals.

But their newfound freedoms appear to have emboldened the otters, and they are now facing a backlash.

'More daring'

The most high-profile incident was a raid on a pond at a spa shuttered due to the pandemic. The creatures gobbled several fish including an arowana, a prized species that can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

Actress-turned-entrepreneur Jazreel Low, who owns the spa, posted pictures on Facebook of fish parts scattered around the pond and lamented a "massacre".

"They probably realised that there was nobody there and became more daring," Low told entertainment news website 8 DAYS.

With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping
centre, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish
stolen from a pond (AFP Photo/Roslan RAHMAN)

The case sparked a debate about whether more should be done to stop otters rampaging through the city, with a widely discussed letter in a local newspaper calling for air horns and rubber bullets to be used as deterrents.

"Wild boars have never been encouraged to enter urban areas, neither should otters be just because they look cute," wrote Ong Junkai in the correspondence to the Straits Times, which triggered calls from some for a cull.

In other incidents, a video showed a group charging into the lobby of a children's hospital before being shooed away, and the creatures were also filmed frolicking in the empty streets outside a popular shopping centre.

The otters' more frequent forays onto the streets of Singapore are part of a global trend triggered by virus lockdowns, with animals increasingly slipping cover to explore the streets of some of the world's biggest cities.

'Coexist and thrive'

Still, otter experts believe the anger is an overreaction and that the creatures are likely just enjoying the extra freedom to venture to new places.

Fans say people should celebrate the return of an animal that was driven out 
of Singapore by coastal development and water pollution around the 1970s, and 
only started reappearing in the 1990s as waterways were cleaned (AFP Photo/
Roslan RAHMAN)

NUS's Sivasothi criticised calls for a cull as "quite an uneducated response", and said such a move would be ineffective.

He also said many recent sightings were likely of the same family of smooth-coated otters, which have been searching for a new home along the city's rivers. Most of Singapore's otters are the smooth-coated variety, classified as "vulnerable".

Fans believe people should be celebrating the return of an animal that was driven out of Singapore by coastal development and water pollution around the 1970s, and only started reappearing in the 1990s as waterways were cleaned.

"I simply don't understand anyone who could not like them. They are really cute," said Pam Wong, a 35-year-old Singaporean.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong weighed in on the debate Friday, posting a photo he took of otters before the lockdown on his Facebook account.

"Rather than being focused on protecting 'territory', we must find ways to coexist and thrive with our local flora and fauna," he wrote.