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20,000 customers leave GoDaddy.com in response to CEO’s elephant-shooting video

Rival Namecheap.com donates $20,000 to Save the Elephants, $1 for each customer who transfers from GoDaddy.com to the rival web-hosting service.

ElephantsPhoto: Donna Brown/Flickr

Many customers of web host GoDaddy.com have jumped ship after CEO Bob Parsons posted a video of himself shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe last week. More than 20,000 former GoDaddy users have transferred their accounts to rival Namecheap.com, which promised to donate 20 percent of the revenue raised to the nonprofit Save the Elephants.

After the video was released, NameCheap offered to transfer accounts for $4.99 and donate $1 for each new customer to the nonprofit. As of April 5, NameCheap says it has raised $20,433 to help African elephants.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) decried Parsons’ hunt and video last week. The organization closed its account with GoDaddy and encouraged others to do the same.

GoDaddy founder Parsons traveled to Zimbabwe earlier this year to hunt what he called "problem elephants," animals that destroy local villagers’ crops, calling it the most rewarding thing he does in his life.

Parsons has brushed off criticism and does not plan to apologize. He told Time magazine that he is not sorry about the hunt or the video, and he plans to do it again because it is a service to the people of Zimbabwe.

POLL:  Are you less likely to use GoDaddy.com now?

Source:  Mother Nature Network  -  Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

April 10, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Just One More Pet, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Numbat: Australia’s Cuddly Termite Eating Marsupial

Newborn being hand raised

Photo: Perth Zoo

This cute little creature is a marsupial just like kangaroos and wallabies, so carries its young in a pouch. Unfortunately it is also an endangered marsupial, partly due to foxes and other predators and partly due to its specialized diet. It eats termites exclusively.

Numbats

Photo: Helenabella

The numbat may eat termites alone but it doesn’t have the equipment most termite eaters do, such as claws that would allow it to break into the nests. For its diminutive size it does fairly well, but it has to follow the feeding and activity times of the termites, so is diurnal – meaning active during the day. Numbats can dig into the subsurface tunnel areas between the nest and feeding area of the termites, but an adult needs to eat 20,000 of the little insects a day!

Newborn being hand raised

Photo: Perth Zoo

In the 19th century, the red fox was introduced to Australia and almost wiped out the whole population of numbats. Only a couple of populations in Western Australia survived, it is believed because there were a large number of hollow logs that the numbats could hide in there. There are active conservation programs ongoing, notably one in Perth Zoo, which breeds numbats for release into the wild. Hopefully one day these adorable little creatures can be taken off the endangered list.

Numbats

Photo: Greg Schechter

Source:  Environmental Graffiti

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , | Leave a comment

Elephant Orphanage

(CBS)  This story originally aired on April 9, 2006.
at-elephant-reserve
Bob Simon pays a visit to a very special orphanage in Africa. It’s not for kids, but for baby elephants whose mothers were killed by poachers.  Video:Share/Embed

Stories about an orphanage are bound to yank at your heartstrings. The one 60 Minutes is going to tell you about is no exception — even though many alumni of the orphanage have gone on to lead full and happy lives. 

All these orphans are from East Africa. They were all abandoned when they were very young, less than two years old — and they’re all elephants. As correspondent Bob Simon reports, this orphanage is in Kenya, near Nairobi. It has been around almost 30 years. It’s a large place. It would have to be.


It has just about everything you would want in an orphanage: dormitories — each orphan has a private room. There is a communal bath, a playground, and a dining area. There are as many as 14 orphans here at any one time and they stay a number of years before going back to the bush. The regimen at the orphanage is anything but Dickensian. Unlike Oliver Twist, when one of these orphans asks for more, that’s what he gets. More.

 

The principal, headmistress, head nurse and CEO of the orphanage is Dame Daphne Sheldrick. She founded the place and has been working with elephants for 50 years.

What is the most extraordinary thing she has learned about elephants? 

“Their tremendous capacity for caring is I think perhaps the most amazing thing about them,” says Dame Daphne. “Even at a very, very young age. Their sort of forgiveness, unselfishness — they have all the best attributes of us humans and not very many of the bad.”

Just about the best people you’ve ever met are the gentle men who work here. 

They are called keepers, and they have extraordinary jobs. There is one keeper per elephant; he spends 24 hours a day with his charge, seven days a week. A keeper feeds his elephant every three hours, day and night, just like mom would. 

He keeps his elephant warm, not like mom would, but with a blanket. When it’s sleep time, the keeper beds down right next to his elephant. If he leaves, if ever so briefly, the baby wakes up and broadcasts his displeasure. The keepers are rotated now and then so that no elephant gets too terribly attached to any one of them.

At dawn, the elephants are taken from their dorms out to the bush. They hang out for a while and even play some games — soccer is a favorite. The elephants decide when it’s halftime by trotting off the field for a break.

The days are pretty much the same here. But on Fridays, the orphanage becomes a spa, when the keepers give the elephants a coconut oil massage. 

“We can’t do exactly what the mother can do, but we do something close to that,” explains Edwin Lusichi, the head of the keepers.

Meeting an elephant for the first time requires a proper introduction, as Simon learned when he visited the orphanage. There is a protocol to meeting an elephant. He will offer up his trunk, and he expects you to blow in it. That way, he will remember your scent forever. You will never be strangers again. 

The orphanage gets distress calls from all over Kenya — and from all over East Africa — that a baby elephant is on his own, often because his mother has been killed by a poacher. It is then a matter of great urgency: An orphaned elephant can only survive a few days without his mother. 

The baby elephant is loaded onto a plane and flown back to Daphne Sheldrick’s orphanage outside Nairobi, where he’ll stay until he’s strong enough to go back into the bush. 

Dame Daphne, who was just named a dame by Queen Elizabeth II, has been running the orphanage for almost 30 years. She was born and raised in Kenya and married David Sheldrick, Africa’s leading crusader against poaching.

When he died in 1977, she founded the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Back then, there were about 100,000 elephants in Kenya. Now there are about a quarter as many — largely due to poachers. Then, as now, the ivory from their tusks is a very valuable commodity. From the beginning, Daphne saw her mission as saving as many elephants as possible.

“It’s really lovely to see them now and then to think back how they were when they came in. It makes it all so worthwhile,” says Daphne.

But her mission hasn’t always gone smoothly. Twelve years ago, she was badly injured by a wild elephant and couldn’t walk for 15 months.

Asked if during those 15 months she ever thought that maybe she should do something else, Dame Daphne says, “Oh, no. I mean, I still had all the elephants. Never occurred to me at all. You know, you can’t just walk away from it.”

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April 30, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Disneynature’s Earth Opened for Earth Day – Buy a Ticket and Plant a Tree

Disneynature’s Earth opened for Earth Day
The Story of  Polar Bears, Humpbacked Whales, and Elephants


 

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Polar Bears, Humpbacked Whales, and Elephants – Experience the Planet Like Never Before

 

Director Mark Linfield and Friend

Ever wonder about the world’s largest land predator, how soon newborn whale calves are able to swim, or the little-known function of an elephant’s ears? While the answers might surprise and amuse you, it’s the adventure these questions pose that promises to be unforgettable. On April 22, you’re invited to experience an epic journey when Disneynature premieres “Earth,” the Company’s first wildlife film in over 60 years, continuing a legacy that began with Walt Disney’s Academy Award®-winning “True-Life Adventures.” Narrated by screen, stage, and television legend James Earl Jones, “Earth” reveals the seasonal struggles facing three animal families from the Arctic to Antarctica … and some of the planet’s most remote regions in between. 

Acclaimed wildlife filmmaker/director Mark Linfield tells why he and director/partner Alistair Fothergill chose polar bears, humpbacked whales, and elephants as their endearing main stars. “One thing that unites every being on the planet is the sun and its annual north-south journey. We wanted to document three animals that embark on incredible migrations due to the influence of the sun’s extreme seasonality … and these are large, engaging animals that we felt people could relate to. As the moviemaking went on, it became clear to us that we wanted a very subtle reference toward the future and conservation, which is why they had calves or cubs. Many of us have little ones and we’re always thinking of what the world will be like for them and their children. Most of the animals’ dramas are driven by their quest to protect their infants and get the best out of the planet for their offspring … nature truly writes the most amazing scripts.” 

To record “true” true-life adventures, there’s one thing Mark and his team couldn’t change, accelerate, or follow with a script — the erratic schedule of nature itself. He points out, “You’re lucky if the animals show up at all. Most days we didn’t see anything, that’s almost the law … the only way to stack the odds in your favor is to spend huge amounts of time in the field. We spent 2,000 days filming with 40 different crews in 26 different countries. It took about five years to make and we filmed solidly for three of those years … it was just a big logistical exercise, but that’s what it takes. Movies like this are powerful partly because it’s the simple truth.” Mark also explains that natural history actually translates better on the big screen because some of the up-close realism is lost when viewed on television. 

Larger than life, the animals’ determined battle against the elements is amazing, entertaining, and ultimately heartrending. Extreme weather conditions from pole to pole presented unique, and nearly impossible, filming challenges. “Just look at the environments that our three characters live in … like the polar bear. We’re actually in the middle of the  with crews working in 40-degree-below-zero temperatures. It’s so unbelievably cold that most of the time the equipment barely works or the tripod sticks to your fingers. Daylight was like five or six minutes long, which means it was dark the rest of the time. Polar bears are hugely influenced by the seasonality of the sun — half their year is spent in absolute darkness while the other half produces 24-hour daylight,” says Mark. The team was the first ever to be given access to the Kong Karls Land polar bear denning site in Norway, 700 miles south of the North Pole. 

Conditions proved no easier when the crew was filming the elephants in Botswana, the Sahara and Kalahari Deserts, and Namibia’s sand dunes, some of the largest in the world. “We worked in unbelievable heat, dust, and sandstorms … without water. The elephants aren’t affected from changes in daylight, but the sun drives the wet and dry seasons, forcing them to undertake huge migrations — their quest to finally find water hundreds of miles away at the Okavango Delta is pretty dramatic.” From helicopters, gyro-stabilized Cineflex aerial cameras allowed filmmakers to track the animals without disturbing them in their natural environment. 

“For the humpbacked whales, we filmed from a boat at sea, sometimes in a helicopter, through storms and a huge range of conditions,” he continues. “The mother whale and her calf travel 4,000 miles south, from the Equator’s tropical waters to the Antarctic Sea … it’s the longest journey of any marine mammal.” During the course of filming, the crew was able to feature dozens of marine costars, including schools of sailfish and a great white shark … the footage is nothing short of spectacular. 

The journey, as always, proved fantastic for Mark, who doesn’t hesitate when asked about his most memorable moment. “Filming the elephants caught in the sandstorm … it was totally unexpected. Just watching them trapped in a sandstorm, trying to battle the elements while looking after their calves, was very sad and emotional for me.” 

He then comments on his expectations for the film. “I hope people will fall in love with the Earth and basically see how much there still is to care about. Everything in the movie is available and can be saved. I hope people realize it’s not futile, it’s not too late … we have an absolutely amazing planet.” 

“Earth” promises to give audiences 85 amazing minutes that wouldn’t be humanly possible in an entire lifetime … or 10 lifetimes.

Source:  Disney Insider

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April 22, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

25% of Wild Mammal Species Are Imperiled

      

BARCELONA, Oct. 6 — At least a quarter of the world’s wild mammal species are at risk of extinction, according to a comprehensive global survey released here Monday.

The new assessment — which took 1,700 experts in 130 countries five years to complete — paints “a bleak picture,” leaders of the project wrote in a paper being published in the journal Science. The overview, made public at the quadrennial World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), covers all 5,487 wild species identified since 1500. It is the most thorough tally of land and marine mammals since 1996.

“Mammals are definitely declining, and the driving factors are habitat destruction and over-harvesting,” said Jan Schipper, the paper’s lead writer and the IUCN’s global mammals assessment coordinator. The researchers concluded that 25 percent of the mammal species for which they had sufficient data are threatened with extinction, but Schipper added that the figure could be as high as 36 percent because information on some species is so scarce.

Land and marine mammals face different threats, the scientists said, and large mammals are more vulnerable than small ones. For land species, habitat loss and hunting represent the greatest danger, while marine mammals are more threatened by unintentional killing by pollution, ship strikes and being caught in fishing nets.

While large species such as primates (including the Sumatran orangutan and red colobus monkeys in Africa) and ungulates (hoofed animals such as Africa’s Dama gazelle and the Malaysian tapir) may seem more physically imposing, the researchers wrote that these animals are more imperiled than smaller creatures such as rodents and bats because they “tend to have lower population densities, slower life histories, and larger home ranges, and are more likely to be hunted.”

Primates face some of the most intense pressures: According to the survey, 79 percent of primates in South and Southeast Asia are facing extinction.

Conservation International President Russell A. Mittermeier, one of the paper’s writers and a primate specialist, said animals in the region are being hit with “a triple whammy.”

“It’s not that surprising, given the high population pressures, the level of habitat destruction, and the fairly extreme hunting of primates for food and medicinal purposes,” he said in an interview. He added that some areas in Vietnam and Cambodia are facing “an empty forest syndrome,” as even once-populous species such as the crab-eating macaque, or temple monkey, are “actually getting vacuumed out of some areas where it was common.

In some cases, the scientists have a precise sense of how imperiled a species has become: There are 19 Hainan gibbons left in the wild on the island off China’s southeast coast, Mittermeier said, which actually counts as progress because there used to be just a dozen.

With others, including the beaked whale and the jaguar, researchers have a much vaguer idea of their numbers despite technological advances — such as satellite and radio tagging, camera tracking and satellite-based GPS (global positioning system) mapping. The authors of the assessment wrote that most land mammals occupy “areas smaller than the United Kingdom,” while “the range of most marine mammals is smaller than one-fifth of the Indian Ocean.”

The report on mammals came on the same day that the IUCN updated its “Red List” — a separate periodic survey of nearly 45,000 species of plants and animals — and concluded that 32 percent are threatened with extinction. Its scientists added 20 of the world’s 161 species of grouper to the list of those at risk of extinction, along with several tarantula species.

Jonathan Baillie, who directs conservation programs at the Zoological Society of London, said: “It’s a continual decline in all cases.”

Not all of the news was grim yesterday: IUCN officials said that the La Palma giant lizard, believed to be extinct for 500 years, was rediscovered last year in the Canary Islands and is now considered critically endangered.

The writers of the mammals assessment said the observed declines are not inevitable. “At least 5 percent of currently threatened species have stable or increasing populations,” they wrote, “which indicates that they are recovering from past threats.”

Said Mittermeier: “It comes down to protecting habitats effectively, through protected areas, and preventing hunting and other forms of exploitation.” As one example of how conservation can be effective, he noted that in areas where scientific researchers work, animals stand a much better chance of surviving. “Where you have a research presence, it’s as good or better than a guard force,” he said.

Schipper offered the model of the U.S. effort to bring back the black-footed ferret, which was essentially extinct on the North American prairie as of 1996. “Now it’s endangered, which, in this case, is a huge improvement,” he said. “When governments and scientists commit resources to a project, many species can be recovered.”

Monday’s reports come as researchers have been documenting effects of human-generated greenhouse gases. In a paper published Thursday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute found that ocean acidification spurred by carbon emissions will cause sound to travel farther underwater, because increasingly acidic seawater absorbs less low- and mid-frequency sound.

By 2050, the researchers predicted, sounds could travel as much as 70 percent farther in parts of the Atlantic Ocean and other areas, which may improve marine mammals’ ability to communicate but also increase background noise, which could prove disorienting.

“We understand the chemistry of the ocean is changing. The biological implications of that we really don’t know,” said ocean chemist Keith Hester, the lead writer. “The magnitude to which sound absorption will change, based mainly on human contribution, is really astounding.”

By Juliet Elperin, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, October 7, 2008; Page A13

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October 9, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments