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Birth of Persian Leopard Cubs Proves Success of Sochi 2014 Environmental Program

Video: Birth of Persian Leopard Cubs Proves Success of the Sochi 2014 Environmental Program

For the first time in 50 years two Persian leopard cubs were born in Russia last week . The species is endangered, making the births a special occasion, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The Persian leopard cubs will grow to be the part of the largest leopard subspecies in the world. The giant cats once roamed all over southwest Russia’s Caucasus Mountains.

But habitat loss and heavy poaching have landed the beautiful creatures on the Conservation of Nature’s endangered species. According to LiveScience, it is estimated that only between 871 and 1,290 mature adults exist in the wild.

The two Persian leopard cubs were bred at the Persian Leopard Breeding Rehabilitation Center in Sochi National Park. The center’s goal is to reintroduce the population to the wild. The cubs’ parents came to the center from Portugal’s Lisbon Zoo.

Leopard cubs typically stay in their den for two months after birth. They get their food from their mother at first, but eventually develop their own hunting skills. The World Wildlife Fund’s Russian species coordinator, Natalia Dronova, released a statement about the leopard cubs’ birth, saying:

“They will eventually be released into the wild after learning skills, and will start a new population of leopards in the Caucasus Mountains.”

Along with Russia, the species also lives in Iran, eastern Turkey, southern Turkmenistan, and parts of western Afghanistan. The center hopes to help the population return back to its original state. Umar Semyonov, head of the breeding center, stated of the newborns. “It is too early to tell the sex of the cubs. They’re in the den with their mother and center staff don’t want to disturb them.”

The young leopards’ eyes won’t open for seven to nine days after birth. While staff haven’t handled the Persian leopard cubs yet, they are believed to be about six inches long. They weigh about 1.5 pounds. A full-grown Persian leopard will weigh about 200 pounds.

Persian-Leopard - Cubs-Born-Captivity-665x385

ShutterStock Photo

July 22, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Twin pandas born in Atlanta

Giant panda Lun Lun gave birth to a set of twins on Monday at Zoo Atlanta, making the duo the first giant panda twins to be born in the US since 1987.

Twin pandas born at Zoo Atlanta (© NBC News/Zoo Atlanta/Reuters, http://aka.ms/twinpandas)

Panda twins born, first US set since 1987 (they will get cuter and more recognizable)

What’s better than a newborn baby birthed from a cute and cuddly endangered species? Two of ’em!

Giant panda Lun Lun gave birth to a set of twins at Zoo Atlanta on Monday, making the duo the first giant panda twins to be born in the U.S. since 1987. Although twin births aren’t a rare occurrence for pandas, the survival of the two babies would be unlikely in the wild, as the mother panda tends to care for only one of the cubs and lets the other die. Fortunately, Zoo Atlanta’s animal care teams aren’t as callous and will be periodically alternating the twins between their mother’s care and a nursery. [Source]

July 17, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

World’s sixth mass extinction may be underway: study

World's sixth mass extinction may be underway: studyAFP/File – This file photo shows a colobus monkey kissing his newly born sibling. In the last five centuries, at …

by Richard Ingham and Laurent Banguet Fri Mar 4, 12:58 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – Mankind may have unleashed the sixth known mass extinction in Earth’s history, according to a paper released by the science journal Nature.

Over the past 540 million years, five mega-wipeouts of species have occurred through naturally-induced events.

But the new threat is man-made, inflicted by habitation loss, over-hunting, over-fishing, the spread of germs and viruses and introduced species, and by climate change caused by fossil-fuel greenhouse gases, says the study.

Evidence from fossils suggests that in the "Big Five" extinctions, at least 75 percent of all animal specieswere destroyed.

Palaeobiologists at the University of California at Berkeley looked at the state of biodiversity today, using the world’s mammal species as a barometer.

Until mankind’s big expansion some 500 years ago, mammal extinctions were very rare: on average, just two species died out every million years.

But in the last five centuries, at least 80 out of 5,570 mammal species have bitten the dust, providing a clear warning of the peril to biodiversity.

"It looks like modern extinction rates resemble mass extinction rates, even after setting a high bar for defining ‘mass extinction," said researcher Anthony Barnosky.

This picture is supported by the outlook for mammals in the "critically endangered" and "currently threatened" categories of the Red List of biodiversity compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

On the assumption that these species are wiped out and biodiversity loss continues unchecked, "the sixth mass extinction could arrive within as little as three to 22 centuries," said Barnosky.

Compared with nearly all the previous extinctions this would be fast-track.

Four of the "Big Five" events unfolded on scales estimated at hundreds of thousands to millions of years, inflicted in the main by naturally-caused global warming or cooling.

The most abrupt extinction came at the end of the Cretaceous, some 65 million years ago when a comet or asteroid slammed into the Yucatan peninsula, in modern-day Mexico, causing firestorms whose dust cooled the planet.

An estimated 76 percent of species were killed, including the dinosaurs.

The authors admitted to weaknesses in the study. They acknowledged that the fossil record is far from complete, that mammals provide an imperfect benchmark of Earth’s biodiversity and further work is needed to confirm their suspicions.

But they described their estimates as conservative and warned a large-scale extinction would have an impact on a timescale beyond human imagining.

"Recovery of biodiversity will not occur on any timeframe meaningful to people," said the study.

"Evolution of new species typically takes at least hundreds of thousands of years, and recovery from mass extinction episodes probably occurs on timescales encompassing millions of years."

Even so, they stressed, there is room for hope.

"So far, only one to two percent of all species have gone gone extinct in the groups we can look at clearly, so by those numbers, it looks like we are not far down the road to extinction. We still have a lot of Earth’s biota to save," Barnosky said.

Even so, "it’s very important to devote resources and legislation toward species conservation if we don’t want to be the species whose activity caused a mass extinction."

Asked for an independent comment, French biologist Gilles Boeuf, president of the Museum of Natural History in Paris, said the question of a new extinction was first raised in 2002.

So far, scientists have identified 1.9 million species, and between 16,000 and 18,000 new ones, essentially microscopic, are documented each year.

"At this rate, it will take us a thousand years to record all of Earth’s biodiversity, which is probably between 15 and 30 million species" said Boeuf.

"But at the rate things are going, by the end of this century, we may well have wiped out half of them, especially in tropical forests and coral reefs."

March 5, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, animals, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Man arrested at Mexico City airport with 18 tiny endangered monkeys stuffed inside girdle

Published July 19, 2010 | Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A man with a mysterious bulge under his T-shirt was stopped, searched and detained at Mexico City’s international airport after authorities found 18 tiny endangered monkeys in a girdle he was wearing.

The Public Safety Department said in a statement Monday that 38-year-old Roberto Cabrera arrived on a commercial flight Friday from Lima, Peru, when authorities noticed the bulge and conducted a body search.

The department says Cabrera was carrying the 6-inch (15-centimeter) titi monkeys in pouches attached to the girdle. Two of the monkeys were dead.

Cabrera was arrested on charges of trafficking an endangered species.

Cabrera told authorities he was carrying the monkeys in a suitcase but decided to put them in his girdle “so the X-rays wouldn’t hurt them.”

Sadly this kind of smuggling has gone on for ever.  People have smuggled in endangered reptiles and birds for years… often killing half of them in the process.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

July 20, 2010 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | , , | Leave a comment

Save the African Painted Dogs

Project Update October 2009

Rotating image of painted dogs

Nov 11, 2009

I find it hard, it’s hard to find words, which can adequately express the emotions we are feeling at this moment.

Mashambo is dead.

I don’t know if my sense of loss or despair reaches a greater depth than that felt by Jealous, Xmas or Mk, the other people who worked most closely with Mashambo. I gave the instruction to capture him when he was only ten months old, when he turned up at our Rehab Facility on his own; they are the ones who carried out the capture. They were with me during the days on Starvation Island, when he, Mashambo, came of age, his hunting prowess keeping his pack mates alive.

It’s not the effort, the emotional investment and certainly not the financial investment that make the tears fall. It’s the absolute senselessness of the loss of a life that had already delivered so much and promised so much more. Mashambo was magnificent. A shining example of a species with so many commendable characteristics.

He died in a snare set in the Gwayi Conservancy. The snare that killed him was a seven strand woven cable, the type used for a vehicle handbrake or similar. It was set by someone perhaps hungry for food, someone looking for a way to ease his own personal existence. We don’t know the exact location that the snare was set, because Mashambo broke the snare in his struggle for life. If you know or are familiar with the type of cable I am talking about, you will know how strong it is. You need a seriously good pair of side cutters to cut through such a cable. Mashambo broke it, aided by his protective collar and certainly a will to live. The agony he must have suffered as the cable cut through his throat is impossible to imagine.

Jealous had been searching frantically for Mashambo and the rest of the fragmented Bambanani pack. The female, Vusile, was missing and we only had a decent handle on Sithule and Sibuyile, her two brothers and their cohort, Lobels.

Our Phd student, long time friend and supporter, Ester van der Meer, was helping Jealous. She called upon some pilots for help, who were in the area for a bit of a holiday and they responded by letting her fly with them to locate the missing dogs. Ester found the dogs quickly from the air, however when she came back to the PDC office, the concern on her face spoke volumes. The two brothers were north of the airfield, Lobels was far to the east and Mashambo was in the north-east. Njiva, who had been moving with Mashambo, was also missing and there was still no sign of Vusile. This wasn’t the worst of it. The signal from the collars worn by Lobels and Mashambo indicated that they were not moving.

Lobels was the easiest to locate and his body was recovered on Saturday. His desiccated remains were still attached to the tree by the snare that had killed him. His snare was made from copper telephone wire. I met with Xmas and Mk at our Rehab Facility on Sunday morning as they dug Lobels grave, we talked openly of our frustrations and the sadness felt at his loss. We had become familiar of course with Lobels, but that relationship was nothing compared to the one we felt we had with Mashambo.

It was fitting that Jealous came alone to my office with the news I was expecting about Mashambo. I walked to my land rover with him and we drove the short distance to the Rehab together, in silence. It was hard to hold the tears back and we arrived at the Rehab as Xmas and Mk dug the second grave of the day. Ester and her husband, Hans, stood in silence as I crouched down to inspect what was left of Mashambo. Uncertain of my voice, I silently apologised for letting him down, as I teased the seven strands of the cable snare apart.

He was buried without words from us, the raucous, somehow sinister chorus of calls from five pied crows provided a back drop of sound on a suitably, dismal, grey, over cast day.

Sithule and Sibuyile are still alive.

The Bambanani had been released on August 28th. Only two months have passed and the pack no longer exists in any real sense of the word. Sithule and Sibuyile were still alive for now, Vusile and Njiva are missing. This shows the enormity of the situation we are fighting against. A country ravaged by political and subsequent economic turmoil, which has impacted so devastatingly on many sectors, wildlife preserves being one of the most severely affected.

The Children from Gwayi Primary School learn about the life of Painted Dogs.

Online Donations:

Wildlife Conservation Network
Specifying “Painted Dog” in your online donation will ensure that 100% of the donation comes to the Painted Dog Project.
WCN is a non-profit 501(c)3 – #30-0108469

Send a cheque to:

In US Dollars:

Wildlife Conservation Network
(Specifying “Painted Dog” in your online donation will ensure that 100% of the donation comes to the PDC project.
Wildlife Conservation Network
25745 Bassett Lane
Los Altos, CA 94022 USA
Tel: 650.949.3533

Australia:

100% of donation will go to PDC in the field.
Painted Dog Foundation Inc
24 Earnley Way, Balga , WA, 6061
Incorporated in Western Australia
Registered Deductible Gif Recipient

UK (In Pounds Sterling)

100% of donation will go to PDC in the field.
Painted Dog Conservation UK
9 King’s Rd, St Albans Hertfordshire AL3 4TQ
Registered Charity No. 1074559

Europe (In Euros)

100% of donation will go to PDC in the field.
Stichting Painted Dog Conservation,
Terwindtplein 3,
2807 RP,
Gouda,
The Netherlands

December 15, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Political Change, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington family to keep endangered Turtle

rare western pond turtle - CA RIDGEFIELD, Wash., June 8 (UPI) – Washington state officials say a family will be allowed to keep their pet, a rare western pond turtle, but the animal will be owned by the state of California.

Barry Mason of Ridgefield and his wife Chae Yon said their family adopted the turtle when they encountered it as a baby 21 years ago while camping in Northern California. They said the turtle apparently was taken from their home during a birthday party for their son, Shon, in April, The (Vancouver, Wash.) Columbian reported Monday.

The reptile turned up in May at a pet store in Hazel Dell, Wash., but the family ran into an obstacle while reclaiming their beloved Mr. Turtle — his species is endangered.

Washington wildlife officials wrote Mason that it has decided to allow the family to keep the turtle under a few strict conditions: The animal will belong to the state of California, it cannot be transferred to another family without the department’s approval, and its final resting spot after its death will be determined by California and Washington wildlife officials.

Officials said they took into account the amount of time Mr. Turtle has spent in captivity, as well as its special connection to Mason’s son, Chol, who died of complications from a transfusion of HIV-positive blood a few years after he and his brother discovered him.

“We are making this exception due to the circumstances regarding the captive history and care for this turtle since 1988,” the department said in a letter to Mason.

Source:  Odd News

Posted:  Just One More Pet

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Owner's Rights, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , | 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