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Christian the lion – Full ending

Video:  Christian the lion – Full ending

In 1969 a young Australian, John Rendall and his friend Ace Bourke, bought a small lion cub from Harrods pet department, which was then legal. ‘Christian’ was kept in the basement of a furniture shop on the Kings Road in Chelsea, the heart of the swinging sixties. Loved by all, the affectionate cub ate in a local restaurant, played in a nearby graveyard, but was growing fast…

A chance encounter with Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna led to a new life for Christian. He came to live in a huge enclosure and to sleep in a caravan at their Surrey home. Then in 1971 he was flown to Kenya, his ancestral home, and returned to the wild by lion-man George Adamson. Nine months later in 1972, John and Ace returned to Kora in Kenya. This clip is of their reunion at that time.

It was an emotional reunion: "He ran towards us, threw himself onto us, knocked us over and hugged us, with his paws on our shoulders."

John Rendall

Christian’s story. Directed by Bill Travers, commentary by Virgina McKenna, founders of the Born Free Foundation.

See http://www.bornfree.org.uk for more about this story.

Christian the Lion is distributed by Beckmann Visual Publishing

Movie:  Born Free

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Motherly Devotion

November 2, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Motherly Devotion

Motherly love is one of the strongest emotions within all animals.

Clinging on for dear life to the side of a vertical cliff, the tiny lion cub cries out pitifully for help.

His mother arrives at the edge of the precipice with three other lionesses and a male. The females start to clamber down together but turn back daunted by the sheer drop.

Eventually one single factor determines which of them will risk her life to save the youngster – motherly love.

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The drama begins: The mother arrives at the edge of the cliff as her son cries out for rescue after being trapped when he slipped

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On the brink: Four lionesses look over the edge before aborting their rescue
mission because of the sheer drop Slowly, agonizingly, the big cat edges her way down towards her terrified son, using her powerful claws to grip the crumbling cliff side.

One slip from her and both animals could end up dead at the bottom of the ravine.

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Just as the exhausted cub seems about to fall, his mother circles beneath him and he is snatched up in her jaws. She then begins the equally perilous journey back to the top. Minutes later, they arrive and she gives the frightened creature a consoling lick on the head.

The dramatic rescue, captured by wildlife photographer Jean-Francois Largot, was played out in Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve.

Despite the presence of wardens to deter poachers, day-to-day life for the lions is not without its dangers … as the cub learned the hard way

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Rescue mission: The mother inches her way down the cliff face to rescue the terrified cub before locking him in her jaws and making her way back up the cliff face 

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Motherly love: The mother gives her son a lick to say that all is well in the pride following the drama

HOW AWESOME IS THIS?

October 30, 2011 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Wild Animals | , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Texts From Elephant Warn Rangers of Trouble

OL PEJETA, Kenya (AP) — The text message from the elephant flashed across Richard Lesowapir’s screen: Kimani was heading for neighboring farms.

Kimani, a huge bull elephant, wears a collar with a mobile phone card that lets rangers know where he is.

Kimani, a huge bull elephant, wears a collar with a mobile phone card that lets rangers know where he is.

The huge bull elephant had a long history of raiding villagers’ crops during the harvest, sometimes wiping out six months of income at a time. But this time a mobile phone card inserted in his collar sent rangers a text message.

Lesowapir, an armed guard and a driver arrived in a jeep bristling with spotlights to frighten Kimani back into the Ol Pejeta conservancy.

Kenya is the first country to try elephant texting as a way to protect both a growing human population and the wild animals that now have less room to roam. Elephants are ranked as “near threatened” in the Red List, an index of vulnerable species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The race to save Kimani began two years ago. The Kenya Wildlife Service had already reluctantly shot five elephants from the conservancy who refused to stop crop-raiding, and Kimani was the last of the regular raiders. The Save the Elephants group wanted to see if he could break the habit.

So they placed a mobile phone SIM card in Kimani’s collar, then set up a virtual “geofence” using a global positioning system that mirrored the conservatory’s boundaries. Whenever Kimani approaches the virtual fence, his collar texts rangers.

They have intercepted Kimani 15 times since the project began. Once almost a nightly raider, he last went near a farmer’s field four months ago.

It’s a huge relief to the small farmers who rely on their crops for food and cash for school fees. Basila Mwasu, a 31-year-old mother of two, lives a stone’s throw from the conservancy fence. She and her neighbors used to drum through the night on pots and pans in front of flaming bonfires to try to frighten the elephants away.

Once an elephant stuck its trunk through a window into a room where her baby daughter was sleeping and the family had stored some corn. She beat it back with a burning stick. Another time, an elephant killed a neighbor who was defending his crop.

“We had to go into town to tell the game [wardens] to chase the elephants away or we’re going to kill them all,” Mwasu remembered.

But the elephants kept coming back.

Batian Craig, the conservation and security manager at the 90,000-acre Ol Pejeta conservancy, says community development programs are of little use if farmers don’t have crops. He recalled the time when 15 families had their harvests wiped out.

“As soon as a farmer has lost his livelihood for six months, he doesn’t give a damn whether he has a school or a road or water or whatever,” he said.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants, said the project is still in its infancy — so far only two geofences have been set up in Kenya — and it has its problems.

Collar batteries wear out every few years. Sometimes communities think placing a collar on an elephant implies ownership and responsibility for the havoc it causes. And it’s expensive work: Ol Pejeta has five full-time staff and a standby vehicle to respond when a message flashes across a ranger’s screen.

But the experiment with Kimani has been a success, and last month another geofence was set up in another part of the country for an elephant known as Mountain Bull. Moses Litoroh, the coordinator of Kenya Wildlife Service’s elephant program, hopes the project might help resolve some of the 1,300 complaints the Service receives every year over crop-raiding.

The elephants can be tracked through Google Earth software, helping to map and conserve the corridors they use to move from one protected area to another. The tracking also helps prevent poaching, as rangers know where to deploy resources to guard valuable animals.

But the biggest bonus so far has been the drop in crop-raiding. Douglas-Hamilton says elephants, like teenagers, learn from each other, so tracking and controlling one habitual crop-raider can make a whole group change its habits.

Mwasu’s two young daughters play under the banana trees these sultry evenings without their mother worrying about elephants.

“We can live together,” she said. “Elephants have the right to live, and we have the right to live too.”

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments