A Florida Panther
The Florida Panther
Felis concolor coryi
Photo credit: Florida Panther page

 

Updates and news that affect Florida's Endangered Wildlife.

Due to the ongoing outrageous Global Wildlife atrocities, this Blog

will now expand to include postings about other wildlife.

My new Word Press Blog

My Google Mirror Blog

 

 

September 20, 2014

Finally, We Have A Baby!

one two four three

 

We have decided to call her/him Ishi, after the last of the Yahi in California.

She/he also appears to be the only survivor.

All pictures credit: Walkingfox

Because you asked, here is more about  Ishi, last of the Yahi.

 

We would like to introduce our first Gopher Tortoise birth here.

She/he was found yesterday when I took Breanna out, just after lunch.

We are not sure of her/his sex, but this is what we have waited for since moving in here in 2004.

We found no others, only this one.

Gopher Tortoises normally have between 3-15 babies, so we sadly fear the demise of her siblings.

It is said that anything and everything, eats them as soon as they hatch,

most do not make it until their first birthday.

From what we have learned from other pictures and information, this one appears to be about two years old,

as they are said to grow about an inch per year.

If any others are found, they will be announced here.

But for now, we are so thrilled to have at least one child from Harriet, whom we have fiercely guarded,

loved and protected since we came here nearly ten years ago.

Finally we have a baby!

 

 

September 13, 2013

Puget Pride

Killerwhales
Killer Whales or Orcas
Picture credit: Robert Pittman NOAA

 

This story is for Adam,  whose heart is as big as the Ocean, the Orcas and all the sea creatures that he loves so much.

Killer Whales or Orcas are the largest Dolphins.

This beautiful mammal is an intelligent, fun-loving, playful, family oriented

and devoted Sea Creature or Cetacean.

And for the first time in years, this week a new baby has been born to a group

whose terrifyingly low numbers, 

leave many to believe that they are not long for this Earth.

The new baby, who is a member of the L Pod, was born in the waters of San Juan off the

Washington State Coast, known as Puget Sound.

This new calf is a member of Southern Resident Killer Whale  population whose numbers 

are currently at about 79, with two having been listed as missing.

The Killer Whales in this area are members of the  J,  K,   or L Pods.

The new baby or calf, is number L 120 and its birth is cause for sheer delight, extreme joy,

 laced with a more than just a bit of trepidation, as newborns in this area and of this particular species,

do not have a good track record for longevity.

Many of them die in their first year of life.

There are multiple reasons for the tremendous decline in Killer Whales here:

the Exxon oil spill, and the lingering deadly aftermath of it, as well as the now near extinction

 of their favorite food, salmon, which has sent them as far away as California to eat.

This critically Endangered Whale is the victim of yet one more example of Human cause and effect:

oil spills, over fishing, military and tourist conflicts, greedy marine facilities who take them prisoners to perform.

We love to adore them in captivity, watch them on film, and take boat trips out to see them in the wild.

Yet we completely fail to comprehend that what we are doing, is killing the Killer Whales.

We are simply, ignorantly, loving and crowding them to death.

But on this day, far away, in Washington State, there is reason for Puget Pride.

 

Places to learn more:

Killer whale – Wikipedia

Updated photos: Eyewitness describes birth of orca in Puget Sound waters

Down to Earth: Patti Goldman on Protecting Orca Whales

Puget Sound’s endangered killer whales continue decline

Exxon Valdez oil spill

Puget Sound orcas feeding in California — again

Orca calf born to Puget Sound resident L pod

Puget Sound orcas retain protection under Endangered Species Act

Newborn Orca Seen Off Washington Coast In Puget Sound Pod

Census: Orcas declining in Puget Sound

Free Corky

 

 

September 6, 2014

Megalopyge opercularis

Puss_caterpillar
Megalopyge opercularis
Picture credit: Wikipedia

 

Thank you so very much to Walkingfox for alerting me about this story just now.

This is a very short post because it is so important and just learned about.

I also wanted to alert as many of you, as soon as possible about this.

On our local WFTV News earlier today, was a report about, don’t laugh,

a fuzzy caterpillar that is very scary.

Its scientific name is  Megalopyge opercularis  and it has been found in Florida.

DO NOT TOUCH  it under any conditions.

This thing is nasty and its toxic venom will do you great harm.

Even though it is fairly small, at about one inch long,

 it is the most poisonous Caterpillar in the United States.

This is not a joke, take a look at the pictures of the victims in the links below.

You, your pets and your children need to be on high alert for this creature,

every single time that you are outside in your yards,  or where ever.

Please watch out for it and if any of you should come in contact with it,

follow the directions on any of these links included below, immediately.

All I can say is YIKES!

And, Welcome to the Tropics.

 

Places to learn more:

Southern flannel moth

Puss Caterpillar or Asp — General Information

Florida’s Puss Caterpillars Pack a Venomous Punch

Doctors: Don’t pet fuzzy caterpillar

Megalopyge opercularis  –  Wikipedia

 

 

August 30, 2014

You’re On Your Own!

-Tiger_shark

The Tiger Shark is a regular visitor to Florida Beaches.
Picture credit: Albert Kok

 

This story has been on our local news for several days and it has Floridians divided, once again.

I truly did not want to write about this, but the story will not go away.

Those who fish of course, are completely opposed to the idea that anyone, or anything,

 should interfere with the enjoyment of their beloved sport of  “shark fishing.”

Let me begin by saying that I find this ” sport “  both appalling and cruel.

Yes, the East Coast, or Atlantic Coast of Florida, is and has been for many years,  the

” shark bite capital of the world, ” but the behavior of these people in the pursuit of their passion,

has only added to the numbers, because sharks will always go where there is blood in the water

and that is exactly how these people do their  ” sport. “

This provocative, enticing and dangerous action, is called  chumming.

Sharks are one of the most ancient of all animals that live today on our planet.

They have survived and thrived, when many others, perished and became extinct.

They are a nearly perfect predator and truly need  fear few, if any other animals, only Humans.

We have always been the greatest threat to their continued longevity on Earth.

And, this disgusting sport of  “shark fishing “ is being done state-wide in nearly every coastal town here now.

There are a plethora of Clubs, Charters and Organizations here, all devoted to the “exciting sport,”

 their words,  not mine, of  ” Shark Fishing.”

The problems arise because of where this sport is being done, which is on the hundreds of beaches in Florida,

where swimmers, surfers and tourists are usually gathered for a fun day at the Beach.

What these “shark fishing”  groups fail to accept, is that they are responsible for creating 

a theater of danger at the beach, by their very dangerous actions.

Since the beginning of August, two young children have been bitten by sharks just in Brevard County.

Melbourne Beach Mayor Jim Simmons, is understandably quite concerned for the safety of those

who not only come to his town, but of what waits for them when and if, they also visit the beach there.

He has personally experienced this dangerous drama on the Beach and wants to stop it before someone is killed.

The reason for all of the division in the state over this Issue, is quite simple.

Local residents and officials want to stop shark fishing, but really have no

legal authority to do so, only Florida Fish and Wildlife can do this.

And the chances of that happening, are slim to none.

There will be an FWC meeting September 11, in Kissimmee, to discuss this and Mayor  Simmons

not only plans on showing up for it,  but to lobby for his concerns there as well.

I can’t help but wonder, where Florida’s Better Business Bureau or 

Department of Tourism stand on this Issue.

Like the line from the movie says, ” this is not good for the Tourist Trade.”

So for the time being, it is beach users “beware.”

If you are a visitor here, or a surfer new to the area, please be forewarned,

the beaches can be a very dangerous place in Florida right now.

Shark Fishermen using Florida Beaches for their blood sport, are protected by our State Officials.

You, on the other hand, are on your own!

 

Places to learn more:

Sharks – Wikipedia

Shark kills number 100 million annually

Florida Shark Fishing

Shark-fishing debate hooks town leaders

Florida Shark Attack Risk Has Officials Wanting To Ban Shark Fishing In 2014

International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association

A Shark Fishing Guide

YouTube Shark Fishing  (It is sick and cruel, be prepared)

 

 

August 23, 2014

Winona LaDuke

winonababy
Winona LaDuke

 

For those of you not familiar with her, Winona LaDuke is the Executive Director of a group called Honor the Earth.

Last week they began a new campaign called “Love Water, Not Oil,” that is vital, no critical,

to all Americans, not just Native Americans.

What Fracking and Oil pipelines have done and will continue to do to the environment of this country,

should be high on everybody’s agenda.

Once our water supplies and land are contaminated, it will take thousands of years to make them safe again.

Hopefully, you will keep this in mind, when you go to the polls to Vote this week and next:

” which candidates are supporting Fracking and Oil Pipelines and which ones are opposed to them? “

The condition of the water and land that you will  have this time next year depends on it.

 

Here is a brief Bio that I wrote about Winona several years ago.

She was and is,  an amazing woman, that I have the utmost respect for.

A side note that I find interesting about Winona, she and Robert Redford share the same birthday, August 18th!

Winona_duke_dream_reborn
Winona LaDuke at Dream Reborn Conference  April 6, 2008
Picture credit: Eclectek

 

Winona LaDuke, who was born in 1959 and grew up in Los Angeles,  is Anishinabe/Anishinaabekwe – Ojibwe

and an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg of the Makwa Dodaem –

 Bear Clan of the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota.

Her father, an Ojibwe was a supporting actor in westerns as well as an Indian activist and her mother,

a Russian Jew from New York, was an art professor.

As a teenager LaDuke addressed the United Nations on mining issues.

After graduating from Harvard in 1982, she took a position as the principal of the High School

on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota.

LaDuke is a Program Director of the Honor the Earth Fund and

works nationally to promote and assist Native Environmental groups.

She is a Founding Director for White Earth Land Recovery Project:

a reservation-based non-profit organization focusing on land, cultural and environmental issues.

LaDuke co-chairs the Indigenous Women’s Network and is Program Director of the Environmental Program

 at the Seventh Generation Fund.

LaDuke ran with Ralph Nader in 1996 and 2000 as his Vice-Presidential candidate for the Green Party

and worked to increase Native American voter registration and activism.

She has written on environmental racism and is the author of several books including:

Last Standing Woman and  All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life

LaDuke spoke at the International Women’s Conference in Beijing, China on August 31, 1995.

Read excerpts from her speech

LaDuke teaches courses on Native Environmentalism at the University of Minnesota

 and other colleges and has campaigned for the reduction of nuclear waste.

In 1994, she was named by Time Magazine as one of America’s 50 most promising leaders under 40 years of age.

She currently lives with her two children on the White Earth Reservation.

 

Places to learn more:

Native Americans Launch ‘Love Water Not Oil’ Ride To Protest Fracking Pipeline

Winona LaDuke – Wikipedia

Honor the Earth Website

Winona’s Facebook Page

Love Water Not Oil

First Nation Ride For Mother Earth Forms Norwegian/Indian Alliance

An Interview with Winona LaDuke

Honor the Earth – Wikipedia

 

 

August 16, 2014

Naughty Nudists

royalTerns
Royal Terns on Passage Key Wildlife Refuge in Florida
Picture credit: USFWS

 

When this came on our Noon News yesterday, at first I thought that it must be a joke,

but as it turned out, it was quite the opposite.

A Florida Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast near Tampa, called Passage Keys, with a

resident population of rare Native birds like Royal Terns, is being disturbed by Nudists.

The Nudists are allowed to wade in the water offshore, but are forbidden to go onto the Beach,

where the Birds are Nesting.

There are signs and the area is patrolled.

This Federally protected habitat is off-limits to the public, but a seemingly ignorant and

determined group of Nudists have been going ashore and the birds who are not used

to having humans on their Nesting Beach area, are flying off.

This is not good.

Anyone who knows anything about wildlife, knows that when they are disturbed

 and their habitats are invaded,  or their daily eating routines are interfered with,

they may suffer serious consequences from it.

A hungry animal that is frightened away from its food source or nest, may or may not return, before it is too late.

A few months ago, in a similar kind of Island Environment on the Atlantic Coast,

 also with a group of nesting rare Terns, several  dogs were allowed to run loose on the Island

and they did irreparable harm to all that they encountered.

By the time it was over, the Nests, the Chicks and the Terns were all gone!

Complete, absolute and total destruction, for what?

It would be extremely sad to see a repeat of this tragedy on the West Coast.

 

Places to learn more:

Popular Fla. nude beach causing problem for wildlife

Birds, nudists edge for space at Passage Key

Rare birds disrupted by nudists on wildlife refuge

Newly reformed island is for the birds, not nudists, according to feds

Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge

Passage Key Wildlife Refuge

 

 

August 9, 2104

Water

Waterdrop
A drop  of Water
Picture credit: José Manuel Suarez

 

The absence from this obviously addictive pleasure, has left me with a great deal of time to ponder what the

subject of the first posting here would be, after being cleared by my Doctor to resume a somewhat normal life.

Before beginning,  I must take the time to say,  from the very depths of my heart,

how much all of your comments and kind wishes and thoughts have meant to me,

while I suffered here in the darkness of my self, or medically, imposed prison.

You simply overwhelmed me with your responses.

But, now back to work!

So, what was brewing, or festering in my mind all of this time?

It seemed like nearly everyday for the past week, there has been a story on our News about Water.

The problems with Water are not just local, they are Global, and they are,  or should be, our number one concern.

No water, no people, no life!

It really is that simple.

After the air that we breathe, Water is, in my opinion, the second most vital element, in sustaining all life on Earth.

The World’s problems with Water are, unlike our absolute dependence on it, quite complex and come from multiple sources.

In Ohio right now, exactly like so many places in Florida, the Water has become toxic from farm, and/or pesticide runoff.

Here in Florida, the Indian River Lagoon,  Everglades, Lakes Okeechobee and Toho, 

all have toxin/pollution problems that are Human caused.

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife have either already died, or are continuing to die,  at all four places,

even though proposals have been made to repair the damage, or improve the situation,

 still the deadly pollution remains.

In the meantime, no one at the top, in either state, seems to have  the temerity or the power,

 to tell the farmers to stop poisoning our water supplies with their careless disposal of poisons

and complete disregard for Water safety or purity.

But,  if we don’t force them to change their deadly, destructive, dangerous habits, we are all,

every single living species on this planet, doomed.

Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers are not compatible with life, they are now and will continue forever,

 to kill us all, until we are finally gone.

Not all of our Water problems come from chemical abuse, there are others.

Right now in many states, people cannot drink their Water because of fracking, places like Colorado 

and Pennsylvania have Water that can and does,  catch on fire.

Who wants to drink that?

Another disastrous Water problem,  is not what is being done to it, but the complete absence of it.

In California,  my home for over 30 years, the entire state is now in the worst drought of their history.

Entire Industries there are either dying, or are already dead, from the total lack of Water.

So, what is the answer, you ask?

Well, since the crisis with Water is Global, perhaps we should all be working together to solve this dilemma.

That really is not the appropriate word though,  is it?

This is not a dilemma, this a is a Global ” life or death “ situation, that will soon have an ending, one way or another.

We, Humans, will either do what must be done, or we will not.

Two of our planet’s most important Global Organizations, the United Nations and  

the World Health Organization  are imploring us to do just this.

Nothing really big is hanging on this decision, just all life on Earth.

It is our choice,  what will we choose?

Will it be Water?

 

Here are a few of the many places where Water is in great jeopardy in the US:

Ohio, Florida, California, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Texas

 

Some places to learn more:

Water Facts

Global Water Issues

WHO – Water

United Nations – Water Issues

Water – NRDC

World Water Day: 10 Places Most in Need of Clean Water

The Ten Biggest American Cities That Are Running Out Of Water

Driest year ever in Calif. sparks fire, water fears

Ohio Regulators Aim to Help Water Problem With Fertilizer Licenses

In Florida, Toxic Algae is a Year-Round Fight

Pollutants threaten the Everglades’ future

 

 

July 19, 2014

Murdered, why?

harrietmay3

Our beloved Gopher Tortoise Harriet, on her way back to her tunnel after eating.

 

Yesterday our local news, as usual, found a heinous, outrageous story about an animal 

that had been tortured and killed.

It had been murdered.

The animal at the center of this media firestorm, was an Endangered Gopher Tortoise.

As it was airing  yesterday,  I looked out the kitchen window at our beloved Harriet who was

sitting under the tree,  munching quietly on a tiny plant.

She looked so peaceful, so happy.

She does not know that she  is one of the lucky ones.

Many in this state are not, they do not have a safe place to live where they are not disturbed.

Gopher Tortoises here are continuously being uprooted at the whim and pleasure of greedy developers 

who want to build new Condos, new Shopping Centers, new anything, new everything.

Just build baby!

And get  ” those damn turtles out of their way,  they have things to build! “

Because they are protected, they are supposed to be moved as new things are built.

Do we really believe that they truly care if a Tortoise accidentally gets buried alive in the process?

Oops!

My heart broke for the one that was tortured, who suffered and died.

I said a small prayer for it and then immediately became angry for what has now become so common here

and elsewhere in the world, constant, unnecessary, violence directly aimed at innocent animals

who cannot fight back, or defend themselves.

Why has this abuse against animals become so commonplace, have we all become immune to it?

Are we all now completely desensitized?

This should come as no shock, considering the fact that nearly 100%  of every news story,

every single day, is about violence.

Two things are now quite apparent to me and they should be to you as well.

Our News media here in Florida seems to be obsessed with stories that involve an animal being hurt.

We also have some very sick people living in this state, who seem to take great pleasure in harming  animals.

Were those who committed this terrible crime hardened criminals?

No.

Were these gang members meeting an initiation requirement?

No.

The dastardly perpetrators in this case of vile and extreme  evil,  were two teenage girls.

Their reason.

Only they know the answer to this.

Threats have been  made against the girls and their families.

FWC are naturally deeply involved and the father of one of the girls has made an understandable 

comment  that there will be ” no more Facebook or Smart phones “  in their house.

He will allow the local Law Enforcement and the Legal System to take its course.

The entire series of event surrounding this despicable crime should be making an even bigger case

 for a return to some sort of morality, humanity and just plain compassion in people today.

Where,  as a species, have we gone wrong, that now our children are doing these kinds of things

 to not only innocent, but Endangered Creatures, that have no way to protect themselves.

So, what started out yesterday as a local horror story, has now become a Global Horror story,

as it has been picked up by News agencies everywhere.

How we must look to the world?

What must they think of us?

As Parents, as Humans, we had better take a long, hard cold, look in the mirror.

Our lack of Humanity and Compassion has come home to roost.

Are our children now capable of murdering wild things, just for the pleasure of watching them die?

Dear Parents, dear Readers, will you please talk with your children and ask them what they think about this story?

If we are to survive as a species, we had better start finding out who and what we really are.

And what we are capable of doing to innocents?

We had better have an answer to this question:  Murdered, why?

 

There are three links below, I want nothing more to do with this story:

Two girls face threats after torturing and killing turtle in Florida

Florida teens face charges for torturing, killing threatened tortoise, posting video online

Florida Girls Light Tortoise on Fire, Set Off Hunt for Vigilante Justice

 

 

July 12, 2014

Guilty!

blackbearcubs
Beautiful, Bashful, Black Bear Cubs~
Picture credit: FWC

 

I am sure that you all remember the horrific stories written here about

 the Seven Black Bears, that were killed in the Orlando area recently.

It was a sad, sad, sickening thing to have to write about and watch unfold.

Many hearts were broken,  as this story was on the News here nearly daily.

Many were also convinced that a Human was at the root of this, but could not prove it until now.

Finally the answer came and it has been all over our news for the past 24 hours.

First, a local Seminole County couple, Corey Zeak and Lori Clem, admitted to feeding the bears

in this neighborhood and pleaded   “no contest”  to the charges against them.

They were fined $200 each and put on six months probation!

Then, a video surfaced of a man shown actually in the act of feeding a Black Bear.

He appeared in  court yesterday,  his name is Eugene Cifers.

And, he has pleaded,  ” not guilty.”

This man is not some ignorant, uneducated,  thoughtless, reckless culprit.

This man knows better.

Or at least you would think that he would,  considering that he is a former member of the

 Audubon Board and Save the Manatee Club.

This man has apparently been doing this for quite some time and has shared his both, illegal and stupid actions,  

with a variety of people, including his neighbors and even his trash man.

Too many Bears in this state are being killed, either by car strikes, or by being “euthanized”.

The recent  “donut caper, “  as I like to call it,  to try to  “count ”  the numbers of Florida’s Black Bears,  

is something that I fear may soon lead to a disaster for them.

There are now grumblings or rumblings, of something that I was assured by an unnamed person at the top,

would never happen here,  Black Bear Hunting.

In Florida, our hands are now stained with the blood of  Black Bears, as it has become a tragic, too common occurrence.

Last week another Black Bear who refused to stay away from people and trouble was put down.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, or FFWC, said that they had no other choice.

The Bear was taken away, or relocated,  repeatedly, but it kept coming back.

Remember what they say,  “follow the food?”

This is what Black Bears and all the wild things will always do, they will follow the food, even though it might kill them.

Only stupid people feed wildlife, because it causes them to behave abnormally, which in turn costs them their lives.

It is not cute, or kind,  to feed them you idiots and you cannot plead,  ” innocent or no contest.”

These are not teddy bears, toys, or dolls for you to play with.

They are not cute, cuddly, stuffed animals for you to snuggle and then put back on the shelf.

These are wild animals who need to stay apart, or away from us,  if they are to stay alive.

Every encounter that a Black Bear has with a Human, is one more step that it has to unlearn.

If you feed a Black Bear or ANY wild animal and it is euthanized:

You are GUILTY!

 

Places to learn more:

Eugene Cifers: Florida man accused of feeding bears, wildlife officials say they have photo

Officials say photo shows Seminole man is feeding bears

Florida Man Has Been Feeding Neighborhood Bears For a Year, According to Officials

Neighbor of mauled woman in Seminole among three charged with feeding bears

Bear that returned to Panama City is euthanized

 

 

July 4, 2014

Animal Independence Day

Matador
Only death awaits him.
Bull fighting still today remains popular in many parts of the world.
Picture credit: Wikipedia

 

Today is Independence Day in America.

It is a day which gives us all a sense of pride in how much we have achieved since we became an Independent Nation.

Over the past few hundred years we have fought, died and defended our country in the name of Freedom.

But on this Day, I find quite little to feel proud or good about, when it come to the Freedom of America’s,  

indeed, the Whole World’s millions of desperate and abused animals.

Who is fighting for their freedom?

Yes, there are many animal activists, wildlife groups and individuals by the boatload, all professing

to be doing their very best trying to keep animals out of harms way and alive.

But, on this day, in this country, I ask who will fight for the Freedom of Animals ?

Too many of us use them for our own personal benefit,  without ever giving a thought

to whether or not we are harming,  or even killing them.

We have all seen the horse and dog races, the bull fights, the Rodeos,  

and the terrible fate of the animals involved in them.

We know about the fox hunts, the dog fights, polo matches and most of all,

the grisly experiments under the guise of scientific research.

We still in this country,  have too many zoos, circuses and  wildlife attractions galore,  all of them

placing  profit over concern, or well-being or welfare,  of the very animals that they  hold hostage in them.

Thousands, no, millions,  of innocent Animals here and all over the World are continuously being exploited.

They are being murdered, slaughtered, abused and terrorized by ruthless Humans for personal profit and individual gain.

We all know who these people, these groups, these Organizations are, and yet, quite unbelievably,

we still support them by taking ourselves and our families there to watch the abuse happen.

We are not only watching, but by our very presence, are willing accomplices, to it.

So many of us  pretend that we truly care for animals, but deep down,  we all know what happens

behind the scenes, behind the closed doors,  when no one is watching.

Who will fight for their Freedom on this Independence  Day?

Will you speak out for them?

Will you make a change in your life today, even a small one, that may make their lives better or safer?

If not us, then who?

They have ALL suffered in silence long enough.

Today could be the first Animal Independence Day, together we can, we must make the change.

 

 

June 28, 2014

Two Updates, One Despicable Item!

comfryjacobs

Comfrey Jacobs,  animal rights activist and humanitarian, extraordinaire~
Picture credit and kindly lent by:   Deby Dixon photography

 

I am quite sure that you all remember this brave young man putting himself on the line at

Yellowstone Park a few months ago,  trying to stop the slaughter of Bison/Buffalo.

The posting about him was:   God Hears.

What you need to know now,  is what happened to him and the high price that he paid for his altruistic ideals.

By the way, if we did not live nearly 3,000 miles away, we would have joined him there.

What the courts have done to this young man, verges on  being a vicious retaliation and wanting desperately

 to make an example of him, to warn others who may in the future wish to try a similar act, to rethink it.

The Cattle Ranchers in Montana, have entirely too much power and control in the entire

Yellowstone Basin Area and this all is absolutely a result of them putting the squeeze

on the local law enforcement agencies and the court systems.

Here is the follow-up story about Comfrey Jacobs, who did his best to try to prevent wild animals from being killed:

Activist Convicted of Blockading Yellowstone’s Wild Bison Trap

 

The second  update is one that has been percolating in my head for many months now.

This story deduces, quite accurately in my opinion, that if the economics in the part of Africa

where Wildlife Poaching is out of control would improve, the poaching would decline.

I believe that this is a real possibility and that Africa needs to make every effort to encourage and perpetuate this.

If other countries wish to become involved, especially the United Nations, there could be a breakthrough in ending these

despicable, heinous acts,  by truly desperate people, who are most likely starving and see no other option in their survival.

Those involved in Wildlife Poaching, must be made to understand, that this is not the true answer to their problems,

it is simply a short-term, stop-gap, that comes with great personal risk.

The  story is here:

How Improving Local Economy Could Solve Africa’s Wildlife Poaching Problem

 

The last story is new to me and was in the same email as the other two.

Just writing this sentence is so painful, I can only imagine how horrible the actual facts of the story must be.

Your reactions to it,  will tell me all that I need to know and then I will read it, if I can.

Right now, just knowing what has been done,  is already breaking my heart.

Most regretfully and apologetically,  here is the link to this despicable story:

Buried-Alive Chickens Exposed in Shocking Undercover Investigation of Nation’s Second-Largest Producer

 

 

June 24, 2014

Cadet one, Gator zero!

educationalalligator
The educational experience of a lifetime!
“An environmental education student gets to feel the back of a young alligator on the refuge”
Please do observe the tape around the young gator’s mouth to protect all involved!
Picture credit: Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Public Domain)

 

Just now while having our lunch, this story came on our local News and became an  instantmust be reported story.

We do not have a lock on wildlife ignorance or abuse here in Lake County, but we must be a close runner-up.

Apparently a group of  young Police Cadets were at a facility in Tavares, here in Lake County

 and were  in training on how to handle Gators.

It is said that one of the Cadets tripped and fell on top of the four-foot gator,  (making it fairly young)  

which then  clamped  down on the Cadet’s  hand and would not let go.

Please, try for a moment to understand the experience of having  a quite large thing/person falling

on top of you and what your immediate reaction might have been?

When the Gator did not let go of the Cadet’s hand, one of the FWC who were on hand to demonstrate,

 or instruct the Police Cadets on how to properly and assuming, safely, deal with, or handle coming

 face to face with Gators in their daily duties or routines,   immediately shot and killed the Gator.

The person sitting directly across from me, whose Blog is sarcastically called,  ” This Is Florida Don’t You Know, “

in reference to the things that happen here every day,  that make us scratch our heads, immediately asked this question:

” why would they be using a real alligator in this kind of training exercise with young,

inexperienced Police Cadets and why wasn’t the Gator’s mouth taped closed? “

As for me, I  have nothing more to say, I am completely  speechless.

 

You may read about this story here:

Gator shot after biting cadet’s hand during training exercise in Tavares

 

June 17, 2014

Ethics Be Dammed

wildlifepanther
The magnificent,  soon likely to be extinct, Florida Panther
Picture credit: The Florida Panther page

 

Just now on our lunchtime news,  was a story about our Governor’s supposed

questionable connection to some of the very same  Companies that had recently

been given permission to drill for oil by our DEP  in Collier County.

They  said, that he owns a lot of stock in one of the Oil Companies  that wants to drill,  blah, blah, blah.

It went on for several minutes about various terrible things that they believed were going on,  that may

have been most unethical and  the Governor’s  possible connection to the these drilling companies,

and the terrible idea that he was doing some VERY unethical things,  it went on ad nauseam.

By the time it was over,  I felt completely disgusted with the story, the Reporters, the Residents of Collier County,

 the Governor and anyone else involved in this nightmare.

People were shown taking  to the streets of their upscale neighborhoods, like Naples, signs in hand,

shouting about their beautiful way of life being lost, their soon to be declining property values,

their  glorious life styles diminishing, etc., etc.

Every single point that they made,  was about how the possible drilling would affect them and their lives.

At no time,  did anyone ever mention,  what should, in my opinion,  be the number one reason

 that  no one should EVER  be allowed to drill in Collier County, it is the very last safe haven,

 or tiny remaining Habitat for our critically Endangered Florida Panther.

This animal is on it last legs, it is at the end of the log.

Hello, it is out of time.

But not once was this fact mentioned in this story.

Why?

If this drilling is approved and they do begin in Collier County, the Florida Panther is doomed to extinction.

But should any of this come as a surprise?

This is the very same neighborhood that just a few short months ago, was completely up in arms,  

screaming for Florida Fish and Wildlife to come and take care of  a Black Bear that was annoying them.

They wanted it gone, and right now!

So, if our desperate Florida  Panthers need any warmth, support, or a kind word spoken for them in this area,

they are just plain,  flat-out of luck.

Period!

In Collier County,  money and status trumps all.

I know this because one of my Aunts lives there and she has spoken about this fact at great lengths to me.

Are all of the parties involved in this matter completely oblivious to the dangerous peril that the Panther is in?

I truly doubt that.

What is clear to me,  is that when it comes to money, profit,  political power and just about anything in Florida,

any and everything comes before the life of an animal.

Greed is a state of life and mind here.

So, will oil drilling go forward here, most probably.

If it is stopped,  one thing that you can be sure of, it will NOT  be because they are concerned

with the ethics of the Governor and where his sticky little fingers may,  or may not have been.

It will NOT  be because they are concerned with the life or death of the Florida Panther.

It will ONLY  be because somehow their money and status is threatened and in Collier County, that is everything.

Ethics can be damned.

 

Places to learn more:

FL Gov. Scott stake in oil company tied to drilling near Everglades and endangered Panther habitat

Scott’s stake in oil company tied to Collier drilling riles environmentalists

DEP and Collier Commission Clash Over Everglades Oil Drilling

Gov. Rick Scott’s stake in oil company tied to Collier drilling riles environmentalists

Sen. Nelson calls for federal review of Hughes Co. well drilling in Collier

Judge backs Collier County drilling project

 

 

June 11, 2014

Schaus Survival

schaususfws

The magnificent and critically Endangered Schaus Swallowtail Butterfly
Photo credit: Dr. Emmel UF Zoology

 

Yes, it is only a butterfly, an insect, but the engaging and endearing story of this particular butterfly

is the kind of stuff that Hollywood loves to drool over.

The  Schaus  Swallowtail  was  the first Butterfly, the first insect, to be put on the Endangered Species list in 1984.

This huge, magnificent five-inch Butterfly was once plentiful all over the Upper Keys and even Miami.

But, then with the advent of massive and widespread herbicide and pesticide use to eliminate mosquitos,

sound familiar, its numbers took a complete nosedive.

In 2012, only a scarce few were found and Florida Biologists went into panic mode to stop the free fall.

Enter the UF Team  to the rescue.

This week, six of them were brought down and released into  Biscayne National Park.

So far 45 of them have been released.

Other steps have been taken to help in the recovery of the Schaus, invasive plants and

trees were removed and those that are native to the butterfly like torchwood and lime,  were put back.

This is not rocket science, this is finally doing what is right for something that we, Humans have nearly wiped off

the face of the Earth with our callous, careless actions and total disregard for animal life.

Butterflies are not the only victims of our very bad behavior, there are so many other similar stories

 with others who have suffered at our hands.

Some have even gone extinct now, thanks to us.

Lastly, it is my extreme pleasure to introduce you to the primary saviors of this stunning Butterfly:

Dr. Thomas Emmel  and  Jaret Daniels  from the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity

at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Studying Butterflies has occupied the majority of these two dedicated Biologists life time of work.

In closing,  may I recommend a trip to the  University of Florida Natural History Museum

on the grounds of the school with its  vast assortment of fossils  and plethora of exhibits and displays.

Then you should continue your day of wonder and discovery by walking right next door to the  Butterfly Rainforest.

A visit to this impressive facility will be a never to be forgotten adventure for those of any age.

Come see what makes this place the state of Florida’s best  non beach, non amusement park,   attraction.

It truly is a  Natural Wonder.

 

Places to learn more:

Endangered butterflies released in park

Endangered Schaus’ Swallowtail Butterfly Release in Biscayne National Park

Schaus Swallowtail Butterflies Released Into Biscayne National Park

Endangered butterflies released in park

 

 

June 8, 2014

A New Blog!

 

Greetings Dear Readers and Followers~

 

It is here for your consideration:

Flawless Pandemonium

 

While we were away  this week,  a new Blog was busy percolating in my head.

It is now up and it is my fondest wish that some of you may come to see it.

This new Blog concerns the Corporate Bullies worldwide who hold all of us hostage daily,  in some way.

It may be the pet store where we buy our dog food, or the place where we buy our gas, or our groceries.

These are the Big Boys and they take no prisoners.

And as you soon will learn, neither will this new Blog.

Monsanto is number one on my list and the others have just been laid out on the newest post, called the List!

Please do  come, I am counting,  as always,  on your support~

thank you~

 

 

May 31, 2014

Oorah!

Malaelephants
Elephants At Zakouma National Park in SE Chad,
the tragic sight of many Elephant deaths by poachers.

Picture credit: C. Michael Hogan
 

Always there when we need them, our US Marines from North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune,

are now using their talents to help stop the slaughter of elephants in Chad.

This specialized team of US  Marines, has just landed in Chad to begin training local Park Rangers in the

long suffering, ugly war against elephant poachers near and around one of Africa’s last sanctuaries for them,

 in the  Zakouma National Park in South East Chad.

The elephant ivory pillage and plunder in Africa has decimated and devastated the population,

nearly to the brink of complete extinction.

The prior elephant numbers here were once over 4,000, but now hover at just around a paltry, sickening 500.

Now just as economic factors seem to be improving in the region, perhaps  

lessening the frantic desperate state for those who have  perpetrated the elephant crisis,

the new presence of  US Marines  training locals to fight back against this rogue group,

just may have a chance to succeed.

There has also been a marked increase in elephant calf births recently,  

given all concerned with the ugly situation, a tiny glimmer of hope.

Will those guilty of  so many years of  insidious  ” blood ivory ”  rampages from  the recent past,  

find some new line of  work that does not involve murdering African Wildlife?

We can and must, all pray that they have or will.

Or……..

In the meantime, our  US Marines are now  “boots on the ground”  in Chad

and here’s  a message to all the poachers,

” you’d  better look out, our boys mean serious business here.”

OORAH!

 

May 28, 2014

Harriet Is Home~


Harriet our wandering, resident Gopher Tortoise
Picture credit: Walkingfox



Yesterday was a very long and busy day.

We made the long trek from the Ocala Forest up to Gainesville, for Breanna’s visit with her Doctor at the UF Vet Hospital.

It is one hundred miles, so we left early before 9 AM.

It was the last of three trips up there,  for her regular required immunizations, including Rabies.

We stretched these shot visits out to three this year for her safety, not wishing to have more than one injection per visit,

which was an Airedale Club suggestion many years ago,  when we adopted our sweet Sabrina.

So, anyway, when we finally got home about 3 PM after a quick stop for groceries, I sat down,  put my feet up

and looked out the front window,  as I have done every day for weeks now,  wondering where our  wayward,

wandering female  Gopher Tortoise was

and why she wasn’t coming up or out, for the summer season, as she has always done by now.

In fact, for the past few weeks, we have both worried that she may have been killed on one of her last sojourns,

just before the beginning of  the cold season, when they all go down into their holes or tunnels

and hibernate until it gets warm.

Usually, she comes back up and out sometime in early April.

But not this year.

We were both afraid to think too much about this.

Then yesterday,  glory be,  there she was, right at her hole in the front yard,

 ( she has one in the back as well )  attempting to reclaim the area that she calls home.

For over an hour, she worked  feverishly, the sand flying in all directions,

 as she cleaned up the mess that the long winter had made of her home.

Can I tell you that we both looked at each other  and said,  ” thank God, she is safe, she is home.”

After nearly 8 years, she has become a family member, just like Breanna.

Now today, Harriet  is out in the yard, munching on all of her favorite  “weeds”.

We use no poisons, no pesticides, or toxins, anywhere near her two areas on the property,  

absolutely nothing that could harm her,  or her food.

We also do not wish to poison the foods of our resident green treefrogs, green lizards

and all the others who live here with us in the Forest.

So,  the sun is shining, Harriet is out in ” her yard”  eating and our world finally once again,

is just as it should be.

Harriet is HOME~

 

 

May 26, 2014

Cantankerous Cranes~

Crane Family CCrane Family ACrane Faimly B

These were taken across the street from our house on April 30, when there were still TWO chicks.
Today there is only one chick remaining.
Picture credit: Walkingfox


A story in my email this morning reflects an ongoing situation that makes

those of us who love the Sandhill Cranes  more than just a little edgy.

For the past two months, there have been stories on the news of our Sandhill Cranes

being in dangerous places during this current breeding season.

Cranes don’t really seem to be aware of, or even slightly concerned with, their own safety or well-being.

They literally bring traffic to a standstill, where ever they happen to be,  when they decide to cross a road,

or gasp, even a four lane highway in search of another bite of their chosen food.

Recently a pair had taken up residence along a very busy Brevard County road and played havoc daily with the busy traffic.

Kind and concerned people tried so hard to protect them from harm,  but in the end one was injured and later died.

It’s mate remained near by,  then disappeared for a few days and is now back again, near the site of the tragic accident.

Sandhill Cranes mate for life, will this one seek a new wife, that is yet to be determined.

The Cranes, not understanding any of this Human interaction on their behalf,  

can often turn on good Samaritans and then pick at them and/or their cars in

retaliation for being interfered with while searching for food.

Cranes are quite well known to become fiercesome,  if their chicks are threatened by Humans or other.

Some FWS officers have learned this while trying to corral them in the past.

Here in Lake County, we have our own Crane story.

A pair of  Sandhill Cranes had been  showing of their family of two chicks for many days just across the street

in the open field from our house and then one day, one chick went missing.

We do not know if it was killed by a car or a predator, which ever the case may be, now the little family only has one chick.

It is rare to see a family of four out here in the Countryside,  the norm is one set of parents and one chick.

Today as they made their daily appearance,  I noticed that the remaining chick is now nearly full grown

and breathed a deep sigh of relief.

It will most likely make it now and one day return here and start its own family.

It is one of nearly 4,000 local or resident Sandhill Cranes, and also a Threatened Species.

We also have a plethora of snow birds, whose numbers are strong and stable.

It was this latest story that compelled me to write today about this continual and dangerous Crane behavior.

When Cranes set up their homes, they apparently do not take traffic into consideration.

It would seem that like our resident Black Bears who also “follow the food,”

the Cranes, frequently do not fare much better in places that used to belong solely to them.

Food sources for the Black Bears are often found in trash or garages,

 both very dangerous places for a Bear to be caught.

For the Cranes,  the food is frequently found in the center of busy four lane traffic.

The search for a daily meal,  can prove fatal for any or all of these little families.

So, the residents in Brevard County  are pondering whether to pave or brick in,

the center divided areas along their busy roads, where the hapless Cranes have chosen to dine.

Will it be approved?

If it is,  it may save a few lives, but the sad thing is that the Cantankerous Cranes will likely

 move on to another place,  just as lethal,  where those favorite meals live and are plentiful.

All kinds of good suggestions have been made, like warning signs, speed bumps,

even volunteers to help the Cranes across the busy roads.

I wish these concerned fellow Crane lovers well and hope that something will be done to change the current situation.

But, the Crane drama of traffic and danger, is not just in town,  where cars are whizzing by at a fast pace.

Often when we drive across County Road 42, near us here in Lake County,

on our way into civilization, we pass Cranes either on, or too near,  the very busy road.

Annoyingly, they all seem quite oblivious to the danger, the imminent peril  that they are in

and it worries all of us who love them and want to see them here forever.

When buying our house here nearly ten years ago, the Cranes flying over head just at the

moment we came inside and looked out the front window, cemented the deal.

The Sandhill Cranes chose this house for us

and we love them and it for this reason.

This cantankerous time for the Cranes is not long-lived,  only a couple of months,

so here is hoping that we smart Humans can come up with a way to keep them safe,

while they are bringing up baby!


Places to learn more:


Crane-crossing crisis hard to solve

Sandhill cranes still on traffic rampage

Cranes continue to disrupt Melbourne traffic

Cranes disrupt traffic, peck at cars in Melbourne

Gallery: Sandhill cranes back to disrupting traffic

Injured sandhill crane in Melbourne dies

Sandhill crane returns after death of mate

 

 

May 24, 2014

Beach Babies~

Least tern St_Augustine
A Least Tern parent feeding its chick near St. Augustine, Florida.
Picture credit: Craig O’Neal

 

For this upcoming Memorial Day weekend holiday, Florida Audubon is advising

and warning the public to be aware of the plethora of bird life that will be on our many Beaches.

This weekend kicks off the Summer Beach Season here and there will be thousands of people and birds,

out on our lovely, luscious and most inviting warm sandy beaches.

Did I mention that Dr. Beach chose four of our Florida Beaches for  his top ten list for 2014:

Top 10 US beaches for 2014

But please do be advised, many of our beautiful Beaches are already occupied with many of  Florida’s newest wildlife citizens.

On any given beach right now, you will find a delightful array of nests and/or baby birds, eager to make their first journey.

Any disturbance right now that causes a mother to abandon her nest, could prove fatal to her chicks or eggs.

Audubon has just sent out an email press release, asking each of us to:

“Keep an eye out for Florida’s original “beach babies.”

The young and the newborns that will be found all over Florida’s beaches right now, are exceptionally

vulnerable to any and all risks that they may encounter like: children, pets, cars and other!

This weekend would be a perfect opportunity to teach your little ones about our wonderful Florida wildlife

 and how and why, we must take great precautions around them.

So, on this prequel to a wonderful new summer in the  Sunshine State  this weekend,

let us all be aware that we must share the Beaches with these brand new babies to assure that they will

grow up and come back next year, to make even more “Beach Babies!”

 

Places to learn more:

Audubon Asks You to Protect Coastal Birds this Memorial Day Weekend

Bird nesting season, beach season collide

Watch out for beach-nesting birds

 

 

May17, 2014

A Day of Animal Mourning

A Florida Panther, Everglades National Park
2005 National Park Service Photo by Rodney Cammauf

 

While watching Sam Champion on the Weather Channel this morning, I was painfully reminded,

 that today is  “Endangered Species Day.”

Today is shamefully called National,  or is it Global Endangered Species Day?

This day was apparently created nearly a decade ago, by the US Fish and Wildlife,

these would be the kinsfolk of those who recently euthanized  seven Black Bears here

 in Central Florida for being  ” not afraid of humans. “

This declaration of a special day like this, is disturbing on so many levels to me personally.

It is not like Halloween, or  Thanksgiving,  with hype and hyperbole for a brief 24 hours.

No, this is not something that should have a  ” DAY. “

Those unfortunate animals on our planet that now suffer on the brink of being gone forever,  

do not need a national or global day, they need a year, a lifetime,  an eon

of attention to their desperate plight.

Without drastic change, or a complete reversal in Global thinking, these creatures are surely

 doomed to become extinct and quite soon.

There will be no links, or list of  “places to learn more”  today for this posting,  as none are required.

Every single one of us knows what is happening to animals everywhere, we have been told and

warned about it for decades, we do not need to go read a Blog,  a Newspaper,  or even a Book.

We already know!

We Humans are more than likely, 99% of the cause of their decline, impending deaths

and elimination from the Earth.

We remain steadfastly,  selfish, greedy and ignorant.

Animals were not put on Earth for us to torture, abuse or murder.

They were put here, I believe, to be our companions, our  …………….,  you fill in the blank.

And we are responsible for assuring that they are allowed to live, survive, gasp,  even thrive

 for as long as we are here.

Not sure of the total accuracy of this, but do believe that our Florida Panther is the number one,

most Endangered Mammal or Animal  in America.

Sadly, last week on our way up to Gainesville to see Breanna’s Vet at  UF , we drove past what was my second

 sighting of one, both times they were lying on the side of the road,  the apparent victim of a deadly vehicular accident.

Is it any wonder that their numbers are now at less than 100?

This magnificent animal, that at one time roamed not only all of Florida, but much of the Southeast,

now finds itself  relegated to a tiny area, not fit for a house cat, let alone a big cat,  

that requires a  25 square mile  range to support them.

We have, in this state, run our Panther, “our state mammal,”  out of every single place that it used to call home.

The words Ancestral Habitat and the  Florida Panther  are a joke, an oxymoron.

They no longer know,   where they came from,  or where they belong any more.

They are left, with what we greedy Humans have begrudgingly given them to survive on,

and it is not even close to what they need, no MUST have to survive.

Why have we taken away all of their land, you ask?

To build another Strip or Shopping Mall, another Beachfront Condo, or to drill for more oil, gas, or other.

It is all Pure Greed.

Florida has enough houses, condos, malls and fossil fuels to last until the next millennium.

Our refusal to care for the well-being of our planets most critically Endangered Animals has put them,

 to quote the great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, at the  ” end of the log. ” 

Every generation comes with one who tries, nearly always in vain,  to show us the error of our callous ways,

 in our treatment of our fellow animals,  my most recent favorite is of course, Gandhi.

His thinking, his comments,  on the subject of caring for animals are legendary.

Any man of his stature who would leave a gathering of dignitaries sitting,

while he left to tend to his  goats is my Hero.

Gandhi had his priorities straight.

Can the rest of us at least try to do the same?

Personally, I will not celebrate in any way on this day of Endangered Species.

No banner or sign waving, no protest marching, no screaming out for the world to celebrate this day.

Instead, I  choose on this day,  to reflect on what I have failed to achieve in the year that this Blog has existed.

Like the millions of Native People in America, who call Thanksgiving,  ” a day of mourning,”  

 I choose to call this,  a day of mourning for the animals

who will likely not survive until it comes again next year.

 

 

May 14, 2014

A Serbian Sensation~


Dusan Krtolica,  Serbian artist extraordinaire~
Picture credit: Dušan Krtolica

 

A very kind fellow Hoosier just sent me a link to a story about one of the most gifted young artists that I have ever seen.

Thank you  Mosdao  for this information,  it was absolutely awesome.

And here are all of the details about the incredible work of this very young creative genius.

His name is  Dušan Krtolica and he is an unbelievably  talented  11-year-old from Serbia, who has been

 creating beauty in the form of a multitude of animals of all kinds and drawing  since the tender age of two.

This brilliant young artist has already had several art shows and his future appears to be so bright, that he may

need some really good sunglasses to protect him from the glare of the huge spotlight on his work right now.

Dusan’s dream is to one day be a  Zoologist and the field would be lucky to have one as knowledgeable     

    about such a vast number of animals,  as he already appears to be.

Please do see the links below to learn more about him,  his work is absolutely breathtaking.

The detail found in his stunningly beautiful drawings would be expected of an adult,

but to see this in one so young,  is mind-boggling.

Dusan already has a Blog, a Facebook Group that you can join and follow for updates on his work

and he also has a Facebook Fan page.

This very intelligent young man is quite well covered in social media and it can only get better for him from here.

His talent and hard work will surely lead him to a lengthy career in the fine arts,  where he will have few peers.

 

Places to learn more:

11-Year-Old Artist Creates Amazingly Detailed Drawings of Wildlife

Dušan Krtolica, the World of Art

DUSAN KRTOLICA FAN PAGE

 

 

May 12, 2014

Branson’s Bunch~

RichardBransonUN2012
Sir Richard Branson at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development June,  2012
Picture credit:  UNclimatechange

 

When going through my mail this morning,  a surprising story presented itself.

The unexpected subject of this great news, is not one who normally comes to mind when thinking of Endangered Wildlife,

but there he was,  right there in my mailbox, Billionaire Richard Branson.

The story was concerning a new edition to an already growing group at his  Necker Island  home in the Caribbean.

I was not aware that Branson had been rescuing Endangered Wildlife for years and in co-operation

with several Wildlife Groups,  was using his vast wealth for such a good purpose.

Branson’s involvements in Humanitarian and  Environmental Issues are the only things that will be addressed here, 

as it would take an eternity to describe the total sum of the man’s often outrageous,  or occasionally notorious life.

It is not often that I find that a Billionaire and I have much in common, but in Branson’s case this is not entirely true.

His lifelong admiration for Nelson Mandela’s Humanitarian efforts and causes and

his passion for protecting the Environment, including Endangered Animals,

are two areas where we are in complete agreement.

Branson’s  Island home in the Caribbean has been a source of much criticism, as many believe that he only lives

 there to avoid taxes on his vast wealth, but for whatever reason, he has managed to make this place

 a refuge for wildlife and it is for this reason that I admire him and am writing about him today.

My huge respect for Branson as a Humanitarian,  is only superseded by my admiration of his sincere 

efforts to care for Endangered Animals on his little island in paradise.

As he continues to add to his animal family, Branson has wisely teamed up with the Turtle Conservancy

The most recent guests to be welcomed at his Island retreat are several Endangered Tortoises.

Prior to them,  have been a wide assortment of mammals, birds, reptiles  and other,  amounting to a total of 140 species.

As one of the wealthiest men in the world, Branson does not need to do any of  this.

He could continue to carry on every single day of his life as the famous,  carefree playboy of the world,

as many already believe that he is.

But for me at least, this particular side of such a multifaceted man shows that he is a complicated,  

many layered person who has earned my respect, at least for this.

One amusing mention in the story,  is about a web site that Branson has had set up,  with a new family member

 or addition to be  “shown each week.”

Regardless of the flamboyant outer shell this powerful, passionate man consistently shows to most of the world,

in my opinion, there is more importantly,  another softer, kinder side, and it is for this that I will always thank him.

Thank you Richard, for what you are trying to do with the Endangered Animals on your island,  or Branson’s Bunch.

 

Places to learn more:

Richard Branson adds endangered tortoises to Necker Island

Necker – more species than any other island on earth

New tortoises on Necker Island

The Turtle Conservancy

 

 

May 9, 2014

Dolphin Defense

dolphintruncatas
A Dolphin group in Xcaret, Mexico
Picture credit:  Truncatus

 

Today is feel good Sunday, so in Honor of this day of positive  thinking, here is a  feel good story.

Do you need or want,  yet another reason to fight for and defend wild animals?

Is it just me, or do Dolphins always look happy and like they are smiling?

I give you this story,  in the hopes that you too will become a wildlife or any animal defender from this point on~

Recently in the waters off of New Zealand, near Cook Strait,  British swimmer Adam Walker,

 was saved from the jaws, (truly sorry for that) of a Great White Shark.

Walker  was about to become lunch while swimming for Whale and Dolphin Conservation,

in support of the very animals that saved him.

This was his seventh swim for the group to raise money and awareness for Whales and Dolphins around the world.

The pod of about ten “Guardian Dolphins”  surrounded Adam and protected him from

the Great White who was closing in on him.

Apparently, the shark then decided that perhaps there were more rescuers than he could handle and left.

Can you say KARMA?

Point in fact, this is not the first time that this kind of protective attention was given by Dolphins towards a Human.

By now, we  are all keenly aware that Dolphins are one of the most intelligent animals in the Sea,

 isn’t it time for us to protect those that have repeatedly proven they are willing to protect us?

We must defend the Dolphins now in their time of greatest need,  as they are being hunted

 and murdered at alarming and sickening rates all over the planet.

So be a good Human and defend Dolphins,  won’t you?

You never know when they might return the favor to you~

 

Places to learn more:

Amazing Dolphins Stage a Rescue

‘Guardian’ Dolphins Save British Swimmer Adam Walker from Great White Shark in New Zealand

Dolphins, Shark, Swimmer Adam Walker in New Zealand’s Cook Strait

 

 

May 3, 2014

Suwannee’s Sturgeon~

Boat&Sturgeon
A Gulf Sturgeon jumping on the Suwannee River
Picture credit: Tim Ross

 

Just in case you don’t live in Florida and/or have never been to the beautiful

and famous Suwannee River and seen this phenomenon in person,

please take a look at one of the Youtube videos below.

It is an amazing and exciting spectacle to watch and see happen live.

This oddly beautiful fish looks and acts like few  others and seems almost mythical.

Each year about this time,  animals everywhere are in the mood for love

and the Gulf Sturgeon are no exception to this Spring Ritual.

This annual trip each  year, from the warm waters of the Gulf,  North to the Suwannee River,  

is  for this Sturgeon,  a return to their Ancestral home to spawn.

Once this is completed, they will return to the Gulf of Mexico for the remainder of the year.

There are,  of course,  signs to warn those new to the area, of the dangers that could be involved

with this magical occurrence that they are about to witness.

Being out on a small boat in the river when the Sturgeon  do get active,  has proven hazardous

 in the past, when they can jump as high as seven feet in the air.

” The primeval Gulf Sturgeon, whose ancestral beginnings are older than Dinosaurs may date back as much

as 200 million years, or about the same time as Sharks.”     From my Gator Woman  Gulf Sturgeon  page.

What make this Ancient fish so unique, is its primordial appearance,  its many  rows of armor or scutes

 and it is these bony plates,  combined with their average weight of about 40 pounds,  that are the

primary reason why an actual  encounter with this quite large fish could and would be most painful.

Although this is considered to be the average, they can be as long as eight feet and weigh up to 

two hundred pounds, making this quite the fish to be reckoned with in any scenario~

Thankfully, there were no reported injuries to humans last year,  from human and fish collisions!

Experts say that recently things seem much calmer and quieter, but then, the season is just getting underway.

So, if a mini vacation or trip to the South is in your plans, why not come on up or down,  as the case may be

and stroll around the Park grounds,  or float on a boat on the gorgeous Suwannee River.

Florida Gulf Sturgeon are, like so many of our most exquisite wildlife, a protected species.

This means that no one is allowed to catch  it or kill it!

 

Places to learn more:

Gulf Sturgeon

YoutubejumpingSturgeon

Gulf Sturgeon  ( An Excellent NOAA page)

Youtube Video of Jumping Sturgeon

Giant Jumping Fish Return to the Suwannee River

Jumping sturgeon return to north Florida river

Boaters Warned Of “Flying” Fish

Sturgeon returning to the Suwannee River

 

 

April 26, 2014

It’s A Baby Shower

burrowingowl   greenturtle   fawn3   harriett
A small example, (not actual) of the many kinds of animals that this Wildlife Hospital rehabilitates every year.
An owl, a hatchling turtle, a fawn and a gopher tortoise – (Our resident tortoise Harriet)
Picture credits: Baby turtle – Manuel Heinrich

 

OK,  who doesn’t love a baby shower?

But for this one,  you can leave the bibs and diapers at home and instead bring bird seed and kibble.

You see the babies that this shower is being held  for,  all  have either feathers or  fur.

The people and the place that will be hosting this Baby Shower,  is the Florida Wildlife Hospital

in Palm Shores, Florida, which is near Melbourne and Palm Bay, in Brevard County.

This non-profit rescue and  rehabilitation facility is holding its 8th annual Baby Shower

and like most fund-raisers, they are hoping that you will come and

see what they do and why and bring your check book with you.

Or, at the very least, put  a box or two of food for their growing collection of dependent creatures,

 into the loving and caring hands of the many hard-working volunteers here.

This organization began 42 years ago and is run by a host of volunteers and their Director Sue Small.

The Hospital has over 4,000 members and they are always looking for more to join them.

The cost of caring for all of these creatures is jaw dropping.

The operators of this wonderful organization are aware that many other needy groups get a huge portion

 of the press and news attention, but are hoping that some of the generosity and

love available in Central Florida and beyond,  will find its way to their facility 

and help them to care for the creatures who depend on them to stay alive.

Knowing the kind of people who live here and how much they love animals, here’s hoping that they will be

 rewarded with what they need, to continue operating this place of safe haven for injured animals in Florida.

They offer educational  programs for a nominal donation, which is explained on their website.

 

The Baby Shower will be on  May 3, 2104,   from 10 AM to 2 PM  at the Palm Shores Town Hall,

530 Paul Hurtt Lane, ½ mile south of the Pineda Causeway on the West side of U.S. 1

For more information, please call them at:  321-254-8843

This is a  FREE  event with children’s activities.

There will be food to purchase as well at a bake sale.

 

Their web site,  which is loaded with pictures, is very helpful and has a lot of great information:

Florida Wildlife Hospital

 

They have a  “Wish List”   and Donations are accepted through Pay Pal on the website.

The hospital is open 365 days day a year to admit patients.

 

Places to learn more:

Wildlife hospital hosts animal baby shower

Wildlife Hospital Video You tube

 

 

April 22, 2014

Earth Day Memories, then and now~

darironeyesme
Stuntman Dar Robinson and Actor/Environmentalist Iron Eyes Cody, two kind and gentle men.

 

Many years ago in California, I had the privilege of meeting a person who was often shown 

in commercials to tug at the heart-strings of us all,  to treat our Planet or Mother Earth better.

This man and I were introduced one night at the Artists and Models Ball in the late 1980′s.

I had been sent to cover the event for the Entertainment section of the LA newspaper I worked for at the time.

Meeting him that night,  I was struck by his gentle, kind demeanor.

He truly was, exactly like the person he portrayed in the Environmental commercials for so many years.

His name was Iron Eyes Cody, or as those of us in California loved to call him, The Crying Indian.

He made a huge impact, just as he and this commercial were meant to do, on the status of a

 beleaguered Earth and his commercial was ALWAYS a central part of any California Earth Day event.

I will not discuss the controversy over his ancestry, it is not why I admired his work.

What this  man did then and will always do, is to make me aware of  the irresponsible,  

often cruel way that Humans treat this place that they owe everything to,

while showing her such little regard or respect.

What better way to shake up Environmental ignorance and empathy,  than the image of an Indigenous person

 disgusted and broken-hearted over  what humans do and have done to Mother Earth?

This commercial and the campaign worked, and began  a movement that started in California 

and spread throughout the country, to change or at least rethink, our bad behavior.

But that was then, what have we done as a species since then, to lessen our heavy footprint on this Planet?

Many groups and organizations in the United States are working tirelessly to reverse the damage already done,

 some are successful,  some are not.

The point is, that  because of Earth Day and the promotional awareness that  it brings with it,

Environmental Issues remain on the table.

An example, this morning on our local news, was a story that made me smile.

Darden Restaurants Inc., whose home office is in Orlando, has begun a brilliant project.

At several of the restaurants in their chain, they are saving food scraps in a project that has

 them working together with  Organic Matters, who is a local organic recycler.

These scraps are then being used to feed chicken and cows.

The result of this new plan, is that  less food will end up in our land fills and

many more animals will have a better, more natural food source.

It is a win-win.

Can the rest of the country consider picking this great idea up?

I have faith in us, with a little encouragement, we humans do try to get it right.

So, on this Earth Day, if you eat out somewhere, perhaps  you  might ask the owner or manager of the place,

 if they have heard of this idea and if they would be willing to follow suit?

We have nothing to lose and hearing about all of this, the Crying Indian may just be smiling from his final resting place.

God Bless you Iron Eyes, you were such a special man with a giant,  gentle heart.

I am grateful to have known you,  if only for just one night.

 

Places to learn more:

Darden turns scraps into animal feed

Food Waste Alliance

Organic Matters

 

 

April 17, 2014

Numbers!

bearcub2
A Florida Black Bear Cub
Picture credit:  FWC

**An update 4/17/2014  5 AM**
FWC  just announced that there will be fines and possible jail time for anyone caught feeding Bears.

This comes too late for SEVEN Black Bears!

 

Today with heavy and trouble heart, I am imploring you to do something for an animal that you do not know.

This week has been nearly impossible to get through for those of us who live in Central Florida.

As of this writing, SEVEN Black Bears have been killed here in the greater Orlando area.

What is mind-boggling is this, FWC say that they have no way to know if any of them is the one

who hurt the woman, as DNA tests take time to get back.

Their second explanation, or reason for continuing the killings, is that the Bears

are showing  “no fear of humans.”

Let’s see, Bears come into a neighborhood, bordering right up to where they live

and these kind humans leave it something to eat and enjoy the sight.

Bear thinks, Human good!

Result, no fear!

If you remember, the last time, a woman taking out her trash with her dog was bitten,

but it was not until after other innocent Bears had been killed, that they said the one responsible was a

mother with two cubs, who had felt threatened by the woman’s dog and was probably protecting her cubs.

They were shipped off to Busch Gardens in Tampa.

And DNA eventually proved that the ones killed were not the ones who bit the woman.

I have just called our Governor and made a passionate plea for him to get involved.

Of course I did not speak to him, my message and my name were taken by a nice person

in Tallahassee, just doing her job.

Next, I am calling Nick Wiley, the head of Fish and Wildlife here, to repeat the same exact message.

Two questions are keeping me boiling mad right now.

If this were not a gated, wealthy suburb of Orlando, would there be such an abundance

of concern for this neighborhood?

Are there people in this wealthy gated community, as has been whispered,

who have been feeding the Bears?

Bear are simple souls really, they go where the food is.

The fact that so many of them were at this woman’s garage indicates a food source.

Did she, or are others in this neighborhood, breaking the golden rules of being “Bear Aware”

for Central Florida and all other Bear areas here?

For example: Garage or other outside building doors left open at night or trash/garbage

 or other intentional “Bear attracting food” left out on purpose, or by ignorance?

We all, who live here and love the Bears, know about these few simple rules

and for the most part do abide by them.

Where we live near the Ocala Forest, Bears roam freely all around us.

So, why don’t we have any Bear problems like they appear to have continuously near Orlando?

It could be, because we here in the Forest, have hopefully by now,

learned how to protect ourselves and them from harm.

We don’t invite them into a  “trap of death”  by doing wrong things.

So, here is my request, of any of you who follow, read or support the thinking of this Blog.

Will any of you,  if there is no financial hardship for you,  please call this number:  850 488 – 7146

This number is for the state of Florida’s Governor’s  office.

All you have to do is say how you feel about the fact that our FWC  has already killed SEVEN Black Bears

 and ask how many more are going to be killed and why?

And, if you still have any unvented passion left after that, here are some other numbers:

850 487-3796    FAX  850 921-5786                

These numbers are for Nick Wiley: 

Executive Director Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Also, his email: Nick.Wiley@myfwc.com

When the Florida Black Bear was taken off of the Threatened List in 2012,  I was very concerned

 about their future welfare and called FWC and asked if their next move was going to be to have 

an open season or legalize hunting of them?

I was told of course not,  that is not going to happen.

But the way things are going this week here, they won’t need to, it looks like Open Season 

on the Black Bear has already begun here in Orlando,  just read the numbers!

 

 

April 15, 2014

Beepocalypse

Honey_Bee_on_Willow_Catkin

A bee performing the miracle that keeps the whole world running~
Picture credit: Bob Peterson/ Jacopo Werther

 

If like us, Spring at your house means working in your garden and/or your yard, 

here are some things that you may wish to consider before you begin.

In my email this morning was a new round of pleading from one of my favorite sources for

  keeping our Planet safe, the Cornucopia Institute.

They are once again, repeating a request for us all to stop using a certain type of insecticides

 in our yards because of the mortal effects they are having on our bees in America.

Bees and all pollinators are dying by the millions and it is having a ripple effect all across our Planet.

On the Weather Channel this week, a sad example was demonstrated live on the set,

bees are being born with crumpled wings and only living a day or  two,  because they cannot fly,

the source or cause of this deformity is mites.

Two more recent possibilities that have been reported as possible, or probable,  causation

 for the massive Global bee deaths, are extremely cold weather and a plant virus.

So, when all of theses factors occur within a short period of time, the mites, pesticides,

extreme cold and plant viruses, the world’s bees bite the dust by the millions.

Many are calling this  phenomenon, a  Beepocalypse.

We do not use any pesticides on our property because of our Airedale Breanna and our Gopher Tortoise Harriet.

We also do not wish to have our beloved green tree frogs or lizards killed by them.

Pesticides, like Monsanto’s  Round Up are just plain lethal to all livings things, they are equal opportunity killers.

Insecticides have already been banned in Europe.

Surely if they can do this to save our  Global pollinators and their food supplies, we can as well?

Another point to remember, if you like to eat, think about what the  bees and pollinators do for all of us,

every single day of their lives.

Without them out there doing their jobs, our food supplies would  dwindle and quickly.

No bees, no food, no flowers, no people.

Pretty simple really,  isn’t it.

As a result of the massive backlash against these lethal products,  most lawn and garden

departments now carry and are happy to refer people,  to the ones that are safe, or safer

and more natural and have a less harmful effect on all that comes in contact with them.

Here in Florida,  this has now become a problem of nearly  historic levels for areas like the Indian River Lagoon  area.

This Ecosystem has seen catastrophic wildlife death numbers in the past few years from multiple causes,

 but the primary one is considered to be toxins in the water.

Pesticides used on our yards and in farming,  are the worst offenders in Florida.

Manatees, Dolphins, and  birds are sick and dying here and the water that they depend on for life, is to blame.

The only way to fix this,  is for all of us to become very concerned and careful about what we use and do with any chemicals.

Is your yard being perfectly emerald-green worth an animal’s life?

Please remember Floridian’s, what goes on our lawns and on our land here, ends up in the aquifer 

and eventually in our drinking water.

Do you really know what is in that glass of water you are drinking today?

 

Places to learn more:

Why Bees are Dying

Why Congress Should Care About the Beepocalypse

Center for Food Safety

More than 50,000 bees killed in Oregon, insecticide blamed in largest bee die-off in recorded history

Bees Dying by the Millions in Canada

How a Plant Virus May Help Cause the Beepocalypse

Bees are dying. Here’s why you should care

 

 

April 14, 2014

Animal Awareness Alert~

Florida_Black_BearFDOT       man2

A Florida Black Bear in the Ocala Forest and a Florida Manatee mother and baby
Black Bear picture credit:  FFWCC,  Manatee picture credit: www.sfwmd.gov
The Black Bear pictured here was taken in an area quite near our house and according to Wikipedia:
which supports the highest density population of black bears in North America.”

 

**Update……..Five Black Bears were killed last night by FWC**

FWC kills 4 bears in Lake Mary neighborhood where woman was mauled

 

Although Bears and Manatees may not be on your mind at this very moment,  they need to be.

Two animal stories  were on our local news this morning that need to be brought to your attention if you live in Florida.

Like much of the country, it is Spring right now here in Central Florida and a great many of our animals are on the move.

Black Bears  everywhere in the state have ceased their hibernation states, short-lived as they were due

 to the fairly mild winter and have begun roaming into  adjacent areas and neighborhoods in search of food.

Like you feel in the morning, they are now awake and very hungry.

So we MUST be vigilant right now everywhere,  for their increased presence and state of hunger.

Last night a local woman was attacked, or surprised in her garage, by what may have been as many as 5 Black Bears.

Yes,  she had left the garage door open, but, was their also some trash or garbage in there,  or dog or cat food?

Not known yet.

Before there are even more Black Bears killed, as has been done recently, can we all please take an extra moment,  

to do what we know must be done and that is to keep alert and NEVER leave food outside 

and for heaven sakes,  please remember to close your garage and shed doors at night.

We do not want or  need another tragic round of Black Bear killings here, do we?

The second point to make you all aware of is,  that our   Florida Manatees  are also starting to become active

 and  are beginning to leave the warmth and safety of  places like Blue Springs State Park  

and other warm water areas, and heading out to their cooler summer waters,

all along the Florida Coastlines as well as inland locations.

So, as we all start taking our boats out, now that the days are getting warmer,  to where they Manatees

live and travel, we must be especially careful not to run into or over them.

Boat propeller  strikes lead to countless unnecessary Manatee injuries and deaths every year.

And last year was an especially  not a good one for them  with over 800 deaths  in various ways.

So please remember,  when you are out in your boats from this point on, 

please observe the “slow down manatee zone”  speed limit signs.

A Manatee’s life is depending on it.

So, while we are all busy right now celebrating Spring, can we all try to ensure that Florida’s Bears 

and Manatees will also be here to see it next year with us?

We all need to be a part of and support this,  animal awareness alert.

Spread the word~

 

You may learn more here:

Bears drag Florida woman from garage

Officials Warn of Bears Stirring as Woman Attacked

Seasonal Manatee Speed Zones are in effect

 

 

April 12, 2014

We Must Speak Even Louder

640px-Orcas
Wild Orcas as they were meant to be,  free and hunting in the Norwegian Sea.
Picture credit: Wolfgang Hägele

 

Yesterday in California, more than a million voices, via their signatures on a petition,

were raised up against the continuing captivity of  Orcas at Sea World San Diego,

but they simply could not compete with those of the owners, the local city Governments,

or the faithful lobbyists who work so tirelessly on behalf of their clients.

What was at stake was the fate of the Orcas at Sea World facilities and their questionable safety and treatment.

Animal rights activists came from everywhere, along with parents, teachers and children to show their support for

California Bill AB2140,  proposed by Democratic State Assemblyman Richard Bloom of Santa Monica,

who was apparently influenced by the highly popular and widely publicized film, Blackfish.

It is reported that the Sea World lobbyist is Scott Wetch.

Naomi Rose, who is a marine mammal scientist with the Animal Welfare Institute,

sponsored the Bill, AB2140.

This Bill would have stopped the Killer Whale/Orca shows at Sea World in San Diego

and phased out their captivity.

But at the end of the day, power and money won.

Now that the Bill has been sidetracked, or waylaid until mid 2015 in San Diego, all involved in

this seem to agree that next on the list, are the Sea World facilities in Florida and Texas.

A curious item was mentioned on our local news, that Sea World’s attendance is down,

but their profits are up.

How very interesting.

Usually when a great many people are as enraged as those who signed this petition are/were,  

something happens, things get changed, but in this case, it appears not, and

over a million signatures on this petition meant zero to Californians.

Not surprisingly, Sea World did a massive, continuing campaign press blast, to discredit the film Blackfish,

while the San Diego Chamber of Commerce declared that Sea World

and the Whales are both extremely vital to their economy.

And, now that this scenario is guaranteed be repeated in Texas and Florida, you can be

assured that the Sea World owners, local city Governments, and the lobbyists, will push

back even harder with everything that they have, but it will in the end be, mostly about the money.

When those with the money and the control do not hear the voices of over a million in protest,

we must speak even louder.

” We must speak for those with no voice.”

 

You may learn more here:

Bad Day for Captive Orcas: California’s ‘Blackfish’ Bill Stalls

California bill that would end Sea World killer whale shows stalls

Killer-whale bill stalls in hearing; study due in 2015

Orca Ban in Theme Parks a ‘Silly Bill,’ Sea World Says

California Bill That Would End Orca Shows Stalls

Pictures of Orcas:   Orca Pod Wiki

 

 

April 5, 2014

Cocoa Says NO!

637px-Cocoa_Beach_pier_FLAUSA

The Pier at Cocoa Beach
Picture credit: Mike Russell

 

On our local news this morning, came a most unexpected joy.

It was announced today, that the City of Cocoa Beach had rejected offshore Seismic Testing.

Those in this Committee actually said that they don’t want it, because it has been said to harm Whales and Dolphins.

Did I hear right?

Is it possible that an entire City Commission actually realizes that many of the well to do tourists that they work 

so hard and spend so much trying to attract here, are actually coming because of the wild things that live here?

Duh!

I can still remember my very first trip here in the 1970′s to visit my parents, when they lived in North Miami Beach.

One of our very first day trips was down to the Everglades and  I was hooked for life~

I was mesmerized by all of it, but most of all, by the incredible raw beauty of the land and the dizzying array

of glorious creatures that lived here.

I had never seen most of them, in either California or Indiana growing up, so it was all new.

For those of you who do not live here,  please allow me to shed some light.

We have in this glorious Sunshine State, what may be the world’s greatest collection of Birds

and countless rare and exciting species of plants and wildlife in the world.

There is never any  shortage of well-heeled, big spending visitors arriving here, every single day of the year,

to take in all of this pristine beauty.

They travel to Florida by the millions, from every country in the world.

So, then knowing this, that not everyone coming here is going to Disney, or playing Golf,

it  simply would not be financially  responsible,  not to mention completely inhumane,

 to do our very best to preserve and protect the priceless  beauty here, not just for the tourists,  

but for our state’s residents as well?

If Seismic Testing all along the Atlantic Coast is not stopped in its tracks, our Marine, or Sea life, 

are all in great jeopardy, the Whales, the Dolphins, every living thing.

It has been pointed out repeatedly, that the North Atlantic Right Whale, is just one more screw up away by us,

to complete and total extinction.

And our Dolphins and other Coastal animals are already being pushed to the brink by overdevelopment.

So to all of  you other  Coastal Cities in Florida and indeed all of the United States Coast lines, you had better wake up.

Our Coast lines and all that inhabit them are a  Treasure, but for only as long as they exist.

Listen, I think I hear your tourist dollars leaving the building and they may not be back!

No wildlife, no wild places, no scenic beauty, no tourists~

Get it?

 

Some places to learn more:

Seismic testing could harm marine life

Atlantic oil drilling using seismic airgun may wipe out endangered Right Whales

A Cocoa City  Commission Video:  Seismic Testing Rejected

An entire page of this topic is quite well  covered here:   Offshore Oil Drilling

 

 

April 3, 2014

Whales Win!

Traditional_Whaling_in_Taiji
Traditional Whaling in Taiji
Picture credit: Public Domain

 

If you have had your absolute fill of depressing news about our wonderful world of animals, you can smile today!

Japan has argued for years, that they have the absolute right to kill 1,000 Whales a year in the Antarctic, for
” scientific purposes, ” but the United Nations has told them, not so fast!

Judge Peter Tomka has determined that what the Japanese are doing, is not “scientific” and they will stop immediately.

The Japanese have a very long history of whaling, as it has been a strong part of their culture since the 1700′s.

The bitter and sad stories coming out of Taiji where Dolphins and Whales are murdered every year,

has been the subject of countless Blogs, News and TV stories, even a documentary film,  the Cove.

Bloodshed, as in rituals, for the sake of culture, had been a part of our  lives since we crawled 

out of the water,  or from under a rock, or whatever we did, but long ago we stopped most of

 these heinous acts and became mostly civilized beings.

It is not that Humans have really changed or evolved so much, more likely, it has been the

influence of a more “ethical” society and the negativity attached  to these gruesome acts.

Only our behavior towards the animal kingdom seems to have remained in our archaic past,

as witnessed by the ongoing slaughter every day to animals all of over the world, especially in Africa.

Regrettably, nothing has deterred the determined Japanese, who since their defeat in the War,  

have felt this was one last part of their culture where their Honor and National pride were still secure.

The Japanese were not alone in this evil, many countries including ours, participated in the killing of Whales.

But in 1986,  a “Moratorium Against Whaling” was enacted and all but the Japanese,  

Norway and Iceland adhered to it.

Although I can certainly respect preserving your culture, some of the reason to support this particular one,

must be subject to the current status of Whales on the planet.

Global numbers for all sea mammals have decreased dramatically in the last Century, so continuing this

so called “scientific research”  is no longer a viable excuse for Whale slaughter, anywhere.

Our species,  we Humans, must learn to respect all animals and protect them before they are wiped from the Earth.

For if  they are all gone, we will be alone and this Planet was never meant to be Only inhabited by  Humans.

 

You may learn more here:

This page has a wide selection of places to learn more:  ICJ ruling on whaling  news roundup

Here is Court’s the ruling:  International Court of Justice

World Court: Japan’s ‘scientific’ whaling is illegal and must end

U.N. Court rules Antarctic whaling by Japan illegal, orders halt

World Court rules against ‘scientific’ whaling

Victory for whales at the International Court of Justice

 

 

March 29, 2014

Will You Honor Your Mother Tonight?

EarthHour2014Logo

Image credit: Google Images

 

What began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, has now expanded and grown to

become a Global Cultural Event and celebration, with countless Countries,

Nations, People, Organizations and Businesses involved, each in their own way,

showing their love and respect for our Planet, for our Mother Earth.

Tonight at 8:30 PM once again, the entire Planet will have the chance to show its respect

and love for this place that we all call home, Mother Earth.

Each corner of the Planet will observe this hour of lights out, at their own local time.

By collectively turning off our power, we can all demonstrate that we do care for this place

that gives us all that we need to live, survive and thrive as a species.

She gives her all to us,  can we say the same?

So, won’t you please join with the millions of concerned others just like you and

turn off your lights, for at least one hour tonight, beginning at 8:30 PM?

The fact that this event continues to grow exponentially every year and is now

reaching even the most remote of areas of the Globe, says that we do care

and that we do want to make the world a better place.

May God continue to Bless us all and may we all continue to Honor Mother Earth on this and every night.

 

Some places to learn more:

Earth Hour

Earth Hour: Millions to switch off lights around the world

Earth Hour: Time and date

Earth Hour – Wikipedia

 

 

March 28, 2014

Because this is America and this is how we work~

Constitution_of_the_United_States,_page_1

The Constitution of the United States Of America: Public Domain

 

A WP friend sent me some links yesterday that he thought I might find interesting.

He knows that I am passionate about  animals and their safekeeping on this Planet

 and wondered if this might be something I would want to do a story about it, or at least to be made aware of.

He recalled my recent story about the activist bomber the FBI were hunting for and

 thought I might want to know about this.

Well, as it turns out, he was right, it was quite illuminating.

After looking at all of the stories,  I was wondering if I had been living under rock or what?

I was not aware of what follows here.

These Ag-Gag Laws or Animal Enterprise  Terrorism  Act, or   AETA,

  were implemented by President Bush in 2006, to protect private property, mostly

 agricultural companies, from harm, or damage, by acts of domestic terrorism

by hard-core animal activists.

I think that is correct, but do please read the act and decide for yourself about my definition of it.

Anyway, it seems that the interpretation of this law is presenting many of the biggest problems.

People just can’t seem to understand what an animal enterprise actually is?

Therein lies the rub for all concerned.

So, when no one is sure just who is right, or on the right side of the law,

what always happens in this country?

Why of course, Lawyers are hired, cases are tied up in the courts forever and in the end,

 as was in this case, it may get tossed out anyway.

In my humble opinion, “What a colossal waste of time and money this all is!”

But, back to my friend and his query in his email, 

“Are our Civil Liberties being taken away by these  Ag-Gag laws?

Let’s talk about that.

This case was dismissed last year and was  the first one to be brought to trial, against a women

who had used her cell phone to record some pretty heinous treatment or torture of animals.

You see, Big Businesses all over our Globe, do not want the general public to know about all their dirty little secrets.

Do you know what the FOIA, or Freedom of  Information Act means,  or is?

Read more on this here:  What is the  FOIA

When those who enforce the law in this country hear the press, or an  activist using this word,

hey get chills because they know that sooner or later, the  truth must come out,

 and if they are dancing on the edge of the truth in any way, they could be in big trouble.

People like this woman, who is not an eco-terrorist running around setting buildings on fire, or exploding

 bombs,  are in a way like me, we just want to put this evil out there, make it public knowledge,

so that you and all those who read Blogs like this, will get  ” as mad as hell “

and scream bloody murder until they stop.

So then why, when people like this brave young woman from Utah, or like me, and so many

 others who are only interested in stopping the illicit or tortuous acts by these monsters,

 does it have to end up in our Federal Courts?

Because this is America and this is how we work.

 

The following may come as no surprise to anyone on either side.

The wide range of groups who oppose this bill include:  The American Civil liberties Union, 

or  ACLU, United Farm Workers, PETA, Mercy for Animals,  as well as the following:  

 Broad group signs on to Oppose Ag-Gag Laws

Those who want to keep it intact are of course, the slaughter industry of poultry and  livestock,

 etc. or all who those engage in the highly profitable business of  killing animals  for consumption.

 

Some places to learn more:

 Why Did the FBI Label Ryan Shapiro’s Dissertation on Animal Rights a Threat to National Security?

AETA

Animal Rights and the Erosion of the First Amendment: AETA, Ag-Gag and Why You Should Care

Nation’s first ‘ag gag’ prosecution dismissed in Utah

First “Ag-Gag” Prosecution: Utah Woman Filmed a Slaughterhouse from the Public Street

We’re Suing Idaho to Overturn #AgGag Law Against Filming Animal Cruelty

 

 

March 25, 2014

Of Bluebirds, Buntings and Blessings~

IMG_3602 (3)

Picture credit: Walkingfox

 

You know the old saying,  “when God closes one door,  he opens another?”

After the fighting, the endless,  wasted phone calls,  the many  days of ugliness and pain,

 connected to our Forest and the constant logging trucks full of pine trees going up our road, 

 I was exhausted, defeated and depressed.

It had all been for nothing, they had won, the trees had lost.

(today again, as I write this,  six more trucks filled to the top.)

I did not think I could or would ever feel like writing again!

But,  the  day before yesterday,  out of the “blue” showed up,  not one,  but a pair of beautiful Bluebirds

and  I had not seen one of them since many years ago in Yellowstone.

And if that was not enough of a blessing, quite unbelievably, they chose one of our nest boxes

and are now making it their home.

Then yesterday morning,  a blessing to end all blessings in my bird admiration, obsession lifetime,

 and the reason to give thanks yet once  again to God, for giving me/us eyes.

For these eyes would see a bird that I have never seen in my life,  but have lusted after forever,

a painted bunting was in the feeder right in front of my kitchen window.

I had longed to see it in person, after years of staring at pictures of it in my countless

Peterson Bird books and had always thought that when God made this stunning bird he said:

“hmm,  let me think,  I will make a bird and then paint a rainbow on it.”

The result I believe,  is the painted bunting.

If you, like me since forever, have never seen one, don’t worry, your day will come.

Mine did!

But, back to yesterday.

I tried not breathe too loud,  for fear of scaring him away and stood for what seemed like an eternity.

He kept eating,  I stood perfectly still.

Finally,  he filled himself up and left to go sit in the tree in front of my window, 

(it is on the left in this picture) where he stayed for over an hour,  just watching, looking.

A reader of my gator-woman.com site had many  years ago,  sent me a gorgeous picture

of hers in her yard in Orlando, which is about 35 miles Southeast of  us.

Of course,  I thanked her profusely for the generous gift, to show to others,

but deep in my gut, I was so jealous.

That was years ago, and she had told me that they come to her yard every year.

So, I waited impatiently and wondered, what did they have in Orlando,

that we did not here on the edge of the Ocala Forest?

So, yesterday, the waiting,  the jealousy,  the pining away, all ended.

He came back several times yesterday to eat, but I was sure it was to be a one time gift,

or a one day  stop-over.

But, unbelievably, here he is again today.

I did have several questions though, while watching him again this morning, eating furiously,

mostly the peanuts, until he was full and then flying off once again.

But,  of course, I  am not content to just revel in his rainbow glory,

 I am now  wondering where his mate could  be?

(The books had said that they do not breed until late April and only winter with us before

 moving north to do so. It also said that the male often goes ahead alone to stake out an area)

So??

Now, this is the greed or gluttony part!

Is he here looking for a possible home for them?

Can you only imagine,  if his wife shows up in a few days and they decide to move into one

of the other of our four nest boxes,  in spite of what the books say?

There would be no containing my joy.

Looking back at what I have written here today, a movie we watched recently comes to mind: 

 ” Seven”  and the deadly sins.( with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.)

As you can clearly see, I am or have been guilty of several of them,  when it comes to this bird!

A final PS:

My children used to say that they knew one day,  they would get a call about me being killed while

driving my car looking up at a bird!  Not such a bad way to go really~

 

Some places to learn more:

The Great Florida Birding Trail: Painted Buntings

Painted Buntings

Want to hear it, go here:   Painted Bunting Sounds

Painted Bunting

 

 

March 23, 2014

The NBA Cares, and that’s No Hype!

elephant1 Basketball rhino

Picture credits:  Elephant: Ian Sewell,   Basketball: Reisio,   Rhino: Ikiwaner

“It would have been great to have shown you any of the player’s pictures,  or the NBA Care’s Logo,

or anything related to this story here, however, the NBA strictly forbids it!”

 

The American culture of sports figures and their ability to influence in this country is legendary,

but when it becomes a mantra for saving the lives of animals being slaughtered,  

it reaches a new level of altruism altogether.

The hysteria for college basketball raging through America right now is at its peak,

with March Madness and all that that implies!

So, what better time for a story about some of the stars of the sport and their efforts to put a bright spotlight

on a criminal, barbaric act against animals.

These six NBA stars: “Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks,

Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder and

Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls “  have joined forces with ” NBA Cares “ and ” Wild Aid “

and are trying to put an end to the Global gluttonous appetite for Ivory,

with their new PSA called NO Hype.

Throughout Africa, this heinous, horrendous, murdering business has left the country littered with the rotting elephant

and rhino corpses left behind in the poacher’s plunderous hunts for animal body parts, namely Ivory.

This Public Service project may or may not work, but it does clearly succeed at one thing, a whole new group

of people everywhere, will now be much more aware of the problem than before.

And it is a proven fact that when the public is alerted to, or has repeated exposure to a crime and

 those who perpetuate them,  they can help to bring them to justice and end the criminal acts.

These men, these groups, are collectively doing what few others could right now, they are using their public persona

and star power to promote the idea that these heinous acts and those who do them can and must be stopped,

before the animals affected by illegal poaching are wiped off of the earth, forever.

These six men, NBA Cares and Wild Aid, are all about giving back and that’s NO HYPE!

 

A few places to learn more:

NBA Athletes Launch Campaign Against Ivory and Rhino Horn Poaching

Pau Gasol part of NBA Cares Campaign against Ivory and Rhino horn poaching

NBA Cares

‘No Hype’ NBA Cares, Nick Brandt and WildAid 30s

Pau Gasol and Wild Aid Media

NBA Athletes Speak Out to Save Africa’s Endangered Wildlife

 

 

March 21, 2014

Sullen Silence

longleafpine1       weightsign

One of our  spectacular Longleaf Pine Trees and the obviously ignored weight limit sign on our road

 

As most of you know, passion comes easily when it concerns watching over Florida’s Wild things

for me and patience does not visit me very often.

Well, for the past week to ten days, my patience has been pushed to the limit and beyond!

And today, it finally snapped.

We have watched, with gritted teeth every single day, as logging trucks go past our house filled to the top

with fairly young-looking pine trees, 5-9 trips every day, for close to ten days now.

Yes, we were both counting them all.

So, what was it that broke the sullen silence on our part, you may ask?

It was when truck number two went down our road this morning.

All of the other days,  it had always, only, been a red one, but today, the red one and

a new blue went down our road to collect more trees.

That was it, I could not take it any more and started calling.

It began with our local Sheriff, which turned out to be a very nice call, they politely

referred me to someone in the State Forest Department.

From there, it was on to the top of the list at the Florida Forest Service.

Mr. A. was most polite, extremely  knowledgeable and quite patient, this last part was key to the success of this call.

He listened, so rare these days, and answered my many questions about the ;”what, when, who and why.”

And finally, the dreaded, ”but why not?”

I kept hearing words that turned my stomach like , “they will grow back really fast”  

and ” it’s good for everything” when they are cut.

I know that this man meant well and that he is an expert on the subject.  So then why did I  feel so bad?

Because in the end, no one can,  or will stop this.

The polite, carefully structured, carefully worded call, left me with such an empty feeling.

Like I had failed, again.

Something that, since beginning this Blog one year ago, has become a familiar experience, one I do not like much!

As he clearly said several times, any owners of land near us, can cut as many trees down as they like,

even the Longleaf Pine because, he said, “it was NOT an Endangered Plant.”

When he claimed that they could even cut this tree down, my heart sank.

There was no hope, if this was true, although I could not understand how it could be so.

It is also unnerving that these trucks filled to the top with trees, are absolutely over the posted weight limit

for our road and NO ONE apparently is concerned in the least.

Even he admitted, that they were most likely over weight!

Can you even imagine meeting one of these trucks head-on, on any of the countless sharp curves on our road?

Think there would be any survivors in the car?

A brief history is in order for your better understanding.

At one time this magnificent tree covered most of the entire South-Eastern United States,

 there were millions of them,  like the nearly eradicated Bison in the West,

both with pretty much the same ending.

Too often, Humans rule and take what and when they wish, with frequently little concern

for the future of a species, or plant.

Several places referred to new plans for re-introducing this tree in other Southern States,

but wouldn’t it be better to not take all of them in the first place and then have to do this?

Just asking?

The worst part of all of this, is the number of animals whose very existence depends on this very particular tree,

like the now nearly extinct red cockaded woodpecker  and others.

Here are my own words, on my website, about this magnificent Tree: Gatorwoman/longleafpine

 

A few places to learn more:

The Longleaf Pine

The Longleaf Pine or Pinus palustris

Longleaf Pine

Longleaf Pine For Sale (Maybe everyone one who cut them down should have to replace them)

 

 

March 18, 2014

Partners Against the Pipeline!

Reject-and-Protect

Gary Dorr – Nez Perce and Nebraska rancher Ben Gotschall.
Photo credit: Mary Anne Andrei / Bold Nebraska

 

This posting today may seem a bit off topic, but wait, it really is not.

It will also be posted to both of my Blogs,  as it concerns both people and animals!

When was the last time that Cowboys and Indians found an Issue that they could agree upon in this Country?

Hmmm.

Can’t seem to recall, can you?

Well an Issue that is critical to both sides right now,  saving their land and water,  

has these unlikely partners  joining forces for a very important Weeklong Event

called the:    Reject and Protect Campaign.

This page says it all:   Call to Action

The group is called the Cowboy and Indian Alliance from Nebraska and they have

 organized what will be a week of events from April 22-27, that will culminate in Washington, D.C.

And if you are now asking what the connection is to this Blog about Wildlife,  oh, it is only life, simply put,

ALL LIFE, in these affected areas,  is depending on what happens with the dreaded Keystone Pipeline.

If this continually failing, leaking, rupturing, disastrous mess called the Keystone Pipeline is allowed

 to run through this country unimpeded,  it will, when it fails, as is has repeatedly done throughout its history,

kill every living thing in its path, Human, plant and animal alike, they will all succumb to the deadly toxins

that this pipeline will carry across our country.

This is a monumental, devastating decision that is about to be made and the wrong one spells death for millions.

We must never forget what lies directly under this pipeline on its journey,  the Ogallala Aquifer  

and the life-giving water it brings to millions of those in the affected states.

Once water is contaminated, it’s all over.

How long can you politicians, masquerading as Humans, making these life altering decisions, drink sand?

Oh, I forgot, the people in Washington, D.C.  making these critical decisions, will never have to worry

about having  clean water, to drink, they can always buy it in bottles, as they are quite well compensated

 for their few days annually of so-called work!

But for the millions of Indigenous People and other just average Americans, who are now living

 in the states where this pipeline will run, this may,  or may not be an option.

Many of them, especially on Reservations, are already living at or below the poverty level and 

will not have the extra money to run to the store and buy bottled water, 

when theirs becomes poisoned with  dirty tar sands crude oil.

Can we now talk about the Wildlife that will be affected by all of this?

The beautiful Sandhills of Central Nebraska,   a place I have been to many times,  are 

 home to my beloved Sandhill Cranes  by the millions,  as well as countless other threatened Wild animals.

In just this area, there are:  243 Bird Species, 10 Butterfly Species and 37 Mammal Species.

The numbers that will die if this pipeline is put in, will be in the millions, think BP and the Gulf!

Now these Wild animals and the many poor Native people and others, who will be devastated by their decision,  

are not at the top of any politicians list in Washington, I can  promise you.

Why you ask?

Because, Wildlife do not vote, or write big campaign checks, so whether they live or die

 is not a high priority to Politicians.

And Native Americans will never support any candidate or politician, who poisons the very  lifeblood

of their people,  the Ogallala Aquifer.

If you are able, perhaps you might join them in April in their desperate efforts to stop this

Environmental train-wreck,  known as the Keystone Pipeline.

 

Here are a few places to learn more:

Keystone XL pipeline may threaten Aquifer

3 Nebraska Senators sign letter urging rejection of Keystone

Keystone XL opponents express concerns

 

 

March 16, 2014

God Hears~

comfryjacobs
Comfry Jacobs protesting against the Wild Bison slaughter in Yellowstone.
Picture credit and kindly lent by:   Deby Dixon photography

 

Just when it seemed that nothing could stop the endless Global human brutality against animals,

a tiny miracle has just happened.

The slaughter of Yellowstone Bison has been stopped, for now.

Are you listening God, you surely must be?

Can one person really make a difference, well this man did.

His name is Comfrey Jacobs, and  he absolutely refused to sit by and watch this horror continue and do nothing.

He stopped them in their tracks, or on the road, by chaining himself to a barrel blocking the road.

Do you know how cold it is in Yellowstone right now?

It is unbearable, I have been there in nearly every month of the year and as the locals always say,

there are two seasons here,   August and Winter, “   they are not kidding.

The campaign to slaughter these Wild Free Bison,  is of course a result of intense, ongoing, pressure

 from the Montana Cattle Ranchers, who loath them and continue every year to claim that

the Bison  ” could infect their cows.”

These Wild Free Bison do not know where the state lines are, you stupid cattle ranchers, get over it!

Yellowstone has been their Ancestral home for millions of years, have long have you been there?

In the past few hundred years, the US Government and hired thugs,  have killed millions of their Ancestors

and these few remaining in Yellowstone,  are all that is left,

must they die for these yet another politically influenced project?

Of course, the man at the center of this is now awaiting his day in court, but guess what?

A trial will only bring more new support to help stop this insanity.

If I were  closer, I would be at his trial every single day, for one thing,  to say thank you.

“Dear Comfry,  you speak for me,  for the Bison and for so many people around the world,  who feel exactly  like you.”

But you are the one who did it, thank God for you.

If you any of you are close enough, perhaps you may go and show support for his selfless actions.

The single fly in this ointment, and of course you knew that there would have to be at least one, 

this man  will be tried by a judge, there will be no jury.

Sometimes, I feel so defeated, like I am talking to the wind, or to just the few of you, who come here to this little,

insignificant Blog and like me,  want to keep animals everywhere safe.

And yes, sometimes, I feel like we are not really making a difference,  or that nothing will ever change,

but then this happens and my batteries are completely charged up all over again.

Look out world,  here we come!

 

So you  say you want to know more:

Yellowstone Announces End to Slaughter

Protester Attempts to Stop Bison Slaughter in Yellowstone

Man Risks Arrest Blocking Road

 

 

March 15, 2014

There, but for the Grace of God?

SanDiego

Daniel Andreas San Diego
Picture credit: Unknown

 

On our news this morning was the story of a very dangerous suspect, being sought by the FBI in Hawaii,

for some bombings in California.

Well, you know that they had my undivided attention, as soon as I heard the words animal activists

and bombings used in the same sentence.

After very little searching, a huge amount of data was found about this man and his story, but as it turned out, 

 I had the wrong idea about this altogether.

You see, this man is not going after animal activists,  he IS one and the bombings that he is being accused of,

 or is alleged to have done, were done  on the properties of those he believed to be harming animals.

And these alleged crimes were committed by him they say, in 2003, or over 10 years ago.

He has been on the FBI’s list of ” Most Wanted Domestic Terrorists.” since 2009.

I have since read at least six different stories looking for more and here is what I have found.

This man is a middle class,  well-bred,  fairly well educated person,  who does not like what is

 being done to animals by several large Corporations.

They are experimenting on them and basically torturing them.

He, like many of those who read this Blog, probably tried many different ways to stop this and

like we often have,  probably got absolutely nowhere.

But, what he chose to do next, is where I personally part ways with him, as I do not believe in violence.

But, do I understand and agree with his passion?

You bet I do!

I have heard all of you say so many times over the past year here, that you appreciate my passion for this subject.

I am willing to do any and every thing that I can,  to stop animals from being hurt, harmed, tortured, euthanized or killed.

However, I will not ever use a weapon because I find them brutal and  often think that somewhere in my family,

 there must have been some Quakers or Amish,  as  I intensely dislike guns, and all weapons.

Now for what may come as a shocking revelation to all of you and the FBI if they are reading this,

 “ I hope that he is not ever found.”

Sometimes, in history, it has seemed that the only way to stop a wrong behavior by out of control, uncaring,

evil,  doing insidious things,  is to hurt them back.

This very brave young man has,  for all intents and purposes, thrown his life away, for if he is ever caught,  

it will be life in prison for his actions, which by the way,  if you read any of the stories below,

it seems that no one was hurt and the damage to the buildings in question,  was quite minor.

But, I would/will always do my resisting and objecting to any cause, animal or otherwise,  in a nonviolent way.

You must think of Gandhi and how he fought the British and eventually got them out of India.

Non violent,  non co-operation, it did work in the end!

If we are to ever stop this evil behavior, I personally think that we must begin in the hearts of all people,

 not just these monsters in laboratories secretly carrying out their insidious deeds on innocent animals.

We must teach the whole world, yes, the whole,  entire world, that animals are just like us,

only we do not speak their language.

The FBI is/has been hunting this man for 10 years and has a huge reward of $250,000 out for him.

He is,  if you can believe this,  after all of the things that happen in this country every single day,

one of the FBI’s   “Most Wanted Terrorists.”

Simply unbelievable.

Is it possible that we in this Country,  may perhaps have our priorities just a wee bit out-of-order?

We are on a daily basis,  being poisoned by things that Monsanto and various other huge

companies produce and sell to us.

Is it likely that any of them will ever  be charged with the deaths that they are most certainly causing?

Yet this man, who wants to stop animals from being endlessly tortured and killed for corporate profits,

did what he thought might bring attention to, or shine a light on, a despicable group of people,

is being hunted like a mass murderer.

What a world.

What is that old saying?

“There,  but for the Grace of God?”

 

To learn more:

There are countless news stories, but this first one caught my eye~

Vegan with a 9mm Handgun

Hawaii Terror Suspect

Berkeley-Born “Most Wanted” Terrorist

 

 

March 9, 2014

Baby Bird Boom~

burrowingowl

A Baby Burrowing Owl
Picture credit: Adamantios

 

It’s spring in Florida and the babies are just bustin’ out all over.

There are celebrations everywhere here, with so many  places to go and join in

on the excitement and have fun in the beautiful Florida sunshine!

Florida is without a doubt, home to some of the most beautiful and

also most Endangered Birds in America, like the Burrowing Owl.

If you have seen the movie Hoot, it is about our Endangered Florida Burrowing Owl

 and was all  filmed right here,  well all except for the Montana scenes~

The Florida scenery is gorgeous and the film is inspiring, hopefully you and

your children will love it and find it as wonderful as I did.

And if you are a Jimmy Buffett fan, the music and the man are both in the movie,

 yet another reason to love it~

If like me, you treasure wildlife and animals, especially Birds, Audubon of Florida has all of

the people,  places, events and opportunities to get involved, on their website and their Blog.

Education is at the very heart of Florida Audubon and this outstanding web site

 has been blessed with a plethora of  it.

 

Please do begin your Audubon Adventure here:   Audubon of Florida

 

You will always find many listings of  upcoming things to do on their Events page:  Events and Programs

Here is one example:  A  Baby Owl Shower  is happening on May 10  (how can this not be fun)

Go here to find information about  Florida birds that are at risk:  Florida’s Imperiled Birds

The Audubon Blog keeps you up to date on all things Audubon, and you might even sign up:   The News Blog

There is even a place to keep track of particular Bills affecting Florida birds and Wildlife here:  Legislative Bill Tracker

This web site is undeniably, one of the most impressive and truly useful

places to go to learn all about Florida’s wonderful World of Wildlife~

 

 

March 2, 2014

No Ducks, thank you~

RubberDuck

A Rubber Duck
Picture credit:  Alexander Klink

 

With this posting today, I may lose some of you,   c’est la vie.

I just got a new Petition in my email and felt compelled to pass it along.

Here is the Petition:   Remove violence promoting products in your store

It is addressed to Petco, a store where I do not shop as often as I used to,  because 

 they do not carry the food that we have chosen for Breanna, which is Wellness Core Ocean.

I have asked for it repeatedly  and they continue to say that they do not carry it.

The products that are in question in this petition are, now comes the hard part, promoting  ” Duck Dynasty.”

Yes,  that Duck Dynasty!

I have just signed the petition and agree with the thinking in it.

Sorry for those of you who are fans of theirs, but please do read the petition and then make up your own minds.

As for me, I do not watch their show because of their  treatment of animals and their comments on gays and other groups.

The show, the cast and the premise of it all,  is in direct conflict with everything that I believe in and is just not for me.

It would be absolutely unbearable to have Duck Dynasty products in my face,  when shopping for Breanna’s food  at any store.

I agree, as  the petition states,  that having these products for sale in the stores,

 is in conflict with the image that Petco has worked so hard to achieve.

I may be alone on this, but I’m OK with that~

 

 

February 23, 2014

Despicable Deeds

VonSpiessBearHunt

Image: Public Domain

 

As an impressive list of Global Heads of state assemble in London to discuss the horror inflicted

on wildlife worldwide, our own country has just announced its own set of new rules to play by

in dealing with this, or our National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.

What is remarkable is that it is being staged in London where just days ago, the trio of England’s

youngest Royals had just returned from a delightful  hunting  adventure.

Are the rest of us expected to say , “Oh, it’s  ok,  they are just carrying on an Ancient Royal Ritual?”

I think not.

These three quite privileged young people knew that what they were doing would offend many in the

world and would most likely become front page news right before this important gathering in London.

They most certainly had to be  aware  of the controversy that they would be unleashing.

Doesn’t this all smack of elitist snobbery?

My affection for these three was irretrievably diminished by the sight of them holding up their kills in their hands,

I was both disgusted and sickened.

Being wealthy or a Royal from any Country,  should not excuse Sport or Trophy hunting, period.

So, while for the moment, I am pleased  to learn of this announcement by our Government, what about the rest of the world?

Something that I found odd about getting today’s  email from WWF, was that a week or so ago,

I had received another email from a DC political group asking me to choose what I considered the most

important issue that the President might speak about during his Annual State of the Union  Address.

You know what my response was of course,  ” Global Animal Abuse.”

It may “ take a village to raise a child, ”  but it will take Global Unification to stop the

slaughtering of wildlife in every corner of this planet.

It must start young, we need to as parents,  teach our children that animals are not here for our pleasure,  or,

  God forbid for us to mangle,  murder, or maim, but to be cared for and respected as another species like ourselves.

While this announcement from Washington is welcome, it is by no means the entire solution to the problem.

It is merely a good place to begin.

Wildlife Trafficking is only one small aspect of  Global Animal Abuse, you see humans have

found countless other ways to torture, abuse and murder them.

And we must address all of them, not just one.

This must become a  Global Issue of Humanity, to be exposed, explained, 

 learned and adhered to by all Nations all over the world.

Animals are just as an important species as we are, we simply do not speak their language,

so do not know how to talk to them.

This quote was written for my initial effort at Blogging in 2011, 

but it is just as relevant today I believe:

“We, the Human Race, are arrogant in thinking that
because we do not understand the language of animals,
that what they are saying is not of consequence.
Indeed, the animals are speaking to us and
for their sake and ours, we must start listening.”

 

The stories are here to learn more:

US Announces Ambitious Strategy to Tackle Wildlife Crime

The National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking

The Wildlife Fact Sheet

 

 

February 16, 2014

Saving Sharks~

Nurse_Shark

A Nurse Shark
Picture credit: Joseph Thomas

 

With every story written, I read your words, I feel your pain, it is my pain as well.

Like me, you suffer through every terrible bit of news about who and what is being done daily,

to  innocent animals all over the world, and as one of you remarked on yesterday’s story,  

you also ” feel hopeless ”  sometimes,  about all of this, wondering if anything that we

 do truly matters or makes a difference.

Well, not today, because today is  ” feel good Sunday ”  and by God

I have brought you a feel good story, finally!

If you have been coming  here for a bit,  you may recall a story written not so long ago,

 about the despicable act of Shark finning in many countries all over the world.

It sent many of you/us over the top in furious tirades.

Since then,  there have been several states and countries  who have banned this disgusting practice and

things were looking up, then NOAA dropped the hammer on all of it and another wave of fury began.

After all of the Petitions, emails,  phone calls and just plain ugly responses  (over 24,000 of them)  

to NOAA’s  interference and may I just say, negative and confusing attitude about this terrible Issue,  

our US  Government has finally  relented and we, the people,  can claim one small victory for at

 least one of the wild things that we share this planet with.

Although this is a great victory for the sharks, 5 states still remain in question and pressure must

 continue to be put on them to join this humane and critical step towards  saving sharks.

Yes, we can and do make a difference~

 

The story is below, please do read it and feel good, this is one for them.

We can all take a little credit, because we care and we fight back against

all odds to protect ” those with no voice. “

NOAA backs down

 

 

February 15, 2014

Powerless Panther

panthe1

The beautiful Florida Panther
Picture credit: SFWMD

 

A California water Company was just given permission by the St. John’s Water board to double

their daily take of our water this week, even though we are in the third year, of a four-year drought,

 here in Lake County and Central Florida.

In the three recent drought  years,  our water  levels have been nearly a foot short of normal.

Florida’s aquifers are at alarming levels and being drained all over the state,  God help us

 if these droughts do continue, for we shall not be able drink the sand.

As our lakes continue to dry up, wildlife is continuously coming into residential neighborhoods 

hunting for food and water, which  frequently results in their deaths.

It is terrifying  to think of what will happen after this bottling company begins taking twice

 as much water from our aquifers than they already do and they are assured that they

will be able to do so for the next 20 years.

This same Water Board,  is the one who tells us that we can only water our lawns

once a week during the dry season!

Did I mention sinkholes?

Guess where many of them are happening in Florida?

That is correct, near the water bottling companies.

Now we have learned that Southwest Florida is about to become the next Texas,

as multiple oil companies are about to be given a green light to drill for oil in the last Habitat

 in the state for the Critically Endangered Florida Panther.

Florida, in my humble opinion, has now become much like other environmentally unfriendly states

 and is being controlled by special interest money groups with very deep pockets,

 who care nothing for the people, places, or animals here.

In Florida, as elsewhere,  the bottom line is now, “ show them the money.”

What is unbelievable, or is it, is that this newest assault on wildlife, the Panther in particular,

  appears to come with the blessing of the Florida DEP.

How can this be?

The very definition of their  name is  Environmental Protection, right?

How does allowing companies, yes that is plural, to drill for oil in lands so precious

 to this much beleaguered animal, protect our environment?

Oil drilling in Collier County will be the Panther’s  death warrant.

Of course there is great opposition to this from many sides, those who want to protect the Panther,

and those who just want to stop the raping of the few remaining  pristine Florida wild lands.

This is an area that will quickly fall apart if this is allowed to go forward.

Do I believe that it will be stopped, absolutely not, too much money is at stake here, with

out-of-state drilling companies salivating and chomping at the bit to get in and get to drilling.

They have already raped and drilled their own states dry,  so Florida is virgin land.

So, you ask, what do these two Issues have in common?

They are both highly unpopular with the people, but are getting pushed through because of,

you guessed it, money, kick backs, what ever name you wish to call it.

It is all the same to those of us who live here, we no longer appear to have any say in these things,

 because the control has been taken away from us.

When it comes to politics, and getting things approved here,  the wealth is pretty equally

 spread around, checks get written, money always wins.

In my life I have rarely seen so much greed, corruption and dishonesty and it reaches into

every corner, every level of the state, from the top to the bottom.

Very few even bother to try to hide their dishonest, deceitful deeds.

They seem to feel, believe,  that nothing will happen to them and they are right.

Corruption in politics in Florida, as with many other states I am sure,  is rampant and

examples of it are in our news daily.

Florida is up for sale to the highest bidder, animals, water and all living things be damned,

just get out of their way and don’t interfere.

Why did we allow this to happen, why are we and the Panther powerless?

 

You may learn more about both Issues  here:

Interest growing in Collier County oil

St. Johns foolishly approves more water withdrawals from Niagara bottling

Niagara Bottling gets OK to pump

Oil Companies Are Planning to Drill in Florida Panther Habitat

Concern over possibility of drilling in SW Fla.

 

 

February 9, 2014

Masticating Mollusks~

Oyster_Sloop,_Cos_Cob_c1902_Childe_Hassam

Oyster Sloop, Cos Cob
Painting credit: Frederick Childe Hassam

 

The sun is out here in our part of the  Sunshine State  for the first time this week,

 the rain has finally stopped, although we desperately needed it, but nearly a week

of not seeing sunlight, got to be a bit overwhelming.

And with this bright sun this morning,  finally a chance to bring you some upbeat, cheerful,

positive in any shape or form,  good news about Florida’s animals.

This morning on our local news was a story that the possible savior for the highly polluted,

 severely contaminated,  Indian River Lagoon could be for all of the local residents to hang

oyster traps at their the Indian River homes.

If you have been following this Blog for a bit, you may have read one of more of the

postings already done on this subject, as  the pollution of the Indian River and the effects on the

wildlife that call it home,  has been a thorn in my side since the inception of this Blog last March.

So hearing the story this morning about a new idea, a new thought in cleaning it up,  

was very exciting, and it is a natural, non chemical solution.

The Award Winning project by the Brevard Zoo has encouraged all the  home owners who live on the

Lagoon to get involved in this and help the River recover by putting out Oyster traps out on their docks.

It seems that Oysters collect tremendous amounts of pollutants from the water that they live in.

  (having lived in LA for 30 years,  this was not a subject very familiar to me)

It does seem sad that the very good deed the oysters are doing by removing the putrid

remains of human neglect,  is ingested into their own bodies.

But, I  have been told by my resident Connecticut Yankee, who is  quite familiar with all of this,

 that it does not hurt them and that, he says, they thrive on it.

All I can say is  YUK!

It is wonderful that the Zoo in the area where this is all taking place,  is leading the way

 into the potential renewal of one of the most formerly pristine bodies of water in Central Florida.

The number of wildlife species that are totally dependent on the cleanliness and

health of this body of water is staggering.

The numbers that have already died or are now severely suffering is like wise, dolphins,

brown pelicans and manatees to name but a few.

A huge Thank you to the Brevard Zoo for implementing this visionary project

and God Bless these Masticating Mollusks~

 

If  you live on the River, or just want to get involved, these are

just a few of the places to learn more about the Project:

 

This is absolutely the finest piece of work that I have ever read about this subject:

Troubled Water: Indian River Lagoon

 

More about the Oyster Projects:

The Oyster Restoration Project

Blue Life Florida

Water Projects

Oyster Reef Restoration

 

 

February 5, 2014

Bye Bye Butterflies

Monarchbutterfly

The stunning Monarch Butterfly on its life-giving Milkweed.
Picture credit:  Tiago J. G. Fernandes

 

When our time on this planet is over, how do you think that our generation of humans or our species will be remembered?

If the rapid rate of death for so many Threatened and Endangered Species is any indicator,

we will most likely be thought of in much the same light as the gladiators of ancient Rome.

The present state of existence for the beautiful Monarch butterfly is in a free fall and the major cause of it,  

is not a shock to those who love animals.

The  multitude of heinous acts committed by Monsanto and the ever increasing devastation of living things

on our planet is a direct result of their herbicides and pesticides.

This toxic soup is being force-fed to innocent  animals, plants and humans, without prejudice,

as Monsanto is an equal opportunity chemical assassin.

The continuous overuse of their number one selling product, Roundup,  is the prime culprit in the

decimation of North American milkweed and it has nearly wiped the plant off of the planet.

You see, Milkweed is mother’s milk for the Monarch and without it, their numbers have declined just this year alone, by 44%.

Their annual winter travels from all over North America south to Mexico, are legendary: Migration and Overwintering

 

In the past their numbers were staggering, at between “60 million and 1 billion butterflies arriving in the area any given year,”

now they are but a pale reflection of their former glory and their prospects for the future grow dimmer each day.

In the end, or ultimately, it is not only the Monarch that are being decimated, it is people,

animals and plants all over the world and Monsanto knows exactly what they are doing.

The question remains, what are we going to do?

The only American company with more money and power than Monsanto is Wal-Mart.

So, does it come as any surprise, that between them these two pretty much run this country?

Our Politicians know who writes their campaign checks and refuse to stand up to either of them.

 

Here is the Petition and  if you agree with its thinking, please do sign it and pass it on:

Monsanto: Stop the use of your Monarch-killing herbicide

 

Places to learn more about this story:

Monarch Population Hits Lowest Point in More Than 20 Years

Monarch Butterflies drop, migration may disappear

New Report Shows Monsanto A Major Culprit in Record Decline of Monarch Butterflies

Butterflies are on the Decline and Monsanto’s GMO Crops are a Major Reason Why

The Missing Monarchs

 

 

January 30, 2014

Captivating Clydesdales

Budweiser_Clydesdales_Boston

Clydesdales at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston
Picture credit:  Paul Keleher

 

This weekend is, just  in case you have been living under a rock,  Super Bowl Sunday.

So what always accompanies this annual excuse to be a couch potato and junk food junkie?

The Super Bowl Ads, of course, which I prefer most years over the actual game.

Americans are fanatical football fans to say the very least and this is the football  game of the year.

Sponsors wait all year-long for the chance to sell you their products and

 will pay astronomical prices to prove that theirs is the best.

So, with that in mind, let the Games and the Ads begin and bring on those Captivating Clydesdales.

 

My feelings about the game shall remain a well guarded secret, not wishing to offend the other side~

Please find listed below just a few of some current and past animal Super Bowl Ads.

 

These are the ones  that made me laugh, cry or other…..

Hope that you enjoy them and the game and that  your team wins.

Omaha~

 

Puppy Love

Clydesdale Foal

Lamb Streaker

A Clydesdale Tribute

Hungry Bear Chobani

Clydesdale Team

Dog Strikes Back

A Hero’s Welcome

Cooper

RSPCA Australia

 

 

January 24, 2014

Withering Whales

Pilot_whale_spyhop

A Long-finned pilot whale spyhopping
Picture credit: Barney Moss

 

An update to this story,  9 AM  1-25-2014

The news is worse yet today, even more Whales have been found dead and again their stomachs were empty,  but the thing

 that is most disturbing is the fact that these whales normally  live in very deep waters and that they are probably 

coming into shallower waters now because something is terribly wrong where they live in the Gulf.

Once again my suspicions are toxins from either the BP oil spill or the chemicals used to clean it up.

These family oriented mammals will all follow even one sick member to their own deaths. It is tragic. 

 Regardless of what is the cause this time,  we are killing our  sea life and poisoning the sea. God help us all.

About 25 pilot whales found dead in southwest Florida

 

 

Each day as I watch our local news, I keep hoping that this will all end, but each day,  it only gets worse.

We are becoming painfully aware here in Florida of the ongoing deaths of our precious ocean mammals.

Now with these new announcements this morning of even more Pilot Whales being stranded, dying

and washing ashore, the gloom hangs over the state like a dark,  heavy blanket.

When the dolphins, manatees and pelicans were found dead in the Indian River Lagoon, it was blamed on many factors,

but  many here felt pretty convinced that it  was most likely caused by chemical run off and toxins in the water.

So, now that Pilot Whales are being found dead and dying, or missing from their family pods, what is to blame is being asked.

The whales that have been found are nearly emaciated, not  a very good sign.

It seems likely that there is a great deal more to this tragic mystery that is being seen at present.

As the majority of them are on the Gulf Coast, it would be easy to blame this on the BP oil spill years ago.

Much to the dismay of local wildlife officials, the BP mess has had lingering disastrous effects

 on all of our wildlife and the food that they need to survive.

The fact that these Pilot Whales  seem to be seriously underweight, leads us to draw the conclusion that their

food sources are either dead or dying,  or simply toxic and worth little to keep them healthy or well nourished.

One thing is obvious, when our wonderful sea life is dying all around us, with few clues as to why, we must look inward.

What are we doing to their homes and their food sources?

So much to think about, but very  few answers.

We are a species that  by nature, can be quite  greedy and self-absorbed,

and the animals around us are paying for this gluttony with their lives.

Wake up people, what we do on this planet matters.

It matters to everything that lives, animal and plant alike.

We are their keepers, and we had better start doing a better job of keeping them.

 

You may learn more here:

Scientists asks public to help find missing whales off Florida coast

Stranded Pilot Whales Die in Florida Everglades

Dangerous Waters

Video of Pilot Whales Stranded in Everglades National Park

2010-2014 Cetacean Unusual Mortality Event in Northern Gulf of Mexico

 

 

January 18, 2014

Paul’s Pelicans

Sebastian_FL_Kroegel

The Paul Kroegel Memorial in  Sebastian, Florida
Picture credit: Ebyabe

 

Like many of you, I am sure, my Ancestors came to America from so many places.

One of them was my Grandfather who was from Prussia,  a place that no longer exists and is now called Germany.

At home,  he primarily spoke in German to me as a child and attempted to teach it to me.

Regretfully,  I was not a very good student and only managed to learn a few words before he passed away.

But, the one thing that he did leave with me,  that resonates in much of what I attempt even today,

was his strong, proud work ethic.

With this thought in mind, today while reading my mail,  I came across a story about a man who sadly,

I had  never heard of, perhaps because I did not grow up here in Florida, but in Indiana and California.

The man I speak of is Paul Kroegel,  who came to Florida from Germany as a child  in 1881

 and left his mark on it and the world of wild life forever.

Recently there was a Festival in Sebastian, where he had  lived, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth.

I wish I could have known him, much  like my grandfather,  Kroegel was diligent,  

hardworking and so dedicated to what he believed in.

He loved animals, especially birds,  and did his best to protect them from marauding, murdering bullies.

Paul was quite  passionate about the local  Brown Pelicans  who were being slaughtered for their feathers

 and was determined to stop it.

Mr. Kroegel was a primary impetus for the beginnings of our National Wildlife Refuge System

and it was his vision of how wildlife should be treated,  that initiated the overall system

 that we have in place today.

In 1903 , President Teddy Roosevelt  made Kroegel’s  dream a reality,  by ordering  Pelican Island

 to become the first National Wildlife Refuge.

Kroegel became the first  park Warden and was  paid $1 a month for his duties.

Many years later, following a devastating Hurricane, the Pelicans temporarily abandoned the Island

and Kroegel was to have another first, a mandatory Government retirement.

He died in Sebastian in 1948.

This man fought nearly all of his life in the defense of helpless animals,  proving once again, 

 that one person can make a difference.

Kroegel,  like my grandfather,  led his life in an exemplary  manner,  giving me the will to continue fighting

 for animals in trouble,  even on those days when I  am not sure if anyone is really  out there?

 

These are some  places where you may  learn more about this remarkable man:

American Conservation Hero – Paul Kroegel

German Immigrant Honored for Role in U.S. Wildlife Protection

Paul Kroegel – First Refuge Employee

Kroegel and Pelican Island

Paul Kroegel and the Story of Pelican Island

Paul Kroegel and America’s First Wildlife Refuge

 

 

January 14, 2014

Evan’s Endeavor~

AnimalBadge

Evan’s proposed Merit Badge for the BSA to protect Endangered Animals
Picture credit: Evan Nelsen.

 

In my mail this morning came a delightful surprise, a petition created by a very young man with a passion for animals.

He is Evan Nelsen from Minnesota and he is petitioning the  Boy Scouts of America,  to create a new 

Merit Badge for the protection of Endangered, Threatened , on the verge of Extinction Animals.

Out of the mouths of babes!

As many of you who read this Blog on a regular basis may already know, my young son was also a Cub Scout

and I joined a wonderful woman for several years,  being a Den Mother

 to a small Troop of physically challenged young men in California.

Seeing  this young Scout’s Petition Request for the BSA today, brought back many joyful memories 

and knowing that Scouting is still going strong and in the hands of young ones like this,  

gives me  hope that as long as people like him still  exist, the animals will  have a chance.

Evan,  I see a very  bright future for you,  not only in the Boy Scouts, but as a future leader, 

 not only in America, but hopefully the  World.

I seem to remember that the original intention of Scouting was to help influence,  guide

and encourage young boys and men, to become the next leaders of our Country.

We need so many more like you Evan,  to be a beacon of light and lead the way towards a brighter

 and better future for all animals.

Thank you so much for your concern, your passion, your love of animals and thank you also to your parents,

who surely did an excellent job in raising you, to become the kind of person that you are.

 

Here is the link to Evan’s Merit Badge Petition, please do read it, share it  and sign it, if you agree with his thinking:

Boy Scout Merit Badge Petition

 

 

January 11, 2014

Tutu’s Torch

DesmondTutuWEF

Archbishop Tutu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, February 1, 2009
Picture credit: Remy Steinegger

 

After the unshakeable darkness of the Rhino post yesterday, this morning a saved story on my desktop

has to come to rescue me from the mire.

These terrible stories take a huge personal toll on me and writing them often takes days to recover from.

So, it is a relief to be writing a feel good story, even if it is not Sunday, it is necessary.

This is about a man for whom I have the highest regard, who speaks up when others remain silent

on not so safe issues for such an esteemed member of the Clergy.

Desmond Tutu’s support of gay rights and other main stream issues, have likely sealed his fate

and any possibility of him ever being considered for Pope, which I am sure, bothers him little.

Is it any wonder that Tutu is such a cherished man, like Gandhi, Mandela and the Dalai Lama,

he practices what he preaches.

These men share a common bond, along with their Nobel Peace Prizes,

(Gandhi was never given this Honor which seems unconscionable) they are/were devoted to peace and kindness.

Like the others, Archbishop Desmond Tutu lives what he believes in, kindness and compassion for all,

 his public stances on important social issues has given them a stage for the world to draw and learn from.

Now, it  seems that he has turned his usual warm glow into written comments,

  speaking up for our world’s animals for the first time.

His supportive and inspiring words were written as a forward for the new book:

 Global Guide to Animal Protection.

I am overjoyed with his comments and believe his words to be as usual, well thought out and wise.

Tutu’s words will bring a whole new audience to a critical Global Issue, the treatment of animals.

Prior to this recent work by Tutu, the last ones so high on my most respected and

admired list to lend their powerful support to the plight of our world’s animals,

were Gandhi and the Dalai Lama.

Bravo Mr. Tutu, you have no idea how much your words mean to those of us who like you,

wish to see the lives of all animals made safer, better,  longer.

The torch has been passed.

 

A few places to learn more about this:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Calls For Justice For Animals

Desmond Tutu Backs  ‘Justice for Animals’ Cause

Press Release: We Must Fight Injustice To Animals

 

 

January 10, 2014

Rhino Rage

blackrhino

A soon to become extinct and most rare,  Black Rhino mother and baby.
Picture credit:  Yathin S Krishnappa

 

**I am completely guilty of being too angry and too quick to write, after re-reading this story,

 it was learned that they are having an auction for this disgusting murder, BUT it will be carried out in Africa,

not in the US, however, this will matter little to the dead Rhino!**

**I have just finished editing this story and have now hopefully removed all erroneous remarks to keep it accurate.**

 

Earlier this morning, while watching GMA,  this banner text ran across the bottom of screen:

Dallas Hunting Club to award license today in controversial auction to kill critically endangered Black Rhino.

Can I tell you how fast I hit the stop button and went to find this story?

My stomach was sick, my heart racing, Oh God, please tell me this is not true.

But, alas, it was/is  most wickedly so.

Of course it is to be expected, that there will be those in total opposition and those who wish to see this come to fruition.

The FBI is currently  investigating ” Death Threats.”

Lines are now being drawn in the hot,  dry Texas dust.

In the past many times,  these despicable  ” Ranch Hunts ”  have made the news, the victims always being tracked

 and murdered by probable bored with ” run of the mill  killing, ” hunters who pay quite dearly for the pleasure

 of killing on private ranches in Texas.

I am personally well familiar with certain kinds of  ” Texas mentality ”  after having had the misfortune

 of living there for 3 long and sad years.

It was a most unpleasant experience I wish to never repeat,  that culminated with my Banks refusal to

allow me to cash a check when my then husband was stationed in Korea.

I was told by a woman teller at my Bank, that  a woman could not cash a check,

this was in the early sixties and I never forgot it.

Anyway back to the current Texas madness…

These private ranches somehow acquire countless wildlife and subject them to Sport/Trophy murder

 for the insane pleasure of idiots who feel the need to hunt down and kill a wild animal.

I suppose the idea that it is quite rare makes them even more deliriously happy.

They claim that this death will matter little because the Rhino is an old male, who can no longer reproduce.

Wow, just imagine if this line of thinking were to run rampant in the world!

If I am sounding even more hostile or irrational today than usual,  it may be due to my current elevated blood pressure

 just from thinking about this insidious situation.

Yes, these Hunting Ranches are on private property, that much may be true, but are there no International Laws

 that are being broken here, where individuals in one country can hold a raffle of a sort,  or auction,

 to kill an extremely Endangered animal in another?

America, what have we become?

As if the vicious and brutal assaults, continuing even still today on these beautiful animals,  as well as elephants,  

for their body parts,  were not already enough of a horror, now Americans  in this Country are going to permit,

carry out  an auction give away for the privilege of to murdering a Rhino in Namibia!

The words  of Gandhi keep running through my head,  ” A Nation shall be judged by the way it treats its animals.”

Does that thought also apply to running and supporting something as evil as this to be carried out in another country?

Shame on us, shame on Namibia.

Ultimately though, the key irritant in this entire mess for me,  is their repeated use of the word Safari.

Murdering innocent animals is not a Safari, it is a slaughter.

These kinds of guilty pleasures that must continuously be fed and appeased, remind me of certain Biblical times,  

right before it was all taken down.

I simply cannot wrap my mind around the ability of some to find joy, happiness or any other positive feeling

 from killing an animal that may quite soon become extinct.

This  abominable behavior is all surreal, it is insanity.

May God help the innocent animals, may God forgive the guilty who murder them~

 

On the remote possibility that you may wish to learn more,  here are the brutal facts of this story:

 FBI Looks Into Threats Ahead of Rhino Hunt Auction

2 Sides Lock Horns as Dallas Hunt Club nears Action of Permit to kill Black Rhino

Dallas Hunt Club Receives Death Threats

Dallas Safari Club Calls in FBI after Death Threats over Rhino-Hunt Auction

 

 

January 8, 2014

Growing Pains

Genomics_GTL_Program_Payoffs

Picture credit: U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs

 

Being basically claustrophobic, this story quickly caught my eye.

This problem may only be in Florida for right now, but trust me,

 it will be coming to a state near you,  eventually.

Our fragile Wildlife is being shoved, pushed and run out of town by a burgeoning population

 explosion here and our Ecosystems have been pushed to the brink of collapse.

This painful problem is growing exponentially with each new snow bird and retiree,  

who decides not to go back from whence they came, but to stay on  in Paradise

 and put down new roots in the Sunshine State.

At this very moment,  Florida is about to overtake New York as the second most populous state in America,

not a thing for which we should be particularly proud,  in my opinion.

Quite the contrary, this is terrifying news for wildlife defenders and protectors because we know

 what the translation of that about to be statistic means, animals are going to die.

With every trip that we make to one of the Coasts or down to the Keys, we are shocked by just

how many new houses, Hotels, Restaurants and other towering buildings have popped up,

since the last one.

To say that it is getting crowded here,  is a massive understatement.

All of these new residents are using up Florida’s water, and countless natural resources to the point of near depletion.

For years, Florida’s Ecosystems have taken some serious hits, but they simply cannot bend or yield much more.

Over crowding and overpopulation of any place, especially here where so many animals are

already on either an Endangered or Threatened List and hanging on by a thread,

leads to a myriad of evil for wild animals,  their Habitats and our Environment.

The Animals, Environment and  Ecosystems,  are all negatively impacted by too many, taking too much.

Many are thrilled by what will come here with the invading hordes, like more representation

 in Washington and endless blank checks, for those who wish to entice us for more

 and more buildable land and the like.

What they fail to comprehend is,  what it will do to the already exhausted  Ecosystems, wild things

 and plants that presently call Florida home.

Do we really need or want more people to move here?

No we do not, if we wish to sustain the unique natural beauty that Florida presently is.

What we really need here in Florida,  is a Population Cap or Master Plan,  that restricts overgrowth.

There was one in the town in California that I came here from.

Can we put a cap on an entire state?

If not, why not?

And if we just sit back and do nothing to stop this runaway train, we must all be prepared

to watch as one by one, our  beautiful wild things here die from lack of sustainable living space.

Humans don’t do well when they are crowded,  why don’t we understand that animals are exactly the same.

Even lab rats turn on each other when they are overcrowded.

My fear is that these particular growing pains are going to prove fatal for Florida’s Wild everything.

 

You may wish to read more about this Issue here:

Florida’s  Population Growth Comes At Steep Cost To Wildlife

10 Species Our Population Explosion Will Likely Kill Off

The Human Population Explosion

Human Overpopulation

 

 

January 5, 2014

Their World, Their Future~

Arkivescreenshot

ARKive – Images of Life on Earth
Picture credit: Animal World

 

As the world celebrates a New Year, my thoughts are as usual, focused on animals.

Recently there has been a lot of reflection and or controversy about the ESA,

the Endangered Species Act, turning 40 and whether or not it is, gasp, still necessary.

Merely writing these words sent shivers down my spine.

Since it was first signed into law by President Nixon in 1973, the ESA has seen many successes, as well as a few failures,

but the numbers alone, are not the most critical factor, when it comes to the value or worth of this Act/Law.

The single most important reason for its need, is above all, to provide a buffer zone between humans and their world

and the animals and plants/flora, that would face certain peril, or indeed even extinction, if it ceased to exist.

The success stories of the ESA are by now quite familiar: the Bald Eagle, Grizzly Bear, Peregrine Falcon,

Gray Wolf, California Condor and a wide array of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

Their track record of success at 99% is most impressive.

The point is, the ESA has made a difference when little else could have.

Now, with the suggestion by some, that the ESA needs an overhaul, if the protection of those on the brink of extinction

were left up to as has been suggested, to individual states, where do you suppose their priorities would lie?

In Florida to date, we have seen little evidence that Governor Scott would protect wildlife or wild land,

at the risk of offending a potential donor, as he is currently running for re-election and

that means not biting the hands of those who write those big campaign checks.

The Governor is, I am sure, being pressured by great hordes of developers to sell them extremely valuable land

and let the concrete pouring begin.

I am not against development, but am very much opposed to allowing it to be done in wildlife sensitive areas

where many animals right now are already in daily conflicts with humans and dying for merely trying to survive.

Human and wildlife encounters are becoming daily news here in Florida, with the recent tragic Black Bear stories,

the ongoing Panthers human/conflicts, Brown Pelicans once again being maimed by those who do not wish to share their fish

bounty, wild creatures all over our state being caught and sold out of the country to the highest bidder, it goes on and on.

When the safety and protection of threatened animals is left to those with personal goals,

or ulterior motives, animals will always lose.

So, the first priority for me in this brand new year, is to assure that the Endangered Species Act remains

the single greatest safety net in this country for those with no voice.

As this new year begins, how many of us are truly aware of that delicate web that holds

the lives of so many animals and plants together?

If the ESA is allowed to be altered, as is being proposed right now and the power to control it is turned over

to individual states, what will they do?

Will their first thoughts be of the welfare of those now barely hanging on, or will they be pressured or enticed

into building new malls, shopping centers, casinos and condos, and the animals can all be damned?

Please keep this in mind and respond, if like me, you don’t believe that the lives of animals should be controlled

by those who may not have their best interests in mind.

It is after all, their world, their future~

 

Some powerful sources of information about this vital issue:

Endangered Species Act Is As Important As Ever

Keep Endangered Species Act Strong

Grizzlies An Issue As Endangered Species Act Turns 40

The Endangered Species Act Turns 40

At 40, US Endangered Species Act Faces Attacks

The Endangered Species Act Celebrates Forty Years Of Wildlife Protection (VIDEO)

Defending The Endangered Species Act

40 Species For 40 Years Of The Endangered Species Act

 


 

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