Category: Asia

Week 33 Wildlife SOS (India)

Wildlife SOS rescues sloth bear baited with explosives-laced food by poachers in India

Poachers have resorted to baiting food with explosives to catch bears in southern India, an animal rescue group says.

Wildlife SOS rescued a sloth bear from a gully in Ramanagara, on the outskirts of the Bangalore city of Karnataka, after it was found in a critical condition with internal injuries.

The bear was found with huge internal injuries to its mouth, neck and head.

“Based on X-rays I can see multiple fractures in both lower and upper jaws, travelling all the way to the skull,” Wildlife SOS veterinarian director Dr Arun A Sha said in a statement provided to the ABC.

Together with the forestry department, a four-man team from Wildlife SOS tranquilised the bear, before carrying it to a waiting cage and taking it to urgent care.

The animal rescue group said “bleeding profusely and barely able to move, the bear could have passed off as dead had it not been for its agonised whimpering”.

Wildlife SOS co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan said the “crude” explosives method was often used by poachers to kill wild boars and other game, but now bears were being targeted.

“These crude, locally made bombs are concealed inside food baits and curious wild animals are tricked into biting into them,” he said.

“The result is often devastating and causes the head or mouth parts to explode, leaving the animal to die a slow and very painful death while waiting for the poachers to retrieve their prize.

“This is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and of convicted the poachers could be punished with a jail sentence of between three to seven years.”

According to Wildlife SOS, while the practice of dancing bears is less common, sloth bears are still poached for their use in Chinese medicines and gourmet cuisine in South-East Asia.

The male bears are poached for their reproductive organs and gall bladders which are key ingredients in aphrodisiacs.

Sloth bears are among four of Asia’s five bear species banned from international commercial trade under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Bear a ‘Champ’ during surgery

Dubbed “Champ” by the Wildlife SOS team, the sloth bear is being fed intravenously after an intense five-hour surgery.

Bone fragments and maggots were removed during the surgery and the bear is moving on its own.

In a Facebook post, Wildlife SOS said the bear was “quite friendly for a wild bear” and seemed comfortable around vets and keepers.

While the bear is slowly recovering, the group said it may have suffered damage to the optic nerve, causing partial vision impairment.

The state of Karnataka in southern India is home to a large population of sloth bears.

Over the years, the natural habitat has deteriorated due to increasing human encroachment and the bears’ population in the wild is threatened due to poaching, illegal trading of bear parts and man-animal conflicts.



Instead of buying yet more teddy bears and stuffed animals toys for kids who already have enough, a donation on their behalf to help the real bears and the really stuffed animals might be a better gift that gives many times by

  • helping animals,
  • not creating more landfill
  • promoting empathy in the next generation.

I always worry about the conditions of poor workers in factories as well, another good reason to buy less/buy second hand/buy responsibly.

Another bonus… is hard to know what to do with much loved cuddly toys once grown-up-dom is reached – op shops don’t want them, storing them is cumbersome and throwing them out is heart wrenching…like real animals, less is a lighter mental and physical load!


Wildlife SOS was established in 1995 by a small group of individuals inspired to start a movement and make lasting change to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth. Today, the organisation has evolved to actively work towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities or those communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance.

India’s wildlife is under severe threat – every animal from the majestic elephant and the tiger, to the shy sloth bear and rare pangolins have fast become “the hunted”. While time is running out for these creatures, it’s not too late to help. Wildlife SOS consistently makes a difference to give back to the planet, to give back to nature and help protect the environment and wildlife.

Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani with their shared enthusiasm, dedicated themselves to the mission of eradicating the abusive practice of ‘dancing’ bears in India completely.The initial days were very difficult due to lack of support and funding. Geeta’s foresight in creating Wildlife SOS as an arm of her existing rescue operation, Friendicoes, allowed the two organizations to share knowledge and resources as the team learned and made its way through the initial challenges of addressing the needs of urban wildlife suffering from habitat encroachment a result of the surging population growth in India.


“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World”

– Mahatma Gandhi


Week 26 Animals Asia (Asia)

Today it is interntional yoga day, the shortest/longest day of the year and the first solstice full moon in more than 50 years! 

The early Native Americans did not record time by using the months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Many tribes kept track of time by observing the seasons and lunar months.

The mid summer full moon was named by the indigenous American Algonquin people as the ‘strawberry’ moon as it was seen at the best time to pick ripening fruit.  (The ‘harvest moon’ that many people are familiar with occurs in autumn…the time for harvesting grain, corn, pumpkins etc- this was known as the ‘Full Corn Moon’ by the Algonquin tribes).


But I am more of a Gregorian calendar kind of animal, and that means…

 *Drumroll* It is also the equal halfway week mark of 52charities52weeks!

My, my. Haven’t the pages grown up quickly, I can hardly recognise them.

Lots of big news events coming up in the remainder of this calendar, and it brings to mind a regular rant that my partner is sick of hearing so I will purge now…

Why are paid ‘psychics’ not liable the same scrutiny of standard as any other business?

Surely they should be able to at least predict the outcome of Brexit, new Aussie pm and new U.S. president…I leave it to you to look up and see if you can find a convincing answer to these if you are interested.  Suffice it to say that I can see why agencies still take bets on such thing since the predictions seem no more consistent than anybody’s guess…so here are my unadventurous guesses :  Remain, Turnbull, Clinton.

John Edward was on The Project the same week as the MH370 disappeared.  Steve Price asked him about it and he had N.F.I., just like the rest of us.  And why did it take so long to find what happened to poor Daniel Morecombe, and more recently to find out that Daniel O’Keefe wasn’t missing, but was unfortunately deceased and under his parents house the whole time – in spite of approaches to the family by many self proclaimed ‘psychics’.

Even if someone is uncannily right 50% of the time and utterly wrong the other 50%, it isn’t the kind of surgeon or pilot you would trust, is it?  I wonder how many believers would trust a psychic enough to play Russian Roulette under their guidance?

People will come up with excuses for outright untruths (‘maybe the ‘universe’ didn’t want such and such to be known’), selectively remember ‘hits’, no matter how open to interpretation (‘you’re going to have an incident involving a car’) while quickly forgetting all the trivial waffle and non-starters that fill out the paid time in between (I see someone, it could be your grandmother, giving you flowers’).  FFS Show me the sherry instead, grandma, if it was really you, you know what I’d prefer.

Mmm …imaginary cream sherry from a dead person…yum yum!

The cover of a 1928 booklet detailing Houdini's spirit exposés.

Houdini despised ‘vultures who prey on the bereaved’.  Derren Brown is another showman who is out to debunk claims of the paranormal, though people are skeptical about his claims to the power of psychologial mastery too.

Nobody ever claimed the $1million prize offered in the Randi Paranomal challenge (begun in 1964 and terminated without payment in 2015), or as yet, the $100,000 Australian Skeptics prize, offered since 1980.

ASI $100k cheque 2012.png

I am not saying it’s not possible that some claims to psychic powers may be true, but like any other industry, particularly one that appeals so much to people at vulnerable times in their lives, how about some oversight of ‘insights’?

…and if I seem like just an ignorant muggle being harsh…just ask any psychic you meet if they think there are frauds out there! 🙂

I have rambled this far down without any mention of animals.  So here is a Pete Helliar-worthy segue… What this boils down to is disappointment at people getting free money, adulation and a trust, free from independant enquiry.

We should all ask questions about everything – including why the hell are so many people, who would NEVER buy a carton of cage eggs, more than happy to buy them in other guises – at a restaurant, in desserts, in packaged foods?

RSPCA “Choose Wisely” – humane food campaign

My crystal ball is P.E.T., the ley lines around here are all wrong and there must be a disbeliever in the vicinity blocking my qi, cos I still have no idea of this week’s charity…I will leave it to the Google gods….


Ok Google gods,lets go…



Yulin Dog Meat Festival 2016: China Summer Solstice Event Is Still Happeing …

International Business Times

Jun 8, 2016 – In the face of continuing inaction from officials in southern China, activists and animal welfare groups around the world are still struggling to put …

In the face of continuing inaction from officials in southern China, activists and animal welfare groups around the world are still struggling to put an end to a summer solstice celebration that is said to result in the slaughter of thousands of dogs every year. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival, in Guangxi province, has been the focus of an intense international awareness campaign for a number of years, with activists hoping to pressure Chinese officials to put a stop to it, but the annual event is reportedly still taking place later this month.

Each year for the festival, an estimated 10,000 dogs are shipped to Yulin, where they are killed for their meat and served in restaurants, according to media reports and animal rights groups. Most of the animals are either strays or pets that are stolen off the streets and sold into the dog meat trade. While other countries in Asia have banned the sale and consumption of dog meat, the practice remains legal in China.



The Chinese calendar names each year after and animal.And each year Chinese businesses get fat/a fat from profits of sales of cutesy paraphenalia, but what is anyone doing to help the real animals?  I can’t stand this hypocritical taking of an animal’s image in vain.

Don’t worry about taking God’s name in vain, he is big enough to look after himself. What about taking away dogs’ pain?

I just found out that 2018 is the year of the dog.  Let’s hope that it really is. And not just for the sake of selling some cheap disposable crap…at least it will be locally made though…!



Animals Asia


Who We Are

Founded in 1998, Animals Asia promotes compassion and respect for all animals and works to bring about long-term change. We work to end the barbaric bear bile trade, which sees over 10,000 bears kept on bile farms in China, and, according to official figures, about 1,200 suffering the same fate in Vietnam.

Animals Asia has rescued over 500 bears, caring for them at its award-winning bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam.

Animals Asia also works to end the trade in dogs and cats for food in China and Vietnam, and lobbies to improve the welfare of companion animals, promote humane population management and prevent the cross border export of “meat dogs” in Asia.

In addition, Animals Asia campaigns for an end to abusive animal practices in zoos and safari parks in Asia, and works closely with governing authorities to improve animal management and increase awareness of the welfare needs of captive animals.


Payroll giving

I greatly support the work of Animals Asia and have supported them through pre-tax payroll deducted workplace giving for about 12 years.  If you are interested, you should be able to ask any workplace with a modern payroll system to set it up and promote it amongst employees…the employer can use their participation as a promotion tool to make them look good too!


Here is another US based charity which is also trying to bring an end to the suffering:

The moral of this week is…if you’ve got a fortune burning a hole in your pocket, a reliable charity may be a better recipient of it than a spurious teller of fortunes 🙂


Week 15 Giving a Future Animal Aid (Myanmar)

This is a good news week!

Family members welcome a student protest leader as he arrives for his trial in Tharrawaddy.

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi has vowed to press for the release of political prisoners and student activists, hinting that a mass amnesty may be imminent as her government seeks to stamp its mark on power in the former junta-run nation

Ms Suu Kyi’s administration, stacked full of democracy activists who spent years incarcerated by the military, took power last week, ending nearly half a century of repressive army domination.’s-suu-kyi-vows-to-press-for-political-prisoner-release/7309462

It is also good news for non-human animals as along with the country and its prisons opening up, so are some new charities dedicated to helping animals.

Giving a Future Animal Aid

Giving a Future Animal Aid

This charity caught my eye because it doesn’t run a shelter, instead it is dedicated to helping animals who are living on the streets, therefore reaching out to a larger number than they could otherwise afford.   It is based overseas (Norway), so has more freedom to speak out than domestically based ones.  It has a great website if you are interested in learning more about this relatively unknown country.

According to the the site, Myanmar has approximately 3.5 milion stray dogs.

Giving a Future helps animals and people through :

– Population control though neuter-spay-release programs;

– Rabies vaccinations;

– Curing parasitic infections and mange;

– Helping paralysed and wounded animals to a secure home/shelter and

– Raising awareness of hidden cruel activities in the country such as the many puppy mills, butchering of dogs for game, and the illegal meat trade (sale of dogs) to China.


I wish peace and a brighter future to all of the people and animals of Myanmar.

I wonder what life was like for my Burmese great-great-grandmother?