Category: Reptiles

Week 41 World Animal Day (International)

Today is the 4th of October which means it’s…..

 World Animal Day!

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THE GOAL OF WORLD ANIMAL DAY IS TO RAISE THE STATUS OF ANIMALS IN ORDER TO IMPROVE WELFARE STANDARDS AROUND THE GLOBE

To achieve this, we encourage animal welfare organisations, community groups, youth and children’s clubs, businesses and individuals to organise events in celebration of World Animal Day. Involvement is growing at an astonishing rate and it’s now widely accepted and celebrated in a variety of different ways in many countries, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.

Events are organised under the World Animal Day Umbrella by being publicised on this website and advertised using the World Animal Day brand and logo. Global branding effectively ties all events together and, over the years we have found this approach to be particularly helpful to grass roots groups who struggle to attract media attention in order to raise awareness of their work and fundraise. This draws attention to animal issues and makes them front page news – a vital catalyst for change.

We currently have a team of 93 Ambassadors representing 75 countries around the globe.  (This is a great way to find out about people and organisations around the world- from Andorra to Zimbabwe- that genuinely care for animals).

Cyprus

CYPRUS – STELLA STYLIANOU
Animal Rescue & Protection Association (ARGOS)

Stella says: Animal awareness in Cyprus was non-existent before the World Animal Day events began. With each year that World Animal Day is celebrated, awareness grows and attitudes are slowly changing as people begin to see animals in a different light. 

One of the most significant statements that will forever remain imprinted in my mind was when a local village farmer visited me at the shelter following one of our World Animal Day events. A German Shepherd dog had wandered onto his farm and he brought him to our shelter.  He said that in years past, he would have shot any stray dog on his farm, dig a hole and bury it and that would be that but, he continued, “you are doing something truly wonderful and now I cannot bring myself to do such a thing.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – PAUL LUGHEMBE
Safe Environment for All (SEA)

Paul says: Our World Animal Day Campaign has increasingly reduced the abuse of animals during transportation, the killing of dogs and the mass killing of cats in the city of Goma and surrounding areas. World Animal Day is slowly swaying the attitudes of people towards respecting the rights of all animals wherever and in whatever circumstances. 

Nepal

NEPAL – KHAGESHWAAR SHARMA
Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust

Khageshwaar says: I’m delighted to tell you that World Animal Day is now being celebrated by government institutions in Nepal, such as the District Livestock Services Office, with whom we liaise to commemorate the day. 

World Animal Day events encourage people to work together to sensitise communities, making them aware of the needs of animals they live among, and also of how they can improve their lives. Creating an outlook that respects all animals is a slow process and World Animal Day acts as an annual marker to measure progress.

Australia

AUSTRALIA – PAM AHERN
Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary

Pam says: For as long as I can remember animals have shared my world and, indeed, throughout human history animals have been trotting along beside us; offering comfort, helping forge nations and a never ending source of wonder. I just love World Animal Day and the fact it is celebrated around the globe.  The day gives animal lovers an opportunity to unite, celebrate and empower much needed change for our animal friends.

To coincide with World Animal Day, the good people of Edgar’s Mission have devised

Be Kind to Animals Week.

They in turn have found a wonderful ‘lambassador’ for 2016 in Tamara Kenneally who is an animal photographer and founder of Lefty’s Place animal refuge in Benalla, Victoria.

Image result for lefty's place logo

 

I will finish with a letter I found on another Wordpress blog that seems a fitting treasure to have found on World Animal Day.

Letter to a new vegan

This was my submission for Letters to a New Vegan, a book that is being compiled by longterm vegans to welcome and support those who are just starting out. 


Dear new vegan,

Welcome. Speaking not only for myself but, boldly, for the billions of sentient beings who currently suffer at human hands, and for the straining, groaning planet, and for the people who go hungry and thirsty because we don’t know how to share: thank you for opening your eyes and acting on what you see.

I hope you will find your vegan journey to be endlessly inspiring, fulfilling and rewarding as do I and so many others I know who have chosen this path too. My motto is ‘the best things in life are cruelty-free’ and I believe this is self-evident the moment we embark on living in tune with our deepest values. There are no barriers once we have made up our minds and our hearts. Being vegan opens up possibilities while denying us nothing.

Any time you feel disconnected from people around you who still buy in to the relentless tide of mainstream thinking, remember your deep connection to those whom you have spared. Let yourself feel the lightness with which you tread and be lifted up by it. No injustice can end while we as individuals take part in it. You, for your part, are free of that now.

Of course, it is not a vegan world, and while this remains the case there is much to be done. There are countless ways to help spread the vegan consciousness, and we can fit what we do to our talents, our passions, and the time available to us. A great way to start is simply by speaking your truth. I was quiet about my veganism for the first few years, having been schooled in the art of keeping a low profile as a vegetarian growing up. I was the only one in my family and the only one of my friends bar one. I learnt to say “it’s a personal choice thing” and “I couldn’t hurt a fly”, which let people off the hook: they could attribute my choice to my sentimentality or unusual sensitivity, without looking at themselves. But about a year in to being vegan, a feeling of courage and confidence began to blossom inside me as I realised that my previous ‘live and let live’ philosophy was leaving the victims out of the equation… It wasn’t hard once this realisation dawned. I began to feel that being vegan wasn’t even about me any more. So I began to speak up, looking for bridges to build and sparks of consciousness to ignite, entirely bypassing my natural reticence and finding my true voice – for the voiceless. I hope it will be the same for you, and you find your voice at your own pace and in your own way too.

Becoming vegan sadly involves becoming aware of some heart-breaking truths, and this can be very painful to carry with us. But amidst it all – all the despair, the disbelief, the anger – we have every reason to be joyful, because we are making a difference every day. We are taking a stand for freedom and that means something for every being who is not forcibly brought into this world to be exploited and violently destroyed as a product for us to use.

The world we dream of is a paradise indeed. Space for all species to coexist, free from anthropocentric domination, suffused by a compassionate human consciousness, free from the pathological ideology of ‘carnism’ which entails an arbitrary disregard for the most basic interests of certain species even while preaching values such as kindness and non-violence in other walks of life.

You are part of this future, which need not be a far-off fantasy: all it needs is enough people to make the connection as you have. The world is vegan if we want it!

Ahimsa,

Catherine

 

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ahimsa: a Buddhist and Hindu and especially Jainist doctrine holding that all forms of life are sacred and urging the avoidance of violenceahimsa

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Week 27 Australia Zoo Wildlife Rescue (Australia)

We have climbed the ladder up to the middle of the year and now it’s time to slide down to the other end.

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Snakes have come up a few times in the past week, so this week is dedicated to them.

Unfairly maligned, they are creatures of great wonder.

Imagine being able to eat, mate and climb with no arms or legs. No wonder they can be armed to the teeth…so to speak.

The fear they instill in some humans, is also evident in the animal world.  Sometimes people can use this to their advantage, like using cucumbers ‘snakes’ to scare unsuspecting cats on YouTube…

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…or using rubber snakes to scare away birds from veggie patches.

The first seems pretty effective, I’m not so sure about the second.

I tried it to stop birds from flying into our window, but neither this or cd’s helped.

If you want to stop birds from flying into your windows, go to a cheap shop and buy static cling L or P stickers for learner drivers…any colour is fine…cut out small shapes of your choice and stick randomly over the window with gaps of about 45cm between them. You won’t even notice them there after a couple of days.

I made love hearts about 1 inch x 1 inch. It’s easy to make them even by folding the edge of the sticker over and then you can cut out both halves at once to make them even and quick.

The difference between how animals and humans respond to snakes is why I wanted to write about them today.  Most animals avoid them.  Too many humans kill them.

I was speaking to an ‘animal lover’ last week who was cheerfully justifying his killing of snakes.  That night, while reading about euthanasia for a different type of animal, we came across a section on reptiles.  What I read made me very, very sad and I would like more people to be aware of this fact…

When you decapitate a warm blooded animal, unconsciousness and brain death follows very rapidly and any movement after a short space of time can be attributed to nerves.

However.

When you decapitate a cold blooded animal, full consciousness and brain life persist…for up to an hour.

 

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The  article the extract below is taken from is titled “Decapitation of Reptiles: Inhumane for Euthanasia”.

“Some of the many ways in which reptiles are “killed” are mentioned later on but one method which is quite commonly used is decapitation. Generally speaking, in mammals and birds, for example, quickly severing the head from the rest of the body may cause immediate or near immediate loss of consciousness and a very rapid death. It might not be describable as ‘humane’ but the period of post-severance life in the head is almost certainly short. Although meaning certain death, decapitation is certainly not a rapid or humane way of killing reptiles. As hard to believe as it seems, the heads cut from reptiles live on well after the horrific event of decapitation itself. It is not a case of “nerves causing the head to move unconsciously” as most people think. The heads, and parts of the neck if still attached, are alive and some may attempt to bite objects which approach; the eyes may follow movement and the pupils contract and dilate in response to light and dark; they can blink and in the case of snakes and lizards, flick out and in their tongues to test the air for scent and even move slightly if enough of their neck is left.

“With what movement they can manage they often writhe in agony from the massive severance of tissue. They are virtually helpless, frightened and going to die. If it seems too inconceivable to be true, then think of it as being a case of animals which have had most of their bodies cut away. One might think that suffering of this kind could not be endured for long. If only that were true. Unfortunately, a problem associated with the reptilian metabolism’s ability to operate at relatively low oxygen and low blood pressure levels is that nerve tissue is, to put it simply, very tough. Therefore, the nervous system, which of course includes the brain, can function away from the rest of the body for some time. In fact, the activities of decapitated heads mentioned earlier have been recorded as present for around an hour or so. If reptiles are to be killed by physical means (rather than by, say, an injected overdose of an anesthetic), then it has to involve complete and rapid destruction of the brain; otherwise they are very likely to suffer enormously and for a long time before dying.”

 

So please don’t do it!

If you haven’t seen them before, you probably won’t see them there again.  They don’t like humans or our pets much at all. If they do persist and it bothers you, try removing any junk you have lying around that may be harbour for them and the rats and mice they feed on.

If that doesn’t work, and you’re willing to pay $50+  you can call a snake rescuer, to try and ensure the safe and humane removal of snakes. Here is a link for Victoria.

(Well mostly safe,as I was writing this I found an article about a  snake handler is Kerala. Why they didn’t leave the poor thing alone once it had disappeared underground is beyond me.)

Fortunately the next story had a happy ending, although the resident rats might disagree…Monty is now thriving in a sewerage treatment plant.

Massive python found in Mission Beach bedroom

Mr Goodwin released the python into a nearby sewage plant.

Oh and please don’t buy ANYTHING made from real snake skin…I have heard that often they are skinned alive.  Same goes for eels served as cuisine.

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I wish you and all the lovely reptiles all the best for the second half of the old year and the first half of the new financial year.

Who knows what surprises will be in store for us, since the result of Brexit showed that apparently no one can predict the future!*

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ps I’m having trouble finding any reptile charity I am comfortable supporting this week…it seems that a lot of snake removers charge for their services,  make money from displaying them, or don’t show the conditions that the ones they are rehabilitating are living in.

Most other wildlife rescuers get/ask nothing for their services… I wonder why those who deal in the cold blooded are generally so, …well…

Which reminds me to mention this:

Donations to Wildlife Victoria do not go to the frontline rescuers at all, only to the office itself.  If you want to assist the volunteers who arrive at callouts to animals, it is best to donate to them directly.  They are giving up their own time out of compassion, while also paying for their own petrol, medicines, and often, sadly, bullets.

Surprise!…It was to me tooindex

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Australia Zoo

Yes, of Steve Irwin fame.  I’m not a fan of zoos, but I just remembered someone mentioned visiting their rescue facility recently and how impressed they were with it.  After visitng their site and seeing they attend call outs from the public for free I think they definitely deserve credit (and a direct debit) for this.

About the Australia Zoo Rescue Unit

Australian Wildlife Hospital 24-hour emergency hotline
Phone: 1300 369 652

The conservation team

From koalas to Green Sea turtles, the Australia Zoo Rescue Unit is dedicated to rescuing all wildlife in need. From Brisbane to Kilcoy and beyond the team travels far and wide with a proven catch and release program in place – their aim is to successfully rescue, rehabilitate and release. The team works closely with Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors – Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to ensure each animal receives the best possible care.

The Australia Zoo Rescue Unit provides a free service to the community to rescue sick and injured wildlife and get them to the best possible veterinary treatment, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. The team are highly skilled and trained to rescue everything from road accident victims to marine animal strandings (including everything in between) and they do it all seven days a week!

A variety of specialised gear is required in any given animal emergency and theirs includes Australia Zoo Rescue vehicles decked out with a range of rescue equipment and access to watercraft for local marine rescues.

The team receive an average of 500 calls per month with most of those located in the Greater Sunshine Coast Region. The best part of the job is getting the call from the vet that the animal has recovered in their care and ready to be released back to the wild – that’s why we love what we do!

Any contributions to rescue team provide essential rescue equipment to ensure that we can provide the best service possible to the animals.

A contribution of $50 will provide the Rescue Unit with:

  • 2 Vials of Anaesthetic drugs to anesthetise Kangaroos and Wallabies to enable their safe and pain free transportation to the AWH.
  • 2 Koala poles to enable safe and stress free capture of Koalas in trees that may be suffering from illnesses or injury.
  • Large snake and Goanna bags for safe capture and transport of reptiles
  • 2 small carry cages for transport of flying foxes, birds and small mammals that are sick or injured.
  • An emergency rescue pack – Torches, Binoculars, Bandages, and Pliers (to remove animals from Barbed wire)
  • Animal Rescue First Aid Kit – Containing all the essential first aid equipment to stabilise our patients before transport to AWH!

http://wildlifewarriors.org.au/donate/

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*Now the vote has been decided, interpretations of Baba Vanga the ‘blind mystic’s’ prediction of Europe turning into a lifeless wasteland appear on Google now with claims from supporters that this is proof she had foreseen Brexit.

It sounds plausible if you overlook the fact that it was apparently a nuclear World War III, raging from 2010-2016, that she predicted as decimating Europe, rather than the democratic vote of one nation.

Mind you we still have six months left…let’s hope she’s wrong!

Week 7 Save Me Reptile Rescue (South Africa)

I’m a celebrity…get me out of here…

Image result for i'm a celebrity bugs snakes

…so how do they think the animals feel then?!

Confinement, fear, injuries…what fun! what entertainment! This show has it all – for the animals ritually exploited in this predictable format.

A ‘ploise explain’ question for Chris Brown…How can you, as a vet who is supposed to care for ALL animals, countenance a show that treats creatures as objects of entertaiment, just because we humans have deemed them to be ‘disgusting/ worthless’?

With the notable exception of the ‘celebrities’, every single animal on this show has evolved to perfection over millenia, filling its own vital niche in the real world wide web.

Even much maligned mosquitoes are an essential part of the world’s ecosystem, providing food for other animals at all stages of their lifecycle.

Of course mozzies are vectors for some serious diseases and are about as popular in the bedroom as a snorer/farter combined. All farmers/gardeners will sometimes feel like ‘it’s us against bloody &*%$ them’ (from experience!). But these are individual battles and each should be chosen wisely…noone wins if we are always at war with the ‘other’…and this also includes how we treat humans who are different to us.

Some ways to treat insects and reptiles better…

  • store buckets etc upside down so critters don’t get stuck inside and die,
  • put spiders and flies outside (a glass and a piece of paper works for spiders, a large soft cloth like a t-shirt is a good way to catch flies at a window;
  • try not to wash insects down the drain, and if you see one drowning, rescue it;
  • snakes are much more beautiful with their head attached to their bodies, and they will get away from you a lot more quickly this way too!
  • don’t keep reptiles as pets unless you really know what is best for the animal.

Let’s show integrity…instead of dumb fear!

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This week I would like to offer my apologies to the animals and people of South Africa for what we are inflicting on them.  (I would also like to offer an apology to the critters that end up as the food for carnivorous rescue animals of all types 😦 …I have had mice, rats and crickets as companions, they were all lovely, and definitely individuals with different favourite rest spots and foods… I will try and do something nice for them later!)

Save Me Reptile Rescue

 

Background to Save Me Reptile Rescue

I have been rescuing animals all my life. Even as a child people would bring injured cats, dogs and birds to me. All my life I have been doing my best to rescue rehabilitate and rehome animals. The number of animals, I have rehomed over the years are countless.

One day I fell in love with a bearded dragon I named Draco. Draco was with me all the time, he went shopping, visiting friends, on holiday, to the bush. Draco died of old age at 10 years old, and I miss him every day.

Over time I have come to realise there is a need for reptiles and exotics to be rescued. There are many institutions who rescue cats and dogs. It’s also easier to find a cute kitty or puppy a home rather than a “scary” lizard or  a snake

It brings me great pleasure when I meet a person who “would never touch a snake” and ends up leaving with the thought that “its actually quite beautiful”. I want all people to understand that snakes are not evil. In fact they are vital to our eco system.

Save Me Reptile Rescue

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So to paraphrase from their site…all creatures great and small…let’s love them all!

 

P.S. Speaking of reptiles, this morning I went out before sunrise with a torch to pick some grapes and was surprised by a velvet gecko up in the vine, munching away on them…maybe it’s a closet vego…haha!!