Category: Wildlife

Week 43 Save the Tasmanian Devil (Australia)

“Yet doe I feare thy Nature, It is too full o’ th’ Milke of humane kindnesse.”

Macbeth, 1605

 

When Lady Macbeth spoke of ‘the Milke of humane kindnesse’, she was referring to benevolence or compassion.

Sadly actual milk is the product of anything but.

There is more cruelty in a glass of milk than there is in a piece of beef.  Dairy cows are kept alive as living factories, they are forcibly impregnated, only to have their babies stolen from them and either killed as veal or turned into the next generation of slaves. We steal their milk. Then, when their bodies are spent, they are sent off to slaughter. 

The vast majority of dairy cows worldwide are not grazing on green pastures but spend their lives on cement floors in industrial facilites. 

All this for a product we don’t need. 

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/is-there-more-cruelty-in-a-glass-of-milk-or-pound-of-beef/

A couple of months ago cockroach milk was crawling all over the media as the next ‘superfood’.

Sounds revolting, but so is cows milk if you haven’t been socialised to accept it!

Two tiny Tasmanian Devil joeys

The latest is Tasmanian devil milk  which is being investgated for its potential to cast an evil eye at cancer and superbugs.

Is there actually anything we won’t milk?!

Cockroaches and devils obviously only produce tiny amounts of milk which is difficult to get, so in both cases science is working on creating a replica product in a laboratory.

Clearly, where there is a will there is a way. 

When will we finally change another equation and take the cow out of the milk, rather than the milk out of the cow?

 

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Image result for save the tasmanian devil

http://www.tassiedevil.com.au/tasdevil.nsf

Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is a rare infectious cancer that is spreading through wild Tasmanian devil populations. The Tasmanian devil has been listed as Endangered by the Federal and State governments, as well as the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The Tasmanian devil is now wholly protected. Find out more…

The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) was established in 2003 following concern for the decline of the Tasmanian devil due to DFTD. The core activity of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments and is overseen by a Steering Committee. The Program is co-ordinated by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE).

 

While devils are dying of facial tumours we are looking at what’s in their milk for us.

Let’s hope that this discovery is used to benefit them as well.  .

Let’s let the milke of our humane kindnesse flow.

 

Image result

 

Ps: A Great 3 part documentary series began airing this week and will continue on Thurs 27/10 and 3/11/16 on SBS at 7.30pm

http://www.sbs.com.au/food/programs/for-the-love-of-meat

Pps: This article came out the morning after I posted..weird!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-22/australians-slowly-turning-to-alternative-milks/7949890

Milk may be ‘more nutritious’ but most of the health problems in the west are due to over-nutrition … cows’ milk is designed for baby calves, not adult humans.

I feel sorry for the farmers too, I grew up in that world.  But I feel more sorry for the cows.

It is so easy to make your own nut milk – I blend twelve raw cashews and two dates along with 250ml of hot or cold water, tea or coffee.  I love to add in cacao and chai powder as well.

If you want AMAZING cheesy sauce go here.  Use stock powder if you don’t have nutritional yeast.  You can add turmeric for a golden colour.

 

 

 

Week 41 World Animal Day (International)

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

 World Animal Day!

world animal day.png

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

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.

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teddy

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!

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http://wildlifesos.org/

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.

 leopard_landing

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

– Mahatma Gandhi

Week 32 Tapir Specialist Group (Brazil)

vego hello

I have mentioned before that people react in strange ways when they find out you are vego…it starts to wear as thin as pay outs on Collingwood supporters.  After nearly finishing this post I discovered there is a new book about it.

Richard Cornish’s book ‘My Year Without Meat’ was discussed on 774 ABC Drive today. He found that in Australia many people ‘hate vegetarians and have no respect for people who choose to sit outside the dominant paradigm‘. Is it discomfort from seeing people who choose to live by their conscience instead of feigning ignorance? Fear of change? Guilt or just mob mentality?  I am not sure but I personally got another trifecta today, so I am going back over old ground.

If people are willing to criticise those who chose not to eat meat, and defend their right to eat whatever they please, they should also be willing to watch documentaries such as Earthlings and Cowspiracy with their eyes wide open and know exactly what it is that they are supporting.  

If they still go on to tell you how much they love animals…

                                                                   …  run  …

…they are clearly a sociopath!

tumblr_lt8kd6g6DJ1r2g25po1_400tumblr_lrbb7gjqkp1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the defensive approachI absolutely love animals but I could never be vego – I tried it once but I’m a special case, my body needs MEAT!

Well, my body tells me it needs beer and chips too, but I think it just might be more a case of want, rather than need.  During exercise it is usually the mind that cops out before the body, and I think with most failed diets it is the same.

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…there’s the fatalistic approach – It’s natural, survival of the fittest, always been done that way etc etc.

Well, cannibalism (see week 30) and/or infanticide have also featured strongly in most cultures for most of human history.  Things can, and should change as our empathy and understanding evolve.

tumblr_lr3ji0f7pc1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the taste/convenience approach –  It is too hard to be vego and I don’t have enough time.  I couldn’t live without ____.

I agree it takes a bit more planning but it is getting easier and easier and yummier and yummier.  There are many pre-made vegetarian options now available – ok, many are quite processed, but at least the ingredients are listed there.  There is nothing natural about most of the meat we are sold either but all the crap that has gone into that isn’t listed on the label…imagine if your meat came with a true list of ingredients , it could look something like this:

GMO soy (from the Amazon); GMO corn (whatever is left over after making bio-diesel); ground up offal, fat and feathers; faeces; antibiotics; growth promoting hormones; vitamins; minerals; preservatives. 

tumblr_lr6buvBHG11r2g25po1_400

…there’s the frankly pathetic approach – ‘Aww, but what about poor plants, they have feelings too’.

Yes I have no doubt that they do – I feel guilty cutting off a broccoli stem, or pulling out a lettuce.  I understand the motivation of ethical fruitarians who only want to consume what falls from plant without harming the plant itself.  However for a meat eater to come out with this line is just stupid.  Most of the animals we eat have a a central nervous system like ours which we clearly know is capable of experiencing extreme pain and fear as well as concern for our offspring and ourselves.  Also the animals we eat eat plants to grow big and strong.  They eat a lot more to make the meat that we eat than we would need directly to make our own meat ourselves.  So people who care about plants REALLY should be vego.  Or fruitarian.  Or breatharian.

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…there’s the logical leap of faith approach – S/he got sick=Must be because they are vegetarian.

Just ignore all the healthy vegos and the sick trenchermen out there and this theory is absolutely, very, almost, just about watertight.

trencherman

noun, plural trenchermen.
1.

a person who has a hearty appetite; a heavy eater.
2.

Archaic. a hanger-on; parasite.

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…there’s also the attack is the best defence approach You smug, tofu munching hippies are killing the AMAZON!! My diet is better because I won’t eat soy!!   Oh, really?

veggie-burger-main-main

Few of us are aware how much soy we eat. A typical beef burger can contain meat raised on soy meal, margarine containing soy, mayonnaise with soy lecithin and soy additives in the bread bun.

Soy is used as an ingredient in many baked and fried products, as well as margarine, in frying fats, or bottled as cooking oil. Lecithin derived from soy is one of the most common additives in processed foods, found in anything from chocolate bars to smoothies.

Around 75% of soy worldwide is used for animal feed, especially for poultry and pigs.

19% processed for its by-products including lecithin and soy oil which is used both as a consumable and a growing source of biodiesel.  Not to mention being the base of choice for fancy scented candles

6% of soybeans are used directly as food, mainly in Asian countries such as China, Japan and Indonesia. Whole beans may be eaten as a vegetable, or crushed and incorporated into tofu, tempeh, soya milk or soy sauce.

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/soyreport/soy_and_its_uses/

The amazon is being clear felled to grow soy to feed animals and produce increasing amounts of bio-diesel.  They didn’t build the BR-163 ‘soy highway’  for the benefit of us vegos, but if you want to be double sure, make sure your soy products don’t contain beans from Brazil.
Part of the 1,700km long BR-163 ‘Soy Highway’ which runs through the heart of the Amazon basin.
People seem to spend more time worrying about what I put into my body than what they put into theirs. Weird old world, hey!

Lucky being vego rocks!

 

vegos_______________________________________________________________

From one vego to another, I want to say cheers to tapirs!  These ancient rainforest dwellers need all the help they can get.

Tapirs look something like pigs with trunks, but they are actually related to horses and rhinoceroses. This eclectic lineage is an ancient one—and so is the tapir itself. Scientists believe that these animals have changed little over tens of millions of years.

Tapirs have a short prehensile (gripping) trunk, which is really an extended nose and upper lip. They use this trunk to grab branches and clean them of leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. All four tapir species are endangered or threatened, largely due to hunting and habitat loss.

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/tapir/

 

http://www.tapirs.org/

tapir

About Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative – Brazil

Promoting the research and conservation of lowland tapirs and their remaining habitats in Brazil

Awards
2004 – Harry Messel Conservation Leadership Award, IUCN
2008 – Golden Ark Award, Golden Ark Foundation, Netherlands
2008 – Whitley Award, Whitley Fund for Nature, UK
2011 – DICE Research Prize, Kent University, UK

Lets fill the world with more tapirs, more love and less hate.

good samaritan

Every little bit counts…whoever did this is wonderful, the extra nice thing is that lots of people left the $10 in the envelope for someone needier than them…

Week 24 Local Sherlock Holmes Part II (Australia)

There has been a lot of animal news recently.  The ongoing removal of tigers, living and dead – both whole and in body parts – from the ‘Tiger Temple’ in Thailand is yet another reminder to travellers to please not support  the ‘animals as entertainment’ industry.

tiger-temple2.jpg

Thailand tiger ‘slaughterhouse’ discovered by police at temple following tip-off

Crocodiles and sharks continue to do what comes naturally to them.  In turn, with the killing of Harambe the gorilla, humans did what comes naturally to us, which is to look after ourselves and our own kind first… especially when there is a high risk of being sued!

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People like saying ‘life is precious’, but they usually don’t really  mean it.  Otherwise they wouldn’t support the premature termination of precious lives by buying bits of dead animals.

We often don’t even mean human lives are precious, or we would do more to help our desperate brothers and sisters out there, instead of helping ourselves to another piece of chocolate cake .  If you do believe in all human lives are precious, the children of Rafiki Mwema in Kenya would benefit greatly from your support.

If we’re honest, what most of us really mean is just our lives and a those of few individuals selected by us are precious.  Which I guess is quite a natural way for the apex predator to think.

Just looking at the way existence plays fast and loose with lives, it certainly is hard to see any evidence that life is objectively precious at all…

aamosaic

 

Subjectively, of course, is a different matter.


Nature is certainly not kind, but fortunately humans can choose to be.

 

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Survival of the fittest has created a natural world that is full of traps for players of all ages. Most of us know better than to pick strange fungi and eat them, but who would have thought that grass could be a lethal killer?

Last week I wrote about the sickness affecting kangaroos in our local area.  A professional  autopsy has since shown it to be the result of chronic phalaris toxicity – poisoning caused by naturally present alkaloids in a common pasture grass.  Since the finding we have spoken to a number of people and have found the problem to be quite widespread, as is the grass.  It is also affecting some lambs.  This year it may be particularly bad because of the long dry spell followed by rapid growth after good autumn rains.

Farmers can in many ways control what their livestock eats, but kangaroos range and graze widely.  By the time they are showing signs of toxicity, it is probably already too late to help them.  (See video of a strongly affected eastern grey kangaroo here.)

Sometimes it is hard to know how best to be kind.  I think I would like someone to euthanase me if I was in that state, but other people might answer differently…especially people who truly do believe that life quantity  (regardless of quality) is precious.

To euthanase or not euthanase?  That is the question.

In the case of chronic phalaris toxicity in kangaroos, this may be the kindest option available.  It is illegal to kill a kangaroo without permission so please contact a local wildlife carer or the government department responsible for wildlife for further help. (In Victoria, it is DELWP).

One lucky thing for animals is that euthanasia is an option available to them.

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Why can’t humans be given the same option?

We defend the concept of ‘freedom’ yet still put up with the government denying us even the basic the right to end our own lives on our own terms. Why?

 aagreens

 

Week 23 Local ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (Australia)

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Hound of the Baskervilles

And so it is with many kangaroos at the moment.

We have been spending a lot of time in the Macedon Ranges area since Easter last year, and since the beginning were noticing odd kangaroos that were affected by something strange.

I wondered if it was poisoning or something else.  In mid 2015 I went online and found a 2012 Melbourne university report mentioning similar symptoms and rang Pam Whitely who is named in the report, to find out more.

Kangaroos and Wallabies. We are keen to investigate reports of incoordinated, wobbly or apparently blind macropods. Kangaroo blindness virus is spread by midges. Phalaris staggers from pasture, and toxoplasmosis (from cat faeces) are other possible causes of incoordination and death. Eye and nasal discharge, sneezing and tail twitching have also been reported. If you see kangaroos or wallabies with any of these signs of disease, please contact us.

It turned out that there were still many questions and she was keen for us to try and get the body of an affected kangaroo to them for examination.  The catch was that they needed the brain intact and it needed to be delivered to the university on a weekday.

If you must shoot a kangaroo, a head shot is the only ‘humane’ way*.   So what to do?

I rang a local rescuer with a tranquiliser gun and he said he would be very happy to come out and help.  The only problem was the terrain is quite challenging and you can’t ever know when you will come across an affected kangaroo, and despite their symptoms, they can still disappear, fast.

Time got away, and it seemed to settle down, but now many rescuers are being called out to kangaroos that appear ‘drunk’.

We spoke to one carer who swore it was the phalaris, a common pasture grass,

Image result for phalaris pasture grass

and another who swore it wasn’t.  Video of one kangaroo affected by phalaris seems similar but different to what we are seeing. The fact is, nobody seems to know for sure and it is not something that has been identified in central Victoria before.

But now appears to be increasingly common.

One local rescuer, the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ of the title, wants a definitive answer and so she jumped onboard with us.  She asked us to get a video and she arranged another rescuer to come out with a tranquiliser gun.  We took a video that I will post on YouTube once we have some answers.  Here are some grainy captures to highlight points we have observed in these roos.

Often, but not always alone.  If in a mob they will be the last to hop off.  Ears are often out flat.  Look ‘vagued out’.  Sometimes shake heads. Will let you get up closer than a healthy roo.  Will be aware of your presence, but sometimes will look in your direction but seem not to see you.  Often underweight.

 

When they do hop off it will be awkward, not in a straight line, many bounces are in a twisted motion and higher than usual.  Badly affected ones will often fall over and roll on the ground and have difficulty getting up.

We did find a kangaroo who appeared to be affected  (though not as badly as the one pictured)  while we had the two wonderful rescuers there.  Of course, conclusions will be hard to draw from one examination alone, as kangaroos can be affected by a large number of miseries (not the least of them being humans) but it is a hop in the right direction.

Thank you to the rescuers for their dedication to helping our native wildlife and to Melbourne Uni for its invaluable expertise.  I will update with their findings when I hear back.

8 June 2016 Results have come back from testing and the kangaroo tested positive for chronic phalaris toxicity…the grass is to blame after all. Caligula would have it whipped. Or at least whipper-snipped.  We have since heard of many more apparent cases in the area.   More in Week 24.

 

“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence…”

Albert Einstein

*Before defending the barely regulated kangaroo killing industry, please ask how often do you think pissed cowboy shooters can hit a fast moving kangaroo accurately in its small head?

It is hard enough to accurately shoot an injured kangaroo at close range.  I’ve seen it and it’s not pretty.

 

Week 22 Wild About Wildlife (Australia)

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Poor Johnny Depp is having a weekus horribilis.  In a week of significant personal turmoil, a tomato he threw also came back to pulp him.  Barnaby Joyce had a surprisingly insightful response to his schoolyard insult:

“I’m inside his head, I’m pulling little strings and pulling little levers,” Joyce said in response to Depp’s comments that he “looks somehow inbred with a tomato”.

“Long after I’ve forgotten about Mr Depp, he’s remembering me.

“I’m turning into his Hannibal Lecter.”

Barnaby Joyce, who is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture is not far off the mark when he compares himself to a sadistic serial killer.  He believes increasing live export is a sign of progress, and shows absolutely no compassion towards the animals covered by his portfolio.

So what hope is there for our native wildlife-seemingly the ‘farmers’ enemy number one’ when we have the ‘farmers’ best mate’  pulling big and little strings?

Some small hope – it is an election year…so please urgently make your voice heard with your local candidates via this RSPCA petition – it will open in a new tab, so click on it NOW!

 

RSPCA Election 2016 petition

 

aahl

 

RSPCA Election 2016 petition

 

Fortunately there are people with both brave and kind hearts out there, sadly they generally aren’t attracted to a political career.

Lisa from Wild about Wildlife is one such person.  She’s no slouch on the good come back either, as I just saw on her Facebook page- this started with a pea brain describing a roo that survived being hit by a car as a ‘lucky one’:

WAW

 

Fuckin human,s!!!

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Wild About Wildlife

aawaw

Just like the wonderful family who started Rudozem Dog Shelter in Bulgaria (Week 21),  and Pam Ahern from Edgar’s Mission (Week 14 ), Lisa didn’t set out to become a wildlife carer, it happened organically and has grown into a full time commitment for her from there.

She is a wealth of knowledge which she is more than happy to share with anybody who will take the time to listen and learn.

Some tips if you see injured wildlife:

Even injured  animals can move fast, running on adrenaline and fear – try not to scare an animal away from where it can be accessed by a rescuer for assessment.

If  you need to approach, move quietly and slowly towards it, keeping your eyes down.  Approaching in a car or in a squatting ‘frog walk’ can help lessen the animal’s fear.

If you can’t wait by the animals, know and provide exact and very clear location details – GPS, picture, distance in metres from landmarks all help – animals are designed to blend into the environment.

If you can wait around for the rescuer – great!  Please don’t be offended if they are short on chatter and are focussed on the task.  Every rescue presents new challenges and unknowns for rescuers, who, don’t forget are volunteers.  Do comply with their directions. And don’t be upset with them if they consider euthanasia to be the kindest option.

If you can approach the animal without it running away, think of body temperature – if the weather is really hot, shade it and try and keep it cool.  If it is really cold, cover it to keep it warm.

Keep rescue numbers in your phone Rescue numbers-throughout australia

SLOW DOWN, scan the road and roadside ahead when in the country, and don’t install barbed wire or ringlock fencing if you own property.

Finally, please Donate!!! 🙂

 

Donations to Wild about Wildlife

 

WAW just had a story featured on U.S. animal news website The Dodo. 

Kangaroo Loves Helping Mom Feed His New Baby Brother

 

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Sorry, Australian government, I have to agree with Johnny on one thing, stop wasting taxpayers money on follies like chasing two millionaires around the world, and then fining them a pathetic $1000. Start spending some money on helping our land’s beleaguered original inhabitants.

If you don’t, and I ever meet a magic genie, I will wish for you all be made to sit through every ‘quirky’ Johnny Depp fillum ever made…

 

…a more cruel and unsual punishment than even Hannibal could come up with…

 

aahl

 

…but not quite as cruel as Barnaby.*

 

 

RSPCA Election 2016 petition

* to give BJ some credit, he was very considered in his response to the news of JD’s announced divorce.  There is a heart in there!

Week 18 Born Free Foundation (UK/International)

(Heart) Breaking news: Right after publishing this post I found this repulsive news on the abc news feed

 Cambodian elephant ride operator ‘regretful’ after animal dies ferrying tourists in 40-degree heat.

The female elephant, aged between 40–45, died by the roadside on Friday after carrying tourists around Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple complex outside Siem Reap.

Photos were widely shared on social media, prompting calls for Cambodia to reform the already controversial elephant ride industry.

Asian elephants only live to around 40 years old, so this is like saddling up your grandma and riding her on a 40 degree day, when she should be relaxing with a sherry and many years retired.

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Tourist elephant riding in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I just sent an email to some friends and family.

Hi friends and fam!

I just found this article on the ABC newsfeed and it brought back some regrets of mine and a hope we can all work toward a better future for these animals:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-26/tripadvisor-profiting-from-‘cruel’-animal-entertainment/7351292

If you know anyone who is planning on travelling to a destination where animals are exploited for the benefit of tourists, please encourage them not to support this industry in its many guises. 

Even when it seems like we may be helping, we are probably just perpetuating profit driven uses/abuses. (This includes many animal ‘orphanages’.)

I have been short-sighted enough to pay money to ‘feed cucumbers to an elephant’ in Bangkok, to give money to a homeless guy with puppies in Japan and to ride an elephant in India (after allowing pressure to override my misgivings).

I regret these actions of mine, all of which helped entrench animal exploitation for profit.  I hope I can do better in future.

Cheers,

(Not necessary, but if you would like to sign it, there is the petition is below, I did, though I wouldn’t recommend giving them any financial support.  They only score one star on Charity Navigator.)

World Animal Protection (WAP) is the new name for the organisation previously known as WSPA.
http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/wildlife-not-entertainers

 

The world’s cruellest attractions

TripAdvisor is profiting from some of the world’s cruellest types of wildlife tourist attractions. Whether it is riding elephants, taking selfies with tigers, or performing dolphin shows, TripAdvisor is promoting and profiting from attractions that involve lifelong suffering for wild animals.

Last year Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) analysed 24 different types of wildlife attractions across the world. They rated them based on welfare and conservation criteria – we used this information and combined it with our own research to identify 10 of the world’s cruellest types of attractions.

By selling tickets through their subsidiary company Viator or promoting them with Certificates of Excellence, TripAdvisor is profiting from and promoting all of the following types of cruel wildlife tourism entertainment.

Riding elephants

In order to make elephants submit to elephant rides and other human interactions, they are taken from their mothers when babies and forced through a horrific training process known as ‘the crush’. It involves physical restraints, inflicting severe pain and withholding food and water. By the time tourists come to ride an elephant, it may look at peace, but this is because its spirit has been broken. The bullhook, used permanently, reminds the animal of human dominance.

The cruelty does not end after the crush. When not performing or used for rides most elephants are kept on chains, unable to socially interact with one another. This is hugely damaging to their physical and psychological wellbeing.

Taking tiger selfies

Tiger cubs are separated from their mothers at an early age so they can be used as photo props for hours on end. They are handled and hugged by tourists and typically kept chained or in small cages with concrete floors.

In Thailand we found 10 venues housing around 614 tigers. Although Thailand is a hub of cruel tiger tourism it is also prevalent in other parts of Asia, Australia, Mexico and Argentina.

Walking with lions

Lion cubs are bred and taken from their mothers typically within a month of birth to supply the growing lion tourism industry, mostly located in Southern Africa. Tourists handle the cubs for hours and pose with them for photos. They are also often told to hit the cubs if they display aggressive or unwelcome behaviour.

When the cubs grow too big for tourists to pick up and hug – but are still young enough to control – they are used for the relatively new walking with lions tourist experience. The lions are trained to ‘safely’ walk with tourists, sometimes on leads.

These lions face a lifetime in captivity as they cannot be released into the wild.

Holding sea turtles

The world’s last remaining sea turtle farm that acts as a tourist attraction is in The Cayman Islands. Here, tourists can hold turtles and even eat them during their visit.

Suffering from stress and disease, sea turtles live a tortured life at the Cayman Turtle Farm. They often panic when they are handled and it has been known for tourists to drop them, causing significant injuries which can kill turtles.

Performing dolphins

Millions of tourists visit dolphinaria, but they are unaware of the cruelty and abuses the dolphins endure to perform in shows.

Whilst it is banned in countries like the US, many performing dolphins around the world are still captured in the wild. They are often chased by high-speed boats before being hauled on board or caught in nets. For many, the stress is too much to take and they die during transportation to their intended destinations.

Whether wild caught or captive bred, dolphins in dolphinaria face a lifetime of suffering. They spend their entire lives in a space not much bigger than a swimming pool – completely unnatural and restrictive compared to their natural open sea environment.

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Thank you World Animal Protection for taking on this campaign, it is wonderful and very worthwhile.

However I will choose to give my money to another charity as I am not really heartened by your one star rating on Charity Navigator.

This week I hope I am choosing wisely by supportingindex

Born Free

From small beginnings, the Born Free Foundation has grown into a global force for wildlife.  But a personal passion for wild animals and desire for positive change remain at our heart.  Described by The Times as ‘Big enough to make a difference, but small enough to care,’ Born Free is not a big anonymous organisation, but a family of like-minded people who share the same goals. 

Our  major international projects are devoted to animal welfare, conservation and education, and protect lions, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, polar bears, wolves, dolphins, turtles, sharks and lots more.  Through our Global Initiatives project we respond to emergency situations worldwide, participate in international coalitions such as the Species Survival Network, run the People & Wildlife project with Oxford University’s WildCru department, and much much more.

 

Keep wildlife in the wild!!