Saturday, October 31, 2015

Horned Animals - Markhor

First things first: you will not find the noble moose on this list. It’s not because the moose isn’t a majestic animal with equally majestic head protuberances; it’s because the moose has antlers, not horns. Antlers are made of dead bone, and are shed and regrown again every year. Horns, on the other hand, are live extensions of the skull, and stay with the animal for life. Deer and relatives of the deer, like the moose, have antlers; goats and antelope and relatives of the cow have horns. We are aware that this seems like an unnecessarily strict and nerdy distinction, and that the difference between antlers and horns may not make for good party conversation at every party. Our thought is, you should only go to parties where the difference between antlers and horns makes for good party conversation.
Markhor


Now onto the horns! Oh, man, these are good horns.

The markhor (above), according to ARKive, lives in the mountains of central Asia, adeptly climbing craggy rocks with the grace of North America’s own mountain goat. It’s extremely endangered, with an estimated 2,500 left in the wild in part due to hunting for its absurdly spectacular corkscrewed horns, which can grow to more than five feet long.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Willing to pay the ultimate price to protect animals


A baby mountain gorilla sits on her mother's shoulders on the slopes of Mount Mikeno in the Virunga National Park, Eastern DRC
A baby mountain gorilla sits on her mother’s shoulders on the slopes of Mount Mikeno in the Virunga National Park, Eastern DRC, December 12, 2008. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
Protecting the environment can be deadly.

At least two defenders fighting against environmental destruction around the world were killed each week last year. Many more people engaging in peaceful struggles to protect nature regularly face down serious threats or violence.

Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been the scene of one such struggle. Over the past 20 years, roughly 130 of its park rangers have been killed while protecting the park and its communities from rebel forces, poachers and other threats.

A park ranger carries orphaned female mountain gorillas Ndeze and Ndakasi at a protected location at Rumungabo in Virunga National Park just north of the eastern Congolese city of Goma
A park ranger carries orphaned female mountain gorillas Ndeze and Ndakasi at a protected location at Rumungabo in Virunga National Park, August 17, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly
Virunga is one of Africa’s most biologically diverse parks. More than 218 species of mammals, 706 species of birds, 109 species of reptiles and 2,000 species of flora are spread over 3,000 square miles of lush tropical forest, semi-arid savanna and snow-capped mountains. One quarter of the globe’s remaining mountain gorillas live there, as well as the endangered Zebra-like Okapi, which is found only in Congo.

In addition to rebel groups and poachers, the park has been under threat for decades from the illegal charcoal trade. Now it faces grave danger because of the arrival of the oil industry.

A coalition of community members and local groups, led by anti-corruption and environmental activists Alphonse Muhindo and Bantu Lukambo, has sought to prevent an oil company, SOCO International, from drilling in the park. The activists say that oil exploitation could irreparably damage Virunga’s fragile ecosystem, increase instability throughout the region and ravage established park programs for sustainable development and tourism.

SOCO International claims that its investments “can help alleviate the pervasive poverty that has for decades been the stimulus for much of the region’s instability and conservation’s primary threat.”
A bullet riddled sign marks the entrance to Virunga National Park in eastern Congo
A bullet-riddled sign marks the entrance to Virunga National Park, occupied by rebels and other armed militias during years of conflict near Goma in eastern Congo, August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly
Local activists, however, have argued‎ that the park would better benefit local communities if hydropower, tourism and sustainable fishing projects were developed instead. These industries have major long-term economic potential.

UNESCO has recognized Virunga as a World Heritage Site, which should protect it from industrial exploitation. World Heritage sites– whether stark ancient cities or voluptuous parkland — make up just 1 percent of the earth’s surface. Yet according to a recent study, one in three sites is at risk of being exploited because of its natural resources. The list includes Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as well as Virunga.

Muhindo and Lukambo, through their respective organizations Réseau Cref and IDPE, have spent most of their lives defending Virunga, and their efforts have led to threats against their safety. In 2012, the two men were forced to flee Congo in response to persistent anonymous death threats related to their campaign. Yet they returned a few months later, and continue speaking out against the oil project.

The struggle to protect the park was chronicled in the 2014 Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga. Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the movie follows the struggles of various individuals protecting the park, including an ex-child soldier turned park ranger, a conservationist and a French investigative journalist. It features shocking undercover footage that shows SOCO employees, contractors and allies offering bribes to and discussing payoffs with armed rebels.

The sun rises over Mount Mikeno in the Virunga National Park
The sun rises over Mount Mikeno (C) in the Virunga National Park, Eastern DRC December 12, 2008. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
After the documentary was released, SOCO commissioned an investigation into the activities shown on film. SOCO has said the review exonerated it, but critics and observers have raised concerns that the company’s investigation was partial and opaque.

Days before the movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last April, one of its protagonists, the chief warden of Virunga, was shot in the stomach and legs in eastern Congo in what has been classified as an attempted assassination. He was shot soon after he submitted a report on oil operations in Virunga to a Congolese public prosecutor. SOCO has denied any involvement in the shooting and also in the intimidation of activists.

Since the documentary was released, SOCO has scaled back its Virunga operations and promised not to drill in the park. The battle is not over, however. Congo’s government has proposed redrawing the boundaries of Virunga to allow drilling in specific areas of the park.

Sadly, the threats Muhindo, Lukambo and other environmentalists have faced are not unique. In 2014, documented killings of environmental defenders worldwide hit 116, according to Global Witness, a research nongovernmental organization. In October, the organization reported that four Peruvian activists were murdered after expressing their concerns about the environmental impact of the $7.5 billion Chinese-owned Las Bambas copper mine.

Muhindo, Lukambo, the people featured in Virunga and countless other environmental defenders deserve the recognition and support of the international community — and need it.

The international community must hold to account those who threaten, injure and kill environmental defenders. Governments must strengthen environmental safeguards and guarantee the rights of civil society to act to protect the places most precious to the planet — and to our future as a species.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

'I saved her life, while she saved mine': The animals that bring love to a life on the streets


Summer hopes for a better life for her and her cat CD. Summer hopes for a better life for her and her cat CD. Photo: Paul Jeffers
 
Summer Jackson and her cat share a common start to life – alone and without a family they wound up living on the streets.

The 20-year-old says CD Princess Cheshire chose her as her owner by meowing at her in an alley off Lygon Street, Carlton.  

"Before I found her, I was going to suicide," Ms Jackson said.

"I saved her life, while she saved mine. She needed me and I needed her. I don't know my family, she doesn't know hers."

Perched in front of a glossy high-end retailer's window in Melbourne's CBD, Ms Jackson has setup for the day, laying out a blanket, bowl of food and toys for CD, which stands for cat-dog in honour of her friendly personality.

A cardboard sign neatly explaining their predicament and asking for donations is up front.  
Behind a second sign advertising $1 pats and $5 photos, sits CD who, unusually for a cat, does not leave Ms Jackson's side.

Homeless off and on since she was aged 10, Ms Jackson fusses over her, stopping to rearrange her blanket or give her a reassuring pat as she speaks.

"When my anxiety and stuff starts playing up, I just pick her up and pat her and that helps me cope," she said.

Ms Jackson is one of a growing number of homeless people who keep pets for companionship and security.

But with conventional social support services unable to provide pet food, a demand has grown for services to help provide care for these animals.
Yvonne Hong with homeless man Peter McGann and his dog Bella.
Yvonne Hong with homeless man Peter McGann and his dog Bella. Photo: Paul Jeffers
Carrum woman Yvonne Hong saw the gap and about four months ago decided to set up Pets of the Homeless Melbourne, which calls on the public to donate supplies.

Not all of the few hundred people the group helps are sleeping on the streets. Some are at risk of homelessness, while others are in temporary accommodation or are fleeing family violence.

Armed with plastic zip-lock bags full of dog and cat biscuits, Ms Hong walks the city's streets on the weekends handing out the pet treats to those in need.

"I see more and more people with pets on the street," she said. "A lot of them have no one else in their lives, so the pet is constantly there with them."

She stops to meet Peter McGann, 47, who began sleeping on the streets about a year ago when a workplace accident left him severely injured.

He said a friend bought him English boxer cross, English Staffordshire bull terrier, Bella from the classifieds website Gumtree.

"She helps me with my mental health, my depression, and she protects me at night time," he said.
"I don't have any idiots coming up to me and standing over me."
James Burgess and his dog Yarndi live on the streets in Melbourne's CBD.
James Burgess and his dog Yarndi live on the streets in Melbourne's CBD. Photo: Paul Jeffers
Another regular stop is with James Burgess, also 47, who has been homeless on Melbourne and Sydney's streets on and off since he left home at age 14 after suffering sexual abuse as an altar boy and regular beatings.

Life has been traumatic and unstable ever since.

Mr Burgess says Staffordshire bull terrier cross, German shepherd, Yarndie gives him a reason to get up every morning.

"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here," he said.

Kate Chanter, 34, was first homeless at age 15, but later became a trained chef before seizures stopped her from being able to work. She's been back on the streets since July.

She doesn't like to ask people for change, and instead sells The Big Issue and her drawings.
Kate Chanter and her dog Buckley have been homeless since July. Kate Chanter and her dog Buckley have been homeless since July. Photo: Paul Jeffers
Her moodle cross, shih tzu, Buckley, and the dog's father before it, have helped her get through the dark days.

"We feed them before we feed ourselves," she says. "They're our best mates."
Ms Hong said she is sometimes confronted with people who tell her homeless people shouldn't have pets.

"I just tell them, you shouldn't judge, because what if you have a home one day and have all these animals that you love and something happens to you and all of a sudden you're homeless, what do you do, do you just give them up?" she said.

"Animals don't really care whether you have a house or not, as long you are there for them."
A video of animal activists tearing a dog away from a French homeless man, they accused of using the animal to make money, went viral last month, prompting outrage at their conduct.
Ms Jackson said this had happened to her too.

"Some people think because I'm homeless, I don't deserve to have a cat," she said.
"So they take her and take her to the pound. I don't use my animal to get money."

Regardless, Ms Jackson lamented that when her cat is not with her, the same people who help her each day ignore her. 
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Summer Jackson is homeless and living rough with her cat C.D. Princess Cheshire on September 13, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Jeffers/Fairfax Media) Summer Jackson is homeless and living rough with her cat C.D. Princess Cheshire Photo: Paul Jeffers

Nearby a man in poor physical condition, wearing tattered and stained clothes, staggers around with his hands cupped asking for money. No one makes eye contact as the stream of people pass him to visit Ms Jackson.

Noel Murray, from the Council to Homeless Persons, said it was "outrageous" for people to suggest homeless people's motivation to get an animal was for financial gain.

In fact, he said many services weren't able to take in a person with a pet.

"They would rather live on the streets than part with their loved one," he said.

Mr Murray said governments needed to adequately fund services to provide for the growing issue.
In England, a former homeless street musician made his way out of poverty after writing a New York Times bestseller about how the relationship with his cat saved his life called A Street Cat Named Bob.
"I think it's pretty cool," Ms Jackson said, familiar with his story.

"CD…. is going to be the next Bob the Cat."

read more "'I saved her life, while she saved mine': The animals that bring love to a life on the streets"

Exotic horned animal spotted in Oregon park


Erin Walter was hiking in Forest Park when she snapped a picture of the Oryx, Oct. 24, 2015 (KOIN)
Erin Walter was hiking in Forest Park when she snapped a picture of the Oryx, Oct. 24, 2015 (KOIN)
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A horned, antelope-type animal spotted in Forest Park Saturday morning is back home with its owner after being tranquilized around noon Sunday.
Owner Reed Gleason said Yellow Nose the oryx was tranquilized and taken by trailer back home. A veterinarian shot the animal with a tranquilizer dart. In total, Gleason spent around $2,000 to get Yellow Nose home.
Rick Swart with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says it’s not illegal to own a non-native animal in Oregon, like an oryx, but it is illegal to let them into the wild. An oryx is part of the antelope familyand is native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Gleason says he owns 11 of the animals at his Skyline Drive residence. He says oryx are typically desert animals, but they became extinct in their native region of northern Africa.
Two years ago, Gleason says he started with 2 oryx but the herd grew as they continued to reproduce.
Yellow Nose reportedly got out of his enclosure when a contractor left the gate open. Gleason says the oryx was likely spooked by a passing car or dog, and ran a mile and a half away to Forest Park.
Gleason says he owns 11 oryx on his property on Skyline Drive. (KOIN)
Gleason says he owns 11 oryx on his property on Skyline Drive. (KOIN)
“He’s always been a pretty calm antelope but he is second oldest, so he’s not the dominant male and occasionally the dominant male chases everyone around to let them know he’s dominant,” Gleason said. “That might have encouraged him to leave the property, maybe then something scared him.”
A KOIN 6 News viewer was able to snap a few pictures of the oryx on Saturday. Stephen Clark says he saw the animal in Forest Park on Leif Erickson Drive.
People flocked to Forest Park to see if they could get a glimpse of the animal. One couple told KOIN 6 News they saw the oryx sitting on the path, looking nervous. It seemed to be scared of the couple’s dog.
The couple also saw Gleason who was trying to herd the oryx back home.
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Liberty Wildlife to Release a Horned Owl at Lost Dutchman



The public is invited to watch a horned owl being released back into the wild Saturday, Oct. 24.

The release program will begin at 2 p.m. at the Cholla day use ramada at Lost Dutchman State Park, 6109 N. Apache Trail in Apache Junction.
Horned Owl
This program is included in the park entry fee of $7 per vehicle or with an annual pass.

Pets are not permitted at this event.

The release program will be conducted by volunteers from Liberty Wildlife, an animal rescue and rehabilitation organization.

The volunteers rescue animals, participate in the rehabilitation of the animals, and through their education programs share the release of the animal into the wild trying to instill compassion and stewardship in young minds, according to a press release.

Liberty Wildlife believes strongly in connecting the public, especially children, with the natural world. During the program, trained presenters will teach about the natural history of the desert animal and will tell how it came to be at Liberty Wildlife. They will explain the place that the animal holds in the desert ecosystem and point out adaptations to desert life.

After a brief introduction to the animal, the volunteers will then release it and follow its flight and path.
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Great Migration of Animals from Serengeti


Epic journey of nearly 2 million wildebeest, gazelle and zebras to Kenya’s Maasai Mara reserve is being tracked online
Migration of Animals



Every year a million wildebeest, half a million gazelle and 200,000 zebra make the perilous trek from the Serengeti park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya in their search for water and grazing land. It is one of nature’s most spectacular sights – and one that few people are able to see first hand.

But this year the dramatic display is being broadcast live on the web – complete with expert commentary.

Twice daily broadcasts of 10 to 20 minutes will run on Twitter’s Periscope app.

Viewers will need to register on the website of app developers, Herdtracker.

The migration is a remarkable and occasionally gory effort by up to 2 million herbivores to stay alive during a roving round trip that tracks the rains that feed the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
Migration of Animals


The animals that manage to elude the thousands of waiting crocodiles in the Mara river after passing through the Serengeti are confronted by one of the world’s highest concentrations of lions and other carnivores in the Maasai Mara, drawing thousands of tourists to view a sight that American news channel ABC dubbed the world’s seventh new wonder.

Along the way, about 300,000 wildebeest calves are born before the herds make the journey back after the rainy season, providing crucial sustenance to the carnivores along the route.

The broadcasts are part of Kenya’s efforts to promote tourism. The Maasai Mara is the country’s most important national park and has drawn a succession of famous visitors including a young Barack Obama and the Chelsea football manager, José Mourinho.

The broadcasts will also be available on YouTube and on the www.discoverafrica.com/herdtrackerlive website. Notifications on schedules will be offered on the @herdtracker and @makeitkenya handles.
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Veterinary student finds her calling with exotic animals


Practicing veterinary medicine internationally became a reality for Valparaiso resident Samantha Miller when she volunteered in Thailand through the Boston-based Loop Abroad program.
samantha miller
Miller, a pre-veterinary student at Purdue University, spent a week at the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand in July. The sanctuary provides refuge for 60 previously abused or injured elephants.

“Many of the elephants now living here had been previously abused through illegal logging, trekking, circus performances, street begging, etc.,” Miller said. “Through illegal logging, many elephants step on land mines and their feet are blown to pieces.

“At the Elephant Nature Park, the elephants are given the care and treatments they need and can finally live the rest of their life in peace.” Miller was tasked with cleaning wounds and treating abscesses, as well as feeding and bathing the elephants.

She also volunteered at Thailand’s Animal Rescue Kingdom dog shelter and treated dogs for skin issues and ear infections. “Many dogs had previously lost a limb or ear due to dogfights, car accidents, etc., but were all extremely well cared for.

“On two of the days we were there, we helped assist in 16 neuter surgeries. This was by far my favorite part of our week at the ARK dog shelter,” Miller added.

Miller is a 2013 graduate of Valparaiso High School and has wanted to become a veterinarian since she can remember. “After years of involvement within this profession, shadowing veterinarians and being employed at Arbor View Animal Hospital, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is what I am supposed to do with my life,” she said.

Besides eventually working at a companion animal clinic, Miller hopes to practice internationally with exotic species. “I think my trip to Thailand has made me realize that what I really want to do with my career is spend time practicing international veterinary medicine. I think it would be an amazing opportunity and I’m excited to someday get to do this as my career.”
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Animals Vs Drones Best Videos


If you’ve ever had a neighbor who’s flown a drone over your yard, you’ve probably been tempted to shoot it down and teach him a lesson.
Animals vs Drone
Because of this, we can’t help but cheer every time we see a video of an animal taking down a drone that’s invading their territory and being a general nuisance. We’ve rounded up some of the best videos of animals attacking drones from around the web for your viewing pleasure — check them out below.

This video shows what happens when you try to use an aerial drone to film a cheetah — he basically sees it as one giant laser pointer to chase and capture

This hawk, meanwhile, was clearly not happy to see a quadcopter flying into his neighborhood. He executed it with extreme prejudice

The chimps are pretty clever, however, and one of them successfully used a long stick to knock the drone out of the sky

Here’s a particularly famous video of an angry ram who is clearly fed up that a drone owner has decided to invade his space. It exacts righteous revenge

And finally, we go to the land down under where a kangaroo does its best Manny Pacquiao impersonation by boxing a drone straight out of the sky
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Animals of the Galapagos Islands


When it comes to biodiversity, the Galapagos Islands are legendary. This small, sparsely inhabited archipelago off the coast of Ecuador has been described by UNESCO as a “living museum and showcase of evolution,” and boasts some of the most unique wildlife on the planet. Over 1,000 species of wildlife living on the islands are found nowhere else in the world, ranging from the famous giant tortoises to the tiny finches that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

iguana
 The marine iguana is one of the archipelago's most unusual animals. It's the only modern species of lizard that forages for food in the sea. While living on land, the iguana's main food source is seaweed, forcing this unusual lizard to spend much of its time combing the shoreline and even diving into the sea to find food
The Jagged volcanic rocks of the island of Las Tintoreras make for the perfect environment for marine iguanas to thrive.
red rock crab
 The red rock crab may not be endemic to the Galapagos, but its distict color adds some serious flair to the islands' pitch black, rocky shores.
penguin
 The Galapagos penguin is not only the world's second smallest species of penguin, but also the only type to live in the wild in the Northern Hemisphere.
giant tortoises
And of course, the most famous inhabitant of the islands: the giant tortoises. The Galapagos is just one of two places in the world where giant tortoises can still be found in the wild, and have lived on the archipelago for as long as 3 million years.
 birds
 Birds are everywhere in Galapagos, with more than 56 native species.
flamingo
Perhaps one of the most surprising species of the bird to be found on the island is the Galapagos flamingo. With a population of less than 400, this species has the smallest population of any flamingo variety in the world, and is a starling sight in these far flung islands.
Sea lions
Sea lions are among the Galapagos' most playful inhabitants, and have little fear of humans. As many as 50,000 are estimated to live the islands.
ther non-endemic species is human. The Galapagos is one of the few corners of the globe without an indigenous population. Around 25,000 people live on the islands, with most coming from mainland Ecuador. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Perhaps one of the most surprising species of bird to be found on the islands is the Galapagos flamingo. With a population of less than 400, this species has the smallest population of any flamingo variety in the world, and is a startling sight in these far flung islands.
Perhaps one of the most surprising species of bird to be found on the islands is the Galapagos flamingo. With a population of less than 400, this species has the smallest population of any flamingo variety in the world, and is a startling sight in these far flung islands. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
And of course, the most famous inhabitant of the islands: the giant tortoises. The Galapagos is just one of two places in the world where giant tortoises can still be found in the wild, and have lived on the archipelago for as long as 3 million years.
And of course, the most famous inhabitant of the islands: the giant tortoises. The Galapagos is just one of two places in the world where giant tortoises can still be found in the wild, and have lived on the archipelago for as long as 3 million years. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
The Animals of the Galapagos Islands
Photo:Ryan Mallett-

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: 
 "http://www.telesurtv.net/english/multimedia/The-Animals-of-the-Galapagos-Islands-20151019-0039.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english
The marine iguana is one of the archipelago's most unusual animals. It's the only modern species of lizard that forages for food in the sea. While living on land, the iguana's main food source is seaweed, forcing this unusual lizard to spend much of its time combing the shoreline and even diving into the sea to find food. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
The Animals of the Galapagos Islands
Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
The jagged volcanic rocks of the island of Las Tintoreras make for the perfect environment for marine iguanas to thrive.
The jagged volcanic rocks of the island of Las Tintoreras make for the perfect environment for marine iguanas to thrive. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Sea lions are among the Galapagos
Sea lions are among the Galapagos' most playful inhabitants, and have little fear of humans. As many as 50,000 are estimated to live across the islands. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
The Animals of the Galapagos Islands
Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
The Galapagos penguin is not only the world
The Galapagos penguin is not only the world's second smallest species of penguin, but also the only type to live in the wild in the Northern Hemisphere. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Much of the interior of the island of Santa Cruz is close to impenetrable due to the thick foliage. Across the Galapagos, there are as many as 600 native plants.
Much of the interior of the island of Santa Cruz is close to impenetrable due to the thick foliage. Across the Galapagos, there are as many as 600 native plants. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Not all of the Galapagos is so lush. The crater-riddled landscape around Isabella island
Not all of the Galapagos is so lush. The crater-riddled landscape around Isabella island's Sierra Negra volcano is more like a post-apocalyptic wasteland than a tropical island paradise, complete with dried lava flows and piles of sulfur. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Birds are everywhere in Galapagos, with more than 56 native species.
Birds are everywhere in Galapagos, with more than 56 native species. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
The red rock crab may not be endemic to the Galapagos, but its distinct color adds some serious flair to the islands
The red rock crab may not be endemic to the Galapagos, but its distinct color adds some serious flair to the islands' pitch black, rocky shores. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Another non-endemic species is human. The Galapagos is one of the few corners of the globe without an indigenous population. Around 25,000 people live on the islands, with most coming from mainland Ecuador.
Another non-endemic species is human. The Galapagos is one of the few corners of the globe without an indigenous population. Around 25,000 people live on the islands, with most coming from mainland Ecuador. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Perhaps one of the most surprising species of bird to be found on the islands is the Galapagos flamingo. With a population of less than 400, this species has the smallest population of any flamingo variety in the world, and is a startling sight in these far flung islands.
Perhaps one of the most surprising species of bird to be found on the islands is the Galapagos flamingo. With a population of less than 400, this species has the smallest population of any flamingo variety in the world, and is a startling sight in these far flung islands. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
And of course, the most famous inhabitant of the islands: the giant tortoises. The Galapagos is just one of two places in the world where giant tortoises can still be found in the wild, and have lived on the archipelago for as long as 3 million years.
And of course, the most famous inhabitant of the islands: the giant tortoises. The Galapagos is just one of two places in the world where giant tortoises can still be found in the wild, and have lived on the archipelago for as long as 3 million years. Photo:Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
The Animals of the Galapagos Islands
Photo:Ryan Mallett-

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: 
 "http://www.telesurtv.net/english/multimedia/The-Animals-of-the-Galapagos-Islands-20151019-0039.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english 
 
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Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Sewing Project Dedicated to Helping Animals


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Two young girls spent their summer working on a special sewing project to help raise money for animals in need.
Gianna, left, and Kira Aldinger hold a puppy while visiting the North Shore Animal League after donating more than $200 from selling sewn bandannas and beds for dogs. (Courtesy of Janet Aldinger)
Pouches for Pooches was created by Kira, 10, and Gianna Aldinger, 9, with the help of their grandmother.

"They wanted to learn how to sew and they are very into animals," said Great Kills resident Janet Aldinger, referring to her granddaughters. "They wanted to learn how to make stuff for the animals."

The two girls began sewing bandannas and beds for dogs at the beginning of July. They sold the items to family and friends, and by summer's end, they had raised more than $200, which they recently donated to the North Shore Animal League.

"With the money we gave the people at the shelter, they can give the animals food, treats and beds so they can have a better life," said Gianna, who lives in Tottenville.

The North Shore Animal League was so thankful for the donation, the girls were invited for a tour, during which they were able to play with the animals. They also received medals, books and magnets as gifts of gratitude.

"North Shore Animal League America couldn't be happier knowing the next generation is embracing our mission to rescue, nurture, adopt and educate," said Joanne Yohannan, senior vice president of operations of North Shore Animal League America. "We are deeply grateful to Gianna and Kira Aldinger, and their parents, for their very generous donation."

Now that the girls are back in school, it is more difficult for them to make the bandannas and beds since they have less free time.

"They already want to continue doing it next summer," Aldinger said. "I have a separate room for the sewing machine and materials. They want to start right when school is out and summer starts."

Since their initial donation, Pouches for Pooches has sold another $150 in products, and there are plans to donate to the Animal League again.

"I saw my grandma sew and thought to make clothes for our dogs and then for the shelter dogs," said Kira, formerly of Annadale, who now lives in Metuchen, N.J.
read more "A Sewing Project Dedicated to Helping Animals"