Category : Animals
Each summer for the last two decades, Jim Parker has readied his small whale watch boat, and made a business out of ferrying tourists out into the cool blue waters of the Gulf of Maine.
For years, it was steady work. The basin brimmed with species that whales commonly feed on, making it a natural foraging ground for the aquatic giants. Whales would cluster at certain spots in the gulf, providing a reliable display for enchanted visitors to the coastal community of Milbridge, Maine.
But lately, the whales have been harder and harder to find. Waters in the gulf have been warming, sending the whales’ food supply searching for cooler temperatures. The whales have gone with them. Some days this summer, Parker says he didn’t spot a single one. Business fell 20%, forcing him to cut his season short.
To help make ends meet, he’s been leading nature tours instead of whale watching expeditions. It’s gotten so bad, Parker says, that he and his partner have considered moving away from whale watching.
— Lulu Garcia-Navarro (@lourdesgnavarro) October 6, 2019
On his own in Costa Rica, Max had figured out how to get Chica into the US, and convinced someone at American Airlines to let her fly on his lap, because they wouldn’t let dogs fly in the hold due to the heat. Thereafter, he and Chica settled in to their little apartment downtown near the White River canal, and each of them began their new life, together. Max had saved Chica. And Chica had saved Max.
One afternoon three months later, when Max was walking Chica, she saw something she hadn’t seen in Costa Rica. It was a squirrel, and before Max could stop her, Chica chased that squirrel straight out onto Indiana Avenue. Right in front of a speeding car.
The car ran over Chica. My son screamed. In that brief moment everything that Max had worked for, everything he had overcome, everything that he was living for, was gone.
This is a special edition blog post. Nothing to do with finance, and everything to do with life, and why you gotta stay in the game. Apologies for how personal it is, but my son and I needed to tell it.https://t.co/ioPVi2NLM5
— Drew Dickson (@AlbertBridgeCap) June 17, 2019
A Cape Cod restaurant saw a rare sight Monday when it received a brilliantly blue lobster as part of a shipment.
Nathan Nickerson, owner of Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar in Eastham, received the colorful crustacean in a batch order from Ipswich Shellfish Group.
— RoadTrip_NewEngland (@RNewengland) June 16, 2019
“A unique program at Harvard Medical School sends aspiring doctors of human medicine to Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo, where they learn to treat lemurs, frogs and other animals. The goal: to learn how our worlds interact and improve care for all.” Watch the whole thing.
(ESPN) A Terrific story on the Boston Red Sox Groundskeeper and his Service Dog for Mental Health Awareness Month
(Local Paper front page) South Carolina’s treasured dolphins tangle with human threats. Their future is uncertain.
That leaping dolphin, one of the most beloved animals of the South Carolina coast, might be dying off in front of our eyes.
Nobody knows how many are really out there. More dolphins are dying tangled up in yards of crab pot lines and other marine gear. They are backing away from their usual behaviors as beachgoers and boaters crowd them.
The local population of the sea mammals is smaller than many people realize. Some people think the waters around Charleston are home to thousands of dolphins, said Lauren Rust of the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network.
But the last survey by a federal team was done more than a decade ago, in 2008. It found only 350 living in Charleston area waters.
The dolphin, one of the most beloved animals of the South Carolina coast, might be dying off in front of our eyes.https://t.co/LkLFRn19h1
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) April 7, 2019
The fish are moving, and so is an entire industry.
Aboard the Stanley K and the Oracle, two 58-foot vessels, Buck Laukitis and his crews chase halibut across the Bering Sea worth $5 a pound at the docks. As sea temperatures rise and Arctic ice retreats, the fish appear to be avoiding warming waters, migrating northward where they cost more to reach, federal fisheries biologists say.
Twice this past fall, the Oracle sailed 800 miles north from the seaport of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, before finding the halibut that a decade ago lived several hundred miles closer to home. Each voyage took twice as long and yielded half as many fish.
“It keeps me up at night,” he says. “I woke up at three in the morning. I couldn’t sleep thinking about where the fish are going.”
“I woke up at three in the morning,” says an Alaska fisherman dealing with warming seas. “I couldn’t sleep thinking about where the fish are going.” https://t.co/SLAIEJwnmu
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 22, 2018
From the Morning Sermon–The Stunning True Story of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, Mercy, Memory, and Thanksgiving
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker & his Spad Scout pic.twitter.com/TXlNUM15RZ
— Ron Eisele (@ron_eisele) January 17, 2018
About sunset, it happened every Friday evening on a lonely stretch along the eastern Florida seacoast. You could see an old man walking, white-haired, bushy eye-browed, slightly bent.
One gnarled hand would be gripping the handle of a pail, a large bucket filled with shrimp. There on a broken pier, reddened by the setting sun, the weekly ritual would be re-enacted.
At once, the silent twilight sky would become a mass of dancing dots…growing larger. In the distance, screeching calls would become louder.
They were seagulls, come from nowhere on the same pilgrimage”¦ to meet an old man.
For half an hour or so, the gentleman would stand on the pier, surrounded by fluttering white, till his pail of shrimp was empty. But the gulls would linger for a while. Perhaps one would perch comfortably on the old man’s hat”¦and a certain day gone by would gently come to his mind.
Eventually, all the old man’s days were past. If the gulls still returned to that spot”¦ perhaps on a Friday evening at sunset, it is not for food”¦ but to pay homage to the secret they shared with a gentle stranger.
And that secret is THE REST OF THE STORY.
Anyone who remembers October of 1942 remembers the day it was reported that Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was lost at sea.
Captain Eddie’s mission had been to deliver a message of the utmost importance to General Douglas MacArthur.
But there was an unexpected detour which would hurl Captain Eddie into the most harrowing adventure of his life. . Somewhere over the South Pacific, the flying fortress became lost beyond the reach of radio. Fuel ran dangerously low, and the men ditched their plane in the ocean.
The B-17 stayed afloat just long enough for all aboard to get out. . Then, slowly, the tail of the flying fortress swung up and poised for a split second”¦ and the ship went down leaving eight men and three rafts”¦ and the horizon.
For nearly a month, Captain Eddie and his companions would fight the water, and the weather, and the scorching sun.
They spent many sleepless nights recoiling as giant sharks rammed their rafts. Their largest raft was nine by five”¦ the biggest shark ten feet long.
But of all their enemies at sea, one proved most formidable: starvation. Eight days out, their rations were long gone or destroyed by the salt water. It would take a miracle to sustain them. And a miracle occurred.
In Captain Eddie’s own words, “Cherry,” that was B-17 pilot, Captain William Cherry, “read the service that afternoon, and we finished with a prayer for deliverance and a hymn of praise. There was some talk, but it tapered off in the oppressive heat. With my hat pulled down over my eyes to keep out some of the glare, I dozed off.”
Now this is still Captain Rickenbacker talking”¦ Something landed on my head. I knew that it was a seagull. I don’t know how I knew; I just knew.
“Everyone else knew, too. No one said a word. But peering out from under my hat brim without moving my head, I could see the expression on their faces. They were staring at the gull. The gull meant food”¦ if I could catch it.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Captain Eddie caught the gull. Its flesh was eaten; its intestines were used for bait to catch fish. The survivors were sustained and their hopes renewed because a lone sea gull, uncharacteristically hundreds of miles from land, offered itself as a sacrifice.
You know that Captain Eddie made it.
And now you also know…that he never forgot.
Because every Friday evening, about sunset…on a lonely stretch along the eastern Florida seacoast…you could see an old man walking…white-haired, bushy-eyebrowed, slightly bent.
His bucket filled with shrimp was to feed the gulls…to remember that one which, on a day long past, gave itself without a struggle…like manna in the wilderness.
—Paul Harvey’s the Rest of the Story (Bantam Books, 1997 Mass paperback ed. of the 1977 Doubleday original), pp. 170-172
In the Nature study, they found that between 1946 and 2010, conflict had occurred in 71 percent of protected areas in Africa. During that time, animal populations in conflict-free areas were roughly stable. As conflict levels increased, however, wildlife populations fell dramatically. To quantify this, the researchers calculated the frequency of conflict in each location and compared it with corresponding wildlife populations. Even one outbreak of violence every 20 to 50 years could push animal populations into decline. Every 10 percent increment in conflict frequency added another 2 percent to the annual rate of wildlife population decline — meaning the longer conflicts went on, the greater the effect.
“Even a small amount of conflict can be severely destabilizing to locals’ livelihoods, in ways that end up having detectable negative effects on wildlife,” [Robert] Pringle says. The researchers examined other factors, such as climate change, drought, corruption, and socioeconomic welfare, and no other factor came close to having the same effect.
On the other hand, even in areas with the most conflict, wildlife populations rarely went extinct, they found. That’s consistent with the idea that populations declined due to poaching, rather than wholesale habitat destruction. That fact offers some hope for even the continent’s most severely affected areas, implying that when the conflicts subside, the remaining animals can seed new populations. “Governments and conservation areas shouldn’t give up on these post-conflict landscapes as totally lost,” says [Joshua] Daskin.
In fact, adds Pringle, restoring them can help rebuild the country in more ways than one….
The sun isn’t up yet and raking machines are sifting piles of seaweed out of the sand, but Lorna Sheets and Penny Verbos are still eager to get to the beach.
The two women are members of the North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol, an all-volunteer group that scours 4 miles of the shore every morning for signs of a sea turtle nest or stranded animal. They walk a 1-mile section every Tuesday morning starting around 6 a.m. from May to mid-August — nesting and hatching season — to try to flag nests before they can be trampled or otherwise disturbed.
Both women are retired nurses and neighbors that live just a few blocks away from their designated starting point at Main Street. Both joined the patrol for the first time this year. They bought themselves matching leggings, with turtles printed on them, to celebrate.
“We’re excited. We want to find a nest,” Verbos said.
— Craig Gruen (@craiggruen) June 3, 2018
A long-running conflict between cattle herders and farmers in central Nigeria is increasingly assuming a religious dimension, writes the BBC’s Mayeni Jones after visiting Benue state.
Sebastian Nyamgba is a tall, wiry farmer with sharp cheekbones and piercing eyes.
He guides me to a small bungalow adjacent to the local church, St Ignatus. It was the home of local priest Father Joseph Gor.
“This is his blood,” he says, as he points to faint pink splatters on the wall of the porch of the house.
“This is where he was killed. They shot him as he was getting on this motorbike to escape and his blood sprayed on the wall.”
Father Gor was killed in the compound of his Catholic church, in the small village of Mbalom, about an hour’s drive south from the capital of Benue state, Makurdi.
(C of E) Hog-hair breath and refilling shampoo bottles: Bishop Graham Usher negotiates the trials of cutting out plastic
I was staggered by the terrible damage that our plastic usage is causing God’s creation, including humans, on this single island home that we call planet Earth. It’s nearly impossible to live plastic-free but we can all live with considerably less plastic if only we give it commitment.
Every piece of plastic I use will most probably outlive me by hundreds of years.
We can, one by one, and collectively as communities and nations and governments, do something about it. It’s simple. We have to do something about plastic. We can do it – now let’s do it!
— BBC WM 95.6 (@bbcwm) December 12, 2013
This is only funny because…[the children] miss her more than me too (they’ve set up an Instagram account devoted to her).
Even my husband, not the most expressive of men, is like putty when around her, as I discovered when I overheard him say: “Do you not want your breakfast?
“No? Shall I grate some Parmesan on to it?” (The dog in my new book, Still Me, has adopted this culinary habit).
She has inadvertently improved my writer’s back because I’m forced to leave my desk at least four times a day.
She has brought me and my husband closer — we walk together at dawn….
As the prematurely born Fiona the hippo continued to grow in size, her social media following through the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Facebook page also grew.
Enjoy it all.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y., famous for its historic racetrack, is among the most idyllic places in America. But on a recent fall weekend, not far from the track, horses were serving a different mission: retired thoroughbreds were recruited to help returning veterans at Song Hill Farm. A group from the US Army 2nd Battalion, 135th infantry, united in grief over the death of a fellow solider, gathered for the first time in five years to be part of Saratoga Warhorse, a three-day program that pairs veterans with horses. Tom Rinaldi reports the emotional story of the veterans, paired with their horses, undergoing a rebirth of trust and taking a first step toward healing.
Watch it all, and, yes, you will likely need kleenex–KSH.
Before a gunman entered a rural Texas church with a ballistic vest and a military-style rifle, killing at least 26 people on Sunday, he was convicted of assaulting his wife and breaking his infant stepson’s skull.
In 2012, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Devin P. Kelley, 26, was charged with “assault on his spouse and assault on their child,” according to the Air Force.
“He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife,” said Don Christensen, a retired colonel who was the chief prosecutor for the Air Force. “He pled to intentionally doing it.”
He was sentenced in November of that year to 12 months’ confinement and reduction to the lowest possible rank. After his confinement, he was discharged from the military with a bad conduct discharge. It is unclear whether his conviction would have barred him from purchasing a gun.
The case marked a long downward slide that included divorce and being charged with animal cruelty.
(WSJ) Tunku Varadarajan–Holy Cows That Weren’t: Hindu radicals’ beef with India’s bovine butchers is woefully undercooked.
In the past year India has been witness to numerous gruesome public murders of men suspected of eating beef or transporting ostensibly sacred cows for slaughter. A band of radicals calling themselves gau-rakshak, or cow-protectors, may lay claim to being the world’s first terrorists in a bovine cause. Yet this intolerant movement’s appeal to religion is greatly at odds with the facts.
Three churches have been chosen to pilot a £3.8m scheme to solve the “national problem” of bats damaging churches.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) said it hoped the money would allow bats to live “in harmony” with congregations.
It added it viewed the cash as “a practical solution” to the problem.
The churches involved in the pilot, before the project is rolled out, are in Rutland, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
This dog saved my life,” his owner, Lance Corporal Jeff DeYoung, a Marine, said. “I trust him more than most human beings.”
Watch it all.