Monday, February 20, 2012

SanWild Sanctuary. Building Bomas. Saving Lions. John Glenn.

For "Mammal Monday", here are some wild ones who need our help:

About the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary

"For more than 20 years, SanWild has been rescuing orphaned, injured, neglected and abused wild animals and then, once their health is restored, releasing the animals into the large sanctuary to spend the rest of their life in settings largely free of adverse human impacts.

Each of the residents has a story that illustrates both woe and hope. Among SanWild’s thousands of inhabitants are two giraffes, Kariba and her mother Sindisa, who were saved after Sindisa was discovered caught in a poacher’s snare where she’d suffered for 10 days before being freed. Nine elephant residents were saved from certain death when the owners of the land they inhabited wanted them removed. There is also a pack of rambunctious wild dogs rescued from a deficient zoo, and two hippos rescued from a travelling circus. And a pride of 15 lions rescued from a canned hunting operation are receiving care thanks to HSI supporters.  This horrific industry, with an average of 1200 lions shot as trophies every year, continues to operate despite promises by the government to shut it down.

HSI has been working with the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary for several years. Our Australia office has provided funding for the rehabilitation and release of 20 ex-captive Vervet monkeys into the sanctuary, and for their anti-poaching ranger program. In addition to feeding SanWild’s rescued lions, we have also worked with them to raise awareness about the canned lion hunting industry in South Africa, motivating our supporters worldwide to take action against this egregious practice.

You can help.  Donate to help the animals at SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary.


Building Bomas to Protect Lions, A new HSI project helps protect lions, farm animals and people

Cattle are herded into the boma, where they are protected from predators. Born Free Foundation





Local community members come out to help. Born Free Foundation


Buildng a boma is hard work! Born Free Foundation

    A boma is a specially designed lion-proof barrier made from strong posts, spiny shrubs, and chain-link fence, with sturdy metal doors which allow herders to secure their animals inside at night. Humane Society International has teamed up with the Born Free Foundation to build seven of these structures in the Tsavo ecosystem, an area that has been identified as a hotspot for human-lion conflict.

    Solution to a problem

    Lions depend on an abundance of herbivorous animals for their food, and unfortunately, cattle, sheep and goats make easy targets. Herders may see a lion as a threat and a nuisance and kill it out of fear or in reprisal after a loss. Currently, hundreds of lions die every year as a result, but experience has shown that using bomas to protect farm animals marked decreases retaliatory killing of predators.

    The seven bomas being funded by Humane Society International are scheduled to be built by the Born Free Foundation in early July, 2011. Previous construction of other bomas in the area has been met with great support and participation. Our contribution will also go toward conducting outreach and awareness-raising activities in the local communities that will directly benefit from this aid. Educational topics will include care and maintenance of the bomas, as well as environmental protection and conservation.

    We are confident that these new bomas, built in an area strategically important for lion conservation, will help protect lions and farm animals and provide peace of mind for the local people."

    You can help.  Building bomas is expensive! If you’d like to help fund the construction of more, please contribute to our Stop Wildlife Abuse fund to support this and our other initiatives to protect wildlife. You can also help save lions by taking action to get them listed as "endangered" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act."


    Help Us Protect the African Lion

    The king of the jungle is in danger of extinction





    They could go extinct sooner than we think. David Youldon/istockphoto


    Protection under the Endangered Species Act could save the African lion. SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary

    African lions are losing their habitat and being killed for trophies and souvenirs. Andreas Doppelmayr/istock

    The African lion is in danger. On March 1, 2011, Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States, along with Born Free USA, Born Free Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, The Fund for Animals, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, petitioned to have the African lion listed as "endangered" under the federal Endangered Species Act.

    The African lion is disappearing

    There are fewer than 40,000 African lions in the wild—some scientists estimate as few as 23,000. Over the past 30 years, their population has dropped by at least 48.5 percent. The survivors have lost most of their homelands; African lions occupy less than one quarter of their historic range.

    Ignoring the problem has made it worse

    Until recently, there's been no international concern about African lion conservation. Their steady decline in numbers was ignored, and the popular opinion was that lions were abundant, healthy, and wide-ranging. Therefore, no nation or agency addressed the primary threats—retaliatory killings resulting from human-lion conflict, habitat and prey loss, disease, and unsustainable international trade in lions and lion parts.

    America is the largest consumer of lions

    If the African lion is listed as endangered under the ESA, the largest importer of African lion parts will become the species' protector. The U.S. has played an enormous role in the disappearance of the African lion: As African lion populations and range have declined, the number of sport-hunted lion trophies imported to the U.S. has increased dramatically.

    Between 1999 and 2008, 7,090 lion trophies were traded internationally at the behest of recreational hunters. Most of these trophies (4,139) were imported to the U.S. In the same decade, 2,715 wild-caught lion specimens (that is, lions and their body parts) were also traded internationally for commercial purposes. The U.S. imported 1,700 of these specimens (63 percent). The specimens most often traded commercially were claws, trophies, skins, live animals, skulls, and bodies.

    What ESA protection can do

    Listing the African lion as endangered under the ESA will

    • Prohibit the import into the U.S. of African lions and their parts, unless for conservation purposes,
    • Be an essential step in reversing the current decline of the African lion, and
    • Heighten awareness of the importance of African lion conservation among foreign governments, conservation organizations, and the general public.
    What you can do   The king of the jungle needs your help. Act now!

    African lions need all the help they can get if they are to survive. Sign our petition to give the African lion ESA protection.

    Learn more  To learn more about the status of lions in the wild,


    This is about the movie:  "The Last Lions".   A National Geographic movie sheds light on the status of lions in the wild.

    A lone lioness will do anything to protect her cubs. National Geographic

    Six years in the making, this incredibly beautiful, powerful, and well-researched film was created by award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Set in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, "The Last Lions" is the tale of a lioness and her cubs who, shunned from their own pride, must escape from the dangers of a rival group, only to find themselves in unknown territory where they must learn to survive. While it reminds us why lions are celebrated for their courage and strength, this real-life story has an important theme at its heart: lions are rapidly vanishing from the wild.

    Species at risk

    The number of wild lions has declined almost 50 percent over the last 30 years, making conservation of utmost importance. Not unexpectedly, the reasons for such a drastic decline are human-induced factors such as loss of habitat and international trade associated with recreational trophy hunting. Conflict with humans is on the rise, as conversion of habitat for agriculture and grazing drives lions to prey on livestock. As a result, retaliation at the lions, usually in the form of poison, is a common occurrence. Loss of habitat due to human population growth, in addition to increasing trade in bushmeat, results in decreased availability of prey for lions, making survival more difficult than ever. International trade in lions and lion specimens is also seeing an increase. Not only does this trade have immediate effects on the sheer number of wild lions, but it also has residual consequences as the removal of certain individuals from a pride can result in social, territorial, and often fatal, conflicts among lions.

    Do your part.  It is our hope that this movie will draw worldwide attention to the plight of the African lion and be a call to action. Do your part—go see this film or buy the DVD and share its important message with your friends and family. Help us ensure that these lions are not the last lions." by Marcie Berry

    Watch the trailer on YouTube—every view earns $.10 for big cat conservation efforts in Botswana.  


    The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch provides care for rescued animals.

    "In January, we helped rescue 11 exotic animals -- three tigers and two wolf-hybrids among them -- from an unaccredited roadside zoo in Mississippi. After living their entire lives in small, filthy pens with very little space or enrichment, these animals are finally on their way to a better life in qualified sanctuaries.  Watch the video of the rescue mission, and then please make your tax-deductible donation today using the secure form:" 

    "Your donation will be used to provide food, veterinary services, and staff care for the tigers and wolf-hybrids during their time with us, and for all the other animals at The Fund for Animals' Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch."


    From California to North Carolina, our Animal Rescue Team has been on the ground across the country helping hundreds of animals who've suffered from natural and man-made disasters.

    Our mission is clear: To protect animals from abuse and neglect. But as we continue to respond to animals in crisis nationwide, the funding for our Animal Rescue Team depletes daily.

    See the incredible images from our recent rescues at:    Then help us continue our work.  Thank You.  (Click here to see how your donation to the Animal Rescue Team will be used.)


    On This Day:

    An American orbits earth, Feb 20, 1962:

    "From Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Hershel Glenn Jr. is successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut.

    Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1959 to become America's first astronauts. A decorated pilot, he flew nearly 150 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. In 1957, he made the first nonstop supersonic flight across the United States, flying from Los Angeles to New York in three hours and 23 minutes.

    Glenn was preceded in space by two Americans, Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, and two Soviets, Yuri A. Gagarin and Gherman S. Titov. In April 1961, Gagarin was the first man in space, and his spacecraft Vostok 1 made a full orbit before returning to Earth. Less than one month later, Shepard was launched into space aboard Freedom 7 on a suborbital flight. In July, Grissom made another brief suborbital flight aboard Liberty Bell 7. In August, with the Americans still having failed to make an orbital flight, the Russians sprinted further ahead in the space race when Titov spent more than 25 hours in space aboard Vostok 2, making 17 orbits. As a technological power, the United States was looking very much second-rate compared with its Cold War adversary. If the Americans wanted to dispel this notion, they needed a multi-orbital flight before another Soviet space advance arrived.

    It was with this responsibility in mind that John Glenn lifted off from the launch pad at Cape Canaveral at 9:47 a.m. on February 20, 1962. Some 100,000 spectators watched on the ground nearby and millions more saw it on television. After separating from its launching rocket, the bell-shaped Friendship 7 capsule entered into an orbit around Earth at a speed of about 17,500 miles per hour. Smoothing into orbit, Glenn radioed back, "Capsule is turning around. Oh, that view is tremendous."

    During Friendship 7's first orbit, Glenn noticed what he described as small, glowing fireflies drifting by the capsule's tiny window. It was some time later that NASA mission control determined that the sparks were crystallized water vapor released by the capsule's air-conditioning system. Before the end of the first orbit, a more serious problem occurred when Friendship 7's automatic control system began to malfunction, sending the capsule into erratic movements. At the end of the orbit, Glenn switched to manual control and regained command of the craft.

    Toward the end of Glenn's third and last orbit, mission control received a mechanical signal from the spacecraft indicating that the heat shield on the base of the capsule was possibly loose. Traveling at its immense speed, the capsule would be incinerated if the shield failed to absorb and dissipate the extremely high reentry temperatures. It was decided that the craft's retrorockets, usually jettisoned before reentry, would be left on in order to better secure the heat shield. Less than a minute later, Friendship 7 slammed into Earth's atmosphere.

    During Glenn's fiery descent back to Earth, the straps holding the retrorockets gave way and flapped violently by his window as a shroud of ions caused by excessive friction enveloped the spacecraft, causing Glenn to lose radio contact with mission control. As mission control anxiously waited for the resumption of radio transmissions that would indicate Glenn's survival, he watched flaming chunks of retrorocket fly by his window. After four minutes of radio silence, Glenn's voice crackled through loudspeakers at mission control, and Friendship 7 splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean. He was picked up by the USS destroyer Noa, and his first words upon stepping out of the capsule and onto the deck of the Noa were, "It was hot in there." He had spent nearly five hours in space.

    Glenn was hailed as a national hero, and on February 23 President John F. Kennedy visited him at Cape Canaveral. He later addressed Congress and was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

    Out of a reluctance to risk the life of an astronaut as popular as Glenn, NASA essentially grounded the "Clean Marine" in the years after his historic flight. Frustrated with this uncharacteristic lack of activity, Glenn turned to politics and in 1964 announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Ohio and formally left NASA. Later that year, however, he withdrew his Senate bid after seriously injuring his inner ear in a fall. In 1970, following a stint as a Royal Crown Cola executive, he ran for the Senate again but lost the Democratic nomination to Howard Metzenbaum. Four years later, he defeated Metzenbaum, won the general election, and went on to win reelection three times. In 1984, he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president.

    In early 1998, NASA announced it had approved Glenn to serve as a payload specialist on the space shuttle Discovery. On October 29, 1998, nearly four decades after his famous orbital flight, the 77-year-old Glenn became the oldest human ever to travel in space. During the nine-day mission, he served as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging. In 1999, he retired from his U.S. Senate seat after four consecutive terms in office, a record for the state of Ohio."



    Prime-wants-aloe-not-cat-grassMy 'little lion', Prime, has been eating the aloe vera plants on the screen porch, so thinking that she needed some greens, I bought her some of those seeds that grow into 'cat grass'.  Here she is ignoring the cat grass and still eating my aloe.

    Misty woke me up at 4.00am with her "I wanna go out" bark, After she came back in, I went back to bed in a half asleep/half awake state for about an hour.  Then she barked it again, so after I had taken her out again, I just stayed up.  Normally she sleeps late, so something had upset her tummy.  This is the third time I have tried to slowly introduce a chicken based (organic) dog food into her diet, and each time this has happened.  So I searched and found out that some dogs are allergic to chicken.  But she has had chicken canned food, and real chicken in the past, which didn't affect her.  I can only assume that it was that particular dog food, so I will be returning it.  Usually she is on a venison and lamb diet.

    Poor Misty she didn't even get her walk this morning, as I had to pick up Jay and Pepper, his sister's dog, in the van.  We had to go get gas for the Puddle Jumper, which is what Misty usually rides in, as it is easier for her to get in and out.  Jay had been paid to bathe Pepper while he was staying with them for the weekend.  But his sister also wanted Pepper to have his feet trimmed, ear cleaned and nails trimmed.  So I was 'volunteered' to do that.  I did all the bathing, drying, trimming, ear cleaning etc, while Jay removed the cut branches of that fallen oak tree out of my neighbor's yard, and then he watched my TV.

    So again, no work was done around here for one more day.

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