Monday, March 19, 2012

Tigers. Broken Tail. Pancho Villa. War in Iraq. Passover.

For "Mammal Monday", Hold That Tiger!

"This summer, ecoguards in WCS's tiger conservation site in Thailand stumbled upon something alarming: poachers.

After a shootout between government rangers and the poachers, the poachers fled. Evidence found at the scene indicated they had killed at least 10 tigers – including the one you see below in an image taken from one of the poachers' own cell phones. And two of the tigers they killed were only cubs.   Find out how these poachers were caught in this short, moving video."

"WCS conservationists have found that the same gangs that smuggle weapons and drugs are poaching the last remaining tigers to the edge of existence. But as organized crime steps up its game in wildlife trade, WCS is fighting back, working to monitor wildlife and train more park rangers."

"With only 150 tigers still in the area, gangs such as this one pose a dire threat to the tigers of Thailand. Working closely with the Thai government staff and using our connections in the intelligence community, we were able to track down and arrest two of the poachers. We have to prevent future poachers from killing the remaining tigers in the area.

That's why over the past year, WCS has been working closely with the Thai government to hire, train, and equip new ecoguards to serve as the first line of defense for tigers. Ecoguards are trained to track and look after tigers, but also trained in spotting the telltale signs of poaching, including empty gun cartridges in the bushes, signs of hunting camps, and carcasses.

We caught these poachers in Thailand and it was one of our newest ecoguard hires that spotted them! And we're gaining traction against the poachers in the nearly twenty other regions where ecoguards are stationed.

But the rest of the poaching gang is still out there... and so are a tigress and her three cubs. That's why we won't be satisfied until every tiger source site – in Thailand, India, Russia, and everywhere else – is protected from poaching. And to do that, we need to train and equip more staff to serve as on-the-ground tiger defenders.

Help us put more boots on the ground to save tigers and other threatened wildlife.  

Tackling the illegal wildlife trade industry is going to take skill and persistence. I hope you'll support this vital work.

A donation can help save tigers before it's too late."

Watch the video and give today.




"The story of the tiger in this film -- Broken Tail -- is an allegory for all wild tigers, and indeed all species at this point in time, that time being the verge of extinction for wild tigers.

Watch Broken Tail: A Tiger's Last Journey on PBS. See more from Nature.

Let's just say that key word again: EXTINCTION.

The Oxford English Dictionary definition is: The action of blotting a living being out of existence; destruction, annihilation; the fact or process of becoming extinct; a coming to an end or dying out.     Is that final enough for you?

And let's be clear: this is being brought about by man (homo sapiens), not by any natural evolutionary process. Before man's intervention, the tiger population was large and thriving. Throughout the 20th century numbers declined rapidly, due to environmental pressures and poaching, to the point now where there are fewer than 2000 wild tigers. That's less than the number of captive tigers in the USA.

An observer from another planet might ask: why would the dominant species on Earth -- man - so persecute and kill tigers that they are made extinct?

The answer is three-fold:
1. There is a group of immensely greedy and ruthless people who trade in tiger parts. They are mainly from eastern Asia, and their complete indifference to the suffering and harm they cause is pathological -- they are simply horrible human beings;

2. In parts of Asia -- China in particular -- it is believed that tiger parts have pharmaceutical properties, and they are used in Chinese so-called medicine. This flies in the face of scientific facts, which demonstrate that tiger parts have no healing properties whatsoever. But no amount of persuasion will convince these Chinese witch doctors that not only are they hopeless as healers, but also that their trade is accelerating the extinction of the tiger. They don't give a damn;

3. The failure of politicians to act decisively to stop the environmental pressures on tigers. Simultaneously there is the horrifying rise in the number of human beings increasing that pressure. There is also the failure to put an end to the trade in tiger (indeed, all animal) parts. Admittedly, this is a huge task, but there are simply not the resources being put into it, and poachers, who make pennies, and their remote paymasters (who make millions) seem to be able to operate at will.

So what can be done? Depressingly, I think that it might be too late -- that wild tigers will indeed become extinct, which, in my opinion, is a catastrophe, an unforgivable indictment on human greed and stupidity which makes all the current obsession with economic problems seem trivial by comparison.

And what next? Many, many other species will follow suit.
Homo sapiens -- we are a disgrace without equal in the whole known history of the universe."

Colin Stafford-Johnson and Broken Tail

"Colin Stafford-Johnson spent almost 600 days filming Broken Tail and his family for some of the finest tiger documentaries ever made. Broken Tail was the most flamboyant tiger cub he'd ever seen in Ranthambore, impossibly cute, he gamboled and posed for Colin's camera throughout the first years of his life.

But then, without warning, Broken Tail abandoned his sanctuary and went on the run - surviving in farmland and scrub for months on end, until eventually he was killed by a train almost 200 kilometers from home. He was barely three years old at the time.

Because of Broken Tail, Darra Sanctuary came into being as a result.  Then since the film aired, Darra Sanctuary has been designated a national park."


Tigers and Other Wildlife Flourish in Thai Forest

"An amazing collection of images was captured by camera trap video by WCS and the Government of Thailand in Huai Kha Keng Wildlife Sanctuary in 2011. These show the incredible diversity of species that can flourish once the proper protections are in place.

Watch this rare footage to see what successful wildlife protection looks like: a tigress and her cubs feeding on a kill, leopards and dholes investigating scents, and a clouded leopard – normally so heavily camouflaged that it can hide in plain sight – walking by.  That's why we were so thrilled by recent camera trap footage from the forest. It demonstrates what WCS staff already know: with proper protection from poaching, wildlife will flourish."

"Thailand's Western Forest Complex is one of the last havens for breeding tigers and also shelters elephants, "clouded leopards, gaurs and other rare species. As a result, it's a top protection priority for WCS and the Thai government. "

More Lovely pictures of wildlife:


On This Day:

First U.S. air-combat mission begins, Mar 19, 1916:

"On this day in 1916, the First Aero Squadron, organized in 1914 after the outbreak of World War I, flies a support mission for the 7,000 U.S. troops who, six days earlier, had invaded Mexico on President Woodrow Wilson's orders to capture Mexican revolutionary Francisco Pancho Villa dead or alive.

On March 9, Villa, who opposed American support for the newly elected president of Mexico, Venustiano Carranza, had led a band of several hundred guerrillas across the border on a raid of the town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing 17 Americans. The mission to capture Villa, which eventually involved some 10,000 U.S. troops, was commanded by U.S. Brigadier General John J. Pershing, the future commander in chief of American troops during World War I. It was the first U.S. military operation to employ mechanized vehicles, including automobiles and the airplanes of the First Aero Squadron, which were used to scout enemy activity and relay messages for General Pershing."


War in Iraq begins, Mar 19, 2003:

"On this day in 2003, the United States, along with coalition forces primarily from the United Kingdom, initiates war on Iraq. Just after explosions began to rock Baghdad, Iraq's capital, U.S. President George W. Bush announced in a televised address, "At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger." President Bush and his advisors built much of their case for war on the idea that Iraq, under dictator Saddam Hussein, possessed or was in the process of building weapons of mass destruction.

Though Saddam Hussein had declared in early March 2003 that, "it is without doubt that the faithful will be victorious against aggression," he went into hiding soon after the American invasion, speaking to his people only through an occasional audiotape. Coalition forces were able to topple his regime and capture Iraq's major cities in just three weeks, sustaining few casualties. President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Despite the defeat of conventional military forces in Iraq, an insurgency has continued an intense guerrilla war in the nation in the years since military victory was announced, resulting in thousands of coalition military, insurgent and civilian deaths.

After an intense manhunt, U.S. soldiers found Saddam Hussein hiding in a six-to-eight-foot deep hole, nine miles outside his hometown of Tikrit. He did not resist and was uninjured during the arrest. A soldier at the scene described him as "a man resigned to his fate." Hussein was arrested and began trial for crimes against his people, including mass killings, in October 2005.

In June 2004, the provisional government in place since soon after Saddam's ouster transferred power to the Iraqi Interim Government. In January 2005, the Iraqi people elected a 275-member Iraqi National Assembly. A new constitution for the country was ratified that October. On November 6, 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. After an unsuccessful appeal, he was executed on December 30, 2006."


Christ Our Passover

March 16, 2012 - "Christians are taught to remember Christ's death through a key event - the Passover."

Transcript at:



When Jay didn't call to see if I was on schedule to pick him up for work, I didn't call him, as I am kind of miffed at him at the moment.  He made some racist, and other stupid remarks on the way home from the church on Saturday.  So I had the morning free.

For the last couple of years, every time I came upon an article which I found interesting, I had put it in my Live Writer Drafts.  I figured out that the only way to get my many Live Writer Drafts into my new computer where I wanted them, was to copy and paste, and email them to myself.   Then I could pick them out of an email folder to put in the Open Drafts on the Live Writer sidebar. An email  "Quick Find" box for each folder, helps, too.  Just having them in My Documents in the new computer isn't working for me, as there is no filter to pick the day's subject.  The drafts with videos in them, I had to play the video and get the URL, as they don't transfer into an email.  I don't know why I bought the new computer, as this old one is working fine, even with all my pictures in it.  I must have had a Tim Allen moment – "More Power"!  Or rather more RAM.

Looking at the drafts, sorting them, combining some, copying them, reading some, deleting some, then emailing them, took most of the day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Glad you figured the computer system out. You know the old saying, "there is more than one way to skin a cat". Guess I shouldn't use that saying, right?

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

I guess if it died of natural causes, it would be alright to skin it and re-cycle the fur to keep you warm in cold climes like AK!! But I wouldn't want to wear a dead animal around my neck.

Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny, TX