Polish transphobes attack Winnie the Pooh


This video from the USA says about itself:

21 nov. 2014

Winnie the Pooh has been banned from a Polish playground because of his “dubious sexuality” and “inappropriate” dress.

The much-loved animated bear was suggested at a local council meeting to decide which famous character should become the face of the play area in the small town of Tuszyn.

But the idea soon sparked outrage among more conservative members, with one councillor even denouncing poor Pooh as a “hermaphrodite”.

After the attack by the extreme Right in Poland on the Teletubbies … and after another Polish homophobe attacked an elephant

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Party Pooh-pers attack Winnie

Poland: Small-town officials have opposed naming a playground after Winnie the Pooh due to the bear’s apparently unclear gender and immodest clothing.

The matter was debated in a closed-door meeting in the central Polish town of Tuszyn, but didn’t get much media attention until recent days when voice recordings of the meeting were leaked to local media.

Officials complained that Pooh was immodestly dressed and lacked a clear gender. One called the bear a “hermaphrodite.”

I have news for these transphobes. Most bears, both toy bears like Winnie and living brown bears, are lots more ‘immodestly dressed’ than Winnie the Pooh.

Rare spectacled bear discovery in Ecuador


This video is called BBC Natural World – Spectacled Bears, Shadows of the Forest – Full Documentary.

From Wildlife Extra:

Rare Spectacled Bear found in new Ecuador reserve

There have been sightings of Spectacled Bear in Ecuador’s new Antinsanilla Reserve, confirming the animal’s presence in the area.

The reserve was primarily established to protect the rare Andean Condor, which numbers only around 50 in Ecuador today. It is also the habitat of a number of extremely endangered amphibians, making it a vital location for threatened Ecuadorian wildlife.

Antinansilla Reserve spans 6,100 acres, and was created with support from the Rainforest Trust, the Amphibian Survival Alliance, the Andrew Sabin Foundation and other conservation organisations working in collaboration with Ecuadorian Partner Fundación Jocotoco.

A Spectacled Bear was recently sighted in the reserve by park guard Manual Cuichan in September. “This marks the second time Spectacled Bears have been spotted in the reserve this year,” says Jocotoco’s Conservation Director Francisco Sornoza, “And it’s wonderful news since it’s clear that the bears are now using the reserve as a real refuge.”

Although the endangered Spectacled Bear – South America’s only bear species – is versatile and able to survive in cloud forests, alpine areas (known as páramo) and deserts, they are under continual threat from poaching and habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, road construction and other development. If current trends continue, their numbers are expected to decline by more than 30 per cent in the next thirty years.

“One of the iconic mammals of the Andes, the endangered Spectacled Bear has always been relatively rare, and now it is much persecuted almost throughout its range for alleged cattle depredations,” says President of Rainforest Trust, Dr Robert S Ridgley. “I knew that Spectacled Bears used to occur at Antisanilla and I hoped maybe one might wander in,” Ridgely added. “But never did I think that, hardly six months after Antisanilla’s purchase, two bears would have already been sighted on the páramo!”

Three bears rescued from poachers in Nepal


This video is called Close encounter with a Sloth BearYala National Park – Sri Lanka.

From Wildlife Extra:

Three bears rescued from poachers are doing well

After being rescued from poachers in Nepal by Wildlife SOS and International Animal Resuce (IAR) in December 2013, three sloth bears are reported to be doing well.

The bears had been kept by poachers until they had grown large enough for sale, and when they were old enough had been taken to India in an attempt to sell them to the Kalandar community, who had traditionally used bears for dancing. However, the practice of keeping dancing bears was made illegal in India in 1972, and in 2009 all dancing bears in the country were liberated. The poachers found that, as the Kalandar community no longer maintains the dancing bear tradition, they could not sell them the bears. As a result, the animals were taken back to Nepal, where it is believed they would have been sold to make bear paw soup.

They were fortunately apprehended by Wildlife SOS and local police from the forestry department. The bears, named Bean, Bintha, and Bobby, were moved to Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park in Ranchi for care, before being relocated to the Wildlife SOS Sanctuary where they are being cared for and rehabilitated with help from International Animal Rescue (IAR).

The oldest bear, Bean, was three-years-old when he was rescued from the poachers. He was found with a rope pierced through his nose, and his canines had been removed, most likely without anesthetic. Vets removed the rope from his nose and treated him for pain.

Bintha, who was 11-months-old at the time of rescue, also had her nose pierced and harnessed with a rope, and although it has healed, she still bears the scars.

According to Wildlife SOS, Bobby is the more reserved of the three. After he has spent time learning the basics of being a wild sloth bear in the sanctuary’s socialisation enclosure, he will be given access to a free-roaming area where he can live like a wild bear, but with the added security of having the Wildlife SOS team on-hand. All the bears now have a clean bill of health and continue to improve, socialising with the other bears at the sanctuary.

Sloth bears, which are found in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (the Sri Lankan sloth bear), have been traditionally used as dancing bears. They are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN, with currently about 20,000 alive in the wild.

‘Bear bile on the way out in China’


This video is called Asiatic Black Bears.

From Wildlife Extra:

Bear bile products soon to be a thing of the past?

News from Animals Asia appears to indicate that demand for bear bile products is on the decline in China. Their initiative, Healing Without Harm, has gained the support of over 1,900 Chinese pharmacies who have now joined the programme, pledging not to sell products that contain bear bile.

We reported in July earlier this year that China’s largest pharmaceutical company KaiBao Pharmaceutical had begun to research synthetic alternatives to bear bile, and this latest announcement marks another step toward reduced market demand for bear bile products.

Animals Asia founder and CEO Jill Robinson commented on the news: “We’re delighted that people are pushing to be a part of this campaign now. Healing Without Harm is a key part of our efforts to end bear bile farming and this initiative has seen an unprecedented rise in traditional medicine doctors and pharmacies supporting alternatives to the use and prescription of bile. It’s fundamentally important to reduce the market and the availability if more bears are going to be helped, and this is just what we are seeing here.”

In the past year alone the programme has increased the number of bear bile free shops and pharmacies from around 260 in August 2013, to an impressive 1,945 today.

Key new chain pharmacies signed up to Healing Without Harm, including; Hunan Yang Tan He Pharmacy Group, consisting of 870 stores; Hunan Qian Jin Pharmacy, consisting of 372 stores; and pharmaceutical manufacturers Hunan Fang Sheng Pharmaceuticals and Changsha Qing Er Kang Biological Technology. Changsha Maria Hospital also joined campaign.

“We thank all those people who are joining the campaign,” said Jill Robinson. “What was a trickle has become a flood. So many people in China recognise that bear bile farming has had its day.”

Although the news is positive, there is still clearly a lot of work to do before bear bile farms are a thing of the past. The charity report that there are still more than 10,000 bears kept on bile farm in small cages in China, suffering painful and invasive bile extractions which can cause infection for the bears. Although there are a large number of effective and affordable herbal and synthetic alternatives to bile, there is still a substantial demand in Asia for bear bile products.

So far Animals Asia has rescued over 500 bears, which are currently being cared for in sanctuaries in China and Vietnam.

Bear bile tourism finally shut down in Vietnam: here.

Grizzly bear orphan returns to the wild in Canada


This video says about itself:

Grizzly Bear Encounters

Of all the species I have filmed in the wild I have to admit nothing can quite compare to the Grizzly! They are a powerful and majestic mammal that in one glance takes us back to the time of the last ice age when mega fauna roamed the earth. Like all bears, they are a curious and intelligent species. This footage was taken during the spring and these bears were busy looking for food after a long winter.

Close Grizzly bear encounters happen usually when people roam into the territory of the bear and as you’ll see in this film, sometimes people tend to get much closer then they should.

All grizzlies are technically called “Brown Bears” and they are omnivores like their Black Bear cousins. Unlike the Black Bear, a Grizzly female will protect her young very aggressively instead of sitting by while the cubs climb a tree as a Black bear would. In fact they will even stand up to a larger male grizzly if that’s what it takes to protect her cubs. If you ever do run across the cubs in the wild keep your distance, mama bear is sure to be close by and she wont appreciate the company. Please remember that these beautiful bears need clean and healthy habitat to continue to allow us to have amazing Grizzly Bear Encounters!

I’m Mark Fraser and to read up on future wildlife adventures and how you can protect help wildlife habitat, visit my web page.

From Wildlife Extra:

Grizzly orphan returns to the wild in British Columbia

A one-year-old orphan grizzly cub, called Littlefoot, has been released back into the wild near Cranbrook in British Columbia, after being found in the spring severely underweight. It is believed he was orphaned last autumn.

During this time he has been cared for by the Northern Lights Wildlife Society (NLWS) and gone from a scrawny 12.7kg to a far more respectable 48kg.

Lightfoot is part of a project, run by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, and the British Columbia Ministries of Environment, and Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, that monitors whether orphaned grizzlies can survive when released back in the wild.

Lightfoot is the sixth release since the pilot project began in 2008, and is the first one-year-old that NLWS has prepared for release. He has been fitted with a satellite collar and will be monitored for the next 18 months.

“When he came in, Littlefoot was older than most of the bears we receive for care,” said Angelika Langen of NLWS. “Because he had lost his mother last fall and hibernated by himself, he was in bad condition.

“Thankfully, the Ministry of the Environment allowed this bear into our care for a limited time period to give him a chance to gain weight so he could look after himself.

“We’ve picked a great release site for him away from people with a good berry crop out there, and I think he has a good chance of survival.”

“We were thrilled to see the approval for a yearling cub to enter the rehabilitation process,” said Kelly Donithan, Animal Rescue Officer at IFAW. “Our wildlife rescue and rehabilitation pilot projects around the world have been providing evidence that animals can be rehabilitated from a young age and, upon release, not only survive but thrive in their natural habitat.

“We are excited to see how Littlefoot navigates his new lease on life and becomes a fully functioning wild bear.”

Brown bear saves drowning crow


The Huffington Post in the USA writes about this video:

Bear Saves Drowning Crow, Doesn’t Eat It

By Ed Mazza

08/01/2014 3:59 am EDT

You’re a hungry bear, surrounded by apples and carrots, when a crow wanders into your enclosure and gets stuck in the water.

Dinnertime, right?

Not so fast. Check out what this bear did, in a video that was recorded at the Budapest Zoo last month and posted to YouTube by Aleksander Medveš. Even the crow doesn’t seem to believe it!

Rare Asiatic black bear on camera trap in Vietnam


This video is called Restoration Project of Asiatic Black Bear in Korea.

From Wildlife Extra:

Black bear sighting in Vietnam indicates conservation success

A rare Asiatic black bear has been recorded by WWF camera traps in Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam.

Due to its white patch on its chest the Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus), is also known as the moon bear or white-chested bear, and is classed by the IUCN as a vulnerable species.

The sighting is an important indicator of the success of the conservation efforts by WWF and the Vietnamese government to improve the quality of the area’s forests and preserve the unique species diversity.

The framework of the Carbon and Biodiversity Programme (CarBi) covers an area of more than 200,000ha of forest, along a vital mountain range that links Laos and Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

It aims to protect and regenerate unique forest by stopping deforestation through protection and sustainable use of its resources.

The Asiatic black bear is not the only rare species to have been spotted since the programme was implemented, for several other valuable species have been found, including the Sunda pangolin, large-antlered muntjac, serrow, Annamite striped rabbit, and Saola, which was rediscovered for the first time in 15 years in 2013.

“They are species affected by illegal hunting which our forest guard patrols and Protection Area management activities should be limiting,” said Phan Tuan, Head of Quang Nam Forest Protection Department, Quang Nam’s CarBi project’ Director.

“Their existence is also dependent on good quality forest. I believe that these photographs are very important monitoring indicators of our conservation impacts.”