Abused Peruvian ex-circus bear’s rehabilitation


This video says about itself:

Cholita the bear takes her first steps to freedom!

1 May 2015

Cholita the ‘real-life Paddington bear‘ who was abused at the circus and captured the world’s hearts has taken her first steps to freedom with Animal Defenders International (ADI). The hairless bear was signed into the organisation’s custody and rescued in a two day mission. Cholita is now safe in the ADI ‘Spirit of Freedom’ rescue centre where she is receiving specialist care ahead of her flight to the United States where she will enjoy a new life along with 33 lions who have been rescued from circuses across Peru and Colombia by ADI.

Find out more about ADI’s campaign to save Cholita and our Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue here.

From Wildlife Extra:

Film footage show Cholita the abused ex-circus bear taking first steps to freedom

The abused circus bear Cholita rescued from a zoo in Peru by Animal Defenders International (ADI) has taken her first steps to freedom.

Cholita is an endangered Spectacled bear who was kept illegally by a circus. The stress and trauma of her living conditions has left Cholita suffering from severe hair loss – where she should have thick, black fur she has none, leaving her almost completely bald.

Other scars of her abusive past include fingers brutally cut down to stumps to remove her front claws, and broken teeth, leaving her defenceless.

She is now at the rescue centre in Peru where, for the first time in her life, she is nesting in straw, enjoying a natural diet including her favourite grapes, playing in her bath while being closely monitored to establish her level of health ahead of her flight to the United States where she will enjoy a new life along with 34 big cats who have been rescued from circuses across Peru and Colombia.

ADI President Jan Creamer said, “Cholita has taken her first steps to freedom and is clearly enjoying herself at the ADI rescue centre, making cosy deep straw nests and eating her favourite foods, especially grapes. She is elderly and quite frail so we are keeping her under close observation to monitor her health. With the public’s continuing and heartfelt response we can give this sweet bear the brighter future she deserves.”

Cholita was confiscated from a circus in Peru ten years ago and has been living in a zoo near Piura ever since, as no suitable permanent home could be found for her due to her poor health and lack of hair.

Peruvian authorities requested that ADI find a home for Cholita, along with the 33 lions and a tiger saved during the ADI Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue mission, planned for rehoming at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in the US. Over the past eight months ADI has assisted Peru’s wildlife officials with the enforcement of the country’s ban on wild animals in circuses, and has started the same process to save animals from Colombia’s circuses.

Cholita’s rescue brings the number of animals saved by ADI since August last year, to 79. ADI has worked with Peru’s authorities to raid circuses all over the country in the biggest rescue and enforcement operation of its kind. During the mission, the organisation has also saved dozens of monkeys and other animals from the illegal wildlife trade.

Grizzly bears in Washington state, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Grizzly Bears in North Cascades: Recovering an Icon

20 March 2015

North Cascades National Park, considered the “wild nearby” for its incredible scenery and wildlife, is also at the center of an opportunity being led by the National Park Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and U.S. Forest Service to restore a grizzly bear population.

Recovering these rare bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem, an area of nearly 10,000 square miles of protected public land, including the national park, would be a gift of the natural world to ours and future generations. It also provides a rare opportunity to recover all of the large native wildlife that were present prior to the turn of the 19th century.

Grizzly bears, of which less than twenty likely remain in the North Cascades Ecosystem, have long been an important cultural symbol for local Native American tribes, as well as playing an important ecological role for the health of the environment and other animal species.

Join the National Parks Conservation Association and special guests, including TV host and bear specialist Chris Morgan, to learn more about grizzly bears, their importance to creating and maintaining healthy ecosystems, the history leading up to the current public process, and how you can get involved.

Panelists:
• Bill Gaines, Ph.D., Wildlife Ecologist and Director of the Washington Conservation Science Institute. Gaines has been involved in the grizzly bear recovery efforts in the North Cascades for the past 25 years.

• Chris Morgan, Ecologist, bear specialist, author, filmmaker and TV host. Chris has spent more than 20 years working as a wildlife researcher, wilderness guide, and environmental educator on every continent where bears exist.

• Joe Scott, International Conservation Director, Conservation Northwest

• Rob Smith, Northwest Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association

Giant panda news update


This video is called Life of Giant Pandas – Full Documentary.

From Associated Press today:

China’s latest survey finds increase in wild giant pandas

BEIJING — Wild giant pandas in China are doing well.

The latest census by China’s State Forestry Administration shows the panda population has grown by 268 to a total of 1,864 since the last survey ending in 2003.

Nearly three quarters of the pandas live in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The remaining pandas have been found in the neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

“The rise in the population of wild giant pandas is a victory for conservation and definitely one to celebrate,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation for World Wildlife Fund.

Hemley credited efforts by the Chinese government for the increase. The survey shows 1,246 wild giant pandas live within nature reserves. There are 67 panda reserves in China, an increase of 27 since the last survey.

“The survey result demonstrates the effectiveness of nature reserves in boosting wild giant panda numbers,” said Xiaohai Liu, executive program director for WWF-China.

But the survey also points to economic development as a main threat to the rare animal. It says 319 hydropower stations and 1,339 kilometers (832 miles) of roads have been built in the giant panda’s habitat.

WWF said it is the first time that large-scale infrastructure projects such as mining and railroads get referenced in the survey. Traditional threats such as poaching are on the decline, WWF noted.

China began surveying its giant pandas in the 1970s. The latest census began in 2011 and took three years to complete.

The number of giant pandas in captivity grew by 211, more than double the previous survey figure, according to the census released Saturday.

North American animals in winter


This video from the USA says about itself:

Black-Capped Chickadee Calls and Sounds – Fee Bee Call, Chicka Dee Dee Dee Call and a couple of others

An amiable sight to behold at winter backyard feeders, chickadees are a delight to watch as they fly with their happy, bouncy flight back and forth to feeders collecting seeds to eat elsewhere or to hoard away for later feeding. But most delightful of all is hearing their “chicka dee dee dee” call, in the quiet and desolate feeling dead of winter their call stands out and begs to be heard, like a song of promise for bright sunny days to come.

The black-capped chickadee may be the most incredible of all winter survivors. These little birds have evolved an unusual means of saving energy and coping with cold weather—they actually lower their body temperature! Click here to get the story of how a tiny bird is able to keep the elements at bay.

It’s been a cold winter across the US and many of us are struggling to stay warm. Animals have special adaptations to survive the cold. There’s a lot we can learn from Arctic Foxes, Ptarmigans and even Polar Bears. Read on to find out how YOU can stay warm too.

When winter arrives in the Arctic, the Wood Frog responds accordingly. That is, it freezes and becomes, basically, a frog-shaped Popsicle. But when spring arrives, an interesting thing happens: the frog thaws and is soon hopping, croaking, mating—enjoying all the amphibian pleasures life has to offer. How is this possible? Read on to learn more about this deep frozen frog.

Bears have an interesting problem as they hibernate through the winter. Where and when to go to the bathroom? As with many such quandaries, nature has evolved a clever solution to a potentially messy problem. Read onto get the scoop.

Do you know how animals cope with winter’s severe conditions? Test your winter wildlife knowledge by taking the quiz.

Valentine’s Day teddy bears against dictatorship in Bahrain


Teddy bears starting to appear at barricades before #Bahrain Feb 14 anniversary

From GlobalVoices:

Teddy Bears Face Off with Police as Bahrain Marks its Fourth Anniversary of Anti-Regime Protests

Posted 14 February 2015 17:05 GMT

Written by Amira Al Hussaini

For the past four years, Bahrainis have been marking Valentine’s Day with massive protests, which are faced with a brutal clampdown by the regime. This year is no different, except that protesters, in keeping with the spirit of Valentine’s, took with them stuffed teddy bears to face off with the riot police.

On February 14, 2011, Bahrainis joined the bandwagon of protesters across the Arab world and staged anti-regime protests, which ushered a new era of widespread human rights abuses, arbitrary arrests of thousands of Bahrainis and the killing of protesters and bystanders, including women and children.

This year protesters marked the anniversary with a three-day strike, in which businesses in villages and protest areas shut down.

According to Bahrain Mirror, an opposition online publication in Arabic, the teddy bear has become a “political icon” used by the protesters for “political satire.”

Translation:

The village of Diraz, west of Manama, was the first village to see the appearance of the teddy bear with the start of the strike, announced by the revolutionary forces.

Copycat teddy bears soon popped up across villages in Bahrain, and were placed at barricades put up by the protesters to protect themselves from police attacks.

Teddy bear

Bahraini human rights activist detained, family claim risk of torture. Hussain Jawad is being held by Bahraini police officers for reasons unknown according to family members: here.

International cave bear symposium in the Netherlands, September 2015


This video is called Cave Lion vs Cave Bear – Ice Age Giants – Episode 2 Preview – BBC Two.

From the Pleistocene Mammals site:

The 21st edition of the International Cave Bear Symposium (ICBS) will take place in the Netherlands in 2015. It is a fitting host as this is a unique country in paleontological terms. While the sediments that are found near the surface are of a relatively young age (Holocene), our fossil record is also particularly rich in Pleistocene material – mostly the effect of being bordered by the North Sea. In Pleistocene glacial times, the North Sea was dry land and densely populated by mammoths, bison, woolly rhinoceros and horses, closely followed by carnivores such as the cave lion, cave hyena, wolves and brown bear – evidence of which is still commonly discovered.

The symposium will be 10-13 September 2015 at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. The provisional programme is here.

Bears, ants and flowers in Colorado, USA


This video from North America is called DISCOVERING THE BLACK BEAR.

From Wildlife Extra:

The bear, the ant and the yellow flower – scientist discovers an odd relationship

For a huge Black Bear, a very small ant would hardly seem to make a meal but in numbers these tiny insects are protein-packed.

Not only that, but the fact that bears eat ants is a crucial part of a complicated food chain that has wide-reaching benefits for wildlife in the US.

In a paper published in Ecology Letters, Florida State University researcher Josh Grinath examines the close relationship between bears, ants and rabbitbrush — a golden-flowered shrub that grows in the meadows of Colorado and often serves as shelter for birds.

Scientists know that plant and animal species don’t exist in a vacuum. However, tracing and understanding their complex interactions can be a challenge.

Grinath, working with Associate Professors Nora Underwood and Brian Inouye, has spent several years monitoring ant nests in a mountain meadow in Almont, Colorado.

On one visit, he discovered that bears disturbed the nests, which led him to wonder exactly how this disturbance might affect other plants and animals in the meadow.

From 2009 to 2012, Grinath, Underwood and Inouye collected data on bear damage to ant nests. In the course of this they noticed that rabbitbrush, a dominant plant in the area, was growing better and reproducing more near to the damaged nests.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Rabbitbrush-Nectar Source for Butterflies

18 September 2012

Rubber Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauswosa) is in bloom now; most all other flowering plants have already gone to seed. Adult butterflies still on the wing that nectar visit these shrubs; at times several lep[idopteran] species can be found at these shrubs. Featured are: West Coast Lady, Hoary Comma, Juba Skipper, and Red Admiral.

The Wildlife Extra article continues:

The reason why was an insect called a treehopper, a tiny cicada-like arthropod that sucks sap out of plants such as rabbitbrush, which damages the plant.

Previous studies had established that ants and treehoppers have a mutualistic relationship, meaning they benefit from one another.

So the team began a series of controlled field experiments to see what would happen to treehoppers, first if there were more ants around and then if there were fewer.

They found that ants didn’t prey on the treehoppers or the rabbitbrush. Rather, they scared away other insects that typically prey on treehoppers.

In a situation where bears disturbed and ate ants, other bugs were free to prey on the treehoppers and the rabbitbrush thrived.

The study also highlighted how a modern phenomenon could end up causing more than just a nuisance.

Bears’ diets are being changed by their proximity to human habitation, and many populations are now eating human rubbish regularly instead of ants and other traditional food sources.

“Bears have an effect on everything else because they have an effect on this one important species — ants,” Grinath says.

“If bears are eating trash instead of ants, that could compromise the benefits the plants are receiving. These indirect effects are an important consideration in conservation.”