Baby rhino drives away Egyptian geese


This video, from Kruger National Park in South Africa, says about itself:

1 February 2016

This video is dedicated to Roger Gower, a man who was killed this week, while protecting our precious wildlife. With all the horrible poaching of rhinos that is currently happening, we thought we would cheer everyone up with a video that will make you feel overloaded with cuteness.

Such a cute video of a tiny new-born rhino trying to chase away the [Egyptian] geese that are around him.

Video by: Simone

Imperialist Cecil Rhodes, anti-imperialist Oliver Tambo statues in England


This 2015 video series from Oxford University in England is called Why must Rhodes fall?

By Keith Flett in London, England:

A tale of two statues

Monday 1st February 2016

History collides in north London

DISCUSSION about the statue of British-born imperialist Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University and what should be done about it, if anything, continues despite Oriel College’s decision to keep it.

Statues surely exist to be taken down — most often in the context of wider movements for social change. Otherwise one might think that a statue of Rhodes serves to remind us of Britain’s inglorious imperial past. It is undoubtedly something that David Cameron would prefer us to forget, assuming he ever knew much about it in the first place.

Cecil Rhodes was the son of a Bishop’s Stortford vicar who packed him off to South Africa at the age of 17 as he had been a sickly child. Reverend Francis William Rhodes thought that the South African climate would be good for the young Rhodes’s health, and this at least was correct.

Rhodes’s ancestors had been brick manufacturers. They were, in short, part of the industrial class that built early British capitalism, if you like, from the bottom up.

They owned substantial areas of land including some in north London such as Tottenham Wood and areas of Muswell Hill.

I went to school in the same area of north London in the 1970s at Alexandra Park Comprehensive School. It was a school with a left-wing reputation, although perhaps not quite as well-known as the nearby Creighton School where the head teacher was Molly Hattersley, at that time the distinguished partner of Roy Hattersley.

Alexandra Park School was on the corner of Alexandra Park Road and Rhodes Avenue — named to mark the Rhodes family’s holdings in the area. Cecil Road is nearby.

This being north London in the 1970s we knew well enough who Cecil Rhodes was and the role he had played in the development of British imperial endeavour in Africa. But we thought little of the matter beyond that.

Street names that recall Britain’s imperial past are hardly unusual but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

The African National Congress had emerged as the leading force opposing the apartheid South Africa of which Cecil Rhodes had helped to lay the foundations.

One of the leaders of the ANC was Oliver Tambo who fled South Africa in the early 1960s, partly to evade arrest by the apartheid government but primarily to make sure that the work of the ANC could continue in exile.

In due course he made his way to London, the centre of the old imperial power.

Money was short but Muswell Hill at that time was not the area of super-expensive property it now is.

Tambo and his wife lived in a house in Alexandra Park Road, with other ANC sympathisers living nearby.

His house was less than five minutes’ walk away from Rhodes Avenue.

As the struggle against apartheid intensified and Tambo became an international figure, Nelson Mandela visited Muswell Hill and the local Tottenham MP Bernie Grant was also a visitor.

After Tambo’s death in 1993 the story of his north London years became increasingly well known. In 2007 a bust of Tambo was erected on Albert Road recreation ground, again just a few minutes’ walk from his old home and from Rhodes Avenue.

Imperialism and the man that helped to end its rule in South Africa are marked within a few hundred yards of each other in Muswell Hill.

Whatever the fate of the Oxford Cecil Rhodes statue, the bust of Oliver Tambo continues to stand proud.

Keith Flett is secretary of Haringey TUC.

This video from London, England issays about itself:

6 December 2008

Tribute to Oliver Tambo in Albert Road Recreation Ground & Play Area by ex members of the Anti Apartheid movement in the UK.

Leopard trophy hunting ban in South Africa in 2016


This video, recorded in Botswana, says about itself:

14 January 2016

Leopard of Dead Tree Island (National Geographic WILD)

From Wildlife Extra:

South Africa bans leopard trophy hunting for 2016

Cape Town – The Department of Environmental Affairs has set provincial leopard trophy hunting quotas at zero for 2016, effectively banning leopard trophy hunting throughout South Africa for a year.

This follows an alert by SA’s Scientific Authority that the number of leopards in the country was unknown and that trophy hunting posed a high risk to the survival of the species, Conservation Action Trust has said.

Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), South Africa is permitted to allocate 150 leopard trophy export permits a year. Early warning of possible permit curtailment appeared in the Government Gazette late last year indicating that if the guidelines issued earlier in the year were not adhered to, provincial quotas would be set to zero for 2016.

Lion trophy hunting across the world was also restricted in December last year with the US decided to extend their Endangered Species Act protections for two breeds of lions. Though this move did not make it illegal for hunters to hunt lions, hunters now have to go through a lot more work to take the animal trophies back to the United States.

Commenting on the Government Gazette notice on the leopards, Guy Balme of the environmental NGO Panthera says, “It seems prudent that hunting should only continue once the appropriate measures are in place. Only then can we be confident that the practice is sustainable and not putting additional pressure on leopard populations already under a great deal of strain from other threats.”

The DHA listed threats to leopards as excessive legal and illegal shooting of ‘damage-causing animals,’ poorly managed trophy hunting, illegal trade in leopard skins for cultural and religious attire and generally poor monitoring of hunts and permit allocation.

The Research Authority found that leopards:

– Had a low reproductive rate;
– Their distribution was fragmented;
– Their abundance and population trend was uncertain;
– Illegal off-take was uncertain;
– There was little control of harvesting (especially illegal harvesting) which was high;
– Confidence in harvest management and monitoring was low;
– Incentives for conservation in the country were low; and
– Only between 5% and 15% of leopard habitat was strictly protected.

The trophy ban is in place throughout this year. According to the DEA statement, the Scientific Authority will then review the situation. It will also develop norms and standards for the management and monitoring of leopard hunting throughout the country.

Kelly Marnewick, the Environmental Wildlife Trust’s carnivore conservation manager, supported the ban.

“It’s important to ensure that any wildlife trade we do is sustainable,” she said. “If we can’t do that, it’s highly problematic. We need a trade ban until we can get to that.”

“Record keeping on trophy hunting in this country is shocking. We haven’t been recording age, sex or size of trophies. If our hunting fraternity is serious about using wildlife sustainably they will embrace this ban and find ways to work with government until trade is sustainable.”

Helen Turnbull of the Cape Leopard Trust also supported the move. She said the trust was pleased to see that common sense has prevailed and that the government would maintain the ban until provinces have gotten their acts together.

Andrew Muir of the Wilderness Foundation said the ban was good news, but noted that it was an interim measure while norms and standards were being put in place.

“We cannot stress enough the need for high quality research on the population numbers, make-up and distribution of leopards, especially in core conservation areas,” he said. “Leopards are charismatic and an apex species. Until we know population numbers and carrying capacity we should not hunt them.”

South African animal photos: here.

Beyoncé writing, acting in film about Saartjie Baartman


This 3 January 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Beyoncé Will Reportedly Star in Her Own Movie, about Saartjie Baartman

From Vulture.com in the USA:

Beyoncé Is Writing and Starring in a Movie About Saartjie Baartman

By Greg Cwik …

Queen Béy, the biggest pop star of the still-young millennium, wants to be taken seriously as an actress. A decade ago (!) she appeared in the third Austin Powers film, Goldmember, in which she was quite fun, but her next film will be considerably more serious: She’s penning a script for a film about Saartjie Baartman (nicknamed the Hottentot Venus), a South African woman and one of two famous Khoikhoi women who were paraded and displayed in 19th-century London freak shows for their big buttocks and elongated labia. There’s no word yet as to when Beyoncé‘s film will shoot or be released, but you can rest assured that it will be a hit. Béy hive, assemble!

UPDATE: This was denied later.

Dead zebra scares leopard


This video says about itself:

Leopard “Detonates” Zebra Carcass in Kruger National Park

19 November 2015

This leopard bit into a decaying zebra carcass and got sprayed with intestine fluids!

This rare leopard sighting took place at Djuma Bush Camp in the Greater Kruger National Park area.

“Mvula the leopard is the first predator/scavenger to stumble across a dead, decaying zebra… We, along with our ranger, Taxon, and our tracker, Fanot, followed Mvula for a couple of kilometres from the Djuma bush camp water hole until the leopard picked up the scent of the decaying zebra… Folks, watch this to see a VERY startled leopard…” – Videographer, Richard Malcolm.

Great white sharks in South Africa, video


This video from South Africa says about itself:

27 November 2014

Under cover of darkness, Kimi Stewart and her team set out to photograph a White shark breach in False Bay, South Africa. Most breaches have been recorded during daylight, with dawn and dusk being the most active hunting hours for the sharks, but no one had yet photographed a night time breach.

In the heart of False Bay lies a small island home to a population of Cape Fur seals. Every winter, when the young seal pups venture into the ocean, they become prime targets for White sharks. But catching a seal is not an easy task. In fact, it is estimated that half of the seals survive the attacks. To compete against the seal’s agility, White sharks use the breaching strategy, surprising the seal with a fatal blow. Once the seal is hit, the predator will return to finish its victim.

This breaching behaviour, which relies on the element of surprise is believed to use all of the shark’s senses, including its vision. Low light, especially, helps depict the seals shadow against the surface, whilst allowing the shark to remain camouflaged in the dark waters below.

Curiously night time breaches have been recorded in Mossel Bay, on the Eastern coast of South Africa, and it could be that the city lights, moonlight, or bioluminescence, provide enough light for them to hunt. Further down along the coastline, in False Bay, and equipped with fashion photography lights, Kimi, Hendre, Marius and Morne set out to capture a night-time breach of a White shark.

This film will be shown at the Wildlife Film Festival in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.