Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How the threat to lions, leopards and wolves endangers us all

ORIGINAL POST FROM THE GUARDIAN ( http://www.theguardian.com/environment)




Cape Times 6-12-1012


How the threat to lions, leopards and wolves endangers us all

Though fearsome killers, big carnivores are also a precious resource, as their feeding habits keep many delicate ecosystems in balance. But too many predators are now facing extinction
They are the planet's most prolific killers – and also some of nature's most effective protectors. This is the stark conclusion of an international report that argues that lions, wolves, pumas, lynxes and other major carnivores play key roles in keeping ecosystems in balance. It also warns that the current depletion of numbers of major predators threatens to cause serious ecological problems across the globe.

The paper, written by a group of 14 leading ecologists and biologists from the US, Europe and Australia and published in the journal Science, calls for the establishment of an international initiative to conserve large carnivores and help them to coexist with humans. Failure to protect our top predators could soon have devastating consequences, they warn.

"Globally, we are losing our large carnivores," said William Ripple, the report's lead author. "Many of them are endangered and their ranges are collapsing. Many are at risk of extinction, either locally or globally. And, ironically, they are vanishing just as we are learning to appreciate their important ecological effects."

The report has been produced, in part, to show that the classic vision of a large predator, such as a lion or a wolf, being an agent of harm to wildlife and a cause of widespread depletion of animal stocks is misguided. Careful analysis of predators' food chains reveals a very different picture. "In fact, the myriad social and economic effects [of large carnivores] include many benefits," it states.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/26/endangered-species-carnivores-extinction

Cape Times 6-12-1012

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Elephant tusk poaching

Africans will kill all their rhinos then move in to kill the last few elephants for greed.
It is like Africa is selling her soul.    Perhaps even in my lifetime the big five in the wild would have shrunken to the big three and tourists will have to visit continents who value them, like Australia, if they want to see the other big two roaming free.

In the picture above, every two tusks represent a dead animal.   Many who have been killed in a cruel way.   Many mother died leaving their young behind to fend for themselves.
http://africananimals.blogspot.com/2013/04/on-safari-by-armand-dennis-1963-pp-306.html

Above photograph from the Cape Times


The biggrst case of rhino horn poaching thrown out of court


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On Safari by Armand Dennis 1963 pp 306-313

On Safari by Armand Dennis 1963 pp 306-313

OUTLOOK FOR THE ANIMALS


     ……     There was the morning in January, for instance, three years ago, when we had been on safari in Uganda close to the Congo border, filming the herds of elephant as they crossed this great  area of savannah country. We had started early. To the west we had a rare and magnificent view of Ruwenzori, the Mountains of the Moon, and although we drove for more than two hours through high, rich grass, we saw nothing except baboons and a few hyenas. Of all the elephants that we had been told were in the area there was not a sign.
This was mysterious. Game does not usually disappear like this without a cause, yet there was nothing we could see to account for it.
It was just before noon that we spotted our first elephant of the day.   It was a nearly full-grown cow, and as soon as we saw her we could tell there was something wrong with the way she was walking.
We stopped about half a mile away from her and looked at her through the binoculars to see what was the matter. It was not difficult to see the trouble. About eighteen inches above the foot ran a thin steel wire encircling her leg. On the end of it trailed an eight—foot long wooden stake that she had somehow managed to pull out of the ground. But the wire had been drawn so tight that it had bitten deeply into the flesh and the whole leg had festered and swollen up like a balloon.
It was intensely moving to see the way the elephant accepted this terrible injury and carried on, limping uncomplainingly after the herd that was probably miles ahead of her by now.
We had never seen anything like this before, but Michaela and I both knew all too well what had caused the injury. For several months past we had been hearing reports about the steady increase of elephant poaching, not only in this area but almost everywhere in Africa where elephants occur. Even in the Tsavo National park in
Kenya, the number of elephants being killed each year by the poachers was beginning to run well into hundreds. Poaching was becoming a business. The poachers were being organised into gangs, sometimes operating in Land-Rovers from semi-permanent camps.
They would set these murderous snares of theirs indiscriminately for any animals they could catch.
We pulled close to within a hundred yards of the painfully limping elephant.
"She's been snared, but it looks as if she's broken away," I said to Michaela. "That wire would have bitten through to the bone by now."

"But what can we do to help her?" asked Michaela.    
"Nothing now," I replied. "'We're too late. She could never recover from an injury like that. The leg is rotted. She must have been like this for weeks."

As I spoke, it was almost as if the elephant heard what I said.
She stopped, faced us and trumpeted forlornly. For once I wished that we carried a gun with us. At least we could have put her out of her agony. As it was the only thing we could do was to drive back as fast as we could to the game warden's headquarters and get him to do it.


This took us most of the afternoon and it was nearly dark before we had found him and caught up with the elephant again. By now she had dragged herself on for about half a mile from where we had left her and then stopped.
She did not bother to trumpet when she saw us this time, but stood facing us passively. The ranger took his time over the shot and made a clean kill of it. When he fired she sank to her knees and died without a murmur.
I hate the death of any animal. Normally, however, you reason with yourself and realise that you have to accept the facts of death.   Death is one of the laws of the wild and not something to get sentimental about.
This was something different. The waste and the appalling suffering of the animal disgusted us.  We drove back with the game ranger.
"Is that a job you often have to do?” I asked him.
He nodded. “There’s always elephant poaching going on round here."
“But don't you ever catch the men who do it? “Asked Michaela.
“Of course we do, although it's getting more difficult these days than it used to be. The poachers are arming themselves now and they're much better organised than they were. Only last week one of my own men got shot in the leg by a poacher.  He was lucky to be shot in the leg. He will recover. Lucky that was all it was"'
"But what do you do with the poachers when you do catch them?" insisted Michaela.
The ranger looked as if this was a question he had heard many times before.
''W'e11," he said, "you can Put them in gaol, of course, but that doesn’t do anyone much good. The Africans don't particularly object to a few months’ free board at the Government's expense.
It doesn’t bring the animals back and it certainly doesn't turn the poacher into an animal lover."
"To tell you the truth," he went on, "the men I'm bitter about are not really the poachers. After all, they're local men.  They've always hunted the game and they take a 1ot of risks I wouldn't like to.
The people someone really should clamp down on are the merchants and the middlemen on the coast who finance the poachers and buy the ivory from them. If there was a bit more drastic action against them from above, we might start getting somewhere"'

This conversation with the game ranger made a great impression on us both. If the Government was slow to act about poaching, we at least had the chance of making the people who watched our programmes aware of what was happening. That very night we decided to shelve our plans to film the rest of the elephant herds.   Instead we would make a full-scale documentary film on the poaching of Africa's wild life.


It was not a particularly pleasant film to make. During the weeks that followed we saw sights too gruesome ever to show to any television audience. There were rhinos within twenty miles of Nairobi that had been speared to death and left rotting for the vultures. A11 the poachers had wanted had been the horns that they hacked out and sold to one of the local merchants engaged in the perfectly legal trade of selling rhino horn as a theoretical aphrodisiac to the Far East.
'We saw zebras and wildebeests that had been snared with steel wire, hamstrung, and then left several days to die.  All the poachers could be bothered to take would be the wildebeests’ tails to make into fly-whisks that sell, again perfectly legally, to the tourists in the gift shops of Nairobi for a few shillings.
Worst of all were the completely useless deaths we encountered.   Snaring is easy, but it is also indiscriminate, and the snares were placed so widely that for every animal caught that was any use to the poachers, there must have been dozens that were not. These would just be left where they were.   Female gazelles caught and left to die of starvation, their young waiting patiently beside them; warthogs and buffalo that had suffered a similar fate; rotting carcasses too far gone even to identify. Once we found a giraffe that was still alive but had had a front leg torn off by a snare.
The snares worst victims of all were not the animals that they killed, but those that managed to escape and survive. Twice during these weeks Des Bartlett came upon elephants that had been caught in snares by their trunks. One had broken away and was somehow managing to exist with only half a trunk, by grazing the grass on his knees. The other was less fortunate.   When Des first spotted him he was floundering to a river, and he watched him actually feeding on floating weeds. This was all he could manage to get, for the elephant relies almost completely on his trunk for feeding and Des saw that this elephant's trunk must have been caught in a snare for although it looked intact, it was paralysed and just hung uselessly.
I estimate that to-day (1963) there remains at the most only a tenth of the game that was in Africa before the First World War, perhaps much less than a tenth. The numbers are still declining, and still we are doing nothing to teach the African why he should behave better than we have with organised hunting over the years.
I felt all this even more strongly a few months later over the last hippos of lake     Baringo is a small lake by African standards, about twenty-five miles long, it lies to the north of Nakuru in particularly wild country. Unlike Nakuru, Elenrenteita, Hannington and Magadi, the big salt-lakes of the Great Rift Valley, Lake
Baringo has fresh water. In this respect, it is like Lake Naivasha and, like Naivasha, it used to support a large and flourishing population of hippo. After the war these hippos and the rest of the game that used to surround the two lakes began to be seriously threatened by indiscriminate shooting and spearing. By the time the hippo were declared Royal Game five years ago, the hippo of both Baringo and Naivasha had been brought close to extinction.
In the whole of Lake Baringo, there could scarcely have been more than a hundred hippo left; and about this time another danger came to threaten this pitiful remnant. For several seasons drought or scanty rainfall brought disaster to the surrounding area which had already been ravaged by overgrazing and injudicious burning of the grass and bush. Two years ago the hippos had to live through a period of several months of virtual starvation, and last year conditions were even worse.
Soon the hippos were so weak that they could scarcely stagger a few hundred yards from their lake, and within that limited radius they would wander searching for the dry seed pods that fell from the thorn trees and that were all that was left to give them the illusion of food.
Michaela and I heard about the plight of the hippos when we were staying with our friend, David Roberts, who has the fishing concession of Lake Baringo, and lives there with his family on the western shore. He had been particularly affected by the plight of eight hippos that had lived for a long time on the edge of the lake within sight of his house.
As the weeks passed without sign of rain, these eight hippos had become weaker and weaker. At night they used to wander through the remains of his parched-up garden in search of food and soon they became so thin that their ribs showed and they staggered as they walked. Instead of disappearing out of sight in the lake during the day, as these animals usually do, they would simply lie exhausted on the bank, a sitting target for any African hunter who cared to take them.
Finally, when David found the bull of this small herd actually in the porch of his house, sniffing at the remains of the food he had left out for the dog, he decided that the time had come to make some attempt to save these eight hippos.
Hay was the only food that he could get for them in sufficient quantities and this he put out. To start with the hippos were clearly puzzled by the new food. The first night they nuzzled it and scattered most of it along the shore. But they ate a little and, within a few days, they were eating three to four full bales a night.
The hippos began to put on weight again, and although they still looked emaciated, they clearly had a chance of surviving until the rains came. Their favourite food of all was the Lucerne hay, with star grass hay and oat hay running it a close second. At first they would also accept Rhodes grass hay and ordinary wheat straw, but then they became fussier about the food they would take and tended to leave this uneaten. As a result, David was having to spend more than he could afford on good quality hay to keep the eight hippos alive, and Michaela and I offered to help by starting a small fund for the hippos of Lake Baringo. The Wild Life Society headed the subscription list with a gift of also and although we received contributions from as far afield as the United States, most of the money came from conservationists we knew in Kenya. Within a few weeks we had enough money to guarantee the hippos' food for as long as the drought lasted.
Soon we saw a remarkable difference in the habits of the hippos.
They began to develop confidence in people. Normally, hippos spend most of the day well off shore and land only at night, but these soon started lying in the shallow water during the day, not more than twenty or thirty yards from the men loading the fish into David's freezing plant.
In the evening they would come out of the water, start eating long before dark, and stay out until day-break. One evening I actually saw David pat one of the hippos on the back as it waddled past on the way to the house for the day's ration. All this was very satisfactory except for one thing that began to worry David as the drought went on.
He knew the Africans well who lived around the lake and he understood how the drought was hitting them. They were beginning to go hungry too, and he knew that the longer the drought lasted the more of a temptation these nearly tamed hippos would become. He knew just how serious this danger was when he saw one of the hippos with a spear sticking out of its back. It was not a bad wound and David was able to get the spear out.
But the day came when David had to leave home for a week.
When he returned he found that the big old bull had been speared to death in his absence. A few weeks later, another followed. Then a female was killed and her baby caught in the mud and choked to death. Within a matter of weeks, the last of the eight hippos, we thought we had saved, had been killed, and the animals exterminated from one more African lake.
Ultimately several of the Africans responsible for the killings were arrested and imprisoned for a while, but, in this case, the sentence struck me as being almost as pointless as it was unfair.

Despite all our opportunities we have failed to teach the African to value the wild life of his country.
Take first the continuance of licensed hunting in East Africa, which seems to me such arrant stupidity at the moment. Quite apart from any question of cruelty to the animals, it makes the sheerest nonsense of any attempt to teach the African to value the game of his own country. As long as the white man is allowed to hunt, any attempt to suppress the poacher will always appear mere hypocrisy in African eyes.
Consider next the fact that for the ordinary African villager the two things that matter more than anything_ else are land and cattle.
Wild animals, nor surprisingly, appear to him as a threat to both and he has always been encouraged in this attitude by the wholesale campaigns of game extermination which the Europeans in Africa have carried on under one Pretext or another over great areas. In Uganda, for instance, countless zebra and antelope have been methodically destroyed on the grounds that they are dangerous carriers of sleeping sickness. The whole theory behind this has been disproved by every reputable scientist who has studied the subject, but the slaughter still goes on. The wild animals killed in various areas in the last ten years for so-called "tsetse control" run into hundreds of thousands.
Because of such examples when European authorities do try to set aside an area for the protection of game it is not surprising if Africans regard it simply as a means of robbing them of land on which they should be allowed to settle themselves.
Many times I have heard the National Parks referred to as land stolen from the
African and the preservation of animals are usually regarded as a perverse white man's hobby.
As a result, the herdsmen and the African settlers have felt themselves within their rights in moving into many of the areas of the National Parks and hard pressed local administrators have all too often accepted this way out of the problem of providing more land for the growing population.   ……………………   worst of all, the land itself is changing and turning against the wild life as it is in so many other parts of the world. The cattle and the goats increase each year. The sparse land becomes overgrazed and dies. Trees are felled. The thin soil of the bush erodes even more quickly than the soil did in the American Middle West, and like the Middle West, much of Africa is already rapidly turning into a dust bowl.

Compiled by Rosalie
LINKS
 Full text of "On Safari The Story Of My Life" - Internet Archive

Life story - Wikipedia


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Feeding Baby Birds

FEEDING BABY BIRDS

I found the following information on
  (It is worth giving this and similar websites a visit.  Do not rely entirely on advice from u-tube.  Some of those feeding methods may not be very desirable)

Diets:


Seedeaters (excluding doves): Sparrow, Weavers and similar species.
These birds feed their babies on insects and should receive the same diet as for insectivorous birds.
  
 Doves: If you cannot obtain a commercially prepared, balanced food like Aviplus, use Pro-Nutro, mixed with water and with added egg yolk and/or cottage cheese for extra protein and calcium.
Or make a soft clay mixture, using only Pro-Nutro and egg yolk (no water) and form small, pea-sized balls (the bird will still need plenty of water, as this food will be quite concentrated.)
 WARNING:  A bird that does not beg or cooperate may have to be force-fed after rehydration. Take care in opening the beak, using a fingernail or matchstick, not to bend the beak - especially the tender beak of a baby
A good idea is to make the food mixture very sloppy and, as we said with rehydration, to release it (using a syringe) drop by drop on the closed beak, until the bird gets the message. This works especially well with tiny baby Doves or even insect eaters like baby Plovers.
WARNING: The food is intended for the bird's stomach, not its feathers and eyes. Let common sense prevail!
 
Insectivores: Cape Robin, Swallow, Shrike and similar species. A mixture of Pronutro, scrambled egg and lean mince.

Frugivores: Bullbul, Barbet, White-eye, Lourie and similar species. As for Insectivores, but add 50 percent Purity baby food or fruit.
  
Carnivores: Raptors, Coucal and similar species. Lean meat, preferably including internal organs and mixed with roughage such as sterilized feathers. Raptors are mostly fed on (dead, euthanased by gas) day old chicks, obtained from a hatchery.

South African National Bird of Prey Centre at 083 585 9540.
   
All Birds: A lack of calcium leads to irreparable bone deformities in baby birds. Add calcium, mineral and vitamin supplements.

By Gordon M Duncan and Wings in Need
http://www.wingsinneed.org.za/

Animaltalk October 1999
End

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

TINY TIM NOW HAS HIS OWN BLOG

The Tiny Tim posts will be transferred to his own blog.  It is still under construction but you may preview it here


http://tinytim2012.blogspot.com/

Freedom once again for Tiny Tim?

6 December 2011
(preview of the full story still being edited)

While Tiny Tim was snoozing in his nice warm cage in the spare room, I rigged up the cage, which would have been his abode today.

I used a tall old birdcage and took the bottom off, then turned it upside down. And lined the bottom with some straw and a fluffy sock for a nest. I also put one low crossbeam in for just in case he did not want to sit on the straw.
Although he is too small to feed himself, I put some birdseed and water also in the cage. One never knows with this bird.

I got up at four thirty to put him and his cage out so Mary can find him in the usual spot at daybreak.

When I lifted him from the mouse cage, his little claw got entangled in lining and he was fully awake when I transferred him. He must have woken with a startle, poor thing.
I placed the cage in the usual spot with Tiny Tim clinging to the side. So much for the warm-sock-nest where I was hoping he would wake up this morning.

When I went outside to check on him he was sitting on the rim of the cage again, so I took the cage, Tiny Tim and all, and carried it outside to where his nest used to be. (Boytjie, his daddy broke it down long ago and is building a new nest for his next wife.

I lifted the cage as high as I could so he could jump onto the branch. He did not have much choice in the matter. It was lovely to watch his reaction from the high branch.

Boytjie thought it was a female coming to check out his new nest and became very excited, flapping his wings and trying to entice Tiny Tim to come and check it out.

That puts another slant on the saga of Tiny Tim. It may be actually the saga of tiny Tammy. He may be a she. For the sake of the unknown, we shall continue to call her-him a he.

Little Tim was sitting there checking out the new environment, yet it must have looked familiar because this is about where his nest was. His little head was turning in all directions.

Then he spotted Mary and tried to fly towards her but plummeted into the lower branches of the bush with Mary in pursuit.

Well that is the first and possibly last time that I can record the freedom of Tiny Tim.

From now on I shall not attempt to cage him again. What is the point? He will just have to learn how to climb trees until his wings strengthen.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tiny Tim - what will today bring in his little life?

(preview of the full story still being edited)


6 December


I was standing by the kitchen window yesterday evening when I noticed a tiny thing sitting on the cement floor looking up to where the cage was.

Tiny Tim may have been wondering how he could get back to his adopted nest but from past experience I know he is scared of me because perhaps I hurt him when I caught him.

I asked Hubby to do the honors of catching him this time, a task he performed amazingly without any trouble. Perhaps he has a more gentle touch with birds. He seemed to have no difficulty putting the butterfly net over Tiny Tim and lift him back into the cage. The chick looked exhausted though and I was not sure if he would survive.
It was lovely to know he will be safe for the night at least. We find so many unfortunate nestlings that died of exposure during the night, after they fell from the nest.

While we were not looking he must have recovered, and out of the cage he went again.
I was looking all over for him and then nearly tramped on him as I walked past his cage.

If he has been hiding in corners all day, I am not sure how much feeding he had. Because of his stressed state, I decided not to force feed him and started making plans for a nest with higher sides today. I just hope that Mary will be able to get to him and accept him in the new environment. How much interference will wild birds tolerate.
Suddenly his chances of survival are no longer very good. If birds stress over a long period them often get ill and die.

Photographs will be added to the post when edited.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The adventure of Tiny Tim continue

(preview of the full story still being edited)


1619h (Day 2 of captivity)
Tiny Tim left the nest and disappeared in my jungle of a back garden.


We went on some errands and when we returned he was perched at the top rim of the cage, but when we returned he was gone. I did not irrigate the garden today in case I drench him. It is near impossible finding a little bird in my bushy garden. I just hope that he can hop onto low shrubs.

If Mary was not caring for him, I would have placed him in the big cage, but then she would not have been able to get to him in order to feed him.

I believe that nature have, under normal circumstances, ways of sorting out its own problems.

Tiny Tim has a dedicated mamma, so I just closed all the doors and windows of the house, giving him time to adjust to outdoor living.

I do not expect to see him again, but if I do, I shall keep you posted.

Day 2 of captivity for Tiny Tim

Previous post


5 December 2011
Tiny Tim survived another night. I put him out at 5.30 after I prodded him to see if he was alive. He looks so dead when he sleeps.

Just prior to writing this report I heard Tiny Tim receiving his breakfast and when I rushed to the door to see if my ears did not deceive me, I was just in time to see Mary on the washing line cleaning her beak after the feed.

Will Tiny Tim manage to leave the mouse cage today? Whatever he does I decided that my role is strictly as an observer. Hands off! No interference. Famous last words?
Signing out for now 06.30am

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tiny Tim's second day incaptivity

(preview of the full story still being edited)

4-12-2011
Before I go further, I need to confess that I am not sure if the chick is a Tim or a Timothy.

Tiny Tim had a bit of a stressful day today.

At first I overslept and the birds were already chirping outside when I realized that the chick is still inside; so I put him out very quickly. He was again fast asleep and I did not know if he was dead or alive. My concern was that Mary would notice that the cage was missing and abandon her chick.

I did not have to wait long for her to arrive with breakfast.

It was a very hot and windless today. The heat was just hanging in the air with no wind to fan it.
The poor chick’s, mostly plastic, mouse cage must have been sweltering hot. The deep plastic bakkie (bowl), which I rigged out to be his temporary nest, must have made everything ten times worst.

At one stage I thought he was going to die from heat. He was sitting on the side of the nest with his mouth open and his head hanging, panting.
I went for the syringe and squirted a bit of water down his neck, which stressed him to the extent that he did not make the right chick sounds when Mary approached with food so she left, thinking he was full.

I exchanged the plastic bakkie with a little utility basket about cup size but when he sat on the side of it, it collapsed. Mary was hesitant to get near the cage, so I removed the basket and put a shallow cat food bowl in the cage at which time Mary attacked my head but, although she attempted to enter the cage about 20 times afterward, she seemed to be scared to get near it.

After much observation, I realized that the cat food bowl is blue and perhaps it is a color she did not like, so I had to disturb the poor chick once again to remove all bowls and replaced it with a simple fluffy white carpet made from some woolly cloth.
The chick managed to jump out of my hand, during the re-furnishing of his cage, and landed on the cement floor then scurried under the fridge.

By the time I managed to get him out from under the fridge it was already 5pm.

I stuck him back in the cage and decided that I was his worst enemy and if Mary still does not feed him it will be back to pro-nutro tonight.

Mary tried to entice Tiny Tim to leave that unsafe place by flying towards the cage then out to the bushes at first. He tried to follow his mother, but he is still too weak to get to the top of the cage.
To our delight Mary decided to recommence feeding again, she seemed to be content with the new nest arrangement.

I covered the cage with a towel and put it in a quiet room for the night. I hope that I do not oversleep, like this morning, again.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tiny Tim and Mary (Masked-Weaver chick and his/her mother)

(preview of the full story still being edited)

Birds and animals are amazing. We can learn so much from them.

Yesterday I noticed that one of the weaver nests broke apart in the wind. By watching the behavior of the male, I knew where I would find the chick.

From past experience I have realized that leaving the chick to fend for itself meets with disaster, the chick always dies.

I just had to take it and feed it myself, I thought. It was too small for the bird cage, so I created a nice warm nest like padded cup and put the little thing in there, then I placed it in a little mouse cage with a sliding lid on top. The chick was very quiet. It just sat there with its mouth open.

I mixed some Pronutro, which we keep in the cupboard to feed injured birds, and gave him some until he no longer kept his mouth open then I put a wooly cloth over him and tucked him in for the night

This morning it was lying so still that I thought it died during the night, but when I touched it, it stirred - still in a deep sleep.
I cleaned the cage and gave him another two feeds of Pronutro. Because I expected visitors, I took his cage from the lounge and put it outside by the undercover braai on top of the music center but under an indoor washing line.

It is a very windy day and since weavers normally have a closed nest I put a cloth over the cage. The little thing never made a sound. I could not tell if it was stressed or comfortable.

While looking out of the kitchen window, I noticed the female weaver on the washing line looking around for her chick that fell from the nest the day before. It so happens that the tree where the nest was is next to the braai.

I then decided to remove the lid and cloth from the cage and returned to the kitchen window to watch what was happening.

The weaver soon returned and it did not take her long to spot her chick. She immediately flew away and came back with an insect in her beak. It took her a while to figure out how to get to the chick She hopped around the cage and jumped back onto the washing line and down again until she found herself above the cage on the line. Puzzle solved, and she jumped into the cage. I herd the response from the chick immediately. She fed the chick and regarded it as the nest from then onwards. She fed the chick about every 15 minutes or so until it fell asleep. Then she would just sit near the chick on the washing line.

My only worry is that the ants may find the cage during the night because of all the Pronutro I spilled in it. I think I shall bring it in tonight and clean the cage and put it out again tomorrow.

Humans can learn a lot about dedication and care for the young from birds and animals.

The thought came to me that without her chick, life must have lost its purpose because she spends all day looking for food and bringing it to the nest.

We still have a long way to go because the little thing has all its feathers but it is very small. Lets hope this one will make it and next-door’s cat does not catch the mother.

I like to name things so I think I shall call them Tiny-Tim and Mary. The male already has a name. We call all male Masked-weavers Boytjie because you cannot tell one male from the other.

It is a bit like how I named my chickens back in the days when I farmed with them. I named them by color. All the white ones were Aggie, the black ones Freda and the red ones Betsie. My friends were very impressed with my ability to remember all their names.

I shall keep you posted about the outcome.

Monday, August 22, 2011

How to fight the rhino horn poaching problem as well as other wildlife transgressions?




African problems need African solutions.
Rhino horn is destined for China and other countries that believe in magic potions.
People who believe in magic potions also believe in curses and protective forces.

A problem-solving meeting between top African Sangomas, global energy healers and ancestral advisers (People who can hear the voice of the ancestors) can be staged here in Cape Town. They can solve this problem using African magic. This meeting can be paid for with lotto funds.

A curse can be placed on those who use or remove rhino horn for self gain. A protective ring can be cast around our game reserves. If rhino and other African animal horns are cursed, it will loose its magic power.

However, the meeting should not only concern the curse of the horn but also discuss how traditional healers and sangomas can obtain their needed supplies for the use of their magic poaches without destroying our natural resources.

Nature parks can for instance allow natural healers access to plants as long as they help to maintain the local species and help to identify and regenerate problem areas. Alternatively living Sangoma pharmacies can be grown.

Even the sangomas who use human body parts can brainstorm ideas of how to obtain their specimens legally without causing pain or hardship to innocent victims.

Instead of using the sexual organs of virgins or babies to cure aids for instance they may agree to use cord blood or the blood of a placenta instead of killing a baby.
This does not have to mean that we approve such superstitious methods, but Africa has to evolve her own belief structures.

Denying people the right to practice the black magic art may only make the mootie more valuable when the practice is pushed underground. Most users care little how the animal part has been obtained or if the animal, or human, was live when it was removed. We can wash black magic by finding humane substitutes and the result may be that the cruelty of the past may disappear altogether when black magic turns gray.

African and traditional Chinese medical practices share many of the same principles.

Once the curse (protection) has been cast it can be announced via the Internet, Facebook and Twitter and Wallah! The rhino will have an invisible protective net.

Most Christians will frown at this post, and the suggestion of aiding and abetting black magic. I do not blame us, but we need to remember that the majority of people living in Africa are traditional believers. The spirit of Africa needs to be washed by her majority.

The difference between white and black magic on all levels is that the black magician uses his magic to empower himself or individuals (or his lower nature).
The white magician uses his magic for the good of the whole (The nation or the group) or his soul nature, without expecting self-gain.

Pain and animal or human sacrifice is no longer the way of the evolved, more sensitive, human but Africa needs to grow at her own pace. She shall do it through her own believe structures and not by adopting foreign religious doctrines, even if in the end all humanity may be destined for one religion when they recognize the different faces of the ONE GOD.

PHOTO ALBUM


Finding solutions to the rhino poaching problem


Poachers killed another rhino, this time in the Western Cape.
While criminals and syndicates have a stronger firepower than the police force, there is little concern from the side of the poachers. They know the game rangers and police will do their job but at the same time they, the police and rangers, fear the power of the poachers. The intervention by police only increases the adrenaline rush in the poachers. This little possibility of being caught only increases the value of the horn and my even be welcomed. Even the courts treat poachers very lightly.


Some of the game rangers themselves are informants for the poachers. Who would not offer the life of an animal in exchange for a few thousand rand extra?

It is time we employ a strength that can out match that of the syndicates. How can this be done?

1. Declare war against the poachers and employ the army in conjunction with the police force.
2. Implant satellite-tracking chips into the horns of a selected group of wild animals. Do not paint them and do not even notify the rangers which wildlife are being chipped. Chip some rhinos in all the camps. Let the horn lead the intelligence forces to the doorsteps of the syndicates. Do this throughout Africa. Some war torn African countries are trading horn for weapons.
3. Kill the demand. I shall blog about this in my next post. The solution is much simpler than we realize. Watch this space.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Intaka Island

I tried to upload a video here, but it was too big so unfortunately I can only direct you to their site for now.


Intaka island, the biggest Nature secret of Cape Town, has another secret experience to unveil.

The island is not only for the birds.

When I get the time, I shall upload some photographs from our boat ride around the island. It is very inexpensive.

You can park your vehicle by the entrance of the bird-island and take a boat ride to the shopping mall and when done, return to your vehicle while you admire the most beautiful modern town in the world. All included in the price of the one ticket.


It is beautiful. Every now and again you get a glimpse of Table Mountain just to remind you that you are in fact in Cape Town and not somewhere in Europe.

INTAKA website

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The foot of Table Mountain is where evolution and involution meet.

It is difficult to find the true average level of consciousness or intelligence of people in today’s world. Some developed areas are amazingly closed to new ideas whereas some undeveloped areas show an amazing sense of spiritualism and intelligence. Humanity evolved since the Alice Bailey books were written, yet here in Africa many of the unthinking hoards, referred to as: ‘The people’ have not yet evolved past the stage of stoning their victims. Blood sacrifice (animal and human) is still the norm among some tribes, and there are still cases where witches are burnt or human and animal body parts are used for magic.

Here, in the ‘third world’ we still find the animal-man who is a descendant from a group of people who live a day-to-day life and keep no possessions and gather only what they need for the day. They live on the city streets, the urban bush, and their lifestyles seem to have changed little from centuries ago. Yet life robbed them from the freedom of nature. Life robbed them also from that relationship with the wild, the bush, and the rapport they had with animals. It robbed them of the magic of existence and replaced it with a fight for survival in the squalor of city streets.

Their dangers are no longer that of wild animals but sharp or poisonous objects found it garbage cans. The need to hunt for food has been replaced by a desire to obtain alcohol so they can forget the reality of life.

When baboons evolved to the same level, and navigated the uncertain ground of backyards with garbage cans, they were shot because humans need that the demarcation between animal and man remains in tact.

Here at the foot of Table Mountain is where the line of devolution and evolution meets.

It is here where an ugly reality of neglect, animal cruelty and misunderstanding plays out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BABOON EXTERMINATION AROUND TABLE MOUNTAIN





FIRST THEY KILLED BART AND NOW FRED

Another baboon died by the wisdom of the baboon caretaker squad in Cape Town, last week.
Even though this is happening during an election year and in a DA ruled province, Helen Zille is still the only politician who spoke out about the lack of attention the animals in nature are receiving from our conservation efforts. We will sacrifice their shelter, habitat and food source, to further for our emotional, indiscriminate fynbos recovery efforts.

We all know that the fynbos is being threatened with extinction and needs preservation, but so are many of our animal and insect species who were forced to seek shelter and habitat in an alien environment.

So if you love animals and nature the DA still deserves your vote.
(I am not siding with any party in particular, except for the one that supports the quality of all life, the poor as well as the defenseless. I will also side with the political party that will put his money where his mouth is and not in his/her own pockets)

1 I was just wondering if the conservation training covers animal behavior and psychology. Are they taught how to tune into nature and mentally get into the thought or survival patterns of the habitats that are threatening the perfect vision of co-habitation of animals and plants? Can anyone tell me?
2 What type of student chooses conservation as a career? Is it those who love nature or is it students who do not have the courage to tackle difficult subjects? In the past animals were voiceless victims, but thankfully in today’s society there are many nature lovers who are speaking up for our silent victims and are starting to use the Internet to fight their cause. Soon we will have to train conservation students who are sensitive to the life forms they control.
3 Do the conservation students learn all about laws and botanical names at the beginning of their curriculum, and if they are taught to tune into nature by observing any species, is the training offered at the end of their term? Will some students pass their degree without having had time to build that much needed quality to make holistic decisions? How many first year students have silently sat in nature and ask themselves the question: “What does this particular area need”, and then listen to their intuition for answers?

The baboon squad should have had the sensitivity and knowledge to come up with better solutions than killing the alpha males, who adopted the survival behavior of low class humans. It is so sad that experts, who have been employed to solve the baboon problem, could come up with no other solution than to kill them.

Whenever baboons evolve and adapt they are exterminated or locked I cages in some zoo. By taking out the alpha male every time, they leave behind the weaker ones to lead the troop (often into trouble). For animals to survive in this unfriendly environment, where people squeeze them out of their habitat, chop their shelter down, burn their food supply and take pot shots at them and commit acts of cruelty to deter them, we need the strong, intelligent ones to survive and guide the troop.


There have been lots of animal experiments done, internationally, on how to change the behavior of animals; they include, naming a few methods:
1 Shock treatment when animals behave unfavorable and reward them when they behave the right way.
2 The use of animal whisperers,
3 High frequency sound waves etc.
4 Booby traps in homes, bins and vehicles and other places of unsocial survival attempts by the baboons.
5 Pepper spraying of baboons that approaches vehicles and homes.
6 Supply food in a space that can also become a tourist attraction and provide the necessary funds to manage the existence of the species.
7 Set up trust funds or other initiatives to employ necessary international expert or humanitarian groups to train our conservationists.
(Sometimes we may need to be a bit cruel, in the beginning, to save the lives and existence of a troop of baboons.)

The nature of wild animals is to live in one area but move onto another more suitable habitat when the area becomes to overpopulated for the available food supply. Because the baboons can no longer split the troop and look for food somewhere else, they adapted by getting additional food by raiding the obstructive human habitat. This is a very clever adaptive behavior pattern.

We can prevent this by also being clever and provide alternative solutions.
With the right survival training, who knows, perhaps they will one day learn how to propagate and grow their own food in their protective habitats?


There is a lot we can experiment with and learn from the behavior of these animals and there is a lot they can learn from us if we use methods other than kill the clever ones.

They need our help and understanding not their execution and eventual extinction.


Rosalie - 6 April 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trees are a natural solution for over populated areas.















The best of both worlds.
Trees offer life for some animals and birds out of the reach of predators.

The Lord’s Prayer for animals forced into extinction by the efforts of man.

God forgive us for our narrow-mindedness and blindness due to the fact that we cannot see the bigger picture.
If our conservation efforts are your will, please bless our actions.
If not, forgive us for we do not always know what we are doing.
If the animals and birds suffer because we temporarily destroyed their chance of survival in order to give future animals a better place to live in, please provide a special habitat for them, with lots of food and trees where they can live undisturbed in animal heaven.

Amen



The latest tree felling at Table Mountain and at Rietvlei, Cape, prompted this prayer

Removing giant trees from Rietvlei, Cape

At Rietvlei, Giant trees are felled and relocated elsewhere. We are not told where?   Even though these trees were planted in a boat park, many ducks and birds used to nest in and around them.   The ‘Friends of Rietvlei’ supported the removal of all the big trees at Rietvlei because they were alien, without considering the fact that the Fisheagle will not have a perch to sit on.   These large trees could have been re-planted in Rietvlei (Cape) to provide a perch for the Fisheagles.   Why were they not?

Who benefited financially from these trees?   They are worth over a thousand Rand each.
Where have they been relocated?
Could that money in any way compensate for what is lost in our reserve?   The Fisheagles are still without a perch.


One should think that a conservation department would design a building around trees that is over hundred years old.


Our conservation departments are turning into glorified bush cutters.
They are blinded by a fynbos folly.   They remove the habitat of wildlife without doing an impact study.

At Rietvlei the shady natural safe bush land has been turned into a grass and reed land.
It is too hot to enjoy in the summer and floods in the winter.  
However, The view of the mountain in the backdrop is as always beautiful.  Wildlife and plants will use whatever there is to use.  People see the efforts of Mother Nature to restore harmony, and it is so beautiful.  They are often not aware of the amazing that has been lost.