Category: Endangered

Kakiemon Elephant

Kakiemon Elephant

This Kakiemon elephant is on display at the British Museum.

This is apparently made between 1660-1690 in the Kakiemon style.  Kakiemon is the first to create the enamel porcelain.  What is interesting about this sculpture is that the artist has never seen an elephant.

You might have noticed that the elephant trunk in the photo is pointing downward.  There is a superstition in the east that pointing downward is for good luck.  In the west, it is the opposite.  It should be upward.  Another case of east and west not meeting.  LOL

What do we know about elephants?

  • Their gestation period is 22 months, 2 months short of 2 years pregnancy.  Ouch
  • Their life span is between 50 – 70 years but their was a recorded one of 82 years of age.
  • There are two types of elephants:

Asian (Indian) Elephants which smaller in stature, smaller ears and only the male have tusks.

African Elephants are larger with larger ears.  Both male and female have tusks.  They are               also  less hairy than the Asian elephants.




Galapagos Tortoises

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Astride a statue tortoise, photo by PH Morton

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Galapagos Tortoise at ZSL London Zoo, photo by PH Morton

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Galapagos Tortoise at ZSL London Zoo, photo by PH Morton

Galapagos tortoises are the largest in the world and they can outlive me very easily as their life span is up to  150 years.

These galapagos tortoises played a major role in Charles Darwin’s revolutionary theory of Natural Selection theory when he visited Galapagos Island in 1835.

The Hidden Tiger (Panthera tigris)

Below is an optical illusion Tiger test.


Within the picture is The Hidden Tiger. Can you find it?



Tigers are truly magnificent and majestic animals. They seem to me to exude power and strength  even when at rest or still.  It is sad that they are endangered in their natural habitat. Humans are the worst predators on this planet. 🙁

Tigers, like some hunters, only seek prey for food and survival for themselves and their cubs.  So called human hunters mainly want the tiger for its skin, fur and other body parts to sell as so called ‘medicine’ or luxury rugs & cloth etc., all for profit.

Their habitat: the forest, the jungles, the woods, etc.,  are also being cleared and destroyed in the name of human progress to obtain lumber from dwindling trees, and to make space for settlements and farms.

If lions are the king of the African plains, then the tigers are the king of Asian forests.

Below is one of my favourite poems, we learned at school and imagined the wonderful words into a mental picture of this superior cat.

The Tyger


Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

busy buzzing bees

The safety of England depends on the number of cats she keeps. He proves his proposition thus: Without the aid of bumble-bees the red clover could not be fertilised. Bumble-bees make their nests on the ground, where they are the prey of mice. Cats destroy the mice and give the bees a chance to live. Hence he reasons, no cats, many mice; many mice, no bumble-bees; no bees, no clover; no clover, no cattle; no cattle, no beef; and without beef where would the Englishman be?

—Prof. W. W. Cooke—(American Bee Journal.)


Busy Bees at Feed

Bees are extremely important to our survival as human beings. They fertilise the flowers of many food resources to naturally produce the goods.

There was a report not long ago that there were fears that bees are heading into extinctions. Well fear no more as our garden has become a haven for busy buzzy hungry bees. It is all the flowers that are growing profusely in our garden, the roses expecially are a great attraction to them!

Go on bees, help yourselves, just try not to sting anyone of us!

Mi jardín es su jardín

27 February 2014

The bee population is dwindling fast. We need to prevent this happening as bees are necessary in the cross pollination and fertilisation of plants.

Below is a cute chart by a very talented lady, Hannah Rosengren, detailing the plants that would best attract the bees in your garden.


Illustration by Hannah Rosengren,

Illustration by Hannah Rosengren,

Antarctic Whaling Banned!

This is a positive ruling.  It would be even better if whaling is banned permanently.

For goodness’ sake  3,600 minke whales were already slaughtered/caught by Japan in the guise of “scientific research”  That is a humongous amount of specimens already.   Now leave the whales and experiment on sprats instead.


Antarctic Whaling Banned!

Japan accepts court ban on Antarctic whaling

Anti-whaling activists filmed Japanese whaling ships in January this year

The UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Japan must temporarily halt its whaling programme in the Antarctic.

It agreed with Australia, which brought the case in May 2010, that the programme was not for scientific research as claimed by Tokyo.

Japan said it would abide by the decision but added it “regrets and is deeply disappointed by the decision”.

Australia argued that the programme was commercial whaling in disguise.

The court’s decision is considered legally binding.

Japan had argued that the suit brought by Australia was an attempt to impose its cultural norms on Japan.

Science ‘myth’

Reading out the judgement on Monday, Presiding Judge Peter Tomka said the court had decided, by 12 votes to four, that Japan should withdraw all permits and licenses for whaling in the Antarctic and refrain from issuing any new ones.

It said Japan had caught some 3,600 minke whales since its current programme began in 2005, but the scientific output was limited.

Japan signed up to a moratorium on whaling in 1986, but continued whaling in the north and south Pacific under provisions that allowed for scientific research. Norway and Iceland rejected the provision and continued commercial whaling.

The meat from the slaughtered whales is sold commercially in Japan.

Japan has clashed repeatedly with Australia and some other western countries, which strongly oppose whaling on conservation grounds.

Japan has argued that minke whales and a number of other species are plentiful and that its whaling activities are sustainable.

A spokesman for Greenpeace UK, Willie MacKenzie, welcomed the ICJ’s decision.

“The myth that this hunt was in any way scientific can now be dismissed once and for all,” he said.

Mythical Yeti and the Ancient Polar Bears

Extremely interesting article.  If only we could find a 100 per cent full proof of a yeti roaming the Earth.

I grew up in a province where these mythical beings are supposed to exist.  They were called the gag-gaks.  Gag-gaks are very tall hirsute being who live in the dense forest of Marag in the Philippines.



Mythical yeti ‘could be descended from ancient polar bear’

AFPBy AFP | AFP – Thu, Oct 17, 2013

File picture shows "bigfoot" character "Sasquatch" at the "The Awesomes" VIP After-Party sponsored by Hulu and Xbox at Andaz in San Diego, California on July 20, 2013

AFP/Getty Images/AFP/File – File picture shows “bigfoot” character “Sasquatch” at the “The Awesomes” VIP After-Party sponsored by Hulu and Xbox at Andaz in San Diego, California …more 

File picture shows a polar bear swimming in a pool of his enclosure at the Tierpark Friedrichsfelde zoo in Berlin on August 23, 2013File picture shows a polar bear swimming in a pool of his enclosure at the Tierpark …

A British geneticist said Thursday he may have solved the mystery of the yeti, after matching DNA from two animals said to be the mythical beast to an ancient polar bear.

“We have found an exact genetic match between two samples from the Himalayas and the ancient polar bear,” said Bryan Sykes, emeritus professor at Oxford University.

There have for centuries been legends about hairy, ape-like creatures, also known as “migoi” in the Himalayas, “bigfoot” in North America and “almasty” in the Caucasus mountains.

The myth was given credence when explorer Eric Shipton returned from his 1951 expedition to Everest with photographs of giant footprints in the snow.

Eyewitness accounts have since fuelled speculation that the creatures may be related to humans, but Sykes believes they are likely to be bear hybrids.

He made a global appeal last year for samples from suspected Yeti sightings and received about 70, of which 27 gave good DNA results. These were then compared with other animals’ genomes stored on a database.

Two hair samples came up trumps — one from a beast shot in the Kashmiri region of Ladakh 40 years ago and the other found in Bhutan a decade ago.

“In the Himalayas, I found the usual sorts of bears and other creatures amongst the collection,” Sykes told BBC radio, ahead of the broadcast of a TV programme about his findings.

“But the particularly interesting ones are the ones whose genetic fingerprints are linked not to the brown bears or any other modern bears, (but) to an ancient polar bear.”

The DNA from the Himalayan samples was a 100 percent match with a sample from a polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard in Norway, dating back between 40,000 and 120,000 years.

Brown bears and polar bears are closely related as species and are known to interbreed when their territories overlap, according to Sykes.

“This is an exciting and completely unexpected result that gave us all a surprise,” he said in a statement, adding: “There’s more work to be done on interpreting the results.

“I don’t think it means there are ancient polar bears wandering around the Himalayas. But… it could mean there is a sub-species of brown bear in the High Himalayas descended from the bear that was the ancestor of the polar bear.

“Or it could mean there has been more recent hybridisation between the brown bear and the descendent of the ancient polar bear.”

Endangered Species Cache

Philippines finds huge hoard of endangered species

AFPBy AFP | AFP – 1 hour 54 minutes ago

Five dead crocodiles, 14 critically endangered turtles and a cache of other rare species have been found in the home of a suspected wildlife trader in one of the Philippines' biggest slums, the government said Friday


A Little Blue Macaw couple stand in their enclosure at a conservation site in Schoeneiche, eastern Germany on April 26, 2013. Rare species were found in the home of a suspected wildlife trader in one of the Philippines' biggest slums, the government said Friday. All the animals, which also included 78 Palawan hill mynahs and 12 blue-naped parrots, are protected by Philippine lawA Little Blue Macaw couple stand in their enclosure at a conservation site in Schoeneiche

Five dead crocodiles, 14 critically endangered turtles and a cache of other rare species have been found in the home of a suspected wildlife trader in one of the Philippines’ biggest slums, the government said Friday.

The juvenile saltwater crocodiles, as well as 90 birds, were killed by the trader or his aides shortly before police and environment officials raided the place Wednesday, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.

He denounced the unnamed suspects’ “cruelty”.

“What’s particularly alarming about this poaching incident is that there were reports that most of these endangered animals were intentionally killed to avoid detection by authorities,” Paje said in a statement.

The authorities also found 14 live Philippine forest and pond turtles in the address in Manila’s Tondo slum district, he added.

The turtle species are considered “critically endangered” according to global “red list” compiled by the Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

All the animals, which also included 78 Palawan hill mynahs and 12 blue-naped parrots, are protected by Philippine law, which prohibits their trade or capture.

Paje said an informant tipped off the government that a wildlife trafficker was shipping protected animals to Manila from the western Philippine island of Palawan, one of the country’s last wildlife refuges.

They were to have been sold in Manila markets known for peddling wild animals as pets, Paje said.

Police and wildlife officers found the dead animals outside the house, which reeked of a foul odour, he added.

“The administration is dead serious about stopping not only the destruction of our environment but also wildlife crime,” Paje said.

Last month, the Philippines crushed five tonnes of smuggled elephant tusks, making it the first country in Asia to destroy its ivory stockpiles in support of global efforts to stamp out the illegal wildlife trade.

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