Dienstag, 31. August 2010

Bärenwiegen....Weigh-In of Mercedes...

Das, was viele Frauen fürchten, stand im August auch für Mercedes auf dem Programm...Ein Gang auf die Waage...Und das ganz freiwillig...Naja fast.

Frage: Wie wiegt man eine ausgewachsene Eisbärin?

Antwort: Mit Vorsicht.

Seit Mercedes letztes Jahr vom Edinburgh Zoo in die Schwesterneinrichtung, den Highland Wildlife Park kam, haben Mitarbeiter mit ihr gearbeitet, um auch Routine-Gesundheitschecks durchführen zu können ohne sie narkotisieren zu müssen. Die Mitarbeiter knüpften an die bereits in Edinburgh geleistete Arbeit an, der Weg zum Ziel ist dabei die klassische "positive Verstärkung", kleine Belohnungen im Tausch gegen erwünschtes Verhalten.

Am 9. August war es dann soweit, da ging es mit ein wenig Überzeugungsarbeit ab auf die mechanische Waage in ihrem Gehege. Zum ersten Mal, denn bislang hatten die Pfleger sich von ihrem eigentlichen Gewicht noch kein wahres Bild machen können. Mercedes Gewicht zu kennen ist aber wichtig, um neben der Durchführung von aufgrund ihres fortgeschrittenen Alters nun anstehenden umfangreicheren Untersuchungen auch auf ggf. gesundheitliche Veränderungen angemessen reagieren zu können. Die richtige Dosierung von Medikamenten hängt hiervon ab, sowie im Falle eines Eingriffs auch die Menge der zu verabreichenden Narkose.

Mercedes hat bislang keinerlei Anzeichen von Krankheiten gezeigt, die Mitarbeiter möchten jedoch sicher sein, dass ihnen nichts entgeht, was die Lebensqualtät von ihr mindern könnte. Da Eisbären wie andere Wildtiere konditioniert sind, Krankheiten zu verstecken, um nicht Opfer von Angriffen durch stärkere Tiere werden, fallen erste Symptome üblicherweise lange nicht auf und können somit auch nicht früh genug angemessen behandelt werden.

Selbst bei einer sanften Eisbärin wie Mercedes ist es nötig, Vorsicht walten zu lassen, auch eine Wand aus Drahtnetz zwischen ihr und den Mitarbeitern ist keine Garantie, dass alles gut geht.

Doch das Training zeigte Früchte, es gab keine Zicken und auch keine Umwege, die aufgehängte Belohnung am Wiegeplatz, innerhalb der Passage zwischen ihren beiden Rückzugsräumen. muss ihr wohl gut gefallen haben....298 kg!!!

"Since arriving at the Highland Wildlife Park last October, Mercedes has been seen by many enjoying her new home. But on 9 August, Mercedes had what every woman dreads…a weigh-in!"

Her Keepers had been training her to voluntarily walk onto the scales which were located in a small passageway that connects her two roofed den areas with positive re-enforcement.

Her weigh-in was part of routine health checks and she weighed in at 291kg!

Q: How do you weigh a polar bear? A: Carefully

Since arriving last October from sister site Edinburgh Zoo, staff at the Highland Wildlife Park have been training Mercedes, the only polar bear in a UK zoo, to facilitate health checks. Today, Mercedes was weighed at the Highland Wildlife Park as she was persuaded to walk onto mechanical scales in her enclosure.

Using the common training practice of positive reinforcement (whereby an animal is rewarded for displaying a required behavior), staff at the Highland Wildlife Park have continued training started by her keepers at Edinburgh Zoo that allowed for some basic health checks to be carried out without the need for anesthesia.

However, until now keepers have never been able to get a true picture of her weight. This important measurement is key for health monitoring purposes, and also for ensuring that correct dosages of medicines, anesthetics etc are given. Animal Collection Manager at Highland Wildlife Park, Douglas Richardson, explains the process:

“Mercedes’ keepers have done an excellent job in gradually and gently enticing her onto the scales that are placed in a small passageway that connects her two roofed den areas. Although Mercedes is actually quite gentle for a polar bear, we still need to be very careful when working close to her, even when separated by a wall of steel mesh, as she is very capable of harming any one of us. The real drive to get her weighed accurately is to allow us to carry out a comprehensive health check. She gives all the signs of being in perfect health, but she is at the upper end of a polar bear’s lifespan and we want to ensure that we are not missing any potential age-related problems that may reduce her quality of life if they are not dealt with. All wild animals are pre-conditioned to hide illness to avoid predation or harassment, and a zoo polar bear is no exception, so her pending health check is very important.”

Und danach gab es Maiskolben im Pool...Ich bin sicher, da würden nicht nur Eisbären für auf die Waage steigen...!-

Afterwards she was rewarded with her favourite sweetcorn while taking a dip in her pool...That's what is called great service, isn't it? Not only polar bears would step onto a scale for such treats!

Source & photo credits:

-Edinburgh Zoo/09.08.2010

Das Spiel die Die große Bärenwaage gibt es wohl nicht mehr...

Related:
- Mercedes- Last Chance to See.../17.10.2009 and lots of other entries in October 2009 documenting her preparations , her voyage, her first days, later in December than her first snow...all connected to her relocation to the Highlands...and her first grand-child, a bear girl born on 13 October 2009... (just check the archive)

Donnerstag, 26. August 2010

Pakistan floods ravage bear sanctuary ...Urgent help needed...

Traurige Nachrichten aus der Ortschaft Kund in Pakistan. Wer sich mit der barbarischen Praxis der noch immer in Pakistan illegal betriebenen Bärenkämpfe beschäftigt, auch bear baiting genannt, wird wissen, dass die internationale Tierschutzorganisation WSPA dort seit 2001 eine Schutzeinrichtung für gerettete und konfiszierte Bären unterhält, die hier nach jahrelang durchlittener Grausamkeit eine neue Heimstatt finden. 23 Bären befanden sich vor den Überflutungen im Schutzzentrum, das genau zwischen den Flüssen Indus und Kabul liegt, die sich in Kund treffen.

Hier der Bericht der dt. Sektion von WSPA:

Tragisches Unglück im Bärenschutzzentrum Kund Park in Pakistan

Aug 5, 2010

"Von den Überschwemmungen in Pakistan, die durch die stärksten Monsunregenfälle seit 1929 verursacht wurden, ist auch das Bärenschutzzentrum Kund Park betroffen. Die Wasserhöhe erreichte dort 18 Meter über dem Normalstand. Bis zuletzt hatten die Tierpflegerinnen und -pfleger vor Ort ausgeharrt, doch auch sie mussten vor dem steigenden Wasserstand schließlich fliehen. Mehr als 1000 Menschen sind bislang durch die Fluten umgekommen."

Nur drei der dort lebenden 23 Bären konnten in Sicherheit gebracht werden. Das Schicksal der anderen Bären war bis vor ein paar Tagen noch ungewiss. Erst diese Woche konnten die Mitarbeiter der WSPA Mitgliedsorganisation Biosource Research Centre (BRC), die das Zentrum leiten, wieder in das Gebiet zurück, das sie zu ihrer eigenen Sicherheit verlassen mussten als die Gegend kilometerweit unter Wasser stand.

Nach Wochen voller Angst und Sorge haben sich nun ihre schlimmsten Befürchtungen bestätigt. Alle anderen 20 Bären sind in den Fluten ertrunken – die 3 geretteten Bären wurden in das neue, noch nicht fertiggestellte Bärenschutzzentrum in Balkasar gebracht. Dort befinden sie sich in Sicherheit. Das Zenrum in Kund kann wahrscheinlich aufgrund des Ausmaßes der Zerstörung nicht wieder eröffnet werden.




Pakistan floods ravage bear sanctuary

Aug 20, 2010

Sadly, WSPA must report some distressing news from our bear baiting project in Pakistan. The recent floods have severely affected the Kund Park sanctuary, resulting in the tragic death of 20 of the 23 bears living there.

The death of these much-loved bears has devastated BRC and WSPA staff and we know it will be equally upsetting for our supporters.

Suzi Morris, WSPA UK Director said: “I hope it is of some comfort to know that it was the generosity of WSPA supporters that allowed the final chapter of these bears’ lives to be one of peace and tranquillity, safe from the violence and fear of bear baiting.”

Rescue against the odds

Initially it was feared that all of the 23 bears at Kund Park had been lost but Babu, Maylu and Sohrab were found alive in the floodwaters.

In difficult circumstances, BRC staff transported them to the near-complete, new sanctuary at Balkasar. It is now more urgent than ever that building work on the Balkasar sanctuary is finished and the team at BRC are working flat out to achieve this.

Over the past few weeks the world has watched as heavy monsoons have caused the worst floods in Pakistan for 80 years. At the time of writing, up to 14 million people have been affected by the floods and an estimated 1,600 have lost their lives.

The damage to the Kund Park sanctuary is so severe that is seems unlikely that it can be rebuilt in the near future, perhaps at all.

Thanks to WSPA supporters, the new Balkasar sanctuary is due to be completed in October and will have the capacity to provide a home for Babu, Maylu and Sohrab and for the remaining bears still being used to fight in bear baiting arenas.

Why was the sanctuary so badly hit?

The Kund Park sanctuary is located between the Indus and Kabul Rivers in North-West Frontier Province, the epicentre of the recent floods.

A flood warning system was in place but the dramatic rise in floodwaters – reaching 60ft above river level – did not give BRC staff enough time to remove the bears from danger. The team did all they could to try to secure the safety of the bears by moving them to higher ground, staying at the sanctuary for as long as possible before they had to evacuate for their own personal safety.
Tireless search and rescue

As soon as the floodwaters receded, Fakhar and his team worked around the clock to search for the bears. Three bears were found alive but after days of searching, they had to face the devastating realisation that 20 of their beloved bears were confirmed dead.

WSPA is extremely impressed by the fortitude of BRC staff and their response to such a devastating tragedy. Many of the local staff were personally affected, some losing their homes to the floods, but this did not stop their dedication to securing the safety of the bears they have spent years caring for.

Amongst the drowned bears were names that WSPA supporters will know well

Star rescued only months earlier from the horrors of bear baiting, thanks to BRC and the wonderful response of WSPA supporters to a recent appeal.

Marvie in October 2009 , you can still see traces caused by the bair baiting on her muzzle...


Lailah: saved from bear baiting in 2008 and featured in a WSPA appeal.

Rustam, liberated by Victor Watkins, WSPA’s bear expert, in 2001 , the oldest and the first bearbaiting bear to live in Kund Park Sanctuary.

Dewa and her brother Babu in December 2008 at appr. 10 months, they were con+fiscated from poachers. Babu is one of the 3 bears who could be rescued from the floods

The other two lucky survivors are three year old Maylu was rescued in 2006, saved from the black market bear trade. Sohrab is a two year old Asiatic black bear who had been living peacefully at the Kund Park sanctuary since 2007.

"Residents of the surrounding villages spotted the bears and alerted BRC staff. Despite inaccessible roads and vague information on the locations, the staff bravely ventured into the flooded areas in search of the bears.

Although much of BRC's equipment was destroyed in the floods, the staff managed to obtain dart guns and tranquiliser medication from local authorities, so that they could rescue the bears. Once sedated, the bears - accompanied by a BRC veterinarian - were transported to the site of our new Balkasar sanctuary. ...

As can be expected, the bears were very stressed when they first recovered from their sedatives. They started to calm down once the water pools in their dens were working and their health is being closely monitored by the BRC veterinarian.

The new Balkasar sanctuary will eventually have the capacity to not only provide a home for Babu, Maylu and Sohrab, but for the remaining 70 or so bears still being used to fight in bear baiting arenas.

It is now more urgent than ever that building work on the Balkasar sanctuary is completed..."


Let's hope that WSPA will get help and sufficient donations to continue their important work...

Sources and related articles:
-
Tragisches Unglück im Bärenschutzzentrum Kund Park in Pakistan/WSPA Deutschland 24.08.2010
-
More news on the bears rescued from the Pakistan floods/Bricks for bears 24.08.2010
- Pakistan floods ravage bear sanctuary/ WSPA International 20.08.2010
- Pakistan Floods have ravaged Bear Sanctuary/Current TV 25.08.2010 & comments
-
Bear rescued from Pakistan floods/WSPA video 23.08.2010 on YouTube
- Pakistan Bears caught in the rush for a good rescue story/The Independent 25.03. 2001

Photo credits:
- Working to end bear baiting/ WSPA album on flickr

Related Videos :

- Bear baiting 17 July 2009-WSPA
-
WSPA Funded Kund Park Bear Sanctuary - The Cruel Practice of Bear Baiting
Auf Deutsch zum Thema Bärenkämpfe
- Barbarischer Sport/Kampagne WSPA Deutschland

Mittwoch, 25. August 2010

50 Years Research: Jane Goodell ....The Lady with the Chimps

Chimps with everything: Jane Goodall's 50 years in the jungle

Robin McKie/ The Observer,

Through detailed observations of Tanzanian apes, Jane Goodall revolutionised our knowledge of chimpanzee behaviour

Fifty years ago, a slender young Englishwoman was walking through a rainforest reserve at Gombe, in Tanzania, when she came across a dark figure hunched over a termite nest. A large male chimpanzee was foraging for food. So she stopped and watched the animal through her binoculars as he carefully took a twig, bent it, stripped it of its leaves, and finally stuck it into the nest. Then he began to spoon termites into his mouth.

Thus Jane Goodall made one of the most important scientific observations of modern times in that remote African rainforest. She witnessed a creature, other than a human, in the act not just of using a tool but of making one. "It was hard for me to believe," she recalls. "At that time, it was thought that humans, and only humans, used and made tools. I had been told from school onwards that the best definition of a human being was man the tool-maker – yet I had just watched a chimp tool-maker in action. I remember that day as vividly as if it was yesterday."

Goodall telegraphed her boss, the fossil-hunter Louis Leakey (father of Richard), with the news. His response has since become the stuff of scientific legend: "Now we must redefine man, redefine tools, or accept chimpanzees as humans." Leakey was exaggerating but not by much. Certainly, there is little doubt about the importance of Goodall's discovery five decades ago. As the distinguished Harvard palaeontologist Stephen Jay Gould put it, this was "one of the great achievements of 20th-century scholarship".

Goodall's subsequent observations found that not only did Pan troglodytes – the chimpanzee – make and use tools but that our nearest evolutionary cousins embraced, hugged, and kissed each other. They experienced adolescence, developed powerful mother-and-child bonds, and used political chicanery to get what they wanted. They also made war, wiping out members of their own species with almost genocidal brutality on one occasion that was observed by Goodall.

This work has held up a mirror, albeit a blurred one, to our own species, suggesting that a great many of our behaviours, once thought to be uniquely human, may have been inherited from the common ancestors that Homo sapiens shared with chimpanzees six million years ago. We therefore have much to commemorate 50 years after Goodall began her strolls through Gombe. These celebrations began yesterday at the Berlin film festival with the premiere of Lorenz Knauer's documentary about Goodall, Jane's Journey – which includes a walk-on part for Angelina Jolie – and will continue throughout the year.

Today, Goodall is a gracefully aged replica of the young woman who first set foot at Gombe five decades ago. Her long blond hair, tied back as usual, has turned silvery grey. Now aged 76, she exudes a calm confidence as she travels the world, promoting green causes established by the Jane Goodall Institute, which she set up in 1977 in order to promote research at Gombe and to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.

But in 1960, she looked an unlikely scientific pioneer. Goodall had no academic training, having grown up in the middle-class gentility of Bournemouth in the postwar years, a time when women were expected to be wives and little else. However, she burned with two passions: a love of animals and a love of Africa. "I got my love of animals from the Dr Dolittle books and my love of Africa from the Tarzan novels," she says. "I remember my mum taking me to the first Tarzan film, which starred Johnny Weissmuller, and bursting into tears. It wasn't what I had imagined at all."

A friend took a job in Kenya, and Goodall decided to join her, working as a waitress to raise funds for her trip. In Nairobi, Goodall was introduced to Louis Leakey, the scientist whose fossil discoveries had finally proved mankind's roots were African, not Asian, as had previously been supposed.

At this time, Leakey was looking for someone to study chimpanzees in the wild and to find evidence of shared ancestry between humans and the great apes. Previous studies of primates had been confined to captive animals but Leakey believed, presciently, that much more could be learned by studying them in the wild. More to the point, Goodall would make a perfect observer, he believed, coming – as she did – "with a mind uncluttered and unbiased by theory", a point that is acknowledged by Goodall.

There was slightly more to the relationship than this, however. Leakey found the presence of this pretty, hazel-eyed blonde too much for him and although then in his late 50s, and married with three children, he bombarded Goodall with protestations of his love. "I was in a very difficult position, because on the one hand I hugely admired him," says Goodall. "He knew so much. He also had my whole future in his hands. On the other hand, I thought: 'No thanks.'"

Their friendship survived the incident and Goodall went off to Gombe to study her chimpanzees, while Leakey selected two other female researchers, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas, to study gorillas and orangutans. Galdikas, like Goodall, is still going strong. The fate of Fossey, played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist, was to be a grim one, however. Fossey was murdered in 1985 after trying to punish local people following incidents in which several of her beloved gorillas were killed.

"Dian was a tragic figure," says Goodall. "She was very, very tall, statuesque and really, really wanted to get married. She would say to people, 'Do you know a man who is six foot five and loves gorillas?' So she got a little bitter later on when I got married and Birute got married and she didn't. And she wasn't diplomatic. She tackled poachers by chasing them and did things that I would not have been brave enough to have done. Sometimes she was very stupid. But she brought the plight of the gorillas to everyone's attention."

The violent death of Dian Fossey contrasts with Goodall's relatively peaceful time in Tanzania, although her life at Gombe – on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, north of Kigoma – certainly did not lack incident. "I arrived with my mother because the local authorities were adamant that a young English girl could not live on her own in the bush without a European escort," she says.

In fact, this ruling may not have been an altogether bad thing because the Belgian Congo had just erupted into civil war and Kigoma was filled with refuges. "There was nowhere to go so we had to put up our tent in a prison camp. They said that was the safest place for us and wouldn't let us go to Gombe for several weeks."

Eventually the two women (plus a cook) made it to the reserve and Goodall began the tricky business of getting Gombe's chimps to accept her. "I remember my first day, looking up from the shore to the forest, hearing the apes and the birds, and smelling the plants, and thinking this is very, very unreal," she says. "Then I started walking through the forest and as soon as a chimp saw me, it would run away."

After a few weeks one male, who she named David Greybeard because of his white-tufted chin, let her approach him – tempted by the odd banana – and allowed her to observe him as he foraged for food. (It was David Greybeard who Goodall later watched making that leafy tool to obtain termites.) More and more troop members followed suit and Goodall was eventually allowed to observe their behaviour almost as if she was a chimpanzee herself.

Photo:Jane Goodall Institute/Hugo van Lawick

Slowly she built up a picture of chimp life in all its domestic detail: the grooming , the food-sharing, the status wrangles, and the fights. Goodall gave her chimps names – David Greybeard, Flint, Goliath, Passion, Frodo and Fifi – much to the irritation of academics.

David Greybeard & Fifi/Jane Goodall Institute

At this time scientists were particularly sensitive about giving human attributes to animals. Anthropomorphism was simply not on, they told Goodall when, in the early 60s, she took a PhD at Cambridge at the insistence of Leakey – who was desperate for his protege to gain academic respectability. "These people were trying to make ethology a hard science," Goodall recalls. "So they objected – quite unpleasantly – to me naming my subjects and for suggesting that they had personalities, minds and feelings. I didn't care. I didn't want to become a professor or get tenure or teach or anything. All I wanted to do was get a degree because Louis Leakey said I needed one, which was right, and once I succeeded I could get back to the field."

In any case, Goodall (who got her PhD in 1965) believes it is simple nonsense to say that animals, particularly chimpanzees which are so closely related to humans, do not have personalities. "You cannot share your life with a dog, as I had done in Bournemouth, or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings. You know it and I think every single one of those scientists knew it too but because they couldn't prove it, they wouldn't talk about it. But I did talk about it. In a way, my dog Rusty gave me the courage of my convictions."

In 1964 Goodall married wildlife photographer Baron Hugo van Lawick – becoming Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall. Three years later, the couple had a son, Hugo, who was raised at Gombe where he known simply as "Grub". The presence of lots of chimpanzee mothers had a considerable influence on the way Goodall raised Hugo.

Flo (appr.1929-1972)

"There are certain characteristics that define a good chimp mother," she says. "She is patient, she is protective but she is not over-protective – that is really important. She is tolerant but she can impose discipline. She is affectionate. She plays. And the most important of all: she is supportive. So that if her kid gets into a fight, even if it is with a higher-ranking individual, she will not hesitate to go in and help."

Goodall contrasts the behaviour of Flo, a good mother, with that of Passion, a poor one. "It was a common sight to see Passion walking along followed by a whimpering infant who was frantically trying to catch up and climb aboard her for transport," Goodall records in her book In the Shadow of Man. By contrast, Flo's child Fifi was a noticeably confident adolescent, Goodall states, "her relaxed behaviour with her elders stemming from the fact that she enjoyed a particularly friendly relationship with her mother".

Fifi's strong start in life was to have profound effects. She too became a good mother and produced many grandchildren for Flo while Passion had relatively few. There is reproductive advantage in good motherhood, in other words.

Being a patient, playful, protective mother is largely common sense, adds Goodall, who is scornful of child-rearing books that suggest otherwise. "Do you pick up a crying baby or do you leave it to cry?" she asks. "Let's just say I picked my baby up when he cried." Gina Ford, please take note.

Van Lawick and Goodall divorced and she later married Derek Bryceson, then director of Tanzania's national parks. His subsequent death in 1978, of cancer, left her devastated.

Around this time, Goodall noted a split was taking place among Gombe's chimpanzees. Eventually, two groups were created – a new, relatively small troop set up in the south, leaving the northern part under the control of the original Gombe population. "Once the original community realised they were the stronger of the two groups, and that there were still more of them than the others, they went for the split-off group," says Goodall.

"There were gang attacks of extraordinary brutality. The male chimps pounded and pounded their victims and left them to die of awful injuries. They did things to their fellow chimps that they would never do within a community but which they do when they are trying to kill a prey animal." It was the equivalent, in our own species, of dehumanising the enemy, a frequent prelude to an atrocity.

"The war was a disaster," says Goodall. "It was awful, not just for the chimps but for me. I thought they were like us but nicer. It was a real shock to see what they did to each other. That is why it was so dreadful."

The parallels between Homo sapiens and Pan troglodytes are deep and numerous, we now know – thanks to Goodall. Equally, there are the crucial differences that divide our species. "The most important one is straightforward," says Goodall. "We have language and they do not. Chimps communicate by embracing, patting, looking – all these things. And they have lots of sounds. But they cannot sit and discuss. They cannot teach about things that are not present, as far as we know."

Freud - Fifi's oldest son born 1971

And this takes us to the heart of Goodall's discoveries about the nature of the chimpanzee and its implications for our understanding of our nature. Language and discussion develop the intellect, she argues. "The brain of a chimp and the brain of a human are not that different anatomically. But we started to talk to each other and that drove the brain – because there were more and more things that we could do with it.

"Chimps can do all sorts of things we thought that only we could do – like tool-making and abstraction and generalisation. They can learn a language – sign language and they can use the signs. But when you think of our intellects, even the brightest chimp looks like a very small child."

Clearly, we have learned a great deal not just about our evolutionary cousins but about ourselves thanks to the work that Goodall began at Gombe 50 years ago and to the other chimp observation projects that have been set up in the wake of her study. The tragedy is that many of these programmes are now threatened by the current catastrophic decline in population of the chimpanzee across Africa. One hundred years ago, there were two million of them. Today there are less than 200,000, with habitat destruction and bushmeat trade being responsible for the loss of increasing numbers.

Many populations are now poised at the edge of eradication – taking with them our chance to learn about their unique cultures, for chimps vary from place to place in the manner in which they catch termites or baboons, a knowledge that is passed down from adult to child.

The implications for science and for our understanding of ourselves are profound, as Stephen Jay Gould makes clear in his introduction to the revised edition of Goodall's In the Shadow of Man. "We can never know, by studying ourselves alone, whether important aspects of our mental capacities reflect an ancestral evolutionary heritage or new features evolved or socially acquired by our lineage. Chimpanzees are the best natural experiment we will ever have for exploring this central question."

Yet at the present rate that the habitat of these wonderful creatures is being destroyed, that great natural experiment is likely to be brought to an abrupt end only a few decades after Goodall began her work. Hence her efforts to raise awareness of their plight and her involvement in a range of international projects – including Roots & Shoots, her environmental youth programme – which are aimed at protecting African habitats and chimpanzee homelands.

Photo: Fernando Turmo

"At the end of the day, I still think we can do it," she says. "Everywhere I go there are young people with shining eyes wanting to tell Dr Jane what they are doing to make the world better. You have to be hopeful."

Jane Goodall with Tess, a female chimpanzee at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary north of Nairobi, 1997. Photo: Jean-Marc Bouju/AP

Sources & photo credits:
- Guardian - The Observer/ 27.06.2010
- Chimps We know-The 'F' Family/ Jane Goodall
- Jane Goodall reflects on 50 Years of Chimpanzee Study/TorontoIst 13.04.2010
-
Franklyn Laureate Database:Jane Goodall

Related:
- Jane Goodall calls for protection of chimpanzees/Science Fair 07.07.2010
-
Jane Goodall: Urgent Action Needed to Save Chimps/Our Amazing Planet 07.07.2010
-
Jane Goodall's website, Jane Goodall on facebook
-
The Roots & Shoots Programme, Roots & Shoots on facebook
- About the film:
Jane's Journey, in Germany the film will be released on 2 September 2010,on 26 Aug she will be in Berlin when the film starts in Astor Kino

Auf Deutsch:
- Jane Goodall überführte Affen des Kannibalismus/Die Welt 04.04.2009
- Auge in Auge mit den Verwandten/ Frankfurter Rundschau

Beide Artikel entsprechen inhaltlich ganz gut dem obigen engl. Artikel, deshalb keine Übersetzung meinerseits, und hier noch ein lesenswertes Portrait Jane Goodalls :

- Lieben statt Töten/ Emma 06-2002

- Der Film, Jane's Journey - Die Lebensreise der Jane Goodall kommt am 2.September in die dt. Kinos, am 26. August wird Jane Goodall in Berlin bei der Premiere im Astor-Kino zugegen sein.

"Bear28" - Going fake for bears' sake...Bärenfellmützen

Wer kennt sie nicht? Die Wachen vor dem Buckhingham Palast sind zwar nicht die einzigen, die diese je nach Perspektive imposanten oder lächerlichen, fast 46 cm hohen Mützen tragen, wohl aber die bekanntesten. Die knapp 3 Pfund wiegenden Mützen sind aus Bärenfell, für jede von ihnen wird das Fell eines kanadischen Schwarzbären benötigt. Offiziere bekommen Mützen von weiblichen Braunbären, ihr Fell ist dichter und voller.

Laut eines Buches von John Whiteclay Chambers II, starteten die Britischen Fußtruppen der Armee um 1670 mit Mützen von Grizzly Bären, seit der Schlacht um Waterloo 1815, also seit fast 200 Jahren werden die Schwarzbärmützen getragen, ursprünglich um bei militärischen Aktionen größer und einschüchternder zu wirken. Die Tradition hat sich bis heute gehalten, auch ohne Schlachten. Alle Soldaten durften damals diese Mützen tragen, die ihnen dann auch persönlich gehörten, heute sind die Mützen Leihgaben. Allein zwischen 2003 und 2008 gab das brit. Verteidungsministerium (MoD) über £320,000 dafür aus. Gekauft werden die Mützen bei einem brit.Hutmacher, der die Felle über internationale Auktionen bezieht. Pro Jahr werden 50 und 100 Felle bezogen, ein Fell kostet um die £ 650. Bei guter Pflege können sie über 100 Jahre halten.

Warum Bärenfelle?Bislang galten sie als nicht austauschbar, ihr Material ist wasserabweisend, offenbar ein wesentliches Kriterium im von häufigem Regen geplagten London, denn bereits (erst!) 1993 gab es erste Vorstöße seitens einiger Abgeordneten für Mützen, die nicht aus Tierfellen stammen, für andere Einheiten, wie die ursprünglich leopardenfellbeschürzten Trommler, gibt es schon seit längerer Zeit künstliches Ersatzfell, eigenen Tests zufolge war es bislang nicht möglich ein Material zu entwickeln, das dieselben Qualtätsmerkmale aufweist.

PETA hat nun in Zusammenarbeit mit Stella MacCartney einen Durchbruch verzeichnet, ein aus Plastikfasern entwickelter Prototyp scheint Tests in Bezug auf wasserabsorbierende und kühlende Eigenschaften bestanden zu haben. An der Technologie, kurz "Bear 28 " genannt, hat MacCartney mit PETA seit 4 Jahren gearbeitet. Man ist nun gespannt, wie das brit. Verteidigungsministerium reagiert. Ein erstes Treffen war für Ende Juli vorgesehen...Hoffen wir also, dass es bald ein Ende mit diesen unrühmlichen Mützen aus Bärenfell hat!

Between 2003 and 2008 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) spent just over £320,000 on bearskin hats. For each hat of 45.7 cm (18 inch) height, the skin of one Canadian black bear is needed.
"The standard bearskin of the British Foot Guards is 18 inches tall, weighs 1.5 pounds , is made from the fur of the Canadian black bear. However, an officer's bearskin is made from the fur of the Canadian brown bear as the female brown bear has thicker, fuller fur, and is dyed black. The British Army purchase the hats, which are known as caps, from a British hatmaker which sources its pelts from an international auction. The hatmakers purchase between 50 and 100 black bear skins each year at a cost of about £650 each. If properly maintained, the caps last for decades; some caps in use are reportedly more than 100 years old."

According to a book by John Whiteclay Chamber II, the British Army foot guards started wearing tall grizzly bearskin fur hats already in the 1670s. In 1815, after the Battle of Waterloo, all soldiers were allowed to wear fur caps. Whereas in the past, each man owned his own hat, today each battalion receives a bearskin hat on loan when assigned to ceremonial responsibilities at Buckingham Palace in London.

"Initially the big bear fur hats were intended to make soldiers look taller as they marched over hills in battle, but they haven't been worn in action for over a hundred years."
Other fur, like the leopardskin aprons worn by ceremonial drummers, has already been replaced with fake versions."

Could Guards wear Stella McCartney synthetic bearskin?

"For almost two centuries the Army's Guards regiments have been decked out on ceremonial occasions in real bearskin hats.

Tourists come to marvel at them at Buckingham Palace.

But the Guards could soon be wearing a faux-fur version, designed by the vegetarian Stella McCartney.

On Thursday a delegation from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) is meeting Peter Luff, minister for defence equipment, support and technology, to propose their animal-friendly alternative.

Peta claims the plastic-fibre hat now meets rigorous Ministry of Defence water repellency tests, after years working on a technology called Bear28.

The hats are also fitted with air vents to keep wearers cool on parade.

McCartney said: "Historically, England has a very high regard for animals, so it makes perfect sense that the MoD should continue shedding ceremonial furs from uniforms.

"Initially the big bear fur hats were intended to make soldiers look taller as they marched over hills in battle, but they haven't been worn in action for over a hundred years.

"I've been working on this with Peta for a few years now and am really happy with the final product, as I hope the MoD will be when they see it."

Dan Matthews, senior vice-president at the animal rights group, added: "In 2005 the MoD carried out specific weather tests on their own prototype which failed on water absorption levels.

"After four years working on this hat, we carried out the same tests at the same test centre and it passed."

He claimed it was a "win-win situation" as the synthetic hats were cheaper than real bearskins, 230 grams lighter "and the bears will certainly be happier".

However, while the MoD said it "remains open" to new ideas, a spokesman stressed it would not be chucking out the original bearskins anytime soon.

They are worn infrequently, need little maintenance and last many years, she explained.

She said: "The MoD remains open to testing material that industry might offer us to asses whether a faux fur meets the requirements for a replacement bearskin hat material. So far industry has not been able to produce a suitable material to meet the Guards' requirements."

She also stressed: "All bearskins used in the UK are sourced from Canada where bears are culled under the direction of the Canadian government to keep the bear population under control."

Bearskin hats have been worn since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 where they were taken as a badge of honour by the Grenadier Guards when they defeated Napoleon's bearskin-wearing Imperial Guard."

Nur wenigen Truppenmitgliedern ist es gestattet, zeremoniellen Pflichten ohne Bärenmütze nachzugehen wie hier Conmael, Irischer Wolfshund und Maskottchen der Irish Guards.

Kleine Randbemerkung über die sich vielleicht lohnt nachzudenken..:

"Die Tradition von Tiermaskottchen gibt es nicht nur in der Brit. Armee. Sie ist oft ein humorvoller Weg das Eis zwischen Offizieren und Soldaten verschiedenster Ränge zu brechen, so wie auch eine Gelegenheit für das Militär dem Tierreich liebevoll Tribut zu zollen, so wie ihre Vorfahren, die eng mit mit heidnischen Traditionen und der Natur verbunden waren und wo Tiere ein Anrecht auf Respekt, Schutz und Rücksicht hatten.

Doch in keiner anderen Armee wird die Tradition der Würdigung bestimmter Tiere als Maskottchen seit 200 Jahren so respektiert wie in Großbritannien. Ein Land legendär für seine Exzentrik wie für seinen unnachahmlichen Humor."

Übrigens, auch Tabby III, noch besser bekannt als Billy the Goat, nun im Whipsnade Zoo auf Rente, bewies viele Jahre lang, dass es wirklich ohne Bärenmütze gehen kann...-

Only few troup members are allowed not to wear that special head gear like Conmael, an Irish wolfhound and mascot of the Irish Guards....

A little note apart but maybe worthwhile to think about:

"The tradition of animal mascots is not unique to the British Army. It is often a humorous way of breaking the ice between officers and soldiers of all ranks conditioned by the rigidity of Army life. It is also an opportunity for the military to pay an affectionate tribute to the animal kingdom very much like their ancestors for whom pagan traditions and nature were sacredly bonded and where animals just like men were entitled to respect, protection and consideration.

But nowhere has this tradition of honouring a particular animal mascot been so adamantly respected for more than two centuries than in Great Britain. A country known for it's legendary eccentricity as well as inimitable sense of humor." (found here in the context of animal mascots)

By the way, also Tabby III, more known as Billy the Goat, in the meantime enjoying pensioner's life at Whipsnade Zoo had been living proof over numerous years that ceremonial obligations don't need bearskin hats...



Animals Asia unterstützt die Kampagne gegen Bärenfellmützen in der brit. Armee und ruft auf an Vertreter des Parlaments zu schreiben. Mehr dazu hier:

Animals Asia has joined the campaign against bearskin pelts in the British Army too, read full article here and join the campaign:

End the use of bear skin pelts in the British Army/Animals Asia 02.08.2010 (engl.)

Here an extract of their letter:

"More than 200 British Members of Parliament signed on to Early Day Motion (EDM) 1756 in a recent parliamentary session in the House of Commons. This progressive motion pointed out that the ornamental caps serve no military purpose whatsoever – as one of the MPs who support EDM 1756 pointed out, they are not even bullet-proof – and called on the government to support a change to a modern and humane synthetic fabric.

With the resources, science and technology which are at the MoD's disposal, it is inexcusable that the same army which is capable of building some of the most sophisticated equipment and machinery in the world claims it is unable to find a synthetic replacement for bearskins after two decades of "searching" and despite the wide availability of luxurious synthetic materials."

Und zuguterletzt ein eindeutiges Statement eines Angehörigen der dänischen Truppen, der anlässlich eines Balls am dänischen Königshof am 27. Januar unter der Bürde seiner Bärenfellmütze einfach umkippte....Bjoernepels heißen die Mützen auf Dänisch und hier geht es zu einer Seite mit verschiedenen Adressen, wo man seinen Protest kund tun kann. Leider funktioniert der Stop Bjoernepels link zu einer Petition bei mir nicht...-

Last but not least a statement of a different kind of a member of the Danish troups who fainted under the burden of his bearskin hat in the evening of January 27th during a ball at Christiansborg Palace of HM Queen Margarethe II and HRH Prince Henrik, attended by European Parliament members, MPs and their spouses.

Bjoernepels is the bearskin headgear called in Danish and here you find addresses where to send your protest notes. Unfortunately the mentioned petition site does not work for me. Maybe someone knows a link that will work...

And there are still other countries out there using them ....


Sources and related articles:
- End the use of bearskin pelts in the British Army/Animals Asia Foundation 02.08.2010

-
Could Guard Wear Stella McCartney's synthetic bearskin? /Telegraph UK 21.07.2010
- God Save the Bears/PETA Campaign
- New palace bearskins may spare the bear/Guardian 01.09.2008
-
Bärenfellproblem/Modepilot 03.09.2008
- Bärenfellmützen vor dem Aus/Pressetext Austria 03.09.2008
- Bare skin not bearskin.../Daily Mail Online 12.05.2010
-
'Bum Salute' bearskin protesters/Manchester Evening News 02.09.2007
- Kampagne gegen Bärenfellmützen: Parlamentsmitglieder protestieren../
peta de
-
Queen Margarethe of Denmark requires fur from protected bear/Lifescape 16.02.2010 Att.: incl. addresses for petitions to the European Parliament, Danish Parliament & the Danish Royal Family

- More on bearskin hats ... incl. list of nations still using them for military/ ceremonial display on wikipedia

And just that you see that there is still a real market outside for fur....I clicked myself from here to here ..., don't miss the shipment information about polar bear rugs (prices here...)

And here just something else concerning Canada's oldest company & with 550 stores the largest one dealing with furs resolved their financial crisis by getting a new owner...they were bought by an US investor...-

Eisbär im Kühlschrank....Bear in there...

Bear in there
by Shel Silverstein

There's a polar bear

In our Frigidaire—
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there—
That polary bear
In our Fridgitydaire.


Source:
Cartoon and poem found here, please check Shel Siverstein's funny website for more kids stuff, it is animated and just lovely...

Related:
- Shut the door, please!/12.08.2010

Samstag, 21. August 2010

Aller guten Dinge sind 3...Another Erik Brooks Book


"Percy Orlando Leonard Alexander Reginald Bear loves his colorful flannel pajamas more than anything else in the world. But there's one problem - all the other polar bears tease him for being the only one to wear pj's. Percy wants to fit in, so he reluctantly packs away his pajamas. The teasing ends, but Percy runs into a whole new set of problems. Distinctive color illustrations follow Percy through his troubles as he learns a meaningful lesson about the importance of being true to himself."

Found here

Percy Orlando Leonard Alexander Reginald Bär liebt seine farbenfrohen Flanellpyjamas mehr als alles andere auf der Welt. Aber es gibt ein Problem - alle anderen Eisbären ärgern ihn, weil er der Einzige ist, derPyjamas trägt. Percy will so sein wie die anderen, also verstaut er widerwillig seinen Schlafanzug. Die Hänseleien hören auf, aber nun läuft Percy in eine ganze Reihe neuer Probleme. Markante farbige Abbildungen folgen Percy durch seine Schwierigkeiten, während er mehr über die Bedeutung lernt, sich selbst treu zu sein.



Source:
- Practically Perfect Pajamas by Eric Brook -

Related:
- Polar Polka...Counting Polar Bears in Alaska/19.08.2010 -
- Polar Bear Opposites.../20.08.2010 -

-Erik Brooks has also a blog...& a website-

Freitag, 20. August 2010

Polar Bear Opposites....


"Alex is a BIG polar bear. Zina is a tiny penguin. Alex lives in the Arctic. Zina lives in the Antarctic. Alex and Zina are polar opposites! They live on opposite sides of the world. Their personalities are very different, too. But they find a way to meet in the middle. Erik Brooks’s simple text and vibrant watercolor illustrations bring opposites to life in this lively look at two unusual best friends."



Alex ist ein Eisbär-Riese. Zina ist ein winziger Pinguin. Alex lebt in der Arktis. Zina lebt in der Antarktis. Alex und Zina sind polare Gegensätze! Sie leben auf entgegengesetzten Seiten der Welt. Ihre Persönlichkeiten sind auch sehr unterschiedlich.. Aber sie finden einen Weg, um sich in der Mitte zu treffen. Erik Brooks einfacher Text und seine brillanten Aquarellzeichnungen machen Gegensätze des Lebens lebendig bei dem Blick auf zwei ungewöhnliche beste Freunde.



Source:
- Polar Opposites by Erik Brooks

Discover & enjoy also:
- Polar Polka. Counting Polar Bears in Alaska /19. 08.2010



Related:
An informative and helpful resource online magazine for Elementary teachers
"Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears Thematic Issues"

&

More age-appropriate classroom activities on wikispace

The last two Zina & Alex pics I found here

Donnerstag, 19. August 2010

Polar Polka...Counting Polar Bears in Alaska



Ten polka-playing polar bears gather on an iceberg that’s big enough for a stage. The band begins to play, then suddenly — SNAP! — a chunk of the iceberg breaks off and one of the bears floats away. Undaunted, the now nine-member band strikes a chord when — POP! — there goes another piece, and another bear, too. Bear by bear, the band is eventually reduced to…none! How will the show go on? The bears’ clever solution provides a satisfying finale to this amusing learn-to-count story. Colorful illustrations depict whales, walrus, seals, and other Alaskan wildlife along with the furry musicians.

Unfortunately, I don't know the book myself and so I have no clue concerning the clever solution of the bears, so, if anyone of you does know, please write, I am curious as hell...


Zehn Polka spielende Eisbären versammeln sich auf einem Eisberg, der groß genug ist uma als Bühne zu fungieren. Die Band beginnt zu spielen, dann plötzlich -Ooops! - Ein Stück des Eisbergs bricht und einer der Bären schwimmt weg. Unerschrocken spielt die nun neunköpfige Band weiter, als - POP! - ein weiteres Stück des Eisbergs abbricht, ein weiterer Bär verschwindet, dann noch einer...Den anderen ergeht es nicht viel anders. Ein Bär nach dem anderen trifft es bis keiner mehr übrig bleibt. Wie wird die Show weitergehen? Offenbar haben die Bären eine "clevere Lösung". Diese Geschichte zum Zählenlernen zeigt viele bunte Abbildungen auch von anderen Tieren in Alaska wie Wale, Walrosse und Seehunde, doch die pelzigen Musiker sind einfach die abgefahrensten...

Leider weiß ich nicht, auf welche Lösung sie denn nun kommen, bitte schreiben, wenn jemand das Buch kennt...Ich bin wirklich neugierig!

The illustrations of Erik Brooks are too cute!


Source:
- Polar Polka: Counting Polar Bears in Alaska
-
Chérie B. Stihler (Author), Erik Brooks (Illustrator) -