We joined the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop with this short video, The Most Endangered River in America. This video poem highlights both the beauty and the troubles of this amazing river. The video is directed and written by Pete McBride Productions. The images are stunning and the message is important.
The Colorado River runs 1450 miles across seven states and two countries. This might river supplies water for 36 million people. Even though the river flowed to the sea for 6 million years, the Colorado has not reached the ocean since the late 1990′s. We hope you will take a few moments to view this important video poem.
The Overview Effect
When I was young, I imagined Africa as a far off land, with endless savannas and wilderness areas that rivaled outer space. I remember lying on the floor in front of the television watching Wild Kingdom, our window on the world, as we traveled vicariously with Marlin Perkins to the far reaches of the world for exciting interactions with exotic animals in their natural habitats.
A lot has changed since those childhood days of packing a lunch with a friend and telling our parents we were setting out to seek the source of the creek that ran through the property surrounding our neighborhood. This creek seemed endless to us as we walked and talked and used our imagination to pretend we were on safari looking for wildlife.
Our World is Getting Smaller
Now, I realize how small this creek is and often times, I might even drive by where we used to play not giving the water rippling over the stones a second thought. And just as I thought Africa was a mysterious land of abundant space for all animals to live and thrive, we know this is not the case. Africa’s wilderness is being squeezed as elephants, lions, rhino and wildebeest all compete with humans for habitat and resources.
Today, our world even seems a lot smaller than it did when I was younger. We can visit Africa and watch wildlife right from our homes via Africam and other online sources. There are television programs on 24 hours, 7 days per week allowing us to see the day to day life of people and animals on the other side of the globe. And when you see Africa from the air, you can see the shrinking wild areas and the urban sprawl creeping out into the once wild and open spaces where earth’s animals once lived in abundance and with minimal human conflict.
Distinctive Lions Will Live Better Lives Thanks to Genetic Testing
Scientists thought there was something different about the fifteen lions living in the rundown Addis Ababa Lion Zoo. The male lions living in the Ethiopian zoo have large, dark brown manes that extend down their chests through their front legs, down their backs below
their shoulders and the length of their belly through the groin. These male lions are also smaller in body size than their cousins from eastern and southern Africa. These distinguishing features in the Addis Ababa Lions made the biologists think this group of lions are distinctive, and in fact, made them wonder if they could be the relatives of an extinct lion subspecies.
It had been speculated that the Addis Ababa lions might be the last pure relatives of North African Barbary lions or South African Cape lions, both subspecies now extinct. Or could these 15 lions be a completely genetically distinctive population of lion?
The lions are descended from a private collection of the last Ethiopian ruler, Emperor Haile Selassie, who captured their ancestors from the wild and brought them to his palaces in the 1940′s. Today, these lions live in the same holding pens as the first lions captured, only now the zoo is in poor condition and the lions are lacking proper nutrition, and inadequate space.
Addis Lion zookeepers became so overwhelmed caring for the lions that they reached out to their German “sister city” Leipzig, for help. Vets from the Leipzig zoo traveled to Ethiopia to check the health status of the lions. While examining the lions, a team of vets took blood samples for genetic investigations for an international breeding program in case the results confirmed these lions are their own subspecies or perhaps their own genetic construction.
Does Your Cat Need Project Pet Slim Down?
My parents might say a lot of things about me like; I am mischievous, talkative and smart but one thing I am not, is a fat cat. I am the perfect weight for my body type. There was a time when I was a bit too thin when I was recovering from pancreatitis, but now I am wearing my 7 pounds well. My brother Mercy, well…. ok.. he is also at a good weight for his body type. Weighing in at 10.4 lbs. our doctors tell us he is in great shape. He is just a bigger cat than I am, bigger boned and he really is. He is not just saying he is big boned to try to cover up the fact that he might be a bit chunky from all of those treats my grandma gives him. But Mercy and I are in the minority of cats in the United States. Did you know that 55% of cats in the United State are overweight or obese?
In fact, it is not just cats, dogs too are overweight too even with all that in and out bathroom business and organized walking they do. It has gotten so out of control that there is now an Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and the 2011 Pet Obesity Study found that 93 million cats and dogs are considered overweight or obese.
Friends, it is time that we all face the numbers on the scale.
Because we might need a little help getting started Purina teamed up with Target to create Project:Pet Slim Down. Purina created this online program to help your cat and dog lose weight. Cats and dogs at a healthy weight enjoy happier lives and Purina made it a mission to help every pet parent enable their cat and dog to achieve that weight. Read the rest of this entry »
by Joanne McGonagle
Richard Turere’s “Lion Lights” Save Lives
Maasai, Richard took over the responsibility for herding and safeguarding his family’s livestock when he was only 9 years old. One of the threats to his family’s cattle, sheep and goats is the presence of African lions when they wander out of Nairobi National Park following the path of zebra and other prey animals searching for savannah grasses.
Richard grew up hating lions because at night, lions would sneak in and kill the family’s livestock while the boy was sleeping. Determined to protect the families valuable livestock, Richard knew he had to think of a way to help him protect his animals from lion attacks.
Richard first built a fire, but realized even though the lions are afraid of fire, they were not afraid to go around the fire and snatch up a meal and in fact their path was made easier by the light of the fire. Richard then tried to place a scarecrow to fool the lions into thinking that he was guarding his cattle, but this only worked for one night. Richard said, the lions are very clever, so when they returned the second night, they must have realized this scarecrow is not moving and so were no longer intimidated.
Remembering Mr. Collins.
Something wonderful happened when we started The Tiniest Tiger’s facebook page. We met and became friends with many people that we would not have had the opportunity to meet without the power of social media. Our page was created to unite friends that love and care about all cats big and small. But we don’t limit our love only for cats, we care for all living beings. Read the rest of this entry »
By Joanne McGonagle
Discover Your Cat’s True Nature
Even though cats outnumber dogs living within homes, cats remain thought of by many as aloof, anti-social and not needing the love and attention that dogs are given. Cats are mistreated and sometimes maligned because they have been misunderstood. Stereotypes about cats sadly remain firmly in place so the team at Purina One decided to dig deeper and learn about the cat’s true nature and what makes a cat…a cat!
Our domestic cats roots can be traced back to the African Wildcat. So Purina One decided to go to Africa to learn more about our cats living ancestors so that we could all achieve a better understanding of what our own cats need to live their best lives.
I was thrilled to be asked by the Purina One team to join in the journey to discover the true nature of cats where we discuss and explore how to awaken, foster and nurture the natural instincts within our cat so that their lives will be enriched and in turn our own lives are better knowing that our feline family member is enjoying her life to the fullest.
I was in my final year completing my master of zoology with a focus on big cats when I first learned about the Purina One program. I was so excited because The Tiniest Tiger children’s book compares and contrasts the similarities and differences between the big cats and their domestic cousins that share our lives.
Who was your cat born to be?
It was a long cold winter here at my habitat. Long gray days, cold temperatures and snow, snow, snow. Spring arrived late even though the calendar clearly stated that the Spring Equinox was on Wednesday, March 20. In fact, Spring was so tardy in our area that our poor friend Punxsutawny Phil was at risk to be sued for his false prediction
that Spring would arrive six weeks after he saw his shadow. An Ohio prosecutor suffering from cabin fever filed a criminal indictment against the famous Pennsylvania groundhog over his “prediction” of an early spring but dropped the charge admitting that Punxsutawney Phil had a “defense with teeth in it” .
Winter gets tiresome for me too at my habitat, because my dad is overprotective of the sun room during the off season. He is so protective he locks up the doors and refuses to let me out when the temperature dips too far below freezing. This is super upsetting because the sun room, is not only MY room, but it is my favorite room in my house.
This is where I spend time with Lazy Leopard and we visit with Bossy Backyard Blue Jay, the Maple Tree Squirrel, and many other wild friends. Sometimes I sit in front of the closed sun room doors and try with all my might to get my dad to open the doors. My dad is super stubborn though, he really is. Once he gets it in his head that it is too cold for me to be out in the sun room, there is nothing I can do.
Sometimes, when my mom and I are home alone, I get to sneak out into the sun room and nap in my heated thinking circle until my dad comes home and catches us in the act!
9 Things I Love About Gracey
I am a cat parent! This month Petfinder launched a campaign to help break down the stereotypes about cats and the people who love them. Even though cats outnumber dogs in the United States, feline family members are often thought of as second-class pets. Many people still believe that cats are aloof, not able to be trained and of all things….unlovable!
I say anyone that thinks this about a cat has never shared their home with a cat. Our Gracey and Mercy are members of our family and we are fortunate to get to share our lives with them. I wanted to take a moment to tell you just 9 things I love about Gracey. Of course, there are many many more, but I thought I would start with these.
One) Gracey’s Happy Face Greeting Me at the Door
Even on the most trying of days, when my key hits the door and I see our little girl running to greet me with her tail straight up with a curl, all the day’s troubles just melt away and I feel warm and happy seeing her sweet face.
Two) Chatting About Her Day
First thing I do when I get inside the house is say hello to Gracey and ask her about her day and she usually has a lot to say. Gracey is a talkative cat and I think she is telling me what happened while Paul and I were out leaving her in charge of the house. I love to hear her tales of the day while we walk together into the kitchen.
- The Most Endangered River in America
- The Overview Effect How the View from Space Might Save Our World
- Lions to Live Better Lives Thanks to Genetic Testing
- Win $25 Gift Card to Target from Project Pet Slim Down
- Internet Cat Video Festival 2013 Call For Entries Ends May 1
- Making Peace with Lions Richard Turere is a Wildlife Hero.
- Remembering Mr. Collins. Dear Friend and Animal Lover
- True Nature of Cats by Purina One
- Night Falls on The Tiniest Tiger’s Sun Room
- I Am a Cat Parent 9 Things I Love About Gracey