Earth Our Home Too : Lullaby to an Elephant

Elephant Nature Park in Thailand is dedicated to rehabilitating elephants and giving them a safe and beautiful place to live. In this video, Faa Mai the elephant is being soothed to sleep by her caretaker. At Elephant Nature Park, each elephant is given one caretaker who is with them morning till night, and the bond between caretaker and elephant can be very strong! Faa Mai is so comfortable around his caretaker, that he ends up snoring next to her, in perfect sleep bliss!

Earth Our Home Too : Parrots

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The parrot is a medium sized group of birds, with the parrot being best known for it’s extremely brightly coloured feathers, and the ability of some parrot species to talk, as these species of parrots are able to mimic sounds made by other animals such as humans.

There are thought to be over 350 species of parrot worldwide, ranging across rainforest regions of the Southern Hemisphere. The parrot tends to inhabit densely forested areas, where the parrot hunts insects and small mammals, as well as eating nuts, seeds and fruits.

The parrot can grow between 8cm and 1m, depending on the parrot species. The pygmy parrot is the smallest species of parrot in the world, growing to around the same size as an adult human’s finger. The pygmy parrot is found in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. The Hyacinth Macaw is the largest species of parrot in the world, growing to more than a meter in height and native to the jungles of central and eastern South America. However, the endangered kakapoof New Zealand can often be heavier than the Hyacinth Macaw, with the kakapooften reaching more than 3kg in weight.

The parrot is believed to be one of the most intelligent of all the bird species, mainly in the sense that parrots are able to replicate (mimic) the noises made around them. Some parrots are able to mimic modern sounds and human voices to almost perfection. One African grey parrot was found to have a vocabulary of more than 800 words!

Nearly all of the different parrot species around the world are known to live for a long time, particularly in comparison to other species of bird (even other species of animal). The average lifespan of the parrot is around 60 years, although it is not uncommon for parrots be much older ages, as many parrot individuals have reached the age of 100.

Parrots are identifiable by a number of their features, the brightly coloured feathers of the parrot being the most obvious one. Parrots are known to have sharp, curved beaks which help parrots to crack nuts open more easily and to access fruits on the trees. Parrots also have strong legs, but are most well known for the fact that there are four toes on each of the parrot’s two feet, two of these toes faces forwards and the other two toes face backwards. These remarkable feet help the parrot not only to perch on tree branches more easily, but also aid the parrot in climbing tree trunks or clambering through the dense jungle foliage.

Parrot populations are rapidly declining mainly due to deforestation and therefore destruction of the parrot’s natural habitat. Parrots are also a popular animal in the exotic pet trade and are trapped in the wild to be delivered to homes around the world.

Parrots are found on all tropical and subtropical continents, including Australia and Oceania, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America and Africa. Caribbean and some Pacific islands are home to endemic species. By far the greatest number of parrot species comes from Australasia and South America. 

Due to their large size (of the majority of parrot species) and intelligence, parrots have few natural predators in the wild. The human trapping and hunting parrots, is the main predator of the parrot along with monkeys, snakes and large birds of prey that tend to feed more on the eggs of the parrot rather than the bird itself.

The diet of parrots consists of seeds, fruit, nectar, pollen, buds, and sometimes arthropods and other animal prey. The most important of these for most true parrots and cockatoos are seeds; the evolution of the large and powerful bill can be explained primarily as an adaptation to opening and consuming seeds. 

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Courtesy : Google, Wikipedia, AtoZanimals.com

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Kudos : Blue Cross saved a Buffalo from Butcher and Injury

Blue Cross of India saved a Buffalo, not just from a vehicle hit injury, but also from being sold to a butcher who tried to kill that injured animal. Kudos to Blue Cross.

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On the 22nd of January, the Blue Cross of India received a call (from ICF Railway station, Chennai, India) that a buffalo had been hit by a vehicle and was in the process of being sold to a butcher. While a few angelic citizens stood around the buffalo and were not permitting the sale to go through, our General Manager, Dawn Williams and BCI volunteer, Mr. Sethuraman arrived on the scene of the accident, accompanied by a division of CSS volunteers. They did not permit the butcher to take the buffalo away and after peacefully daring the butcher and his people to attack them, proceeded to load him up in our ambulance.

The buffalo had broken his left rear leg and was unable to stand. Blue Cross of India veterinarian, Dr. Prasanna, designed a steel splint for the leg, which was then fabricated by Aspick Engineering Pvt. Ltd. and today, the buffalo stands and walks around (as seen in the picture) quite comfortably and is expected to be fully recovered in approximately 6-10 more weeks.

Please note that the Blue Cross of India performs rescues such as this multiple times a day, 24X7, 365 days in the year.

Source : Blue Cross of India

Picture Speaks : Deforestation

Deforestation

Deforestation

Adopt Dogs – Help Local Breeds – Missed perspectives Explained!

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The Man’s best friend need not be always from his own country of origins. Yes this is about the most admired and the most faithful pet for humans. Calling them the best friend explains their name The Dogs. But for most of us they are not just an animal, many are a part of our family with all good names to call by.

I do not know whether we befriended them or they befriended us. Whoever made the first move, it does not matter but the Dogs really have become a part of our life. Not just for assisting in hunting and guarding homes like in old history, now dogs means more than that for us.

Now they are enjoying almost everything like we do, their lifestyle too got advanced. They hold no sense for dressing yet we beautify them for our satisfactions with designer clothings and accessories. The Dogs of the modern world have got many privileges. They participate in dog shows, beauty contest and even act more in movies.

We humans are so kind to them in some sense and we are offering them specialized foods and medicines. We have organizations to protect them and ensure no harm is done to them. This is the beautiful side of the story.

There is another side where still dogs are orphaned and killed without care on the streets. Along with the human population, dog population too increases. These humble creatures are being the part of evolution where they cannot live without our support. They cannot go back to an independent forest life and hunt their food. Even the jungles are getting compacted now, so forget that options never exist.

The real concern is this, now we are beyond a point having a pet in our home as an act of companionship. Now for many it has become an obsession or a show off stuff to have a pet dog. It is a luxury now to have a different breed of dog what your neighbors do not have. It has become a pride and a fake galmour.

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There are various statistics presented along this writing you can see the trend in the dog population, economy that revolves around the dog market and the interest levels of the people in owning a dog. Though no. of dogs per person in India is on the lower side compared to the countries like US, Brazil etc. India now has the highest growth rate in the dog population and have become a high potential market for breeders / dog sellers. In future if the emerging trend continues, dogs will take a considerable cost of living of a normal middle class Indian family. Please do not get defensive about the points, I personally love dogs a lot and value them.

Yet I Just wanted to add some perspectives for you in this regard, which we might missed to watch for. If a dog has to be raised in an environment which does not suit the breed then it needs a lot of conditioning and preventive medications. Right from the food it eats, medicines, sterilizations, soaps, etc. They need to give additional caring. Well you can say that it is good.

No it is not. An illusion is being created by the global media and the dog economy (markets) that a specific breed of dogs holds a value to it. For instance during the 1980-2000 Pomeranians were so popular breed in India. Now the Pug, Golden retrievers is becoming so popular. When seen from outside it may show a sign like we are getting globalized and our acceptance level has increased, but there are many perspectives missed here.

1. We are ignoring the natural breed / the home breed of dogs which are well adapted to the climate and the lifestyle of our home. Just understand, for a dog breed from colder countries India would be a horrible place to live. The same will happen if we send our Indian breeds to somewhere in Russia. They struggle. There comes the additional dog grooming economy and the business people who capitalize this opportunity to take their stake from your money banks.

2. The orphaned dogs are mostly the home breeds which are neglected on the streets and left to die of starvation and killed as they are threats to our lives! Sad thing. They belong to us and they have no place to live. Every day blue cross of India is asking people to adopt dogs, which need homes. But our people always go for purchasing dogs from breeders, we only fancy about the foreign breed of dogs.

The argument is not against foreign breed dogs, but it is against falling prey to the illusionary dog marketing. We are further doing harm to the foreign breeds which struggle to live a normal life to our climate and environment.

3. What happens to the economy is even crazier. We have seen families who spend thousands of rupees per month for raising a dog, that money easily exceeds the average monthly salary of a government employee or an IT professional. This is not just happening in rich families but also creeping as a culture among various middle class families here in India.

They just wanted to show off by owning a special breed of dog and to play with. Seldom cares for the real happiness of the dogs. Most of the foreign breeds here live out their lives on medicines and injections. Normal style is something what they take out from the dogs.

What can we do?

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1. Stop fancying about a breed which finds it hard to complete even its normal life span on host climate. Adopt more home breeds.

2. Home breeds need lesser cost of living, than just a few timely sterilization and vaccines for diseases.

3. They adapt to our food habits and do not expect a special dog food, except in cases they enjoy you can buy them some as you wish.

4. Stray dogs will go less and more dogs will find sweet homes.

5. We can stop cruel breeders who just see the dogs as breeding machines and harm them.

6. Last but not least we are making the dogs happier to live in the climate they are used to. They do not need air conditioned rooms.

adopt_puppies4_2Please think. There are millions of people who starve for a normal meal and millions who long for basic necessities like access to education, drinking water and a sanitatized dwelling. If we can save our money, it can be invested somewhere and indirectly or directly it will help the humans to get the life they dream in their lifetime.

You may earn more and think what you spend for your dogs are much lesser. But if compared to the life expenses of people at a lower level that money is so huge for them. Two families can survive with the amount that your family spends for a Dog. A poor kid can get educated for one year with the amount you spend for your luxury dog for a single month.

You may not step on the streets and help out anyone with the money you ought to spend on your dog, but that money will remain in the circulation and helps the economy. Thus indirectly you will help the poor. Think Please.

– Words by Din

FOR ADOPTING DOGS IN INDIA : Check the Facebook page of Blue cross here, You get in touch there.

Courtesy : The Atlantic, The Hindu, Blue Cross of India and my friend C.S.Karthikeyan for inspiring me to write on this topic.