Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

July 28, 2013

Class Of 2013 Cranes

Whooping Cranes following the ultralight
Picture credit: Tim Ross

This is a very exciting day for those of us here in Florida who love the spectacular Whooping Cranes.
The young ones have just arrived at their ”Crane College” today in Wisconsin from the
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland and will spend the summer
getting a complete ”Crane Education.”
In the Fall, after their “training” is finished, these beauties will begin their migration south, or Operation Migration, following the ultralight on the long journey to their winter home here in Florida.
Florida is famous for its Snowbirds and these Endangered beauties are just another
example of why so many love to come down here every year and spend their winters in paradise.
When the young birds finally do get here in the Fall, people will come from all over the country to see them in their winter homes at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge on Florida’s Gulf or West Coast, near Tampa.
So, until we see you in September babies, listen to your teachers and play nice with the other kids~
You may learn more about our beautiful Whooping Cranes here:
These links are to stories about their arrival today in Wisconsin:

Will They Hear Your Voices?

Wild Mustangs In Arizona
Picture by John Harwood

Prayers can and will be answered.Voices can and will be heard.Thank you so much to the wonderful group at Our Compass!
I have just signed this and am next sharing it on F.B.
Please I beg you, please do the same.
Sign it, share it, reblog it!
Let your voices speak for these Horses who are out of time and about to be slaughtered.
Please read this and act fast.
Reblog this, share this, please help to spread the word.
Please don’t let them die without their voices being heard:

July 24, 2013

A Fed Bear Is A Dead Bear

A young Black Bear
Picture credit: hans-stieglitz

Once again this morning, I had not intended to write, but once again it was not to be.
This state has a pretty poor record, in my eyes, when it comes to “nuisance, (their word not mine) anything.”
Nearly every day in our local news, there is another story of a wild animal who has caused a problem and has been killed.
Today, yet another Black Bear has stepped across that magical, mythical line set up by those in charge and he has paid for his indiscretions with his life: Black Bear Euthanized
He was ” euthanized,” what a deceitful word that is, why do they dare not speak the truth, they killed him.
Our Florida Black Bears are normally shy, reclusive, omnivores (which means that they will eat most anything) and there has never been an incidence of one attacking a human here.
The ones who end up on the Orlando news are usually at the top of a tree, waiting for the people, the cameras and the noise to leave, so that they can come down and go about their business.
Perhaps if I had not lived for so many years in a place like California, where wild things are now pretty much coveted, it would not be so hard to live here in Florida, the wildlife hunting capital of the South.
To be completely fair, it was not always so animal friendly in California, in the historical past, many wild animals were hunted and killed, which is why today, there are so few of them left and people have reversed their thinking and now go out of their way to protect them.
Florida seems to have such a low tolerance level for wild things that bring attention to themselves.
The place where this bear was killed is in an upscale place on Florida’s West or Gulf Coast,
called Naples, I know this only because one of my Aunts lives there and she has commented on the kind of people who call it home.
Some of the very wealthy residents of Naples, like others of Florida’s affluent resort areas, only live here part of the year and they don’t care much for having wild things roaming around in their neighborhoods and want to be assured that everything is “ under control. ”
And as is usually the case with a wild animal here, “ under control ” means dead.
We did have a large gorgeous Black Bear here in our little corner of the world that was recently caught and relocated:  Massive Black Bear Relocated
So, the lesson learned here is a bitter one, indeed.
Any animal, wild or otherwise, will remain where a food supply is constant and it was surmised by the authorities, that someone was feeding this young Black Bear.
As the FWS officer who ended this bear’s life quite accurately pointed out, ” a fed bear is a dead bear.”
The reminders about “bear safety” are on the news here constantly and wouldn’t you think after witnessing enough of these sad “euthanizations “ on TV, that people would eventually get it?
If we eliminate their food source, the Bears won’t come.
So, this little, young bear is gone, he is dead and will not, as has often been done in the past, be relocated up to where we are in the Ocala Forest, because he might repeat his most ”offensive actions.”
If only our Florida wildlife got as many second chances, as the criminals here who repeatedly commit the same crimes and continue to go free.
Perhaps there should be a separate justice system for our criminal wildlife?

July 21, 2013

Beautiful, Beneficial Bats

A beautiful Endangered Gray Bat
Photo credit:  Dr. Renn Tumlison
This Issue is one that I wrote about some time ago, but recent news has reminded me once again, that the crisis for this animal has not only not gone away, but has gained momentum and appears to now be an out of control situation: Biological Diversity Public Action
The animals are beautiful, beneficial Bats and the disease that is wiping this mammal off of the face of the Earth, is white-nose syndrome.
Many people have a negative opinion of this” most helpful friend “ and even those who don’t fear it, may have a difficult time feeling any great remorse for its current plight.
Right now, Bats in this country are facing nearly complete eradication from this rampant fungal disease and the prospects of the species surviving, do not look too good.
You should be very concerned about this situation, but you may not know why.
Bats are the single most prolific insect eater on the planet and if they ceased to exist, those nasty little creepy, crawly, critters might just, as in the biblical prophecies, not only, " inherit the earth, “  they may just take it over quite quickly, with little to stop them, other than more huge quantities of what is becoming more and more frequently, ”useless insecticides.”
The over use of these terrible toxins for way too long now, has caused countless numbers of insects to become “super bugs,”  that are developing complete immunity to them.
Now, this is all a very scary thought, unless you happen to love bugs.
As for the beleaguered Bats, the white-nose syndrome has now spread across the country into 22 states and has killed more than 7 million Bats in its death march.
Irregardless of our personal feelings about Bats, we all need them in our lives, because the world would not be a very “human friendly” place to live with out them.
We actually have a Bat house on our property and continue to hope that one day, it might just have some visitors~
As usual, it would be wonderful if you chose to get involved and several ways to do this are detailed in these two stories:

July 14, 2013

Bringing Buffalo Back

   Buffalo in the Black Hills     Buffalo in the Black Hills
Buffalo in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, land of the Oglala Lakota people.

Unless you are from the Western United States, Buffalo or Bison, may not be an animal that you have ever encountered.
My experiences with Buffalo are quite personal, having seen them in the Dakota’s and on Reservations where they long ago flourished, roaming in numbers by the millions.
This is a remarkable animal, as you would know, once you have come face to face with them and I do mean this quite literally, having once had one lean all the way inside my Jeep in Yellowstone, just to say “hello.”
What an unforgettable experience that was!
My love of the Native people and the Buffalo of the Dakota’s, was the driving force in creating a website to Honor them many years ago:
The Buffalo/Bison were of immense historical and cultural importance to Plains Native people and it may be difficult for non natives to fully appreciate the extremely vital role that they had played in their lives.
To the Plains people, the Buffalo was everything.
But, in the late 1800′s, this world of the  Buffalo Culture, would come crashing down, when Buffalo Bill Cody, a newly constructed coast to coast railroad system and the US Government, completely changed and nearly eradicated, both a beloved animal and a people, almost.
After the initial slaughter, a meager few remained in remote parts of the Dakotas and several other areas, untouched by the kill orders.
The US Government believed that by eliminating their source of food, and an entire culture, the Natives would relinquish at last and go where they were supposed to be, the prisons that were to become their permanent homes, the Reservations.
For the past two hundred or so years, the absence of their beloved Buffalo has been a knife in the hearts to all of those who loved them, up until about a year ago, when they witnessed a historic event, the buffalo were being brought back.
Native people are deliriously happy for their return, wildlife officials love what is happening to the Plains ecosystems, it is a win-win all around.
A bittersweet remark in the story, says that the return of the Buffalo,” have restored balance to the land,” imagine that!
Although it looks good for now, there is one tiny little hiccup, they are running out of money to continue funding this project.
The complete posting is here and if you do choose to get involved, it seems a small pay back for an animal and a people who have been repeatedly abused by invaders to their homelands for more than two hundred years:
Yellowstone Bison Revitalize Prairie On Fort Reservation

July 13, 2013


Wild Horse with foal photo: Public Domain        Canadian Geese with goslings photo: Brocken Inaglory

I had no intentions of writing today, as you know by now, this has been a difficult week and we are both exhausted.
However, our local news this morning will allow me no rest.
At 5 AM, the first story on our news here, was that the state of  New Mexico And The FDA Have Come To An Agreement  and they will be slaughtering horses.
As if to quell the expected outbreak of hostility, it was clearly stated that of course, none of the horse meat will be sold in America.
Hello, that is not the problem people, the problem is, you are slaughtering horses.
Hopefully, you have had the chance to read my story on this Blog: “We Want To Live.”
A group on Facebook has much, much more:
It is simply incomprehensible to me and I am sure to you as well, that this is going to be done.
Is America still a Democracy?
Do the concerns of the People have any meaning any more?
Why is there no discussion, no input allowed, for something as egregious as this?
We, the People, in this country have raised our voices in absolute objection to many Issues and it is if we are speaking another language, no one in charge seems to hear us.
I feel so angry, so sickened by this, that I cannot speak.
Then, as if that news was not enough to break my heart this morning, I opened my first email and it was about 144 Canadian Geese being slaughtered in North Carolina.
The group trying to stop it has a petition and much more information here:
Sometimes, like today, I feel like this is all for nothing.
Right now, my heart is broken and it is like no one is listening, nobody cares.

July 12, 2013

The Brits And The Badgers

A Badger whose future is unclear
(source of this picture is unknown)

Since beginning this Blog in March, many Issues have been addressed here that involved animals being harmed.
Thankfully, being the kind and caring readers that you all are, you have responded with zest, zeal and passion.
But the one topic that has evoked the most overt reaction, raw emotion and absolute disgust from all of you has been, mass animal murders.
What has been written about here relating to this particular topic to date are:
horses, elephants, gorillas and rhinos.
There are other stories to be told, but not written about here yet, with past and future planned executions in this country, namely, wolves and bison or buffalo and of course, the Burmese Python In The Florida Everglades.
It remains curious to me, that whenever humans wish to dispose of an unwanted or unwelcome animal, they choose to call what they intend to do to it, a CULL.
(This definition comes from their Oxford dictionary)
Are they uneasy with the words “mass murder?”
Now sadly, as of today, one more species can be added to this list: Badgers.
To be completely honest, until this came to my attention here on Word Press, I knew nothing about this animal, but in the few short months here, I have witnessed a Global Outcry From Fellow Bloggers about what is being planned in England for this animal.
For some unknown reason, certain humans seem to believe that it makes more of an impact, if the slaughter of a chosen victim is done is huge numbers, and for some odd reason, the last two discussed here, had the number 5,000.
After reading the stated reasoning behind the proposed slaughter this August of Great Britain’s Badgers, the explanation for this action is that they believe it will reduce the number of cases of TB in the Cattle there.
The Country has had an often times, ugly history with this animal, point in case being the now forbidden, Blood Sport Of Badger Baiting.               
For those of you not living in, or familiar with America, we have had a similar case like this with our Native bison, or buffalo in Wyoming.
Years ago, Montana Ranchers began slaughtering bison or buffalo, just as soon as they left Yellowstone and wandered into their state because they feared the Bison were infecting, or could potentially infect,  their cows with Brucellis abortis.
And one final thought, a new story today, says that the upcoming CULL Of Badgers may not even be of any benefit at all, according to one of their very own.  
As the species with the supposedly larger brain, could we not at least consider ways to deal with animals that we seem to have a conflict with, other than mass murders?
Come to think of it, our past history with other humans does not lend itself well to this, does it?       

July 9, 2013

Plastic, You’re Outta Here!

Plastic trash on the Beach in Hawaii
Picture credit: NOAA
I have been wanting to address this Issue for months and with this announcement today,
it is now time.
The city of Los Angeles, my home for over 30 years, who is continually at the forefront and frequently a leader in cutting edge everything, has just passed the most exciting eco-friendly legislature in its history.
It has banned single-use plastic bags.
I can see Ed Begley Jr. smiling from here~
So now, how long will it take for the rest of us to get on board this Eco-train?
The damage done Globally by all kinds of plastics, cannot easily be assessed.
It injures, affects, hurts and kills so many types of animals everywhere, that it is difficult to accurately measure its complete harm.
Birds, turtles, dolphins, whales and many other sea animals are all being found with plastic pieces, some quite large, that they have ingested in the waters all over the world.
Baby chicks of sea birds in remote parts of the Pacific, have been found starving to death due to the plastic pieces that they are being fed instead of food, mistakenly by their unaware parents.
It just goes on and on.
So, my request, my hope, is that we collectively, will try to do our best to get plastic out of our lives.
As for myself, I can only offer up what I have done for so many years and that is to find alternatives to plastic in every form.
When and if any plastic does regretfully make its way home, it is dealt with as the potential killer that it truly is.
It is disposed of very carefully, always with an animal ending up being harmed by it in mind.
I am so proud of L.A. for being a leader on this extremely important Issue and applaud them.
Where I now live in Florida, on our street, we are one of very few who even put out a recycle bin for the trash collectors each week.
So sad!
Each of us can do this, we can help by simply making a small change in our lives and spare animals a painful, horrible death, by just not buying plastic,  each and every time that we can choose an alternative.
Think baby steps, take it one plastic product, one plastic choice at a time and pretty soon it could be, it can be, gone from all of our lives.
And finally, picture a hungry baby bird with its tiny belly filled up with bits of plastic, perhaps that will be all the motivation you will ever need?
You know that we can do this~
Please read more about this Issue here:

July 8, 2013

One Less Monster In The World Today

Elephants At Zakouma National Park in SE Chad,
the tragic sight of many Elephant deaths by poachers

Who says that dreams don’t come true?
Today is a miracle day for all those who love Elephants, as a monster has been captured in Africa.
In Chad a poacher named Hassan Idriss, who has the blood of 89 Elephants and more on his hands, has been captured.
This monster has been repeatedly murdering Elephants and he is known to have help or accomplices.
It is time to get serious about these monsters and drag them all into court, where they will hopefully be given the harshest ever known sentence in Africa for these heinous crimes.
Do they have the death penalty in Africa for poachers?
If they do not, they should because these mass animal murderers are at the bottom of the barrel as far as a species goes.
Yes, there is one down, and so many more to go, but on this wonderful day, there is one less.
So many Blessings can be said today for a small, but important victory for the Elephants.
Please do read the story about this and so much more at this remarkable place for all who love animals:
Poacher Captured In Chad